Why A Divorce Attorney Can Be A Great Source For Marriage Advice

Working with divorce law clients is a lot like troubleshooting.

Written by Nick Kasmik
Holly J Moore

In a way, working with divorce law clients is a lot like troubleshooting: You see firsthand the problems that drive a couple to divorce, and you soon find out how it all happened. After enough negotiations, trials, and settlements, you can recognize the point where a marriage begins to fail. This inevitably puts divorce lawyers in a position to reliably give their clients timely advice when they’re going through marital problems.

“Being a divorce lawyer has been one big human experiment and study into relationship dynamics,” Holly J. Moore says. She finds that family law helps people through the most challenging times in their lives.

Part of this motivation comes from her history. When she was 16, Holly lost her brother in a car accident, and it was that loss that motivated her to help other people navigate grief. “There was a brief stint where I thought I wanted to be a counselor,” she says. After shadowing a counselor as part of a high school project, she changed her mind and decided that the field was not for her. “Ironically, I do a lot of counseling in my job now,” she adds.

For example, spouses aren’t mind readers, so the other spouse may respond in kind when confronted with hostility. They also might emotionally shut down to avoid conflict. Neither of these habits is healthy for a marriage, so in situations like this, there’s often a snowball effect of anger, tension, and avoidance.

Divorce lawyers see this kind of behavior a lot, especially in mediation and negotiation. In many cases, they’re forced to play counselor just to get the parties to cooperate and reach an amicable agreement. And when you’ve had the same peacemaking discussions with couples who have the same arguments day in and day out, you invariably learn how to approach them in an effective way.

While lawyers like Holly aren’t about to open a therapy practice, they do have a few resources at their disposal to help couples.

For instance, divorce lawyers can prevent many issues before they arise, thanks to legal structures like prenups. If you already have money issues set in stone via a prenuptial agreement, there isn’t much room for arguing about them. However, this method is vastly underutilized, with only 15% of couples leveraging it.

Many couples avoid prenuptial agreements because they think it shows distrust. They believe that they shouldn’t have to sign a legal document and instead should be able to trust each other and the strength of their relationship. In reality, prenups can foster critically important discussions about finances, values, and goals. They can also avoid lengthy, costly court proceedings and significant issues should the worst happen.

At Moore Family Law Group, Moore has helped countless couples negotiate prenups. “Each one is a little bit different,” she says. “But what they all do — and this is something I think most people don’t understand — is address things that you might acquire in the future. A lot of people think that it’s dealing with what you have now. But it’s really something that tells you how to label things that are going to be coming in in the future.”

But a prenup is just one way that divorce lawyers like Moore take their work a step further and help their clients through difficult seasons. She may be a divorce lawyer, but that doesn’t mean she urges couples to jump straight to divorce when they hit a rough patch. “A healthy, working marriage is much better than a divorce any day of the week,” she says. While some marital difficulties and differences may prove to be insurmountable, a commitment to clear and open communication can go a long way toward preserving any marriage.

So in more ways than one, working with a lawyer can be an excellent choice if your relationship is strained enough to consider divorce. Compassionate attorneys like Moore have a lot to offer besides typical legal duties. As it happens, a divorce attorney may be an unorthodox but very beneficial source of marriage advice.

BDG Media newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.