“Can you suggest ways to reduce the tension for a couple whose divorce becomes more complicated and contentious after hiring lawyers?”
Absolutely. And this phenomenon is not uncommon. The role of a lawyer is to educate and advise the client on the rights and remedies that are available. Sometimes that advice is inconsistent with a swift conclusion of a family law case. And sometimes the advice and the education that we give to our clients cause our clients to see the case through different coloured lenses, which may add a new element of emotion to the case.
The best way that you can get beyond the passion that arises in a divorce is to try and look at your divorce as a business transaction. You are evaluating options and choosing the best option that makes sense from many different perspectives, from the emotional perspective, from the peace of mind perspective, from the cost perspective, and from the fairness perspective.
Family law is a very, very emotional experience. Another thing that a party to a divorce can do to reduce the tension is to utilize the services of a divorce counsellor or a personal therapist. These are trained professionals that can help us deal with the unique emotions that arise in a divorce and help us get past the frustration so we can focus on what is more important, and that’s getting the case concluded.
John Harding is the principal of the law firm of Harding & Associates in Northern California. He practices family law litigation and divorce mediation exclusively.