Question: If someone who is considering divorce contacts you seeking advice and or help, what is the first thing you ask them? And what is the first thing you tell them to do? Why?
Answer: The first thing I do is ask if they have attempted marriage counseling. A good family law attorney advises that divorce is the last remedy, not the first that should be explored when a couple is having marital problems. This is especially true if there are children involved.
Question: What is some of the best and most useful advice and or instructions you offer people involved in a divorce to help increase the chances of a successful divorce outcome.
Answer: If a couple has children I advise them that even though they may no longer be marriage partners, they will always be parent partners. How they handle the divorce and the divorce process, the respect or disrespect that they show to each other, may set the ground rules for decades to come. Communication will be one of the most important tools that they will have to learn to use going forward.
Question: What advice and or counsel can you offer a person who is uncertain about divorce that will help them decide if divorce is the right option or not?
Answer: Divorce should usually be a last remedy. Some marriages, where there has been abuse and or domestic violence have no place in our society. Those marriages should end and individuals should be protected. When a marriage has broken down, though, and domestic violence is not an issue, especially when there are children, parents should explore options to try to save their marriage, if possible. Sometimes, one party has already moved on and met a third party and saving a marriage from divorce is no longer an option. Sometimes, parties are able to overcome obstacles that they once thought they would not be able to overcome. Seeking counseling is always a good option and learning good communication skills will be essential, if not in being able to save your marriage, in being able to better communicate after your divorce and help move on with the next phase of your life.
Question: What are some of the most significant and crucial effects a divorce has or can have on a recently divorced individual's life?
Answer: Financial changes occur to everyone following their divorce. A good family law attorney will help you plan accordingly. Social changes also will occur. Where you were once a couple you are now single. Friends sometimes feel "funny" not knowing whether to call and go out (they do not want to take sides). You may feel like the "third wheel" when you go out with people who you once socialized with and were your friends. But, you must realize, that your "friends" will often times react to you. They will wait to see how you are following your break-up. If you are a "Debby-downer" people will not want to be with you. If all you do is complain about what you went through and your "Ex" and live on your negative energy, people will not want to be around you, either. Yes, you will be feeling those things, but your main goal will be to take your negative energy that you will be feeling following the life changing event of the divorce and find positive things in your life to make the negatives, positive. People want to be around positive energy...so will you.
Question: In your past experiences and or involvements have you ever noticed certain characteristics, qualities, and or behaviors of a parent (positive and or negative) that plays a role in the child custody outcome?
Answer: Parents who are nurturing individuals, by nature, usually do better in child custody disputes, then parents who are not. This is mostly caused by the fact that they are less selfish and more selfless. They care for others, less than they care for themselves. They put their children first and clearly can be shown to be the better "administrators of custody" when putting together child custody disputes.
Richard S. Victor, Of Counsel, Hertz Schram, PC