I have chosen to work in the area of divorce law because I like families. That may seem curious to some people, because almost all of the families I see are facing crisis and the possible loss of their marriage.
However, I have learned that just because the marriage is lost does not mean all is lost. Indeed, I have watched families work hard to preserve some very important things: particularly the well-being of their children, their finances and their integrity. This does not negate the pain of losing their marriage, but it can set the stage for family recovery that can lead to happy, healthy lives. It is a privilege to help families begin their new lives in a way that makes this possible.
I am grateful to work in a time where these families have more tools to start their new lives. New methods such as Collaborative divorce, mediation, and interdisciplinary practice have made it possible to preserve the things that truly matter. However, despite the existence of these new tools, I know that many families continue to struggle, often because they did not understand their options.
In fact, it is still hard for families in conflict to know how to proceed. True, there are hundreds of professionals who will explain divorce options, often for free. However, no matter how honest the professional may be, the advice is not truly independent advice. Collaborative Lawyers (I must admit) will lean toward the Collaborative options; mediators will emphasize mediation as the way to proceed; and attorneys who focus on more traditional methods will stress the effectiveness of those methods.
After watching families go through divorce during the past 33 years, I think that families need an independent advisor; someone who can help them choose their options without being connected to any of the choices that the family makes. The problem is that no such person exists, at least not in our community. So, I have decided to make it exist.
As of this month, I am going to provide independent advice as a DivorceAdvisor. I will be independent because I will not be hired as their attorney or mediator; I am just there to help the couple decide how to proceed and, if necessary, to help them choose professionals and to advise them through each step of the process.
My hope is that this new DivorceAdvisor process will be the most effective on both ends of the spectrum. At the beginning of the process, we will work to define their most important goals so that the can choose a process that allows them to achieve the most success. At the end we will make sure their final agreements are designed to help them achieve those goals and we will guide them in locating post-divorce “after-care” assistance.