Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO in the new comedy series, Divorce. Parker stars as Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage to Robert (played by Thomas Haden Church) but finds that making a clean break is harder than she thought. This series premier episode kicked off the new HBO product on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 and will feature a new installment into the failing marriage of Frances and Robert every Sunday night.
Divorce Point/Counterpoint: The Experts Weigh In
Hollywood temporarily wanders into our world with HBO’s attempt to portray an all-too-familiar scenario in Divorce. Frances and Robert’s marriage is failing and between the kids, the house, and the extramarital affairs it is hard to determine where to start dividing two lives that have been melding together for so many years. It is not surprising that when the stakes are this high, and the emotions are so fresh, people take part in irrational, irresponsible, and inflammatory actions towards their estranged spouse.
So, where does HBO get it right? And what should Frances or Robert do when real life divorce scenarios take place?
In our weekly edition of HBO’s Divorce: Point/Counterpoint, we will be reviewing the most recent episode of Divorce with two expert Divorce Attorneys (Jeanne Sockle and Frank Morris) that will take the side of either Robert or Frances and give some insight on what their best course of action may be.
We will be using Washington State divorce law in our analysis. Be aware that divorce laws in Washington may or may not be the same as divorce laws in other states. We advise that you consult a local divorce attorney regarding your specific situation before taking any action towards the divorce process.
Divorce Attorney Frank Morris Evaluates Robert’s Situation
Frank Morris, co-founder of Divorce Lawyers for Men, has been successfully practicing family law for over 37 years. He is a recipient of the American Trial Lawyers Association’s ‘Citation of Excellence’, he has won Million dollar claims for his clients, and he has a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo. Frank was kind enough to weigh in on Robert’s position following the series premier of HBO’s Divorce, to tell us how it should be handled to put Robert in the best position, legally.
Get the uphill position and hold onto it!
Robert made the right move. Get the uphill position and hold onto it. Lock the house. Keep the kids. File for divorce first. Success in divorce is achieved by positioning yourself to win.
“Robert has followed Divorce Rule #1 – If you want it, keep it!”
Frances chose to have the affair. Frances chose to leave Robert and the children. Frances only came home because her lover did not want her to stay. Robert has taken control of the family home and is currently living in the family home with the children. Robert has taken control of a bad situation that he did not create.
Robert has followed Divorce Rule #1 – If you want it, keep it! Now a judge will be faced with either maintaining the status quo that Robert has created or kicking Robert out of the family home and taking the children away from him. It is easier for his lawyer to argue, “Let him keep it” than for his lawyer to try and argue to “Take it from her and give it to him”.
Now Robert needs to follow Divorce Rule #4 – File first.
Divorce Attorney Jeanne Sockle Evaluates Frances’ Situation
Jeanne Sockle is a Principal and Managing Partner in the family law firm of Morris-Sockle. Jeanne was selected as one of Washington’s ’10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction’ by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and she has a perfect 10.0 rating from Avvo. Most recently, Jeanne was recognized by the South Sound Business Examiner as a “Woman of Influence” in 2016. She was kind enough to give us her insight on Frances’ position following episode one of HBO’s Divorce.
Frances has made some serious tactical errors which have, literally, left her out in the cold.
It’s not unusual. Many people go into divorce riding only on the emotional high that comes with an extra-marital romance or the low that comes with smoldering anger and relationship frustrations. Either way, it is a huge mistake to rely only on your emotions when entering the cold dark waters of divorce. Strategic planning is essential to protect yourself.
“Frances needs to act quickly and find a good attorney to help her establish her rights to access to the family home and her children.”
Frances needs to act quickly and find a good attorney to help her establish her rights to access to the family home and her children. She is in a disadvantaged position but she still has rights and needs to move quickly to assert them. She can go to a hotel or the home of a friend while she gets a lawyer to get an order from the court to ensure her access to the house. But that takes time and, in the meantime, Robert is establishing his right to stay in the home during the divorce, and losing a battle for and with the kids.
Frances is a co-owner of the house, so she can break in and simply refuse to leave the house. She would have to hold her position, and clearly be prepared for a fight. Based on the current situation, Frances needs an aggressive attorney and an aggressive, well-thought game plan. A bold move would be being the first to file for divorce… which would put her on the offense, always a good place to be.