Those in Glass Houses...

They say the customer is always right. In other words, it helps to know your audience. For example, I am not obsessed with pop culture, but I know society seems generally tilted in that direction. After all, our President's recent State of the Union address drew 30 million viewers; whereas the Super Bowl, by contrast, drew over 100 million. This is even more remarkable when considering that the former is broadcast on no fewer than 10 national television channels and/or cable news outlets, whereas the latter is on but a single channel.

At any rate, I bring this up because one reason I try to tie pop culture into blogs is to prevent people's eyes from glazing over if I simply recited new developments in case law or statutes in the area of family law. Thus, I stick to anecdotal stories that most people can relate to; I also make it a direct point to never tell personal stories and anecdotes about myself.

However, I am about to break that cardinal rule and provide a much more personal glimpse into my own life. Primarily, like many of my own clients, I am now in the midst of a divorce. So in case you are wondering why my blog posts have been so sporadic of late, I have simply been overwhelmed with a lot on my plate both personally and professionally.

It feels odd being in the position I am. I find myself reciting many of the same things to myself that I often do to clients: divorce isn't about assessing fault, it's simply about dividing an estate; try not to personalize everything; no matter what, don't let personal animosity towards your partner cloud your vision of that person as a parent. While I have for the most part stayed true to self, it is the latter proposition with which I have struggled immensely.

My children currently reside with me; my ex visits them on alternating weekends. There are a lot of reasons that this current situation exists and I won't delve into the details. Needless to say, I find myself rolling my eyes when my ex calls so she can have conversations with our children, and I find myself not being very accommodating when she tries to change around our informal parenting plan to fit her work schedule.

In my heart, I know this is wrong. My children still love her and I don't want to ever taint that love. I had to learn to stop beating myself up and accept that no matter how hard I might try to have "robotic feelings," I am still human, and I will still occasionally engage in the very behavior I counsel my own clients against. The key, I think, is that I at least recognize the bad behavior and try to avoid it in the future. I will never be perfect, but I can at least strive to be.

And this brings me to the punchline: sometimes the best perspective on divorce comes from those who have been in the same situation. I love my parents dearly, but in two years, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. That is literally a gold standard for marriage and one in which I, unfortunately, will probably never achieve. Yet as great and supportive as my folks have been, they are not ideally suited to help me navigate the emotional rollercoaster of going through this process. Instead, I have found myself leaning heavily on friends, many from law school, who have likewise gone through the same divorce process for emotional support and perspective.

I'd like to believe the same holds true with respect to my interaction with clients. It is easy for attorneys say they empathize, it is harder to find those who truly do. It is harder yet to find someone with an uncanny knowledge of the exact feelings the men and women he or she represents are going through. So in a weird way, I think my own divorce can actually help improve my representation of clients. At the risk of giving a corny, "I'm not only the president…I'm also a client" tagline from the 80s, I truly do believe my experience can, if nothing else, reassure clients that no matter how dark these times may seem, we will all eventually overcome them. For more information on the personal touch that Cannon Legal Group brings to each and every divorce, please feel free to contact us in order to learn more.

Categories: Divorce