Don’t File For Divorce Before Reading This!
Henry Gornbein is a specialist in all aspects of family law, author of the Spousal Chapter of Michigan Family Law, and host of the award winning cable tv show, Practical Law. He is a frequent blogger, including for the Huffington Post, and a guest on Divorce Source Radio with the Ask Henry Segment. He is a partner in Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein in Birmingham, Michigan, and the author of “Divorce Demystified, Everything You Need To Know Before You File For Divorce”. Following are loosely transcribed highlights of my radio interview with Henry.
Why did you write Divorce Demystified?
I’ve been practicing family law for 45 years. Divorce is one of the most terrifying thing that can happen to a person. I wanted to look at divorce from legal, psychological, economic, and cultural perspectives to help take the mystery and overwhelm out of divorce.
What are different ways to divorce?
a. Simple divorce: no attorney. The husband and wife list assets and liabilities and what each wants and resolve it by themselves.
b. Prepackaged divorce: this is a collaborative divorce where you work as a team. Husband and wife have their own attorneys. You all try and work out the issues together. You agree not to file for divorce until the case is settled.
c. Mediation: In Michigan, mediation is ordered. You bring attorneys and clients together and a skillful mediator can resolve most cases. Going to trial is failure. A judge doesn’t know you, has his/her own view about what’s right or wrong. You’re letting someone else decide how you’re going to live your life after divorce. It’s best to stay out of court.
What do you have to say about co-parenting when you’re on different pages about how to parent?
Think before you communicate. Communicate through an online program like Our Family Wizard where there’s a record of everything and it’s easier to sort things out. When it comes to things like shared physical custody, there’s no one size fits all that works for every family. You have to view every situation as unique.
What are key issues involving social media and divorce?
Separating or newly divorced, when people post their new relationship on Facebook, it can cause big problems. How can your children have healthy relationships if you don’t have healthy ways of dealing with your new relationships? Keep your relationship out of social media!
What are the 4 aspects of divorce?
a. Legal divorce: a judge pronounces you divorced
b. Psychological divorce: this is the most important aspect of divorce. Unless you’re psychologically ready to move on, you will have problems in the future and end up with a never-ending divorce.
c. Economic divorce: you’re dividing assets, debts, practices, and businesses. You are setting economic obligation – spousal support, child support.
d. Religious divorce: In Judaism, the man controls the Jewish divorce and the couple needs a “get” for remarriage. In the Islamic faith, the man controls the divorce and a woman can’t remarry unless he grants it. Catholicism and similar faiths require an annulment before either spouse can remarry within the Roman Catholic church.
What are key child related issues in a divorce?
When two parents can’t psychologically divorce, this creates what I call the never-ending divorce. If one parent can’t let go through bitterness, anger, or serious mental illness, they will fight about everything. When dealing with a spouse who can’t let go, be as specific as possible in your communication about everything in order to stay out of court.
Listen to the entire episode here.