The boomerang effect – reconciliation after divorce
I read online this morning about a 'boomerang' couple who divorced in 2004 after 22 years of marriage, only to realise that they had made a mistake, were reconciled and eventually remarried in 2012.
The couple were married when the wife was 17 and the husband was 21. The wife said that she divorced her husband 22 years later because she felt their marriage was 'stuck in a rut', that they were 'more like friends than lovers' and because she wondered 'if there was something more exciting' out there. However, five years after their bitter and acrimonious divorce (which usually translates as 'expensive'), they both realised that their new relationships were not working and how loving their marriage had been by comparison. They remarried three years later.
I read this article with interest. When I first meet with clients who have separated from their spouse, I always explore the possibility of a reconciliation with them. Many clients come in to meet with me, receive some initial advice and then take two or three months to consider their options and to attempt marriage counselling. I am always pleased to receive an email or telephone call asking me to close my file because the parties have been able to reconcile their differences. I like to think that there is no truth in the stereotype that solicitors specialising in Family law secretly rub their hands together with glee when confronted with misery!
A divorce will only be granted if the person seeking the divorce is able to prove that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (for more information, please see our article ('How To Get A Divorce'). What many people may not be aware of is that I have to sign a statement when I send any divorce petitions to the Court on behalf of a client confirming that I have discussed the possibility of reconciliation with my client and, if appropriate, given my client names of people qualified to effect a reconciliation.
Whilst the story of the 'boomerang' couple has a happy ending, it still saddens me to think of the acrimony that their original separation would have caused, not to mention the likely legal fees that would have been incurred.
There are a number of national and local organisations qualified to assist couples who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship. Full details are available online, or alternatively through any member of our team.