Reconcilable Differences

4 avg rating
( 1 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780743407113: Reconcilable Differences
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

7 Essential Tips to Remaining Together from a Top Matrimonial Lawyer.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Robert Stephan Cohen is chairman and senior matrimonial lawyer at Morrison Cohen Singer & Weinstein, LLP, in New York City. He has represented many high-profile clients, and has appeared on Today and The Charlie Rose Show.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

What Divorce Has Taught Me About Marriage

During my 30 years of practicing matrimonial law, I have come to understand that at the heart of every divorce lies one of seven basic marital differences. One or more of these differences affects almost every marriage. But make no mistake, these differences are not irreconcilable.

Part of what contributes to the ever-rising divorce rate are our expectations: More and more people are getting married with the expectation that they will either divorce at some point in their lives or else live happily ever after. Both expectations are formulas for failure, fostered by media images and quick-fix ideas of love and life. Millions of us enter into marriage with self-defeating and unrealistic expectations, and when a marital crisis strikes, as it inevitably does during the course of every marriage, we run to the nearest divorce lawyer for help. That's where I come in.

I can't tell you how many people come into my office with problems that can, with time and effort, be easily remedied. Sadly, many of my clients panic at the first sign of trouble.

My experience has taught me to distinguish between panic and legitimate complaints. There have been many times when I have cordially escorted a client out of my office with instructions to wait a few months before taking further action. Happily, the majority of these panic-stricken clients do not come back. Contrary to popular belief, I'm no stranger to giving the kind of counsel that keep marriages together. Although this means less business for me, I am comforted by the knowledge that I have guided a couple in the right direction.

No matter how many cases I've won or how many settlements I've negotiated, nothing is as satisfying to me as effecting a reconciliation between two people whose union is still fundamentally sound.

In this book you will find tales of many married couples I have observed over the years, some rich and famous and others not. The stories and names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved. I can remember every one of my clients' trials and errors to the very last detail. Cases from ten years ago are as fresh in my mind today as if they happened yesterday.

The book is broken up into seven chapters, each of which details seven reconcilable differences. Each chapter is subdivided into three sections: "Warning Signs" (what to look out for), "Marital Crimes and Misdemeanors" (what not to do), and "Reconciliations" (how to fix it). Each section comes with questions and exercises that will help you get a better idea of how the differences affect your marriage and how to troubleshoot when the going gets tough. Do these quizzes and answer these questions in your mind as you read the book or jot them down in a notebook or a computer file. These seven basic differences can all be resolved in a positive manner, provided you follow the formula that I have outlined and do the work, both internally and with your spouse.

When reading the "Warning Signs" section, keep in mind that in and of themselves, these signs are not cause for alarm. However, if left unaddressed these behaviors can lead to bigger problems, which can be found in each chapter's "Marital Crimes and Misdemeanors" section. This section outlines some of the more serious pitfalls your marriage can fall into. If you find yourself or your spouse committing any of the crimes and misdemeanors outlined, it is very important, perhaps even crucial, that you follow the suggested guidelines in the "Reconciliations" section.

How I've Learned What I've Learned

If someone had told me twenty years ago that I would someday write a book about relationships, I would have laughed. After all, what could a divorce lawyer possibly know about keeping couples together? But over the past thirty years, I have managed to learn a great deal about what draws people together and what pulls them apart.

I have seen people at their absolute worst. When they come through my doors, they can't eat, they can't sleep...or they can't do anything but. Life as they know it has come to an end. They will have to acquire a new set of habits and get used to coming home to an empty house. After years of watching my clients pass in and out of my office, their tales of woe ringing in my ears, I did the unthinkable. I, a lawyer, began to feel responsible for their welfare. My role began to change. No longer was I merely obliged to get my clients the best possible conclusion to their failed marriage, I became a one-stop emotional support system: confidante, psychiatrist, and clergyman all wrapped up into one.

The way my clients see it, if they can trust me with their finances and their marital problems, why not with the most intimate details of their private lives? You see, no one wants to admit defeat. People have a way of putting up a brave front to the world, only revealing their greatest fears, grievances, and disappointments to their best friends or psychoanalysts. But even then, they hold something back. In my line of work, that one crucial detail can mean a great deal of money down the drain. You'd be surprised how quickly people reveal their most secret thoughts and experiences when half their net worth is at stake.

I have litigated thousands of cases and represented everyone from teachers to supermodels to real estate moguls. Over the years, one thing has become abundantly clear: Knowing the don'ts is sometimes even more important than knowing the do's. I can't tell you how many times I've sat and listened to clients go on and on about what they could do to make a relationship work. There are times, however, when it's not what you do, but what you don't do that can make the difference.

In all honesty, I, too, have made my share of mistakes. I, too, have committed most of the "don'ts" that I will describe in this book. I, too, have been divorced. It was the most harrowing and painful event of my life. Yet, I credit my divorce with giving me the compassion and insight that I need to help my clients. Who better to help them stand up, brush themselves off, and go on with their lives than someone who's been there and learned from that?

Through my clients' experiences, I have discovered the art of damage control. Whenever I am confronted by a new client with a new set of problems, I ask myself what contributed to their divorce and how other couples can avoid ending up in a similar situation.

And that's exactly what you have to ask yourself: What do you have to do, or rather not do, to keep me out of your personal life? How do you avert the relationship detours that lead directly to my doorstep? Well, that's precisely what I am about to tell you. And if that means fewer new clients for me and my colleagues, then that is a chance I'll gladly take. If I learned anything in my many years in matrimonial law, it's that divorce is rarely a solution: Divorce is a life-altering and devastating process that should be avoided at all costs. Take my word for it, because I know what I know.

The State of Our Unions

As a young kid living in blue-collar Brooklyn, New York, the concept of divorce was completely foreign to me. Couples took their vows and never looked back. For better or worse actually meant just that. Only one family in my neighborhood was rumored to be separated, and talking about them was strictly off limits. It was in the most hushed of tones that anybody talked about "divorce."

Of course, marriage was no easier then than it is today. But the trying times of the Depression and World War II made the perils of matrimony seem like heaven on earth. In the war against penury, families worked as tight-knit teams. For instance, I remember how difficult it was to make a decent living back in the day. Instead of breaking up homes, financial problems brought us closer together. Sharing a room or a small meal gave people a sense of community. All was for one, and one was for all, indeed.

But just as people banded together in times of trouble, it seems that the reverse came to be true in times of plenty. In today's consumer culture, everything and everyone has become disposable, from diapers and milk bottles to friends and spouses. Even instant gratification is outmoded in an age when we want everything yesterday.

When I first began litigating, matrimonial law was in its infancy. Not only was divorce still a taboo subject, it also carried none of the financial incentives that it does today. But "breakup benefits" are nothing compared to the overwhelming pain of dissolving a marriage. The stress can result in depression, loneliness, and despair, not to mention physical problems such as high blood pressure and a compromised immune system. All told, divorce is hazardous to your health and well-being, and no amount of property that may be divided is worth the side effects.

I don't have to tell you that the divorce rate is higher than it's ever been. With so many breakups and failed marriages, why are so many people still remarrying, attending relationship seminars, and reading self-help books? In my opinion, it's because more and more people are returning to the basic formula for happiness: committed relationships. No one wants to live alone for the rest of their lives, and those who say they do are lying.

You may balk at the thought of a divorce lawyer preaching the virtues of marriage, but you'd be surprised at just how many of my peers are right now enjoying the fruits of their labor with a partner they love. Just like the general population's search for the perfect mate is undeterred by a high divorce rate, divorce lawyers, too, maintain an optimism that some may say goes against everything we do and see each day. Therein lies the paradox of this book. In spite, or maybe because of, all the lives I've seen torn apart by divorce, I continue to search for answers that will make me a better lawyer, a better person, and, most important, a better husband.

Whether it's incompatible communication styles, money matters, or the seven-year itch, you will undoubtedly recognize yourself in the stories that follow. Just by reading this book,...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books 2002-03-01 (2002)
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Ebooksweb COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books 2002-03-01, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. First Edition. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Nye Discount Books, Inc.
(Venice, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113 Brand new, Unopened, may have slight shelf wear. Excellent Customer Service. Ships Quickly. Seller Inventory # 007478

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 4.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Cohen, Robert Stephan
Published by Pocket Books
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Mega Buzz
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0743407113. Seller Inventory # Z0743407113ZN

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 7.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Robert Stephan Cohen, Elina Furman (Contributor)
Published by Pocket Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0743407113

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 10.61
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Robert Stephan Cohen
Published by Pocket Books (2002)
ISBN 10: 0743407113 ISBN 13: 9780743407113
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Pocket Books, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0743407113

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 25.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book