Divorce attorneys get a front-row view of the issues that cause discord in a marriage and, in many cases, lead to the eventual separation of a couple. The divorce rate in the United States is upwards of 40-50% according to most online sources. So, what marriage advice can be gleaned from looking through the lens of a divorce lawyer?
3 Pieces of Marriage Advice
- Communicate. Overarching across all other marital issues seen in a family law firm, if parties cannot or do not communicate, they are setting themselves up for failure. Talk to each other. Talk about the hard things. Talk about your days. Talk about sex. Talk about money. All of it. And please tell each other “thank you” regularly for the work and love each of you put in daily to contribute to the family in big and small ways. Have the conversations.
If you don’t have the conversations, resentment will build and you’ll likely either explode or continue to hold on to frustrations that eventually lead to resentment of your partner as a whole. If you need help communicating with one another, utilize a facilitator such as a mediator or counselor. There is no shame in getting help from a professional who works with families on a regular basis. In fact, difficulties communicating in any marriage, even a healthy one, is normal. Professional guidance is simply preventative maintenance for your relationship much like changing the oil in your car. You can’t wait until the engine explodes to do the work.
- Don’t Avoid Money Stuff.
Often within a marriage, one spouse manages the family finances while the other spouse has no idea how money flows in or out of the household. Over time, this can cause stress and tension in the relationship.
Find a system that works for both of you. Does one person manage the money while simply keeping the other informed? Does one person manage macro finances such as insurance, mortgage, and retirement while the other person manages micro finances such as day-to-day expenses? There’s no single right answer but talking with one another about who will do what, when, and how to ensure neither of you is being complacent about the present and future dollars and cents of the family is important. Take a finance course together. Meet with a financial advisor. Know your own family’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Ask questions and express gratitude when appropriate.*Note: If you are being prohibited from seeing, accessing, or asking about family finances managed by your spouse, this may be a sign of financial abuse, in which case you should contact an attorney or mental health professional for further assistance.
- Put Your Marriage First (Not the Kids).
This might sound controversial, but put some long-term perspective on it and remember, these are marriage tips from divorce attorneys who are parents, too. Spouses can easily drift apart as they lose themselves in parenthood. When spouses fail to prioritize each other and their relationship, they forget who they were together before having kids and why they got married at all.Make a conscious effort every day to put each other first. Your relationship is the foundation of your family; without it, you would not have this family. Your children are also watching and learning from how you and your partner interact. They will emulate the same behaviors in their own future relationships. Someday your kids will fly from the nest, leaving you and your partner alone together again. Put your relationship first now to ensure you still know and care about one another later. In sum, nourish that bond with your significant other. Water it, give it sunshine, and watch it grow and blossom into a deeply rooted commitment you won’t want to take out with the weed whacker when your kids are out of the house.
In addition to a wide array of legal services, The Law Shop by Skogerson McGinn LLC also offers some additional services designed to help you and your family move forward positively:
- Prenuptial Agreement – pre-marital plan for potential future divorce or other major life event impacted by the legal rights associated with marriage.
- Cohabitation Agreement – contract for unmarried couples living together, committed to their relationship and combining some or all finances, yet lacking the legal benefits associated with marriage.
- Marriage Mediation – neutral, facilitated discussion of child concerns, family finances, or other issues for the purpose of developing creative, long-term family solutions together.
- Divorce Coaching – assistance with making choices related to proceeding with divorce such as options for legal representation, involvement of other qualified professionals, second opinions, consulting on specific legal issues, etc.
- Spousal Education Sessions – meeting with both spouses together to provide a better understanding of available unbundled legal services.
If any of these services may be of help to you, contact The Law Shop for more information at 515-996-4045 or [email protected].
Address :: 413 Grant St. Van Meter, IA
Phone :: 515-996-4045
Online :: www.lawshop.net