Family Law: Should You Stay Or Should You Go?

January 2018
Wendy Kaufman


Practice Areas


The beginning of a new year is often the busiest time of the year for divorce lawyers. Many potential clients inquire about initiating a divorce after keeping a family together for one “last” Christmas. New Year’s resolutions often include ending an unhappy marriage. Deciding whether or not to leave your marriage is an agonizing process and, potentially, a life-altering event.

What to do? Stay or go? Leave what you know or remain in an unhappy but stable situation. Is it better to keep the devil you know instead of the venturing out into an unfamiliar world? I spent the better part of a decade asking myself this very same question. Here are some of the difficult questions I ask people to ponder:

Oftentimes, several of these factors are present and essentially take the decision out of your hands. There are a myriad of reasons to keep your family together and the decision to break apart a family cannot be made impulsively.

Before you make an appointment with the lawyer, a meeting with a good therapist is critical. Remember: therapists don’t make money when you decide to file – but attorneys do. On the upside, therapists generally charge less per hour, too. And note that not all attorneys are honest enough to tell you that you might need to hang in there and try a little harder.

Trust your gut. Be honest with yourself and look inward to determine whether a divorce is what’s best for you and your kids. But don’t fool yourself into thinking divorce will cure all of your problems. It will certainly create new problems and cause trauma for everyone involved.