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Words From Counsel Focus On Family Law Part One

Dear Reader,

Welcome to a new feature that each month will focus on awareness of a critical aspect of family law, whether it be divorce, child custody, support, or even domestic violence. Family law is the only area of law that we practice at the Law Offices of Sylvia S. Costantino. I purposefully concentrate on this area of law so that I stay well-versed in the nuances that permeate it. Family law is a complex area because it touches on every facet of people’s lives, from personal to financial. I say “com­ plex” because it’s more than just statutes, case law, and rules. It brings with it an extra added layer of emotions that are often hard put to be checked at the courthouse door. From this lawyer’s perspective, dealing with family law matters takes skill, experience, but above all, empathy and caring.

There is nothing more important than family. No matter what happens in our lives, even when a marriage falls apart, our chil­ dren are the one constant in the storm. We would do anything to protect them and they are the beacon of light that stays steady. Because when the smoke clears, they are still there. Our very lives revolve around them. 1hey learn from us and us from them. Sometimes they save us all together.

I once read a phrase (and firmly believe it) that “90% of our lives are spent reacting to what other people do:’ I say this to everyone who comes in for a family law consultation and I also ask where they see themselves in five years. Why? Because I want their consultation with me to be informing, thought-provoking, and the first step in managing the upheaval of emotions that they will surely experience as we work our way through the divorce process.

Sometimes people are afraid to end the marriage and confront their demons because it means embracing change and the un­ known. That demon can be as simple as “I don’t love you anymore” or as difficult as “I refuse to be your victim anymore:’ Whatever the cause, whatever your fear, you cannot and should not hold back from at least becoming an informed individual about your family law matter. Know your options; know your legal rights. The only thing that information does is empower.

Stepping into a new life and moving on when a marriage ends is probably one of the most difficult and scariest experiences that you will ever have – and for some, an invigorating change as they start the next chapter in their life. But you do not get to the next chapter unless you open the book and start reading.

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