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WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD TO GET A DIVORCE?

The answer boils down to pretty much one of three things: you’re difficult, your spouse is difficult or the lawyers are difficult.


You’re Difficult.  Yes, you are.  You may think you’re not, but chances are you really are.  It’s okay to be difficult.  This is your life and your divorce.  You have a lot at stake with the outcome of this divorce.  You can have as many questions as you like, insist on detailed answers and explanations.  You can take all the time you need to understand the process.  You can demand all kinds of information.  You can struggle with making decisions and choices.  You and your spouse are separating both physically and emotionally.  The things you had control over in your marriage are no longer in your control.  This can create a lot of resistance and difficulty.  This is normal and may cause you to be difficult.  Like I said, it’s okay to be difficult.  Don’t deny it or think it is a bad thing, but don’t be disappointed when your divorce is hard or seems to take a long time.  As I always say to my clients, it took twenty (20) years to make this marriage, how long do you think it should take to end it?


Your Spouse is Difficult.  Yes, he or she is also difficult, and that’s okay too.  You’re spouse is going through all of the same things as you, except he or she sees things from the standpoint of how it is going to affect him or her, not you.  The two of you saw things differently in your marriage and that is why you are getting divorced.  Whenever things get difficult in the divorce, my clients usually begin their sentence with “why can’t he/she just…” and the answer is “because he/she can’t.”  Just like your husband or wife didn’t do “the right thing” in the marriage, he/she can’t do the “right thing” in your divorce.  Maybe what you think is “the right thing” really is right, and maybe it is not.  Either way, you have to lower your expectation as to what you think your spouse should be doing.


The Lawyers are Difficult.  What you wanted in a lawyer is what you are going to get.  If you wanted a “top gun” barracuda to go after your spouse with a vengeance your divorce is going to be long and hard.  Somewhere in the beginning you may have felt that way, but soon into it, you sensed that maybe it was not the best route.  In these cases divorces often become personalized and no one gets the result they need or want.  If you wanted an inexpensive lawyer or worse, a family friend or relative who would do your divorce cheaply or for free to save time and money, you are going to pay a lot more than legal fees.  The inexpensive lawyer may be inexperienced and therefore cost you thousands of dollars in errors and the family friend or relative may also personalize the divorce or put it on the back burner since it’s a “favor;” either way, you can bet your divorce is going to be hard.


By now you know that I usually have an exception to all my musings about divorce, so here it is: sometimes you are not the difficult one, have a great lawyer and it really is your spouse who is the difficult one.  When that happens, there is not much you can do except remind yourself as to why you are getting divorced from him/her and be happy that long as it may take, and hard as it may be, eventually, you will be divorced!




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Maria Schwartz, Esq. is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney based in Garden City in the state of New York, County of Nassau serving clients in Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island (both Suffolk and Nassau County). Practice areas include: Divorce, Appeals, Equitable Distribution, Prenuptial Agreements, Custody, Visitation, Child Support, and more.

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