About Melissa

I am a Divorce Attorney. 

No one ever plans to work with me. 
No one gets married thinking they will Divorce.

But DIVORCE HAPPENS.

  • Whether you wanted it or were stricken dumb when your spouse dropped the bomb
  • Whether you have children or family or friends in common or were just two people on your own
  • Whether you believe in forever or believe in whatever


DIVORCE CAN BECOME A PART OF YOUR LIFE.

If you have children, you and your ex-spouse will be tied to one another, through them, long after the Court issues your Divorce.  Maybe you share a business, or a home.  The ties of marriage maybe broken, but often no matter how you feel about the person you are divorcing, you will have to work with them.  And if you care about your kids, which we all do, you will want to work with your ex in a manner that does not require Police intervention. 

Even if you don’t have kids or other ties, you should know that your own health and happiness depends on finding a way to peacefully coexist on this planet with your ex no matter how much pain that person may have caused you in the past.

Even if your family ends up being only you, how dysfunctional or functional your family will be in the wake of the divorce will turn on how you choose to embrace the reality of your new life as it is after Divorce.
 
How do you move on though when your ex is a flaming narcissist, suddenly gay, raging, controlling, abusive, drug addicted, psychotic, depressed, hopeless, shiftless, or perhaps undergoes a sex change operation or knocks up your sister and doesn’t understand why you are still upset?  The answer is that it all comes down to CHOICE – the choice you make in each difficult moment to forge ahead,to see the opportunity for positive change that lies within tragedy. 
 
I have met with countless men and women whose focus is on their awful spouse or ex-spouse. They exclaim: “If only he/she would stop doing this/that!” They so desperately want their ex to change that they often devote their lives to thinking of ways to make them do so, battling in and out of court to try to force their ex to behave in a way they think is necessary.  The problem is that these people are engaged in a losing game.  If you could change your ex-spouse to be exactly as you thought they should be, you probably wouldn’t be divorced.  Meanwhile, what many neglect is changing the person they do control: themselves. I tell my clients they need to ‘stop shopping for kiwi’s in a shoe store.’ Accept that your marriage is over and shift your focus to you and you alone.  Let your ex be whoever he or she chooses to be.  Learn to live with the reality of who they are.  Rather than fighting against the tide of their choices, take charge of your own life.  Embrace change within yourself. 
 
In fact, all positive change starts and ends within us. You must decide to accept where you are at, decide what you want your post divorce life to look like and be open to initiating change within yourself to make your dreams possible.
 
Anger, resentment, fear—none of it has a place in our healthy new lives.  Hard as it is, we who suffer through divorce have to put away all those nasty emails that said bad things.  We have to stop the back and forth fighting over “who is right” and accept that maybe our ex is sick, deranged, impulsive, cruel, inconsiderate, unfaithful… or maybe just doesn’t love us like they did.  We need to worry less about what others think and whether they are taking sides with you or with your ex.  We need to be strong and to move away from the toxic drama that can fill our lives to overflowing with stuff that keeps us from getting to where we really want to be—happy and healthy, with happy, healthy kids if we have them.

It starts and ends with you.  You are the one who can Divorce the Drama. 

RSVP the toxic behavior party and tell them you are not coming!


Time to think anew and act anew.

Divorce is a traumatic and profoundly life changing event.  There is no way to come out of the process the same person you were when you uttered your marriage vows.  I have heard it said that you never truly know your spouse until you divorce them and Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in otherwise decent people.  You feel fear in a way that you had never known before and can lead a person to do terrible things.  In such adversity, you come to know the depths of your rage, resentment, fear, need for control.   You learn the degree to which you are capable of self sabotage through vindictive, spiteful, passive aggressive, self righteous behavior.  You need to choose to see yourself, take notice of your feelings and use them as a catalyst for bringing about positive change in your life. 
 
There are many ways to self actualization brought about through the unexpected, often traumatic events in our life – divorce is simply one type of major life changing event.  To be clear, I do not advocate getting a divorce simply as a means to grow as a person or better understand your spouse.  However, as statistics show, approximately fifty percent of marriages end in divorce – whether the marriage lasts for fifty days or fifty years.  For at least half of the population, divorce is a major event affecting their adult life at some point.  Moreover, Divorce affects children, extended family members and close friends.  It seems news of a Divorce causes family, friends, well meaning co-workers, neighbors and even the gas station attendant to sigh and warn of an impending “War of the Roses” situation that ends in mutual destruction of the once happy couple and their children. Or worse, it becomes the Divorce that never ends, despite obtaining a divorce decree from the court, because the fighting goes on.
 
There are many books available with advice on how to navigate through the legalities and emotions of the Divorce process.  However there is very little practical advice on how to end the war that a Divorce can create between you and your ex.  My clients often ask my advice on how to get through the conflict and pain to rebuild a better life for themselves in the wake of the Divorce.  My clients ask my advice not only because I am a seasoned Divorce attorney but also because I too am divorced,  happily remarried  and in a positive place that allows me to productively co-parent my son with my ex-Husband.