Divorce: When to Fight & When to Let Go


As in any attorney-client relationship, establishing what your client’s needs and priorities are, at the outset, are of paramount concern. In the realm of Family Law matters, and more specifically divorce, it is even of more concern due to the many emotionally charged issues inherent within the decision to end a marriage.

Given the fact that Divorce takes place within the context of a family dynamic, a particularized brand of sensitivity and understanding, as well as objectivity, is necessary. These are central aspects of the family lawyer’s role. As a legal adviser it is our job to not only be sensitive to the unique vagaries of divorce but also to guide our clients in determining what their priorities should be; what aspects of redefining their futures to focus upon.

Pondering the question “when to fight and when to let go?” is the foundation from which a person going through a divorce must begin. When a client and her attorney meet to discuss individual goals for the first time, they should discuss the contours and present state of the marriage. What do I mean by that? For instance, the client and her attorney may make a list of all the financial assets and liabilities that exist, what property is separate and which is marital, what the client is entitled to and what she needs to survive. If there are children, then she will need to tell the lawyer how she anticipates this divorce affecting them, how their lives will be changed and what, in her opinion, is in their best interests. It is through these conversations, surrounding such emotionally charged topics, that the attorney will assist in diffusing the emotion and helping the client to think in practical terms.

Here, at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. we counsel our clients that the very last resort, when a couple is dissolving their union, should be prolonged litigation. It is important for the parties to communicate. That may sound strange, given that most marriages end due to a failure of communication. However, this is where the attorneys play a pivotal role. Trust is also a very important aspect in the relationship between client and attorney. We work to build a trusting relationship with our clients in order to help them make the decisions they must; to assist them in holding their ground when appropriate and letting go when it is not.

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