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As the New Year begins, many couples will turn to divorce attorneys as a source of starting fresh. It is a sad truth of my life. I’m rarely called when things are going well. That’s why my New Year’s Resolution this year is to spend more time talking about options like counseling, open marriages, and collaborative law.

Just because the marriage has ended, doesn’t mean the family has, too. No matter how good a job I do, if you have kids, you’ll be seeing your ex for the rest of your life. It’s a fact you might as well get used to now. So start practicing your acting skills, paste on a huge smile and repeat after me: “It’s lovely to see you (insert name of ex here). I’m fantastic! Everything is going really well. Thanks for asking. And you?”

And even if you don’t have kids, you might start pondering the origin of the cliché: “It’s cheaper to keep her!” Is divorce really the solution, or might some time with a mental health professional (alone or together) offer a better solution?

If you’re convinced that a divorce is the only way to go, please consider using the collaborative divorce proceeding. Despite what some may say, it really is the civilized way to get a divorce. And you really do control the cost, since you can choose to fight and spend lots of money on team meetings, you can work hard to come to an agreed settlement where you are both equally disappointed, or you can quickly buy your peace and move on with your life.

We’re just getting started. I hope you’ll come back often to chat, even without a pending divorce.

This answer is provided in the spirit of public education and not as legal advice. If you require legal advice for a particular situation, you should consult an attorney.

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