“Love is a many splendered thing”, as the romantic 1955 movie adorns, and we all have fantasies about meeting “the one” and spending the rest of our lives in marital bliss. Two beautiful young people dancing in elegant clothes down the aisle to a life of dreams and eternal happiness. There is a whole industry that supports this fantasy. Advertisers and the entertainment world actively promote this idea because the concept sells.
I recall many years ago, a former college friend and his stunningly beautiful wife confidently, with a bit of arrogance, snubbed me in a conversation with their proclamations that they only socialize with other married couples, and a couple I wasn’t. Their professionally decorated home reflected a lifestyle of “togetherness and fulfillment”, or at least the fantasy, a fantasy that split apart amid accusations of “this and that” a few years later. Sadly for them their attempt at recreation of marital fantasy was repeated more than once and I note from their Facebook profiles, they are single once again. Divine justice over the snub I admit.
These days we attempt to sanitize the word “divorce” with the words “marriage dissolution” or, as one family law counselor realistically chided, a cash cow reality for his office with retainers beginning at $ 3,500.00! The current divorce rate exceeds 50% nationwide so it is apparent that some fantasies should be tempered with reality and if marriage is an investment, with the statistical reality of a 50% + failure rate, should bring some introspective observation of motivations and financial preparedness such as Prenuptial Agreements and personal counseling as a beginning. In short, marriage is about love and divorce is about money.
Having counseled and processed over three hundred divorce actions in six years, my overwhelming encouragement is to keep it simple, keep it peaceful and keep it cheap! Agree to disagree, work together, be fair and move on as our God-Divine Being, if we have one does not reward those for suffering in an arrangement that isn’t happy. Perhaps keeping it cheap is the biggest challenge for some.
Using a paralegal can be the perfect choice for those who come to prior agreements, meaning the divorce petition is uncontested – unchallenged. Community property and debt issues are agreed to before the petition is prepared. In this scenario, personal emotions and fears can be diluted and the financial ending can be handled very inexpensively and drama free.
Divorce – marriage dissolution – is not the end, rather a beginning of a new life and a fresh start and the time for completion, rejuvenation, healing and reinvention. But the methods chosen for handling this can be summarized by one prominent and astute family law attorney, “you can either do it the easy way or the hard way. The easy way requires one check and the hard way requires the whole checkbook.” How do you want to proceed?
Gary Whitehead can be reached at (858) 705-9270 daily, e mail: Sandiegoac@aol.com
Gary Whitehead, MBA, APS, LDA, Notary
President of Gary Whitehead & Associates and Founder of San Diego Family Legal Center, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation
Gary Whitehead holds a Bachelors in Accounting, a Master’s in Finance, is a Degreed Paralegal, A licensed-Bonded Legal Document Assistant, San Diego & Riverside Counties, Licensed-Bonded Process Server, San Diego & Riverside Counties, Notary Commission # 2085334 & Licensed and Bonded Immigration Consultant.