I am a firm believer that most people marry/live together for the right reasons. They love and enjoy each other, and have a lot in common. Unfortunately, only half will make it to the finish line. It is not that you chose the wrong person, but that you did not figure out how to negotiate “the living." The easy and fun part of the relationship is the falling in love part. The hard part is creating the balance needed to live together, negotiating “the living." Why is this so difficult? Because you each bring to “the couple table” what you think is right and good. Your partner challenges these values, and you become angered and hurt. This is the beginning of the power struggle with the living issues, which is inherent in any committed relationship, but in varying degrees for each couple. The main living issues are money, extended family, time together, time apart, home maintenance, parenting, sex, and spirituality. The keys to any relationship to attain the goal of living together “happily ever after” is foremost “the energy of the heart," the gasoline," then good listening and communication skills, and flexibility and willingness to negotiate the issues to mutually benefit both partners. Marriages/relationships force us to face our undeveloped selves. Generally, women are the first to note, counseling is needed. The man generally resists initially because he firmly feels we can “fix” the relationship ourselves. Marriages/ relationships fail, not because the issues are not workable, but because the couple allowed the stress in the marriage to go on too long before seeking help; consequently, the desire, “the energy of the heart, the gasoline,” is gone. Frequently, men call for help when the relationship has had a “heart attack." By then, the relationship is dying, if not already dead. Without the desire, very workable relationship issues cannot be resolve, no matter how excellent the therapist/counselor might be. However, if counseling is sought when the first warning signs are noted and the desire is still intact, the counseling process can keep the relationship in the hands of the couple, and not lawyers. Through couples work, I can help you identify the patterns that are slowly chipping away at a relationship that held such promise for a wonderful life together. The counseling process is to educate and coach you in practicing the patterns that do work. Provide you with tools necessary to improve your communication and learn how to mediate your issues into mutually beneficial solutions, developing your relationship into a loving growing machine.”
Counseling can be sought when the couple/family feel their conflict is not the norm for them and are at odds at what to do. Ideally, if this is done when the warning signs are first noted and before the desire has been endangered, the counseling experience can be one of personal and family growth and not one of crisis intervention.
Frankly, I don’t know. However, one of the greatest misconceptions about divorce is the seemingly universal concept that all will be over quickly, and the two parties can get on with their lives as if it never happened. Unfortunately, divorce can take longer and cost more money than ever previously imagined. I can give you an idea of what the divorce will cost, but only in dollars and cents, not the cost of the time spent, emotional pain and suffering. And this does not include the cost of the impact on any kids involved. When it comes to divorce, people tend to fight about two things, money, the kids, or pet kids. Divorce is not cheap. A divorce lawyer charges anywhere from $100.00 to $500.00 per hour. They can require a retainer between $500.00 to $10,000. A retainer is usually the initial fee you pay the lawyer for his or her services. The attorney’s hourly rate is then deducted from the retainer. Once the retainer fee has been depleted, then an hourly rate is charged for services rendered. However, sometimes the lawyer charges a non-refundable retainer fee for the simple act of retaining him or her. This is completely separate from the hourly rate for services rendered. The average cost of a divorce in the USA for the non-famous couple is up to $50,000. In Henderson County, the average cost is between $20,000 to $25,000. Frequently, this costly divorce is even generated by lawyers for couples with little to no financial assets.
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