Raoul Felder: The Good Divorce

RaoulFelder-TheGoodDivorce

RaoulFelder-TheGoodDivorceRaoul Felder, often referred to as the Duke of Divorce, is an American lawyer best known for his involvement with high profile celebrity divorces such as Elizabeth Taylor, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Robin Givens divorcing Mike Tyson and David Gest divorcing Lisa Minelli. He has written eight books including Bare Knuckle Negotiation, Getting Away with Murder, and Divorce: The Way Things Are, Not the Way Things Should Be. As a columnist, his articles have appeared in various publications including in The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Washington Times, and Newsweek Magazine. Felder can frequently be heard and seen on Radio and TV and has been interviewed regularly on such shows as Larry King Live, 20/20, Nightline, Today Show, Good Morning America, Crossfire, and 60 Minutes.

In reading about this gentleman, I realised he was not just a lawyer but an expert in the field of divorce. He had been to the front lines; he had fought the battles, and he had been witness to the outcomes both good and bad. Anyone would tell you that no matter what you do whether it getting your car fixed, going to have brain surgery, or yes, getting a divorce, you must seek the counsel of an expert. After all, what do you know about brain surgery? The curiosity is to see what an expert has to say.

The majority of us only encounter certain situations infrequently or on a one off basis. In other words, we don’t know what we’re doing, we don’t understand the “rules”, and our chances of success are based more on luck than on a pre-determined plan designed to have a close to 100% chance of success. That’s why the truly “smart” person admits right up front they don’t know what they’re doing and go get professional help.

By the way, I want to emphasize something. In my posting Divorce Mistakes to Avoid, I talk about the various options open to you before deciding on a divorce: working it out together, doing some sort of mediation, therapy, and counselling. I point out that the marriage and family therapist, Michele Weiner-Davis, believes we do not do enough to sustain marriages; we fold up our tents and bail rather than seeking solutions to our problems. (see my blog Michel Weiner-Davis: The Divorce Buster)

But, and here is the big but, if your spouse gets a lawyer and here it doesn’t matter if you’re the man or you’re the women, you must immediately get legal representation. The advice is this: you are an amateur playing against a professional. It is imperative you “arm” yourself with the same professionalism and level the playing field. Others may have stories to contradict this and admittedly I don’t have any statistics one way or another, but I can’t help thinking that once the retainer is paid to a lawyer, the entire nature of the proceedings has changed in both tone and objective and the likelihood of an 11th hour reprieve is slim to nil. That is to say, once one party decides to hire a lawyer, the marriage is over.

Making it a “good” divorce
If you’re going to read Raoul Felder that means you’ve stopped reading Michele Weiner-Davis. Nevertheless a short review Felder’s book “The Good Divorce” suggests this is a good book to read after making “the decision”. (Strive For a “Good” Divorce Urges Celebrity Divorce Attorney Raoul Felder by Rosalind Sedacca)

Raoul Felder, often referred to as the Duke of Divorce, is known for his involvement with high profile celebrity divorces. After working for years with clients such as Elizabeth Taylor, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Robin Givens divorcing Mike Tyson and David Gest divorcing Lisa Minelli, he has finally written a book with the unexpected title, The Good Divorce. Felder admits he is tired of the drama, complexity and oversized egos he deals with in celebrity divorces. Now he is focusing instead on the clients he has seen create what he calls a “good divorce.”

Felder says he finally had an epiphany and realized after more than forty years in practice he should be guiding more couples toward a good divorce. So he started interviewing clients who created a smooth and positive experience and shares what he learned.

According to Felder divorce statistics are startling. He says:

* 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
* 80% of women over fifty who divorce will not marry again or have a serious relationship.
* 75% of men over fifty who divorce will marry again or live with a woman.

His advice is to interview prospective attorneys carefully. If they are too eager to take you into court for a take-all battle, walk away fast! He suggests asking specific questions such as:

How much will this cost?

How long will it take?

How many cases has the lawyer handled previously?

If necessary, will the lawyer appeal a final decision?

Felder also says the first offer is often the best offer and circumstances frequently deteriorate after that. So think long and carefully before diving into extended battles that bruise financially as well as emotionally. … Felder has written a book encouraging “good” divorces with peaceful outcomes. Heed his advice and be especially alert as to how you can protect your children from emotional scars before, during and long after your divorce.

Note: I provide some links below in the References section about the statistics mentioned above. Some say 50 of all marriages ending in divorce is high and is based on some inaccurate counting. Whatever the case, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer.

RaoulFelder I would like to repeat a couple of the above points.

Felder also says the first offer is often the best offer and circumstances frequently deteriorate after that. So think long and carefully before diving into extended battles that bruise financially as well as emotionally.

I cover Mr. Felder’s point in greater detail in Divorce: The first offer is usually the best. While this may seem like something new, the entire idea has been an old real estate rule of thumb.

Felder has written a book encouraging “good” divorces with peaceful outcomes.

Felder’s book is called “A Good Divorce”. The above line makes me think of a “peaceful divorce“. *stares at ceiling* Now where have I heard that before?

The Good Divorce by Raoul Felder
On the Amazon web site which sells the book, I read the following in the section called Product Description:

There is nothing better than a good marriage. But when a marriage goes bad, there is no better option than divorce to give men and women a chance to start over. Handled wisely, divorce can be a beginning, not an end. It is the doorway to a new life free of hurt, anger, and resentment.

I have ofttimes thought of Michele Weiner-Davis and how she says that hopelessness is the number one killer of marriages. Hopelessness is a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation. When I read the above passage about Mr. Felder’s book, the first thing which came to mind was “hope”.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922; Scottish born American Inventor and Educator, best known for the invention of the telephone in 1876.)

Excerpt
The Amazon site includes an short extract from the book which sets out some interesting ideas. Remember that this is written by somebody who has been through numerous divorces during a forty year practice – forty years! – so his insights would be of the utmost value to anybody who is hopefully going to do it just once.

If you want to know about love, ask a divorce lawyer.
– Raoul Felder

Do we fully understand the difference between what’s in our heads and reality?

Marriage is never as blissful as people expect. Divorce is never as devastating as people imagine.

Wow, I have to chuckle. As I said in the beginning, we undertake something infrequently or maybe only once in our lives. We need the expertise of somebody who is more familiar, a lot more familiar with the undertaking. Doing something a hundred times, two hundred times reveals truths, rules, and insights we can all benefit from.

Divorce is a process that includes emotional, financial, and legal steps that ultimately end in the litigants being unmarried. Once the legalities are over, the hope is that the individuals involved will walk away, determined to begin a new and better life.

There it is: one door closes, another opens.

Divorce is a wrenching experience for everyone, whether you are the one leaving or the one being left.

Do we all get so caught up in our own feelings that we forget there is another person involved? Maybe other people involved? In my posting Divorce: Love yourself to love others, I referred to Mastin Kipp’s story of recognising his own faults and moving beyond the resentment, anger, and sadness to love, gratitude, and forgiveness. Yes, we’re hurting, but everybody is hurting.

If people really thought about the goal line, after the messy negotiations and arguments are over, they would realize that divorce gives people a fresh start to lead better lives. Approaching divorce as an adventure means viewing a bad marriage as a reparable mistake. One thing is certain: It takes courage, self-examination, confronting reality, and a sense of optimism to embark upon a process that will forever change your life and the lives of your children and spouse.

Final Word
A chance to start over, a new and better life, a fresh start: all these phrases sound – Dare I say it? – hopeful. Divorce is never as devastating as people imagine. That is the opinion of an expert who has been doing this for forty years.

It is always darkest before the dawn.
proverb

References

Wikipedia: Raoul Felder
Raoul Lionel Felder (born in Brooklyn, New York, May 13, 1939) is an American lawyer and matrimonial attorney. Felder has written several books and has published numerous articles related to matrimonial law, politics and social issues. Felder is listed in New York Law Journal’s 100 Most Powerful Lawyers in America and in all editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.

official web site: Raoul Felder

Peaceful Divorce – Mar 29/2011
Strive For a “Good” Divorce Urges Celebrity Divorce Attorney Raoul Felder
book review by Rosalind Sedacca
Raoul Felder … has finally written a book with the unexpected title, The Good Divorce.

Time Magazine – May24/2010
Are Marriage Statistics Divorced from Reality? By Belinda Luscombe
Do half of all marriages really end in divorce? It’s probably the most often quoted statistic about modern love, and it’s a total buzz kill, in line with saying that half of all new shoes will give you hammertoes or that 50% of babies will grow up to be ugly. Now the divorce stat is coming under scrutiny — and not just because of its unromanticity.

The Straight Dope – Jan 24/2003
Is it true half of all marriages end in divorce?
…the proportion of divorced people exceeded one in eight, and for those 40 and older it exceeded one in three. The highest incidence of divorce occurred among 50-year-old women, 42 percent of whom had already divorced at least once. Eventually, the report predicts, 46 percent of these women will divorce. Even higher rates of divorce are projected for most younger age cohorts.

Cohabitation, Marriage, and Divorce
Data From the National Survey of Family Growth.
Based on a 2002 study by the CDC based on face-to-face interviews with 10,847 women age 15-44 in 1995.
Summary of results by Richard Niolon
How likely is divorce?
* 33% of all first marriages end in separation or divorce after 10 years (32% of White women, 34% of Hispanic women, and 47% of Black women).
* Divorce is more likely when women marry at a younger age (48% of brides married before age 18 divorce in 10 years, compared to 24% married at age 25 or later), have a lower level of education, come from a single-parent home (12% more likely), were raped (same for all three ethnic groups), suffer from GAD, had a child before marriage or within 7 months of the marriage, and cohabitated before marriage (18% for non-cohabitators versus 24% for cohabitators)
* 84% of separated women go on to divorce within 3 years, 91% within 5 years (97% of White women, 77% of Hispanic women, 67% of Black women) with transition to divorce more likely if the women has no children, has a job, and has a high school degree
* Mixed-ethnic relationships are more likely to break up (41% mixed-ethnic versus 31% same ethnic group)
* 53% of divorced women go on to cohabitation in 5 years (58% chance for White women, 50% for Hispanic women, and 31% for Black women), 70% within 10 years, with those who are not religious, have no children, were under 25 at the time of the divorce being most likely, and are living in better income communities (10% improvement)

Amazon: St. Martin’s Press; March 1, 2011; 302 pages
The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy
by Raoul Felder and Barbara Victor

Product Description
Raoul Felder, a take-no-prisoners divorce attorney, draws from his experience to show readers how to avoid an acrimonious divorce and move on with life.

There is nothing better than a good marriage. But when a marriage goes bad, there is no better option than divorce to give men and women a chance to start over. Handled wisely, divorce can be a beginning, not an end. It is the doorway to a new life free of hurt, anger, and resentment.

Felder and Victor cover each phase of divorce, from knowing when to call it quits, to choosing a lawyer, to the final decree. They explore prenuptial contracts, mediation, alimony, child custody, same-sex marriage, and life after divorce. They also share some of the most important facts one should know such as:

* The first offer a woman gets when divorce negotiations begin is usually the best.
* In all divorces, income rather than assets determine who pays what to whom.
* Divorce is about compromise. Divorce court is not a boxing ring.

After years of watching how divorce can go tragically wrong, Felder uses his expert knowledge, including case histories from his list of celebrity clients, to suggest how to make divorce more fair, civilized, and painless.

About the Author
Raoul Felder is a nationally renowned attorney. He has appeared on television, radio, and in print as an expert in divorce litigation.
Barbara Victor has authored five novels and eight works of nonfiction, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Amazon: Full product description with excerpt

Wikiquote
It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.
Thomas Fuller (1608-1661): Pisgah Sight (1650), Book II, ch. 2

Click HERE to read more from William Belle

Article viewed at: Oye! Times at www.oyetimes.com

Related Articles

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Confirm you are not a spammer! *