With half of marriages ending in separation or divorce, Glamour asked three divorce lawyers in this video for advice on how couples can avoid visiting their offices. James Sexton, who’s been practicing divorce law for 17 years, notes that 53% of marriages in New York end in divorce. He contrasts marriage to buying a house, a complex process that involves filling out multiple forms to indicate one understands what they are getting into. With marriage, he says, one doesn’t even get a pamphlet.
Linda Zhou, who’s been practicing for ten years, says knowing what one wants in a partner and realizing they may be unable to change them is crucial. People rarely change with marriage, she says.
She advises couples to discuss their finances, noting that a prenup agreement allows mandatory financial disclosure. Val Kleyman, a divorce attorney with 13 years of experience, says couples should clearly state their expectations. They should also avoid making a divorce a winner vs. loser contest where no one wants to budge an inch.
James Sexton says that while getting married to someone with an exciting career may sound like hitting the jackpot, one should consider other metrics of such jobs, such as working long or odd hours. He notes that a marriage requires commitment, or at least deliberate steps, to minimize the chances of divorce. Ultimately, being each other’s cheerleader and staying connected are the most important things.