The Humanity of a Divorce Attorney/Martin Rosenfeld (Part 1)

Posted on June 20, 2011


This blog has been enriched by several articles penned by an attorney-mediator, M. Marcy Jones. Marcy has written a book entitled “Graceful Divorce Solutions” which offers a wonderful overview on the divorce process. In the first of two articles I will write on this book, I want to select several excerpts from Marcy’s book in highlighting why I feel this book is so valuable for those going through the process of divorce.

My first reference is not found in the body of this book. But its message is quite trenchant. Marcy gives thanks to her former husband in the acknowledgement section. It is one thing to speak about decency in divorce, it is something else to model such behavior in such a dramatic way. This gesture speaks volumes about the reason Marcy has so much insight to share with divorcing couples.

In terms of the many penetrating thoughts Marcy has to offer, I was touched by the way divorce is described. Marcy’s advice is straight-forward but it carries a punch: “Decide for yourself that it will be a peaceful process, that you will stay in your integrity, and that you will do what is best for you and your family in the process.” (P.200). This reminder tells us not to lose focus on who we are and what we aspire to be. Do not allow your divorce to define who you are.

My final excerpt deals with situations where a party is victimized by abuse, intimidation, etc. Clearly, a strong legal response is called for. How does one protect their humanity in such a situation?  Attorney Jones sums it up on P. 169: “If after reviewing your situation and considering your options, you determine this is what you need to do (Editor Note: i.e. strong legal response), then by all means do it. I still maintain, even when you have to take aggressive action, that you can do it as kindly and decently as possible.”

Whether one refers to divorce as requiring grace, or civility, or decency, etc., etc, the message is the same. President Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, once appealed to “our better angels”. We all possess inherent goodness and uniqueness. Practitioners like Attorney M. Marcy Jones remind us that divorce need not rob us of our moral core. This is food for thought for those of us who are encountering the painful process of divorce.  It is also a message that touches page after page in “Graceful Divorce Solutions”.