relationships divorce How not to

A divorce attorney might not be the first person you would think to call for advice on how to maintain a happy relationship. However, after seven years of helping Maui families through some of their toughest times, I’ve learned a thing or too. Many families experience similar issues, so here five tips to avoid needing to call me.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate! No relationship is without its problems, but problems multiply and intensify when they’re not addressed head –on. Tackle the tough issues, face the music, and have that uncomfortable conversation now – it beats having it in front of a judge.

2. Establish clear expectations. One of the most important conversations a couple can have is about your expectations going into a long-term relationship. Do you want to be a stay at home parent? Do you want to live on Maui forever? What will you each contribute in terms of finances, housework, and child rearing? These are conversations that you need to have with your significant other! Having a realistic idea about what you each expect of each other can reduce conflict and ensure that you’re both on the same page about the big-picture items.

3. Ask for help. There are many things that can create problems at home. Financial strain, substance abuse, and health issues are just a few of the many issues that can push families to the breaking point. Before you get there, reach out and ask for help. Maui is full of skilled, professional service providers, many of whom are available for a reasonable fee.

4. Work at it. Like anything rewarding in life, a fulfilling relationship takes work. Just like you tend to your children, tend to your relationship. If you’re committed to your partner, that means you’re committed to working through the rough patches. Work can take many forms, from talking to each other, to seeking counseling (see above) to just prioritizing family dinner time.

5. Have fun together. Life can be stressful. Between work and kids, many couples don’t have a lot of time for each other. Plus, seeing your partner cutting his or her toenails every week also tends to dull that initial spark. Don’t forget to take time to enjoy the things about your partner that initially drew you to him or her.

If you think you may, in spite of the above, need legal advice about your relationship, give us a call at 242-5500 to find out your options.

Image Credit: Lychee Therapeutics

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Anne K. Leete is an attorney experienced in handling many highly contested family law issues, including divorces, relocation cases, and other child custody matters. She lives on the North Shore with her family. You can reach Anne at (808) 242-5500.