Helping Lawyers Survive A Divorce
Lawyer Career Consulting DC counsels lawyers to resolve ambivalence, renew their marriage, or confront their loneliness and move forward with divorce.
Lawyer Career Consulting DC counsels lawyers are desperately unhappy in their marriage or other significant relationship:
- "I dread going home. It’s like walking into a buzz saw."
- "I think she’s been having a relationship with someone else. She comes home smiling, and full of life. I should probably do it, too."
- "I’m married, but I’ve got feelings for a lawyer whose office is next door."
- "I feel much more comfortable – more ‘myself’ -- when I’m not with my husband."
- "There is a growing sense of separateness and estrangement that I can’t escape."
- "We’ve been sleeping in separate bedrooms. Recently, I’ve moved to the basement."
- "It’s the loneliest feeling in the world, being with her. I have nothing to say."
- "I would have left him long ago, if it weren’t for the kids."
- "I’ve been ‘holding on’ until the last one goes to college. But I’m not sure I can wait."
- "I’ve pleaded with him to come into counseling with me. He won’t do it."
- "We’ve tried several marriage counselors. None of them has a clue what to do with us."
- "Everything I do gets used against me. It’s like living in a war zone."
- "I have enough adversarial process to deal with at work. I can’t do it at home."
- "Life’s too short."
When it’s over, it’s over. Except that in divorce:
- Structures Fail. The structures of your life are blown apart, including relationships with in-laws, family, friends, and your own children; your home; financial security; and emotional wellbeing.
- Trauma Falls. Aside from serious illness or death, divorce may be the most traumatic experience of your life -- more devastating than the collapse of your career, or a financial reversal. For a lawyer, as for anyone, divorce can be a catastrophe.
- The Heart Breaks: In divorce, your former love relationship becomes hostile and an arena for conflict and painful negotiations.
- Complications Ensue. Divorce is further complicated if your relationship has a long history, you have children, and either you or your spouse is financially dependent on the other.
- Vengeance Can Occur: The most traumatic divorce occurs whenever either spouse is vengeful, irrational, or unwilling to negotiate the terms of the divorce, and litigation results – worst of all, a child custody fight.
Lawyers may be unequipped emotionally to deal with a personal catastrophe of this kind:
- It’s Difficult to Be Objective. Even though you are a lawyer, you may be unable to think rationally and strategically about your options when the divorce is your own.
- Expect Irrational Behavior: You may unrealistically expect that your spouse -- or you -- will behave rationally under extreme duress.
- Law School Proves Useless. Your legal training and experience will provide little useful knowledge to you about the terms and procedures of your own divorce.
- Retaining Another Lawyer is Costly and Humiliating. Though you may have no alternative, you may find it humiliating to hire another lawyer -- at a lawyer’s standard rates -- to represent you in your divorce.
Lawyer Career Consulting DC can help you to:
- Renew your marriage, if it’s not too late (see "Life Counseling for Couples);
- Acknowledge that your marriage may be over, and take steps to end it;
- Negotiate the initial practical phases of your separation in a collaborative manner, if possible;
- Consider the sequence of practical steps you need to take in order to protect your interests, and those of your children;
- Maintain your professional competence despite overwhelming stress and uncertainty in your personal life;
- Manage the feelings of injury, anger, resentment and loss involved in your divorce;
- Rebuild your relationships with your children;
- Adjust to being single again, once the most traumatic phase of your divorce has passed, and renew your personal life.
Lawyer Career Consulting DC can help you maintain your dignity, humility and integrity as your marriage and other aspects of your life come apart, and to "hold onto yourself" as you begin to rebuild your life.