There is a common misunderstanding that divorce lawyers should be consulted after a nasty fight where “divorce” gets thrown around. Monday mornings are the busiest phone days for our office because weekends are usually when couples have the opportunity to fight.
Every month, I receive many calls from prospective clients who ask me, “Is divorce the right decision for me?”
As a divorce lawyer and mediator, I can’t answer that question. Divorce is a life change. Not only is it a mental and emotional change, it is a physical change in everything: living arrangements, financial arrangements, and child-rearing duties. Whether or not you are ready depends on several factors, but in order to successfully get ready for and adapt to these major life changes, you need to be in a calm state of mind.
Right after a blow-out fight is therefore the WORST time to call a divorce attorney’s office.
Nevertheless, I understand the urgency of coaching/legal advice when you are feeling threatened.
If divorce papers have not been filed, and/or you are still living together, in addition to scheduling a consult regarding your legal rights, we also recommend you schedule Decision Counseling with a professional. Our office works with several Mental Health Professionals who provide this service.
- What is Decision Counseling? It’s a series of counseling sessions offered by a licensed MHP which is designed to give you clarity and confidence about your decisions to either a) preserve the status quo (do nothing); b) separate and/or divorcee ; or c) commit whole-heartedly to intensive couples therapy for 6 months, with divorce completely off the table.
- Decision Counseling is time-limited process ( 5- 8 weeks max, 1 1/2 – 2 hours per week).
- The benefits of Decision Counseling are the following:
- Generate greater clarity and confidence about your decision
- Help you more clearly understand what it will take for both of you to be willing to sustain the relationship;
- Enhance your readiness for a more focused, committed, and therefor effective, couples therapy process – if that is your decision;
- Help you prepare for a more peaceful, respectful separation/divorce – if that is your decision;
- Identify personal challenges that you would want to work on to be more effective in any relationship;
- Increase your sense of personal responsibility and power for your decision, whatever that is, and decrease blaming (yourself or partner) that risks damaging any future relationship with your partner/co-parent;
- Provide comfort, clarity and closure for a partner not wanting the breakup, so you can both move forward more respectfully (if you are a co-parent, this also benefits your children.