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A New Year for Old Resolutions

Tonight, our Marietta family law attorney, Darrin Keaton, provides great advice on New Year's resolutions for families who are contemplating recasting their lives.

As we roll into 2014, most of us will participate in the long-standing tradition of making our New Year's Resolutions. In fact, I don't know anyone who does not attempt some sort of resolution. (And technically, resolving to do nothing is still a resolution!)

Resolutions have been around for some time. I credit Wikipedia for the following:
"The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year ... The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year... At watchnight services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making their resolutions... During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness."
Reflection on the past year and a vow of self-improvement seems to be the theme no matter the belief system.

So what does Family Law have to do with resolutions? More than you think. We all know the statistics on divorce: over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Resolutions can be a great way to help get a family through a stressful, bleak and emotional time.

Resolve to be a better listener, to your children and yes, even to your future ex-spouse. You do not have to agree with them, but rarely is there a time when one person is 100% correct, and an exercise in listening can go a long way toward finding common ground.

Resolve to be fair. Divorce should not be about getting even or taking advantage. Usually there is plenty of fault and blame to go around and those glass houses we live in are often exposed in the uncomfortable crucible of a courtroom hearing.

Resolve to not sweat the small stuff. The toaster is not that important, neither is the garden house, the motorcycle trailer (with no motorcycle), 500 pounds of scrap steel or a marginally collectible Gone With the Wind book. These were all "deal-breakers" in my past cases that ended up costing valuable time and thousands of dollars, all for the sake of winning a small victory. resolve! It may sound simplistic, but committing yourself to resolving your family law matter, not just relishing the fight, can work wonders on getting the difficult time behind you and allow you to focus on a fresh start and new beginning that awaits. 

So, here's to 2014 and new beginnings!

Darrin Keaton

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