How to Stay Out of My Office – Chapter 1

As an experienced family lawyer who knows how troublesome a divorce or family law disputes can get, I don’t want to see any of you in my office with one of those issues. I really don’t. I would like to run into you at the grocery store, or meet you at a party or event at our kids’ school. But if I’m seeing you in my office for a family law dispute, it’s because I know you are going through the hardest time in your entire life and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

In the spirit of hopefully keeping you out of my office with one of these disputes, this article is the first in a series of “How to Stay Out of My Office.”

Loss of Communication Makes a Loss of Marriage

My friends often ask me, “Amy, you see so many marriages breaking apart. Do you see any commonalities between the stories?” The answer is yes. A resoundingyes. There are a few different songs, and many different verses, but they almost always start in the same key: communication breakdown.

Jon Beaty’s recent article on the Gottman Institute Blog sets out an all too common fact pattern seen by divorce attorneys: the spouses are struggling to maintain connection. What is the culprit?

Oftentimes, the connection between spouses is pulled apart by one or both of them working long hours, away from the family, and in pursuit of lofty professional and/or financial goals. The connection could also be weakened by one of the spouses maintaining the bulk of the mental load of managing the household and children’s emotional support, education, and logistics. Their connection can be pulled apart by one of them care-taking for an aging parent. Or dealing with financial stress. Or anxiety or depression. The antagonists to maintaining connection with your spouse are endless.

Jon Beaty’s article sets out the steps for renewing a dialogue when the connection is damaged. Read his article. Follow his steps. And stay out of my office. You can check out this link to read his article: The Gottman Institute is an excellent resource I recommend to my clients who want research-based information to support relationships. I encourage you to learn more about them by visiting

At Friday Milner Lambert Turner, PLLC, myself and our other Austin family law attorneys have a combined 175+ years of total family law experience. If you are encountering a dispute that cannot be overcome with reestablishing communication, or if you know a divorce is in your future, do not hesitate to contact our firm.