April 22, 2013

Divorce: Out of the Pain a Rainbow can Emerge

Categories: DivorceFamily LawParents

Rainbow roadIn my family law practice, I have seen well over 1,000 people divorce. Without a doubt, divorce is a difficult and painful process. However, I have been deeply enriched as a family law attorney by working with many spouses who have used this difficult process to set themselves on a new life path. Frequently a spouse will first enter my office full of emotion and fear. How will the children fare? Will there be sufficient money to pay the necessary expenses? For stay – at -home spouses who must now begin working, can they succeed in the work place? Can they even find meaningful work that will pay a decent wage?

Often I work most closely with such spouses in the collaborative law process. We start from the ground and work our way up. What do they know about their finances? What is the family budget? What is their earning ability? How does earning a living intersect with raising children? Can one do both and if so how? Often with the assistance of a financial professional, we build budgets, spread sheets and cash flow analysis. Those who have little interest in finances or previous experience with finances begin to get their sea legs under them as to what their financial situation is, will be after the divorce and what they can do for themselves to maximize their well-being following the divorce.

Spouses also learn that they do not need to continue with the same troublesome patterns of relating to their spouse, particularly regarding children. Instead, time is spent focusing on constructive, but firm communications. The intent is for a spouse again to develop confidence that she or he can hold his or her own following the divorce, in a health and constructive way.

I have seen countless times, a spouse who first came to my office small and scared, leave the marriage with strength and confidence, and even excitement about starting the next leg of their amazing life journey.

Linda K. WrayABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda Wray

Linda K. Wray practices family law and has had her own firm since 1995. She is devoted to preserving the dignity and values of her clients while effectively representing them. She encourages the use of ADR where appropriate, and is an experienced collaborative attorney, mediator and litigator. Linda was the 2006 President of the Collaborative Law Institute and has led the effort to enact more extensive laws regarding Collaborative Law in Minnesota. She is presently serving on the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, co-chairing the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Collaborative Law Committee, and serving as a leader in the development of research regarding Collaborative Law. Linda has been named to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list every year since 2003.

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One Response to Divorce: Out of the Pain a Rainbow can Emerge

  1. Deborah Clemmensen says:

    I really resonate with your description of how the supportive and educational aspects of Collaborative practice can boost the skills and confidence of our clients.

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