Released towards the end of 2019, the film Marriage Story tells the story of a family going through a divorce. The movie received critical praise and was even nominated for an Oscar. Unlike a lot of Hollywood films, Marriage Story manages to get a lot of things in its story correct. The following article reviews some valuable lessons to take from the film.

Couples Sometimes Divorce in Other States

In Marriage Story, the wife can file for divorce in California even though she is from New York. In the United States, people can file for divorce in any state in which they establish residence. In Georgia, a person establishes residency once they have lived in the state for six consecutive months. Each year in Georgia, many husbands and wives file for divorce even though they have only recently established residency in the state.

Children Come First

While not necessarily a legal lesson, Marriage Story depicts the couple placing their children first. While divorce is often difficult for adults, it is downright excruciating for children and can have long-lasting effects. Also, as depicted in Marriage Story, placing children first often improves relationships between divorcing couples because both individuals realize what is truly important. 

The Importance of Obtaining a Divorce Lawyer

The husband in Marriage Story stays in denial for some time about the divorce process. In reality, divorce is a painful reality that must be accepted as soon as possible. By waiting to hire a lawyer, you greatly jeopardize the best possible outcome in your case. In Marriage Story, however, the husband chooses to ignore the papers that he is served and as a result places himself in a much worse situation. 

People who immediately obtain the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney discover they are much better prepared for divorce.

Lawyers Sometimes Face Conflicts

In one scene in Marriage Story, the husband is denied consultation with a lawyer because his wife had already spoken with an attorney at the firm. In reality, when a spouse has a confidential conversation with one lawyer, a conflict of interest arises and prevents that attorney from representing the other party in a divorce matter. Unless the first spouse hires the lawyer, however, the attorney is often not barred from representing the other party. Many divorce lawyers are routinely placed in such a situation.

Movies are Movies

Not everything depicted in a Marriage Story is correct. For example, Marriage Story depicts mediation as not capable of resolving the divorce. In actuality, mediation is a powerful method that many couples rely on to resolve their divorce. While having the representation of a lawyer is not a requisite for mediation, many couples discover that having a lawyer represent them is best. 

You should be cautious about any truths about divorce presented in a Marriage Story as well as any other fictional works. Similarly, you should be cautious about the advice provided by family and friends when you are going through your own divorce. Let an attorney provide you with advice about how to best navigate the divorce process.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Divorce Attorney


If you learn nothing else from Marriage Story, remember promptly obtaining the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney is almost always a good idea. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation.