Too Many Opinions/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on August 4, 2018

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Attorney Lisa Vance (LisaVanceLaw.com/blog)recently posted an article on her blogsite regarding family-offered opinions about why a person should get divorced. She cites an instance where an adult child advocated that her parent get divorced so the child could have an easier path to a potential inheritance. Less mundane reasons such as person likes and dislikes can likewise lead family members to make an impassioned case for divorce. Attorney Vance gives the practical advice that parties considering divorce set strict boundaries with loved ones and what may be discussed and what is off-limits. Emotions and financial factors can both motivate family members to argue for action that may not truly be in the best interests of the party pondering divorce. The best rule of thumb might be that anything that smacks of undue influence or self-dealing must be always deemed unacceptable. Even in a mediation, a mediator should be loathe to make suggestions about what people do or like or need, etc. I have had more than one client of another mediator ask me about suing their former mediator. They felt thy had been talked into decisions they were not ready to make. Knowing when not to speak, when a loved one contemplates divorce, may be much more helpful than offering unsolicited and random advice. John Milton said it wisely when he stated: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

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