I'm a little different than most family lawyers. When clients come to me to plan a divorce, I feel it's my duty to discourage them. Talk to a counselor, I will say to them. Talk to one another. Try to solve whatever problem is driving you apart.
The reason I say this is because divorce is a miserable process. I would almost say it is worse than death. At least with death, you have a nice funeral, a good cry, and people say beautiful things about you.
Whereas, with divorce, there is so much bitterness. Unless it is uncontested - and sometimes even then -- divorce is a fierce struggle to obtain advantage for your side, and deny power to the other side. There is nothing like it in nature.
The final battle
Divorce is like rubbing sand in an open wound. You have been fighting this other person indirectly for months or years. Now that fight becomes direct. You will get hit, bit and spat upon. That pain is going to hang around for a long time.
After I make that speech to the client, we go to work on the divorce. I don't think I have ever prevented a divorce from happening. But I feel better warning people what is in store for them.
The purpose of lawyers
It's a good thing people getting divorced have lawyers to do the dirty work. People are usually so low at this time that they are not in any condition to argue for themselves. Lawyers keep the battle at arm's length from the principals. We make strategic decisions on the client's behalf without the emotion that the client is feeling.
I'm 70 years old, and I have been helping people split up for more than 40 years. I'm board certified in family law and also in civil litigation. I know the law, and I also know the heartache clients are going through.
Divorce hurts, but most people heal, given time and acceptance. I help them get through the worst part.