Mar 2011 10

For an author, the day the very first copy of the finished book is a reallly exciting moment. There’s nothing like it in the world, and it’s one of those experiences that you think you know how you’ll feel when it happens but when it actually happens, your feelings are so much more intense than you’d imagined.

My first book was Your Divorce Advisor and it was published in 2001 by Simon and Schuster. I ended up writing it innocently enough—I went to the bookstore to buy a book that talked about the entire divorce process, from start to finish, from both a legal and psychological perspective, but I couldn’t find such a book.

So I started writing it. It started as an office handbook, but once I got about 125 pages into it, I began to think that maybe it could be a book.

Not sure if the emotional divorce is as important as the legal divorce? Consider this true story:

Sometimes, no matter how far it appears a marriage has broken down, there’s still hope for reconciliation. I was sitting in court one day, waiting for my case to be called, and listened to a man give testimony in support of his motion to vacate his divorce judgment on the grounds that he didn’t know that he was getting divorced. He testified that while his wife had filed divorce papers on him many times in the past, that they’d always reconciled. He’d received a copy of the most recent papers, but they’d continued to live together, eat dinner together, put their money in a joint bank account, and they even slept together.

I started to nod off, as all this testimony was taking awhile, but my head snapped to attention on cross examination when the wife’s lawyer, barely able to contain his indignation, blurted out, “yes, but while you were all lovey-dovey making hamburgers on the barbeque and watching TV holding hands, isn’t it true that your wife SHOT you? Didn’t you realize then that your marriage was OVER?” Sheepish, the man replied, “well, she’s got a hot temper all right, but I got better and a week later we went to Disney World and had a great time!” The lesson learned: it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Legal problems? not so much…..!

Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

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