I was reminded this week of how important it is for all attorneys, but especially for family law attorneys, to separate our personal feelings and experiences from those of our clients.
The different needs and dynamics of each family in transition that we work with makes it impossible to construct a one size fits all answer to the puzzle of divorce. Since many of us have had personal experience with separation and divorce, it is tempting to see ourselves and our loved ones in each situation that finds its way into our offices.
However, to fall into this trap does a great disservice to our clients and their families. Intellectually, we know that some parents are capable of a true 50/50 parenting arrangement, while for others, every other weekend is the best fit. Sometimes mothers have primary physical custody and sometimes fathers do. Just as every family is unique, so must be their separation or divorce.
The true challenge is to allow our personal experiences to add to our ability to support our clients and their families during difficult transitions, not limit it.