What Newlyweds Should Know About Divorce: Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

My name’s James Sexton. I'm a divorce trial lawyer in New York City. One thing most people don't think about when they're going through a divorce but they should is that divorce isn't a cure-all to the problems that they have in their life. When you're married, you have one set of problems, but you don't have another. When you're divorced, you have one set of problems, but you don't have another. So basically, you're trading one set of problems for another set of problems. And at the end of the day, whether it's married or divorced, whether it's single or in a relationship, it's all about picking the set of problems that you feel most comfortable with. The best way for someone to move past a divorce is to start thinking about their post-divorce life from the beginning. When you think about why, you can endure the how. When you think about the destination you want to get to, you can navigate your way there.

People who are going through a divorce very often think about nothing but the loss. But the truth is, there's also a lot of things you're gonna gain when you get divorced. There's a freedom from a certain kind of upset that you had, there's a freedom from a certain stress that you had, there's different ways to interact with your children, and different ways to interact with your home and your environment. So I try to get people, when they're in my office, to start thinking about the things that they're keeping and not the things that they're losing.

Talking to your children about divorce is incredibly important, but my clients often want to do it way too soon. They want to talk to the kids about what's going on with mom and dad, and that mom and dad are gonna split up before there's any plan in place. The most natural question that children ask is, “What's gonna happen? When am I gonna see Mom? When am I gonna see Dad? Are we gonna be living in the same house that we used to live in? How's the dog gonna go back and forth?” Kids ask all kinds of reasonable questions about the very specific things that are gonna happen.

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