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A fair number of people who file for divorce decide instead to try to preserve their relationship and reconcile.  We have that experience in The Firm as well.  A percentage of our clients who are involved in divorce actions decide to reconcile and dismiss their divorce.  Sometimes, often-times, that is a wonderful thing and we wish the parties well.  Sometimes however, we know that reconciliation is a very bad idea.

We had a case a while ago that was a hybrid.  The husband had been unbelievably cruel to the wife both during their marriage and in the litigation of the divorce.  However, as the divorce wore on he wore down.  Cynically, he realized how much she did for him in keeping the household going, the children cared for, his career supported.  Optimistically, he realized how much he needed her, how much she meant to him.

She had endured much.  She had grown much from it.  She was very together as a result. Cynically, she realized that with no probability of earning a living she desperately needed his income to survive. Optimistically, she realized how central he was to her organization of the universe.  

The couple had spent hours pouring over their process issues to try to boil down their fundamental problems.  This, they reasoned, would help them understand whether they wanted away from each other or just wanted away from the bad relationship they had created.  They decided that they had gotten to a point in their marriage where they could not hear each other, but that they still really wanted to.  They put in place a program to engage a marriage counselor to help them gain the tools to hear each other, because they had resolved that they still cared, that they still wanted a relationship, but they didn't know what to do with that anymore.  They just knew that they didn't want the relationship they had created over the years. 

As I pondered whether their decision to dismiss their divorce and attempt reconcilliation was at all well advised, I had to admit that they made a very cute couple.  

I wished them all the best. And I meant it.

Michael Manely

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