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The Law Collaborative on Marriage and Divorce: We are Los Angeles Family Law Attorneys who believe in getting married and staying married. Over years of handling divorce cases, we have discovered that many people believe if they change partners they will change their lives. This is generally not the case, because change is an inside job. If you are considering a divorce, think twice and consider marriage counseling instead. However, if you must divorce, make the procedure as positive as you can. Use it as an opportunity to acquire communication skills. If there are children involved, use the divorce experience to develop cooperative parenting strategies that are in harmony with the fact that parents are forever. You will be involved with your children’s other parent for the rest of your life. Whether or not you remain in the marriage, you have the ability, and the obligation, to make that relationship healthier.

Some people marry the right person the first time. Others are not so fortunate. How do you know if you have the right partner for life? Ask yourself the following questions, and if most of your answers are yes, you may want to reevaluate your decision to seek a divorce.

  • •Which qualities attracted you to your spouse in the first place? Does your spouse still have those qualities?
  • •Is your spouse most often honest, trustworthy, faithful, supportive, and kind?
  • •Is your spouse willing to change and grow to meet the dynamics of your relationship?
  • •Will divorce have a harmful effect on you or your family? Would staying married be worse?

On Remarriage: If you intend to remarry, statistics reveal that your next marriage will be healthier if you wait at least three years. Psychologists say that it takes a minimum of three years to heal from the hurt of divorce. If you marry shortly after a divorce, you’ll likely marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Then you will go through the unfortunate cycle again. Wise advice for the first three years after divorce is: Attention toward all; Intention toward none.

When you begin to think of marriage to a new partner, invest in psychological testing and counseling for both of you, preferably the 16PF, administered by a mental health professional who is an expert in interpreting test results. Find a qualified licensed mental health professional and commit to counseling for a minimum of six months. Discuss family, financial, and sexual issues. There are differences in every relationship; explore them in advance.

Remember: In most situations, it is wise to have a Prenuptial Agreement. Too many people go into second marriages with the seeds of the second divorce already in place. A Prenuptial Agreement will bring any financial expectations to the surface before the marriage, and compel parties to compare intentions in a healthy way. Hidden agendas, concealed expectations, and undisclosed financial desires may cause a divorce later on. It is much better to have the divorce before the marriage than afterwards.

To speak to an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney today, call us toll free at (818) 348-6700 or email