January is unofficially “Divorce Month” in the legal world, and to celebrate this not-so-joyous occasion, we’re bringing you an episode breaking down the complicated world of divorce. To help us understand the legal nitty-gritty, we’re joined by Jacqueline Newman, a New York-based matrimonial attorney and author of the book “The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness.” As we found in our interview, divorce is a fascinating topic even if you’re not planning to split anytime soon.
Highlights from this week’s episode
From the Jacqueline Newman Interview
On changing how we think about divorce proceedings:
I consider myself to be somewhat of a divorce strategist, because really one of the things I do in initial consultations and throughout my representation of people is really look at the strategy. Because while the law plays a role, I think, in divorce, it plays much less of a role. I think it’s really more psychological chess. And, you know, with the goal being that you can exit your marriage in a way that is as healthy and respectful as possible and hopefully maintain some relationship with your spouse, because if there are children involved, you’re gonna be co-parenting with this person for the rest of your life.
On the importance of prenuptial agreements:
I think most people don’t like prenups because they say they’re unromantic and you’re planning your divorce and all that. And I completely understand that. You know, one of the things that I think can be very positive about a prenup is that, first of all, it gets rid of, as much as it can, certain elements of uncertainty when people are walking into a marriage. I think it also can really help people in a marriage, if done properly, for various reasons. One specifically being is that it can dictate what’s going to happen, you know, so everybody has a good sense going to the marriage as to what could happen upon a divorce. I think that that can be very comforting to people, especially when you do have such income discrepancies.
From the James J. Sexton Interview
We also included an excerpt from our 2018 interview with divorce attorney James J. Sexton, on how to keep your marriage from falling apart. Here’s James on the questions people should be asking before deciding to get married:
I think one of the first things that people should talk about in a very candid way is how they’re going to have conversations in the marriage. So it’s like a conversation about the conversation. I think that’s incredibly important. I think you have to talk about, look, what are we going to do when one of us is feeling something? If one of us is feeling bored, if one of us is feeling frustrated, if one of us is feeling the sex isn’t where it’s supposed to be. If one of us is feeling we’re not spending enough time together. If one of us has some weird resentment that we’re harboring. How long do we let that sit before we talk about it?
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