Yes, I practice family law. And yes, I handle divorce actions as part of that practice. And, I am most successful in that when I help my client reconcile. Sometimes this reconciliation means the divorce never happens and they re-invest in their marriage. Sometimes, though, reconciliation comes through making peace through forgiveness but apart from one another. I prefer the former but I will also celebrate the latter.
Many couples who are struggling through conflict with one another just try to make it through the holidays. Sometimes this is for the children and sometimes for a parent. Sometimes it is out of hope for that Christmas miracle. I rarely see those for whom the miracle comes, but I hear about them and I know it happens. Marriages can be restored.
One thing I have learned, though, is that the conflict in a marriage is not the enemy. It is how that conflict is approached that matters. Some of the deadest marriages I have seen had no conflict at all. Nobody cared enough to fight. And, know that the holidays tend to increase conflict rather than decrease it when relationships are stretched thin. So, conflict during the holidays is a poor measure of whether to continue investing in your marriage.
The main point of this post, though, is to encourage people to get help early. If you are just barely holding on – well, do not keep attempting that alone. Seek out wise counsel and support. Find folks who are in favor of making marriages work rather than people who are still just a bit bitter over their own divorce. In fact, steer clear of friends and family that talk negatively about marriage generally and their marriage in particular. Seek out people who seem to be thriving in their marriage.
And if despite all of this, you pass that point of no return and a divorce is inevitable, find a lawyer who is going to encourage handling the divorce in the healthiest possible way while still looking after your interests. Be careful with lawyers who seem quick to just on your bandwagon; who seem to get upset for your and on your behalf. It is either a marketing tactic or a sign of a jaded lawyer. Find that lawyer that, instead, helps you answer tough questions and figure out what it most important and what can be released.