Divorce: A Personal Perspective By Christian Bonnano
With almost 50% of all marriages in the United States ending in divorce or separation, most people you encounter will have one ‘crazy’ family story or another. Sadly, when I was 13 years of age, my parents decided it was time to end their marriage and get a divorce. At the age of 13, I did not fully understand why they were leaving each other and the circumstances around it. Nothing too bad was going on, in reality, they just weren’t in love with each other anymore and wanted to separate. Of course, they had their moments, but from what I have seen throughout my life, most divorces are very difficult.
At such a young age, my parents did not expose me to the legalities surrounding their divorce. I would constantly hear them arguing about the property, money, and even me. At the time, I could care less about all of that, I really just wanted my parents to get back together, but as the years have passed I look back and wish they explained the concept of divorce a little better. All that arguing I heard them do had a deeper meaning and it took a few years before I fully understood why and what it was all about.
Through all the arguing and frustrations between my parents, they decided to work together to make sure I was happy. Growing up with divorced parents, I was allowed to live where I want and visit the other parent at free-will. Although they worked together to make sure my life was good, they could not work together when it came to money. Money is something my parents have always argued about and even to this day, with their limited number of conversations, do not see eye to eye on. When I was young, I really just thought they were complaining for no reason because I did not fully understand how child support or alimony worked; now, I see why there were many arguments and frustrations from both sides.
Overall, I appreciate what my parents did to assure my happiness, although I still wish they would have explained things to me back then. I completely understand the fact that I was 13 and might not understand, or even care, about the legalities surrounding their divorce, but I believe it would have helped me understand why certain things were happening. Today, I have a great relationship with both of my parents and both of them are doing great. Yes, they still argue, but most divorced couples do. At the end of the day, I know they are both there for me and love me and that’s all I could ever ask for.
Moving on from my life story, I think it is important to note an interesting fact about divorce in New Hampshire.

  1. New Hampshire is a no-fault and a fault state. – No-fault divorces mean that there does not have to be a reason for divorce. If a couple decides they have had enough of each other, like my parents, then they can separate. At-fault divorces mean there is a specific reason for separation, such as cruelty, incarceration, alcoholism, etc. This makes it easier to get a divorce and makes the process simpler and with less animosity. This is one of the reasons collaborative law is an important development as well.

As my internship at Parnell, Michels & McKay moves forward, it is interesting to learn the application of these rules, especially with the great lawyers I am able to work with. The law is ever-changing, and understanding the law is important for anyone interested in a legal career like me.

Attorney Catherine McKay has been practicing Collaborative Divorce since 2000.  If you have questions or wish to learn more about the process and how it can benefit your family anticipating a divorce, contact Attorney McKay.