My Thoughts on Top 10 Tips for Great Divorce

Published October 12, 2012 | By

I came across a thought-provoking article by Pamela Cytrynbaum on psychologytoday.com, entitled Top 10 Tips for a Great Divorce. It gives her suggestions on how to turn an amicable separation into an amicable divorce. I mostly agree with what she suggests, although I have different thoughts on a few of the issues. I encourage you to check out the article. Here are my thoughts on some of her tips that I took issue with:

Her Tip #2 – Lawyers Prepare for the Worst. Mediators Bring out Your Best.

The author encourages people to not hire lawyers but instead go to a neutral mediator to settle their case. This is an issue that I have been asked about from time to time. The motivation behind this idea is a good one, that is to try and resolve the divorce without ugliness. The problem is that the issues are simply too complicated to address without legal advice. If you are the spouse who has less information about the finances (or simply are missing financial information about accounts and your spouse’s name), then following this advice could lead to a disastrous result for you.

MY ADVICE – Hire a good lawyer with the instruction that they try to resolve the case fairly but in the early stages if at all possible.

Her Tips #5 – Agree on How to Disagree and #6 – Timeouts: Outline Clear and Effective Consequences

On these two tips the author recommends that the agreement be clear on how to handle issues that might arise in the future (she gives as examples if one party relocates or remarries) and what the consequences are for violating the agreement. Again, in principle these are great ideas. However, unless you have the experience of a good family law attorney in your jurisdiction who knows the law on these particular issues and can draft the language so that it is enforceable, it is very unlikely you’re going to be able to effectively deal with these issues.

MY ADVICE – Again, you need a good attorney to assist you with the key issues in the case and to put the agreement in a language that courts will enforce later if necessary.

Most of the rest of Ms.Cytrynbaum’s tips are great and people would do well to follow them. For example, she encourages the parties to occasionally get together with the children and have dinner as a family. I think this is a wonderful idea and when this is possible it would be a very positive thing for your children to experience.

She also discourages people from introducing any new boyfriends or girlfriends to the children until long after the divorce is final. I agree that this can be a damaging and traumatic thing for children if it happens too soon after the divorce.

Overall, it was a very interesting read and I think a lot of people could benefit from following her advice, except for the tips described above that I have issue with. Take a look at the article and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

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Visitation – What is the Texas Standard Possession Order?

Morgan Law Firm – When You Need an Austin Family Law Attorney

A Divorce Lawyer’s Tips on Co-Parenting

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Scott Morgan is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is has practiced family law since 1994 and is the founder of the Morgan Law Firm which is dedicated exclusively to representing divorce and family law clients in the Houston and Austin areas.

Posted in Divorce, Parent-Child Issues, Settlement | Taged , ,

6 responses to “My Thoughts on Top 10 Tips for Great Divorce”

  1. I think it’s kind of fun, just with the title of your article… “Top 10 Tips for a Great Divorce.” Is there even such a thing? Maybe a “civil” divorce is what we all can hope for, God forbid, if we ever have to do it.

    An interesting read, regardless. It’s rare to see so many social-media savvy lawyers.

    • I agree. It is kind of funny. But I like the fact that Scott is sharing some tips and interesting tricks with the wonderful world of divorce. Hah. Hope yours goes smoothly.

  2. Me and my soon-to-be ex get along well enough. I wonder if it’s best to go the avenue of a mediator versus a lawyer. Or can YOU do both? I mean, I don’t understand all the legal stuff. You have my contact e-mail. Please give me a shout.

    Thanks! -JB

    • JB, a lawyer cannot represent both parties. However, many divorces are agreed to in advance of filing (including how the property will be divided) and the lawyer represents only one party, prepares all the documents, and the other party doesn’t hire a lawyer. To many people it looks as though the lawyer is representing both parties, but this is not true.

  3. Tip No. 5: Agree to disagree. If we agreed well enough on that, our marriage may have lasted a smidge longer. Oh well. Live in happiness and always hire a good attorney. Those are MY rules/tips!

  4. It always sounds good to advise people to hire great attorneys and great mediators, but what about the people who need the help the most — those who can’t afford to hire anyone at all? I realize this isn’t an attorneys worry, but for the thousands who divorce every year who can’t afford the exorbitant prices, there needs to be alternatives. There are many sources online which can offer you the tips you need to help you take care of your divorce at the lowest possible cost.

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