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Ben Franklin on Divorce

Ben Franklin really did not write much on Divorce. But these quotes from hundreds of years ago do apply today to divorce.

BEWARE OF LITTLE EXPENSES. A SMALL LEAK WILL SINK A GREAT SHIP. In reviewing hundreds of budgets of people who have separated, I marvel at how people spend money. If finances are an issue, look at the small expenses that are not real "needs" but are simply "wants" such as Starbucks (over $1,000 a year), cable bills of over $150 per month or other monthly expenses that you do not think twice about. Reduce the wants and pay down real debt.

BY FAILING TO PREPARE, YOU ARE PREPARING TO FAIL.  Use this to inspire your children to study more or work harder. In the divorce world, do your homework by learning all of the financial aspects of your married life; be ready to discuss all of your assets (real estate, investments and retirement accounts) debts and financial goals and struggles with your divorce professional. Reach for that better paying job with benefits instead of relying upon the hope that you will have the court reward you (alimony, child support payments, etc.).

TIME IS MONEY. Your divorce professional is billing you on an hourly basis. Be prepared for each session by writing down your questions and doing all the tasks your lawyer or mediator asks of you.

IT TAKES MANY GOOD DEEDS TO BUILD A GOOD REPUTATION, AND ONLY ONE BAD ONE TO LOSE IT. This is important in everything you do. In divorce, the first lie means that you will not be trusted throughout the entire process. Further, one mistake in caring for your children can have a negative effect on your parenting time. Leaving your young child locked in the car while you go into a store for 5 minutes and you can be stuck with supervised visitation or worse.

HALF A TRUTH IS OFTEN A GREAT LIE. This is a continuation of the above quote. Be completely honest; with your lawyer, the opponent and the court.

WHERE THERE'S MARRIAGE WITHOUT LOVE, THERE WILL BE LOVE WITHOUT MARRIAGE. Did Ole Ben know why people had affairs from personal knowledge or was he just wise?

YOUR NET WORTH TO THE WORLD IS USUALLY DETERMINED BY WHAT REMAINS AFTER YOUR BAD HABITS ARE SUBTRACTED FROM YOUR GOOD ONES. That also how Judge's decide many complex issues that are brought up in each divorce matter (in which no two cases are alike).

And lastly for today,

THE U.S. CONSTITUTION DOESN'T GUARANTEE HAPPINESS, ONLY THE PURSUIT OF IT. YOU HAVE TO CATCH UP WITH IT YOURSELF. Do not leave it to your lawyer or mediator to find you happiness. You should access the reality of where you are and where you are going and figure out how to be happy with that roadmap. Find a therapist if necessary.  I have provided client's with very good settlements yet they remain bitter and unhappy for years. The client needs to find his or her happiness.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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