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Divorce lawyers get a bad rap

March 20, 2010

Super Lawyers Magazine called Harding and Associates "seriously outstanding."

I was pleased to learn about another great book review of Happily Ever After Divorce: Notes of a Joyful Journey.  This one was written by matrimonial attorney Jim Harding from the blog of Harding and Associates Family Law. They’re a noteworthy firm, with three offices in California.  

Divorce attorneys tend to be wary about books like mine, which recount the experience of going through divorce and in my case, rebuilding a new life afterward.  My own attorney, when I called to tell him about my book, came right out with it: “Okay, let’s hear it: what terrible things do you say about those sharks, the divorce lawyers?” 

The answer is, I don’t trash divorce attorneys.  I don’t call them sharks. I actually feel quite positive about mine.  

Yes, using my own divorce lawyer cost more than mediation would have.  A whole lot more.  But it was worth every cent.  We were constructing an arrangement that would significantly influence almost every aspect of the next twenty years of my and my children’s lives. How can you put a price on that? 

Mediation works for some people.  In my case, it would not have.  When one party is accustomed to dominating in every decision, why should we expect him to change during divorce negotiations?  Personally, I needed someone with a spine of steel standing by me at those moments when my own spine had turned to jelly.   That’s when the dangerous “let’s just get this over with” urge threatened to get me to capitulate to something I would later regret (see my blog post Don’t Throw in the Towel.)  Mediators, on the other hand, are programmed to pounce on those moments. That’s how they get the job done.

So thank you to California Divorce for the lovely book review.  And thanks to all the other divorce attorneys – mine included – who are there for us when we needed them. 

Here’s a quote from the review: 

Through all the sadness, all the frustration, and all of the despair Jessica reassures the reader that there is hope and life after divorce.   She does not sugar coat her own pain, and I think that is important …  

… What Jessica’s book does teach is that the pain can be managed and survived.  It is that hope and reassurance that people going through divorce need.  That is why Happily Ever After Divorce is so valuable. 

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