I heard someone suggest that when thinking about New Year’s Resolutions you should think about what you can do that will have an impact in 200-400 years. And that got me thinking about the work I do and how much of an impact it can have on families.
Personally, I want my work to live on through successive generations of families who communicate well and have healthy relationships with others.
This goal may seem audacious, lofty, perhaps quixotic for a divorce lawyer…but the fact of the matter is that the kind of work that I do (keeping couples out of court and facilitating peaceful resolutions as they end their marriage) does trickle down generations. That means my clients’ children will be happier and better equipped emotionally to deal with their own relationships.
When I run into clients after they divorce, I frequently do not recognize them because they look so different. The stress is gone, they’re happier, they have a lightness of being that they don’t typically have when they are in the middle of a divorce. By staying out of court and dealing with the difficult issues around divorce with as little animosity as possible, my clients are getting to that “happy place” much sooner. They are able to move on to new relationships, be more productive at work, and share co-parenting duties with more ease. They adapt to their new lives because they had control over the terms of their divorce. hey weren’t fighting in court for years and expecting a judge to make difficult decisions for them.
The last contested divorce that I litigated was in 2007. I hear through the legal grapevine that my client and her ex-husband are STILL fighting in court over modifications and enforcement. It’s been 9 years since the judge made a “final decision” in their case, but neither of them were happy with that decision and they’ve spent nearly a decade trying to convince other judges to side with them. I think about their son. He must be in his late 20’s now. What was it like navigating high school and college and early adulthood while his parents were battling each other in court? What kinds of relationships has he formed? Has he found a way to be happy and productive in spite of his parents’ anger and dysfunction? Is he suffering from anxiety or depression? It’s cases like this that make me sure that court should be the last resort for your divorce.
Instead, I want to receive emails like this one from a client who used mediation to reach an agreement with her husband:
“As a dear, divorced friend (who was my rock through my divorce) said, ‘Time heals all wounds.’ I’m happy to report that has come to pass when I didn’t think it would or could. I have moved on. [My ex] has been a mensch in his dealings with me and we have an amiable relationship as we share events with our children and grandchildren. We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving together with all of our children and our grandchildren who were all in from out of town. We needed a scorecard to figure out who was spending time with whom, and when we would be together. It also became quite interesting when I introduced my ex-husband to the man in my life, but that went very smoothly as well.”
This testimonial is a perfect example of how the work mediators and collaborative attorneys do really does affect multiple generations. But it all starts with the person who is divorcing. He or she has to say, “I want to do this the right way. I don’t want to be the victim, I don’t want my kids and grandkids to be casualties in this divorce. This too will pass.”
Working with experienced mediators and collaborative attorneys helps people make better decisions, so they can focus on desires instead of fears. I am committed to encouraging that mindset in my clients, and letting them know how much of an impact their peaceful divorce can have on their families. Will the work I do live on for 200+ years? I truly believe it will.
Contact me today to learn more!
570 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1600
New York, NY 10022