Dallas divorce attorney Alissa Castro has plenty to celebrate. June marks her third anniversary working with Connatser Family Law, and she recently became engaged to her fiancé Jimmy. So why is this young divorce attorney so excited to get married?
For one thing, Alissa looks forward to people no longer asking: “After seeing so many people get divorced, are you ever going to get married?” She also has a positive outlook about marriage, because her happily married parents and colleagues have served as terrific role models.
According to Alissa, “I am lucky enough to have parents who remain happily married after being together for over 40 years. Plus, it’s hard to be jaded about marriage when you work with five happily married divorce attorneys.”
You get out of marriage what you put into it
While she is consistently surrounded by the reality of divorce, Alissa is also inspired and encouraged by the successful marriages and behaviors modeled by her colleagues.
“The attorneys that I work with lead by example – both in the workplace and within their relationships. They regularly show me they didn’t achieve the levels of success at work or in their marriages by luck – it all takes hard work,” Alissa says.
She also appreciates the honesty, guidance and support her workplace family provides on a daily basis – much like they do with their clients.
As Alissa explains, “The attorneys here have helped me set realistic expectations regarding difficulties related to balancing a legal career, marriage and (someday for me) children. They remind me each day that there will be bumps in the road, but you have to lean on your spouse (and your workplace family) during tough times.”
Advice from the trenches: Five tips for a happy marriage
We asked Alissa’s happily married colleagues to share insight on how they manage to keep their marriages going strong, while juggling busy careers and family life. The attorneys at Connatser Family Law shared the following tips:
Tip No. 1: Don’t bring work home.
Connatser Family Law founder Aubrey Connatser’s husband is also an attorney, and the couple agrees that it’s important to avoid talking about work after hours. As she explains, “Our cases can be really emotional and intense. So it’s best to leave that at the office.”
Tip No. 2: Schedule lunch dates.
Connatser Family Law attorney and mom of two Abby Gregory is fortunate to work in the same office building as her husband. “Since our offices are in close proximity, we enjoy one-on-one time at lunch and taking walks together nearby,” Abby says.
Aubrey and her husband also schedule regular lunches together, because, “With young kids running around at night, it’s too hard to talk.”
Connatser Family Law divorce attorney Christine Powers Leatherberry agrees. “It’s a lot to juggle with a baby, a toddler and both my husband and me being attorneys. In order to avoid feeling like ships passing in the night, we’ve started doing monthly lunches to regroup, enjoy each other’s company and not have to hire a babysitter.”
Tip No. 3: Plan date nights and weekend staycations.
According to Aubrey, “It’s nice to have the house alone to your spouse and yourself once in awhile. My husband and I send the kids to my mother MIMI’s house when we need a break.”
Christine agrees and says, “We also try to do date night a couple times a month, which we hope to bump up to every week once we are past ‘the baby stage.’ The key is taking time to connect and not getting so consumed by children (or work) that you lose your connection or forget why you fell in love in the first place.”
Tip No. 4: Keep the lines of communication open.
“It’s important to communicate with each other, use shared calendaring and cover for each other when you have to go into work early or stay late. Communication is the key … and grace,” says Christine.
Tip No. 5: Find a spouse with a great sense of humor.
Christine found this quality in her husband Jon Leatherberry. When asked what it was like to be married to a divorce lawyer, Jon replied: “I love being married to a divorce attorney. Some of the things she has to deal with on a daily basis makes her appreciate that my flaws are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.”
Marriage and family come first
For Alissa, learning from successful family law attorneys who have “been there” and learned through trial and error has been invaluable.
As she explains, “My colleagues are humble enough to admit they are not perfect, do not have all the answers and are able ask for help when they need it. Each of the attorneys at the firm are at different stages of life, career and marriage, but it is clear to me that they value their marriages and make their family a priority.”
Photo Source: Adobe Stock
Alissa Castro is an enthusiastic, young attorney with experience in a wide variety of legal venues. She has donated her services to several charitable causes including the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer Project and Catholic Charities. To learn more about divorce and child custody options in Dallas and Collin Counties, please call 214-306-8441 to speak confidentially with a knowledgeable and considerate member of the Connatser Family Law team.