If you ever go to a lawyer’s office to consult with him/her about divorcing your spouse and the lawyer does not in the first five (5) minutes of the consultation ask you that question, don’t waste your time or money. And – before you go to the lawyer, think about what I just said. In my years of experience, I have seen many situations where clients believed the grass on the other side of the fence looked greener, but ultimately it was not. I have seen husbands and wives leave their spouses (and families) and live to regret it. Some are fortunate enough to reunite, remarry and live happily ever after. I’m not suggesting, however, that the answer to the question of “can this marriage be saved” may not be “no.” Unfortunately, at the “lawyer stage,” most cannot be saved.
But – I am saying that no lawyer who consults with any person about him or her getting a divorce should conduct the meeting on the basis that divorce is the solution. There are many different reasons why the Court will determine that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Lawyers need to focus on that – and only then do what needs to be done. A good lawyer may be able to help you save your marriage.
I once represented a 66 year old lady whose 67 year old husband had filed for divorce. She didn’t know why. I asked the husband’s attorney why and his answer was that this is a no fault state, i.e. husband can have a divorce just because he wants one. He did not answer my question. I filed for temporary orders. The clients sat together in the hall outside the courtroom while the other lawyer and I were discussing the issues. I saw husband reach out and hold my client’s hand in his – and I saw tears running down both their faces. Half an hour later I had the husband on cross-examination on the witness stand. I asked him specifically whether he would like to dismiss his divorce action and take my client home. The other lawyer objected. The Judge overruled the objection. Husband said “yes.” My client agreed. The judge dismissed the case and they went home. I later learned the Husband filed for divorce because he was ticked off because she objected to his playing so much golf. However, after the dismissal of the case, she took some lessons with a pro and she and her husband now play golf together. Their golden years are now happy ones. And – all of that divorce stress could have been avoided.
If you would like to learn more about saving your marriage, follow my blog series over the next four weeks. I’ll be discussing saving the marriage when alcohol, drug abuse, domestic violence, and infidelity may be involved.
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