Do I believe in coupling? Do I believe in commitment? Do I believe in co-parenting, raising children together, having a family, and growing old with someone? I absolutely believe in all of those things. I just don't believe that you need to be married to do that. I love going to weddings, though. I do love a good wedding.
One client's wife managed to steam the labels off all of the several hundred bottles in her husband's prestigious wine collection, so the collection was worthless. The husband hosted 'What's that wine?' dinner parties.
Just as you go to the gym regularly to keep your body fit, regular couples counseling can keep your relationship fit as well.
I'm not a divorce monger by any means, but if you're not happy in a relationship, and you've grown apart, it's not healthy for a couple to stay together. It's better for kids to see two happy parents than two miserable parents.
I'll tell you, I never thought I'd ever be going into law, and certainly not the same kind of law as my dad.
Conversations about money certainly are not sexy, but they should give each of you some clarity and enable you to enter into your marriage with a better understanding of each other and what is important. Work and home responsibilities, joint or separate accounts, budgets, etc. are all subjects which should be discussed.
As a society, we've evolved, and we've recognized that the American family structure has undergone enormous changes. Divorce is all around us, and who among us doesn't know someone who is divorced or has been impacted by divorce. It's not as scandalous as it was.
In seeking a lawyer, you are looking for an advocate, an expert advisor on the law and on your rights and responsibilities, a strategist, a negotiator, and a litigator.
I think it is really important that people at least have some potentially difficult discussions about what their expectations are – and not just financially – prior to getting married. It should really even happen prior to people living together or casting their lot together.
Evening bags should be just big enough for my phone, lipstick, house key, and credit card.
Especially where financial matters are concerned, when it comes to dissolving a marriage, any dissembling at all is strictly against the law – on penalty of perjury. You need to disclose fully and factually, which is precisely what the discovery process is all about.
You don't want to move in with someone and find out that they don't have auto or health insurance. That's a rude awakening.
I think if you're going to be in a relationship with someone, you need to be able to share the responsibility, the knowledge, the worry. It's not like it was when our parents or their parents were having lives where the mom just baked bread, and the husband worried about it, and the wife didn't know there was any problem.
My dad once said that in criminal law you see terrible people on their best behavior; in family law you see great people on their worst behavior.
Couples counseling gets many couples back together. But not all, and not always. For your own sake and that of your children, however, I recommend it – I almost insist on it – as the first step for anyone unhappy in a relationship.
I don't know that human beings were meant to mate for life or be monogamous. But, for me, the aspect of marriage that is troubling is that it's a contract that is governed by the state, and I don't want the state to have control over my personal affairs.
Sometimes, just the act of venting is helpful. Counseling provides a safe haven for precisely that kind of free-ranging release: You can say things in the therapist's office, with the therapist present, that would be incendiary or hurtful in your living room.
If one person is spending all of their income on clothes, travel, hobbies, and entertaining, and one person is saving it, that may not be quite fair if and when you guys split up, depending on what the law is and what you decided to do.
Once you do embark upon the separation or divorce process, it is very important to remember three key things: Be kind, be reasonable, be brief. Remember that this person will no longer be your spouse, but he or she will continue to be your co-parent, family member, and perhaps business partner in certain assets or entities.
There's something about sitting face-to-face with an attorney in an office that enables people to come to grips with the very idea of divorce – or to reconsider the idea. Like a number of my colleagues – not all – I offer that preliminary consultation for free.
For me, I don't participate in the filming when I represent a reality show star in a case, because that would mean waiving my right to attorney-client privilege, and that would hamper my ability to mount an effective case.
I'm known for having crazy shoes. I have a total Napoleon complex – I'm only 5'4", and every heel I have is four inches or more.
My go-to jeans are old Levi's I've gotten from boyfriends; they're worn-in and really yummy and perfect.
A woman – even if she is the primary breadwinner – really needs to keep in mind that at some point, she may have a diminished earning capacity because of the fact that she will bear children. Of course, this is case by case. I had two kids, and it didn't really slow me down at all.
The only thing that's different between high profile or celebrity divorces is that you have to do all you can to keep your client and the details out of the media.
Just about every therapist or counselor or social worker is practiced in dealing with people going through failing relationships, ending them, and confronting issues of custody and support.
Generally, there are no lightning bolts or magical signs that tell you when it is time to get divorced. When the bad starts outweighing the good on a consistent basis, you may feel that taking the next step is appropriate. It is a very personal decision and most likely should be arrived upon with the help of some kind of counseling or support.
If some people try to make a prenup into a pre-negotiation of a divorce… Well, that's really sad. But I do think that it's important to understand what each person has coming into the relationship, and what each person expects from the relationship. They aren't always fun discussions to have, and they can be very eye-opening.
To find a pool of lawyers from whom to choose, solicit referrals from other professionals you know or deal with – an accountant, banker or business leader. Check out Bar Association listings as well, and don't neglect Internet research.
Dissolution and custody matters are the great equalizers. Having done this for a while, you do realize that everybody has the same issues. It doesn't matter how much money you have or how much power you have, you are always afraid you're never going to see your child.
The rarity is the sudden epiphany or single turning point showing you with dramatic clarity that your marriage is over, although that does happen. Most relationships hover on a precipice for years before one party or the other finally decides it is time to jump, and coming to the decision isn't easy.
Like the marriage contract you entered into, your divorce is a legal transaction. Treat it that way. Try not to let emotion, hurt, fear or anger dictate the circumstances of your discussions or negotiations.
There is probably no such thing as a good divorce, but clinging to an old idea of how relationships are unraveled can make a bad thing even worse.