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Zero Sum Game – 10 Reasons to Keep Divorce Lawyers out of Therapy

Stop the Madness

Remember that movie “War of the Roses?”  Think it starred Danny DeVito…  Somehow all these years later, well into the new Millennium and the new Millennials, we still have this idea fixed in our heads that divorce is like the way it is on TV.  Or Divorce Court?  Or the Kardashians…  Divorce can be an ugly, stressful business.  I have a friend in matrimonial law who says it’s the worst stress imaginable.  The couple just continues the conflict into another realm. They way they were married is the way they’ll divorce.  And yet those kids just keep getting caught in the middle. One way to prevent this is keeping antagonism to a minimum.  I have worked with attorneys on these matters for many years and only once was I called into court.  That ended in tears for me as well as others involved. The opposition tried to rip apart any credibility I had by yelling at me and tricking me into saying things I didn’t understand.  The process made me feel about two years old.  Try to avoid it!

Other problems of Lawyers in therapy are the following.

  1. They think they can ask you for confidential information when of course, they cannot.
  2. In some cases they assume the kids will take sides, which they never have to do.
  3. They think that what someone says in therapy when they’re upset/angry/distressed counts as fact when in actuality it’s just processing powerful emotions.
  4. Clients think that whatever they think they captured on a screen shot is evidence of something when we have no-fault divorce in my state.
  5. Clients spend countless dollars telling their lawyers about a “he said-she said” situation which is better suited for therapy than court.
  6. Clients collect texts, tweets and emails of disparaging remarks by the other party but it doesn’t help them prove anything for sure.
  7. Clients mistake evidence of emotional abuse for proof.  Terrible marriages often involve emotional manipulation. Leave the kids out of it.
  8. Parents think that therapy can somehow be used as a vehicle for the kids to reveal some absolute truth about the spouse.  This is not the purpose of therapy.  It is not therapy at all.
  9. Law Guardians will use the therapist for information and updates that they should be garnering themselves.
  10. Therapy has to remain a protected space.  That doesn’t mean that effective family therapy can’t be done during these difficult times.  Parents can participate by helping their kids adjust, not by promoting more acrimony.

We have to remind kids of ANY AGE that this is not about them.  They should not snoop on their parents phones or overhear bits of conversations they are not privy to.  This creates a swirl of confusion that always has to be unpacked in the end with all the baggage…

Zero Sum Game – 10 Reasons to Keep Divorce Lawyers out of Therapy

Donna C. Moss

You can learn more about Donna's work at her personal website.

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APA Reference
Moss, D. (2017). Zero Sum Game – 10 Reasons to Keep Divorce Lawyers out of Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 22, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sext-text/2017/06/zero-sum-game-10-reasons-to-keep-divorce-lawyers-out-of-therapy/


Last updated: 22 Jun 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jun 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.