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Family law case may call for care when telling spouse of divorce

Family law in Pennsylvania, like anywhere else, can include divorce cases that manifest emotional outbursts by one or both spouses. The experienced family law attorney will always assess the client's emotional status and make strong recommendations where it appears appropriate. When a spouse approaches the estranged partner to initiate discussions of divorce, it can sometimes be a traumatic circumstance that must be approached with due caution.

One way not to react to a divorce overture from one's spouse is to resort to violence. Despite the rather obvious common-sense aspect of that advice, the intensity of the moment and the perceived injustices suffered by the affected spouse, may create an uncontrollably volatile response. That happened recently in another state where a man reacted to his wife's attempt to discuss her desire for a divorce by stabbing her with a hunting knife in the chest.

She suffered a deep wound and bled throughout the home, but is apparently not in a life-threatening situation. The Florida man is now in jail without bond and his wife is recovering. The message of this story is to tread lightly and to use the experience with one's spouse and the knowledge of his or her triggers to determine whether to breach a subject like divorce prior to simply separating oneself from the marital home.

Where there is doubt, residents of Pennsylvania should consult an experienced family law attorney before breaching the subject with the estranged spouse. After a detailed evaluation in a confidential consultation, the attorney will make recommendations, and in some cases where violence is a true risk, the client will be advised to move out first and let the attorney do the communicating with the other party. This protocol can be revised later, after both parties are represented and normal contacts are established, through a step-by-step process that will carefully test the waters to avoid risks. 

Source: palmbeachpost.com, "Florida man stabs his wife during argument over divorce", Sarah Elsesser, July 10, 2017

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