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Five Questions: A New Way Through And Past Divorce

partial view of couple at table with divorce documents

You know that it is time. Or it may be past time. You have examined your current life circumstances, and you are certain that it is the right choice. You have decided that you want to – maybe even feel that you need to – get a divorce. But divorce is new to you. You’ve never been divorced before, and the friends and colleagues you talk to have told you their harsh stories about how the judge didn’t see it the right way, or how your friend had to finally just give up because it seemed too hard to keep fighting. Divorce and the language around it is unfamiliar, and you don’t know what you can do or expect in your divorce process. You have a hard time envisioning your life after divorce. You have questions about your finances. You have questions about your children. You have fundamental questions about your future.

While divorce is hard, planning for your divorce with the help of well-chosen professionals can make it easier. When an individual thinks about getting a divorce, the focus is too often on the “right now” rather than on the “what next?” The person who wants or needs to get a divorce is generally not looking at the future, but at the present, and their immediate needs. And, too often, the professionals who are hired to help the person get a divorce – lawyers, in particular – are also looking at the client as a case, and not a person who needs a plan. Lawyers apply their tools – investigation, discovery, court filings, demands, motions, and trial – to the case and can lose the person (and the family) in the process. The outcome of the divorce case may be seen as successful in the court context, but that “success” may not leave the person or family with what they want or really need.

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