Should I Get Divorced?
In this video, I’m going to speak for a few moments regarding a serious topic that very few, if any, divorce attorneys are actually taking the time to discuss with their clients.
That is whether or not the person sitting in their office is sure that they should even be getting divorced in the first place.
When I go to a car dealership to buy a new car it’s usually because I’m considering trading my old vehicle for a new one. Just like a car salesman is not going to try to talk me out of buying a car from him many divorce attorneys avoid terms like “reconciliation” or “marriage counseling” like the plague when they are meeting with potential divorce clients in their office.
It’s almost as though divorce lawyers have a financial interest in making sure you move forward with a divorce. Please never forget that they do.
I want to be clear that divorce attorneys are under-appreciated and serve a vital function in society. I am just suggesting that too few attorneys practicing family law recognize the ability that they have at the initial consultation to remind people that there are other options besides divorce.
As a general rule in my law firm, if someone comes to me thinking about a divorce and they are still living under the same roof with their spouse, have children, and there are no allegations of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or child abuse then I will absolutely ask them at least once during the consultation if they would consider allowing me to refer them to a good marriage counselor.
If they decline then I ask them to promise me that if that changes they will let me know right away.
I usually take it one step further by keeping business cards for local marriage counselors prominently displayed in my conference room where any potential client can see them and choose from them at any time.
Of course, by the time people end up in my office their situation is usually beyond the point where reconciliation is realistic. However, there are still many opportunities for people to turn things around and save their marriages and I feel that I would be abusing the great responsibility that I have as a divorce attorney if I did not at least remind people that there are other options.
My message to my fellow divorce attorneys on this topic would be that no potential client has ever stormed out of a consultation with me angry that I asked them if they attempted marriage counseling. In fact, I think it helps people to see that we are interested in their best interests rather than getting a new case to work on.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.