In celebration of Community Magazine’s nostalgic look back in this Tenth Anniversary Edition, my first Divorce Talk (An Introduction, May 2012) is reprinted below. Some things have changed. I’m older and have now been practicing forty-four years. We’re living through a surreal global pandemic. And breaking news gets more bizarre each day. Some things, however, really haven’t changed, making the subject of my first Divorce Talk as relevant today as it was more than eight years ago

An Introduction

In my thirty five years as a family lawyer I have represented all types of people who were embroiled in an infinite variety of crises brought about by divorce. Those crises touch upon their relationships and their feelings of self-worth, as well as their family finances and their children.

Stress and emotion are inseparable from divorce. There is no prescribed way to go through divorce. Everyone’s personal relationships and family circumstances are unique.

Frequently, friends and relatives provide advice. Although it is almost always well meaning, it is normally no more than marginally helpful. Sometimes it is even harmful. Because everyone’s divorce is unique, it is a mistake to put too much stock in the advice offered by friends and relatives whose “expertise” is usually limited to their personal experience, at best, or the personal experience of a friend’s relative’s neighbor, at worst.

There are, however, some common threads that run through most divorces. Stress is a big one. Another is, in the face of the unknown, questions, questions and more questions. Only when questions are answered promptly, professionally and completely can high levels of stress be reduced. Answers can temper unrealistic expectations, calm irrational fears and offer a roadmap to the end of the process.

Community Publications has offered me the opportunity to share my experience by addressing issues that are often encountered in divorce and frequently create the kind of questions that keep people awake at night. Each month I will address a topic of concern to many people going through divorce. Hopefully, questions will be answered and stress will be relieved. In time your divorce will be over and you will be able to move on to the next chapter in your life.