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Why I Enjoy Being A Family Lawyer

Jun 2, 2015 | Written by: William J. Rudnik, Esq. |

Clients, friends and even other attorneys in different fields often say, “How can you stand dealing with divorce cases every day? I could not do what you do.” Like most jobs, being a family lawyer has its good points and not-so-good points. The job is often stressful and requires dealing with a situation that is often very emotional. The process and the court system are far from perfect, and that just adds to an already emotional and frustrating situation. Other than an illness or the loss of a loved one, from an emotional standpoint, divorce is typically one of the worst experiences an individual can undergo. There is a whole range of emotions that parties experience when going through a divorce. As a certified matrimonial attorney*, I often see clients at their worst. Many times their emotions lead to an inability to make rational decisions and sometimes their emotions even lead to “bad” or destructive behavior.

While it is unfortunate when a marriage ends in divorce, we are very far from a utopian society where divorce does not exist. Since divorce is a reality in today’s world, as a family lawyer, my purpose and goal is to help my clients through the process, minimizing the amount of stress and putting them in a position to move forward to a better place in their life. Dealing with clients who are often times struggling emotionally is challenging, but it is also what makes being a family lawyer very rewarding. Having gone through a divorce myself, along with being a divorce attorney for many years, I understand the difficulty of the process and the emotional aspects. I provide clients with the analysis and sound advice necessary to put them in a position to make the right decisions, so that they can come out of the process with the ability to support themselves financially and the ability to get past the divorce from an emotional standpoint.  I enjoy helping people, and I find helping my clients through this very difficult process to be extremely worthwhile and gratifying.

It is not simply a matter of knowing the law, providing the appropriate analysis, and effectively negotiating with the other attorney. Clients often need an attorney to listen closely to the issues they raise, to understand what they are experiencing as they go through the process, and to be supportive. That does not mean an attorney should simply tell clients what they want to hear, but rather he or she should provide practical advice so that clients can understand not only the law and the court process, but also the time and stress involved, the costs (both monetary and non-monetary), and the impact of their decisions on their children. While attorneys do not make decisions on behalf of clients (the clients make the decisions in a settled case, and the Judge makes the decisions in a contested case), an attorney should counsel clients so that they make the best decision for their situation.

Yes, being a family lawyer is a difficult job. There are often many sleepless nights worrying about cases. There is a great deal of stress and often times frustration in the lack of control we (family law attorneys) have over the process. It is important for us to manage a client’s expectations so that they understand there is no “magic” attorneys can do. We cannot control the court process, we cannot control the other party or their attorney, and we do not make the decisions. My belief that I am helping people through this very difficult process is what makes my job meaningful. It outweighs the stress, the sleepless nights, the challenge of working with emotional clients, and the difficult adversaries. Because I enjoy what I do, I believe it makes me a much better family lawyer.

*William J. Rudnik, Esq. is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. He is also qualified as a Mediator in the field of Family Law under the New Jersey Court rules, and he is trained in Collaborative Divorce. Contact Mr. Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or via email.