The last couple of years have been tough on everyone– believe me, I see everyone from all walks of life coming through my door with really bad stories– some are just better at hiding the pain than others. People have lost so much in terms of their home values, retirements, job security, etc. The instability around us looms like a dark cloud over everyone, and I know it is hard to find the silver lining here– but there is one: people are not discarding their vows as easily as they once did, and when they do choose to divorce, they are now increasingly opting for out-of-court settlements.

Many people now come to me for a consult to understand what the dark side of divorce can look like, but more and more I see people thinking long and hard before actually pulling that trigger. While I am not in favor of having people stay in a loveless marriage to preserve a comfy existence, I do believe in putting forth your best efforts to making marriage work.

Keeping a marriage together in the 21st century is full of challenges, but trust me that the grass is not greener on the other side. Rallying together to confront a crisis can be a tremendous bonding experience. If despite your best efforts, you can’t resolve your differences, then at least look to minimize the damages by trying to reach a settlement with the assistance of a non-adversarial attorney or opting for mediation or a Collaborative Divorce.

It may sound crazy, but most divorces are actually worked out respectfully, outside of court. I am convinced that the Great Recession is a major driving force in the dramatic rise in the number of people adopting my conciliatory approach in order to avoid wasting limited funds on a nasty court battle is encouraging– so at least for that I am grateful.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.