A potential client called to my firm this week seeking legal representation to secure divorce of a marriage of less than 4 months. I quickly told this person to get some other lawyer. What was at play is obvious. I thought to myself, “what’s this?”, then what might society think about me encouraging such dissolution of a marriage. I didn’t even ask to know what the problem was. I simply didn’t want to have anything to do with it. There are 3 women lawyers (gifted with empathy) in the firm and I could have asked any of them to first listen to this person @ consultation fee because we provide a professional service and that is what was being sought. The practice in my firm is that unless you can double assure us and we can confirm genuine attempts have been made to resolve whatever issue it is, we don’t lead people to court to dissolve a marriage. Unless life is threatened, we may adopt 'delay tactics' while offering counseling or assisting one to get counselling. Some get resolved nicely happily, others don’t and we proceed to court. What informs my posture is culture and church which got me saying to myself while in law faculty that I shall not do 2 kinds of cases - criminal defence and divorce. Even though I know better now, these religiosociocultural influences remain somewhat. Even our law, standard policy, is that divorce is not available to a marriage of less than 2 years. We often forget the exceptions to this rule. You see how we all may contribute to an abusive relationship lasting till it might cause damage or death?
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