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Divorce Does Not Have to be Hard.

Years ago, I used that phrase over and over about Divorce. Then it became stale because I used it too often. But, I need to get back to it.

Some people view divorce as a long hard struggle, like Sisyphus rolling a boulder uphill over and over; it is an interesting Greek myth (http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/sisyphus.html).

Yet, divorce does not need to be difficult.

1. Determine if the marriage is truly over. Some people come to mediation or to a lawyer to get information about their life after the divorce. Whether you stay in a marriage or not, should not be based on the amount of child support you get or the percentage of the retirement accounts. The first determination is whether you and your spouse can share an interesting and enjoyable life together or not.

2. If you believe that divorce is the answer, don't view it as the end of the world as you know it or a failure. See divorce for what it is - the ability to start the next chapter of your life using your prior life experiences as a guide to what will make you happy. Look for the positive and you should find it.

3. Accept that some changes may be trying. Although you may not be able to see your child every day, you can work on a parenting plan where each party has significant time to maintain a quality relationship with a child. Do you think it is better to have your child observe parents argue, parents who ignore each other and do not do anything together? Do you think your child should learn from observation that a marriage is where two people argue and do not respect each other?

4. Decide if you believe you and your spouse can resolve your differences with a trained private mediator, who will require both parties to make a full financial disclosure of all assets and debts while working with you on what is best for you and your children.  Mediation is quicker and less expensive than a fully litigated one.

5. If you cannot mediate, hire a lawyer who sees you for what you are and not as just a potential bag of cash. Recognize when a lawyer is making a small issue much larger in order to increase fees. Recognize when a lawyer gives you unreasonable expectations to prolong a case and increase fees. Recognize when emotions or friends "advice" blocks the good guidance of your experienced counsel.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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100 Jefferson Boulevard Suite 315 Warwick, RI 02888 Phone: 401-287-2079 Fax: 401-352-0029 Warwick Law Office Map

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