Thesis

The dissolution process: a handbook for attorneys and counselors working with the female client

“Dissolution:, the current California legal term for divorce, is commonplace in today's society. Statistics have shown that one out of every two marriages will end in dissolution. The people going through the necessary legal procedures are too often shocked to find that there is a major difference between the relative simplicity of the attorney-related involvement, as compared to the incredible complexity of the emotional trauma that accompanies the case. This trauma often lingers long after the attorney has left the scene. Counselor intervention during the dissolution process may alleviate some of the emotional difficulty. A primary gain for the client working with the counselor at this point would be to obtain a long range view of the consequences of any decisions made during the dissolution process. It should be made clear that whatever happens during this process will affect lives forever. Therefore it is important that emotional counseling be given as well as legal advice. Not only could this prevent residual emotional trauma, but also alleviate financial hassles of returning to court for modification of an agreement that had been signed months or years earlier under emotional duress. This handbook is designed for the attorney and the family counselor. The attorney must become aware of the emotional needs of his client. On the other hand, the family counselor must understand the legal issues that this person is going to face. This handbook deals primarily with the male experiencing a dissolution of his marriage. My colleague has written a similar handbook about the female.

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