Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A "Divorce Pill"? Really?

Family law is different than other areas of the law for many reasons, not the least of which is that it simply does not “fit” into the idea of laws, per se. But perhaps more importantly, family law enters the mainstream more than any other kind of law. Everyone knows someone who has had a bad experience in family court. Everyone has an opinion about “divorce attorneys.” Everyone has an opinion about families. In short, family law shows up in the court of public opinion more than any other kind of law.

I should not be surprised, therefore, that I saw a link to this website on the Our Family Wizard LinkedIn page. The link is to a company that makes a Divorce Pill. Tag line: “get past your past.” Shocked yet? Sadly, I am not. But I am concerned.

In my parallel life, I am a yogi. Less publicly, though if you talk to me in person, I am a natural food, natural health, etc. proponent. To be perfectly honest, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading about health, wellness, wellbeing, herbal/holistic remedies, and natural food. With that background, I am not at all surprised by the ingredients in this “magic pill.” They are: St. John’s Wart, 5-HTP (actually I am not familiar with that), Korean Ginseng, Valerian Root, and Passion Flower. If I were to make a stress-reducing, anxiety-reducing herbal concoction, these ingredients would be there, perhaps not exactly in this concoction, but there is nothing unusual about them.

So why am I troubled? Should I not be excited that herbal remedies are being promoted as the magic answer rather than Xanax? 

I am troubled by the notion that divorce is something that should be “gotten over.” I am troubled by the quick-fix mentality. I am troubled that we, as family law professionals, have at times bought into the mentality that those going through the system should get over it as quickly as possible. We have tried to speed up the court process, which is always done with good intentions of helping the litigants, but it also forces them to make decisions when they are at their most unstable points emotionally.

Where is the balance? Where is the sense that we are dealing with people and emotions rather than rational minds a pill can “fix”? Where is the humanity?

Those who work within the family law system should, I think, encourage the parties involved to find ways to help themselves. Exercise, yoga, friends, travel, etc. are on that list. Herbs, acupuncture, and perhaps even short-term pharmaceuticals may also be on that list. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each person is different, and that means that we, as professionals, have to adjust to those differences.

Apparently it also means that we have to explain that all the information in the media, all the blogs, websites, and now pills, are other peoples’ perceptions. We have an obligation to encourage people to seek what works for them. I am troubled by this pill for so many reasons I have not put here, but as someone who works in the system, I see its ills being how we respond to it.

What do you think? Does a “Divorce Pill” affect us as professionals?

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome. 

© 2011 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved

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