Questions for Reflection
Each episode we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
1. What are your thoughts on marriage and divorce?
2. Do you think a prenuptial agreement is a signal that the people getting married expect their marriage to end?
3. Do you think marriage should be a lifetime commitment? Why?
4. Do you see divorce as a failure? Why?
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different.
Beth Demme (00:09):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:13):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:18):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled Divorce: An Honest Conversation with Christi. Hi, Christi.
Christi Gray (00:25):
Hi. I'm so excited to be here with you guys today.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:28):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:35):
So we're recording today in a different location. We're not in our normal podcast studio. We're actually in our secondary studio, where we like to record when we have guests and we're still in Coronavirus times, so we have a very interesting plastic protective setup that Stephanie created and we're wearing our masks so that we can all be safe, because we're so close to the end, hopefully, of Coronavirus. Let's not get it now. Right?
Christi Gray (01:00):
Beth Demme (01:01):
We have my friend, Christi. Christi and I have known each other for a long time. We were just trying to recount that, probably more than 15 years, we probably have known each other.
Christi Gray (01:11):
Beth Demme (01:12):
We knew each other through Tallahassee Women Lawyers and our kids went to the same preschool and we've been in a book club together for a long, long time. I love our book club. I'm so glad you started that.
Christi Gray (01:23):
Our paths cross many ways.
Beth Demme (01:25):
Yes. Which also is sort of a function of where we live, that tends to happen here that you kind of will meet someone one way but then you kind of get more enmeshed. Tell us how long you've been a lawyer, but then also how long you've been practicing family law.
Christi Gray (01:41):
So I graduated from Florida State University College of Law in 1993.
Beth Demme (01:48):
In the 1900s!
Christi Gray (01:48):
Yes, old lady here. Not really. But I did take four years off to be a stay-at-home mom. I had three kids in three years. And I always tell all the law school students, especially the females, don't be afraid to take time off because you can bounce right back. But I have been in family law for approximately 10 years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:07):
Very cool. Well, I'm so excited to have you here because from the very beginning, when we started talking about our podcast, I said, "I want to do an episode about divorce. I know nothing about it. I have nothing to contribute but I want to do an episode about it." And Beth also really has not much experience-
Beth Demme (02:24):
I've been married. I have that on you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:25):
She is currently married.
Beth Demme (02:27):
I am married but I've never been divorced.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:29):
But then when Beth told me that she had a friend that is a divorce lawyer, I was just very excited. I want to jump right into it. I am curious, why do people get divorced? What's the number one reason people get divorced?
Christi Gray (02:42):
I don't know if I can say there's a number one. There's obviously many, many reasons. I will say affairs are pretty common. People come in very emotional about it and judges don't care because they see so many affairs in court. It has no really legal bearing. I would say affairs is a big one.
Christi Gray (03:00):
Mental health and substance abuse is huge too on one party or both parties causing conflict. And then emotional and verbal abuse is another reason some people leave a marriage and then, not in love. There's a combination of all those too. They can cross paths themselves.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:20):
That's interesting, because when we were talking about this, I was thinking, my two reasons I was thinking was infidelity and just growing apart. That's kind of what I was thinking like people just grew apart, but it's more like just people don't feel in love like they used to be.
Christi Gray (03:35):
Yeah, I would say. Or maybe they never were in love and they realize that too. That happens sometimes too. But I would say not being in love isn't really number one but it's definitely there. But affairs, like I said emotional and verbal abuse is pretty prevalent and then substance abuse and mental health which obviously kind of go together too sometimes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:58):
When I hear people get divorced, they say, "Irreconcilable differences." What does that mean?
Christi Gray (04:05):
That's just legal jargon. That's what we have to say.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:06):
That means nothing?
Christi Gray (04:07):
It just basically says, "You guys can't work this out."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:12):
Do you know all of the reasons people are getting divorced? Do you have all the details or do people just say, "We don't want to be married anymore."
Christi Gray (04:20):
Oh, no. I have to dig in the dirt. But I mean, I will tell you there's times when things don't add up so I know I'm not told everything. Sometimes it will have a legal effect. Sometimes it doesn't. Some people might have some secrets they don't want to share and sometimes it doesn't matter, but most of the time, I get a lot of the dirt. They like to vent with me because I'm also their therapist and it's easy to tell me than to tell other people.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:48):
Yeah, that makes sense. When you say affair, the judges don't care about that, is that not a legal reason to get divorce, people having affairs?
Christi Gray (04:56):
Florida's a no fault state. So you can get divorced no matter what. You can just say, "I'm done. I have no reason. I'm just done."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:02):
Would a judge say, "Okay, you can have that if you just say, 'We're done.'"
Christi Gray (05:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:07):
You don't even have to have a reason.
Christi Gray (05:08):
You don't have to have a reason at all. And really the reason for the divorce isn't really relevant.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:13):
Marriage, in the court's eyes is just a legal contract. Correct? Do they even look at the emotional connection that people have, why people want to get married? Or do they just look at it as a contract, do you want to break your contract? Okay, we'll let you do that.
Christi Gray (05:30):
Yeah, it's just the contract. They look at the legal issues only, which is mostly kids. That can get emotional and then finances and that also goes towards alimony. Those are the three big things. Kids, assets and liabilities and alimony.
Beth Demme (05:47):
But all of that has to do with how these people are going to live when they're not married anymore. So the irreconcilable differences, now I'm thinking back to, again, the 1900s when I was in law school and took family law. It was you used to have to have a reason. You used to have to go in and prove, "I'm entitled to a divorce because my partner has been unfaithful."
Beth Demme (06:09):
And now that's not required. And so do you have cases where only one person wants to get divorced, and the other person actually is trying to somehow get the court to preserve the marriage? That doesn't happen, does it?
Christi Gray (06:20):
Oh, yes. It happens.
Beth Demme (06:21):
Christi Gray (06:21):
I have clients who come in and say, "I want the judge to tell us to go to marriage counseling."
Beth Demme (06:27):
Christi Gray (06:27):
And I'm like, "The judge won't do that." It doesn't happen a lot, but it's not uncommon, I should say.
Beth Demme (06:33):
Christi Gray (06:34):
And the no fault, by the way, it's just Florida, I only know Florida law. Each state is so different. Like North Carolina, you have to have 18 months of separation. And then Florida, it's really technically three weeks.
Beth Demme (06:46):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:47):
I had a friend that I used to work with that... They lived in New York. He and his wife lived in New York, but they were separated yet living in the same house. And that you had to be out of the same house for, it was like a year or something, and so they moved to Florida so that they could get divorced.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:04):
Made this their residence and they were able to finally get divorced, or he moved here and she was still in New York, but they were able to finally get divorced. Yeah, I guess the laws are all different everywhere.
Christi Gray (07:13):
And some people do state shop, I guess you would call it. Especially if it's in talking about lots of money of how to divide things, how to get alimony, some states are more generous with alimony than others. Some people will kind of state shop. They'll meet with a Texas divorce lawyer and a Florida divorce lawyer and like, "Okay, where should I file?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:33):
Can you file if you're not living in one of the states?
Christi Gray (07:36):
Well, each state is different but in Florida, you have to be a resident here for six months.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:40):
Christi Gray (07:41):
So that's all you need. Just you, not your spouse.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:44):
Yeah. Yeah. I think that's what he did. That's so interesting. Alimony, is that only for if you have a child?
Christi Gray (07:52):
Nope. It's a spousal support. In Florida, it's based on need and ability to pay. If someone has the ability to pay alimony and then the second part of the equation is the other person has the need.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:06):
How do you determine the need?
Christi Gray (08:08):
Well, we look at financial affidavits, but you just kind of go through their expenses. Let's say their expenses are 4,000 a month, but their job that they have is only $2,000 a month and so they can make a request for 2,000 a month in alimony. But then the other person has to have let's say 10,000 a month in income and only $7,000 a month in expenses so they have an extra 3,000 to pay alimony.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:34):
Wow. That's interesting because I only thought it was for kids.
Beth Demme (08:38):
That's child support. Child support would be for kids and alimony is the spousal support.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:44):
Do you find that people pay the alimony no problem or do you find that people fault on that?
Christi Gray (08:50):
In general people do because you can be incarcerated if you don't. I've never had anybody incarcerated, I've had it close.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:57):
Christi Gray (08:58):
Let me tell you they pay up when they're five minutes away from getting cuffed. But in general, most people do because you can't be incarcerated, but there are people who play the game and know how to play the game.
Beth Demme (09:12):
Yeah, that's crazy. Because really, there aren't that many debts that you could be arrested for. We don't have debtors' prison. But I guess child support and alimony are examples of things you do have to pay under penalty of incarceration.
Christi Gray (09:28):
Right. And you can't discharge them in bankruptcy either.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:31):
I didn't know that either. I knew you couldn't get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. But interesting. So you mentioned you were practicing family law for 10 years at the beginning?
Christi Gray (09:41):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:44):
Family law was before divorce or that is divorce lawyer?
Christi Gray (09:49):
Well, family law means that I do parent paternity cases, I do domestic violence cases and I do divorce cases. I would say half my caseload though is what we call post judgment litigation. So it's people who already are divorced. Like I had a trial yesterday and they had been divorced for two years but we had a trial on modifying child support.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:12):
Okay. So you're not a divorce lawyer, you're a family law lawyer?
Christi Gray (10:17):
Correct. But there's certain parts of what I would say, the courts would say family law that I don't do. I do not do adoptions. That is really actually a specialty that you need really adoption lawyer to do.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:28):
Okay. So you've been doing this for 10 years?
Christi Gray (10:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:31):
And so were you practicing before this or this is what you got straight into was family law?
Christi Gray (10:37):
So right out of law school, I was actually a hearing officer for the state for about 10 years. Then that's when I had three kids in three years. And I took for four years off and then I actually went to work with my ex husband doing insurance defense.
Christi Gray (10:52):
Then when we got our divorce, that's when obviously I didn't really want to work in the same office. I fell in love with family law during my divorce. My undergrad is in psychology and I really thought about getting my PhD in psychology rather than law school, so it was just a perfect fit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:11):
Wow. Your divorce led you to family law?
Christi Gray (11:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:14):
Wow! Obviously, you weren't your own lawyer in your divorce, right?
Christi Gray (11:19):
I did hire a lawyer. Most lawyers do hire lawyers.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:23):
Because it's just a little messy. Very interesting. So you have the experience of being divorced and working with many divorced people?
Christi Gray (11:32):
Beth Demme (11:34):
So she's the perfect guest to talk about divorce.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:35):
I know, I know. I'm like, "Oh."
Christi Gray (11:39):
I tell everyone that half of divorce is a psychological process, which I've been through and even as a lawyer, I have to be very conscious of my client's psychological process. Some clients come in and they're so emotional, that you know you have to move the case slowly, because they need to process it.
Christi Gray (11:58):
You don't want anyone making these lifetime decisions when you know they're very distraught. It's nice to see when you go to mediation, say six months later and they've transformed psychologically and it makes you feel good that they're making it through it at the right pace.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:19):
You said sometimes people comment to you and they want the judge to just order them to go to counseling. Have you ever suggested counseling for someone and they ended up not getting divorced, because they took that road?
Christi Gray (12:32):
I don't know if I recommend marriage counseling. If people don't want a divorce, and they want to reconcile, I'm like, "Go for it. Do it. Do whatever you can to make it work. I want you to have no regrets when you get here."
Christi Gray (12:46):
I do frequently recommend individual therapy. Whether you're going to move forward or not, I think it's pretty important for most people, but as you guys know, with therapy, you have to be able to be involved into it. It's just not some people's thing but it's definitely helpful for most people.
Beth Demme (13:02):
So what makes divorce messy? Is it usually the money that gets messy? Is it the sort of unresolved psychological issues, is it how those things work together?
Christi Gray (13:14):
I think in general, sometimes kids can be messy but I've had some really big trials where there's no kids involved and the money part gets messy. But I think in general, it deals with... I always tell my clients, "How difficult your divorce is going to be is how unreasonable the other side's going to be." And what does that mean? That means, do they have a personality disorder? Personality disorders make divorce messy. How do you reason with someone like that?
Beth Demme (13:48):
Meaning like if you're married to a narcissist and you get divorced, that's going to be a messy divorce, because the narcissist is going to make things difficult. It's that kind of thing?
Christi Gray (13:54):
Beth Demme (13:55):
Christi Gray (13:55):
Yeah. Correct. Or just there's just various types of personalities. I'm not a psychologist, but obviously, there's what we call traits, not disorder and that always makes it. So if the other side has certain mental health issues or substance abuse issues, then that to me is probably the number one thing that makes divorces messy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:17):
How long does a divorce typically take?
Christi Gray (14:19):
So I tell people, if we settle at mediation, it will take probably up to six months. If we go to trial, it's one to two years.
Beth Demme (14:27):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:28):
Christi Gray (14:29):
Well, the justice system move slow.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:32):
Is it even worse during COVID?
Christi Gray (14:33):
Actually, family law has been a hamster wheel because criminal cases aren't moving forward. And we are doing everything from Zoom. And it's just... We are moving at a faster pace, which is really hard on us family law attorneys were. Zoom is great for some hearings, but not for all of them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:52):
Did you see the, "I'm not a cat" video?
Christi Gray (14:54):
Oh, yes. That's really funny.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:57):
Oh my gosh, that's so...
Beth Demme (14:58):
You've never done that. You've never shown up for a Zoom hearing with a filter?
Christi Gray (15:04):
No, but I wish. It would be lighten the mood.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:06):
Yeah, right. You should all be a different animal. "I am a cat."
Christi Gray (15:10):
And we always need to lighten the mood. But I will say every time... I have two Zoom hearings today. There's always, always some technical difficulty on everything. We're all kind of what? Experts at this point. It definitely... There's always an issue.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:26):
I guess what I assume about divorce is all assets are split 50/50, half. Is that accurate?
Christi Gray (15:34):
All marital assets. That means anything you accrued during the marriage is split 50/50. Family law is a big gray area. Let's say you had retirement prior to the marriage and you had 100,000 in it and then you put another 100,000 during the marriage, we just split the 100,000 during the marriage and there's passive appreciation and other factors.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:02):
What if somebody gets like... A parent passes away and they get the money from their parent? Oh, no, I guess if they were married when the person passed away and they got that money, that would be split?
Christi Gray (16:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:17):
Christi Gray (16:18):
That is considered non-marital funds, unless you commingle it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:23):
Put it in a shared account?
Christi Gray (16:24):
If you put it in a shared account, then you commingled it. That can get really messy when you're talking about a lot of money.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:30):
Yeah. Is that what like... A judge would make those kind of decisions, but they would always decide on like no, it's not split because it was not commingled. Or if it was commingled, then-
Christi Gray (16:42):
Beth Demme (16:43):
The lawyers would argue about whether it was commingled or not.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:45):
That's the whole point of the lawyers. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah.
Christi Gray (16:48):
I had a case where she got like, $50,000 and it dropped into a joint account for one day for banking purposes and then the exact same amount, went out the next day into her personal account and the judge found that to be marital.
Beth Demme (17:02):
Christi Gray (17:03):
Yeah. Know your judge. It's so important. Each judge is different. Why I think majority of judges would probably, "Well no, that's non-marital." It's...
Beth Demme (17:16):
Yeah, the intent of the party's was that it was going to be non-marital, that's why it moved out the next day. Yeah, that's crazy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:21):
Wow. Is there anything you, as someone that sees a lot of divorce, is there anything you would recommend to someone that's getting married or is married that they should do? Obviously, they're not thinking, "I'm going to get divorced." But is there anything that would be protective for them?
Christi Gray (17:34):
I think everyone should have their separate account and separate credit card, but that doesn't mean it's secret. Like they're still full disclose. But I think everyone needs to have their own little nest egg in case something happens, even if it's death, quite frankly. Because imagine if someone walks out the door, the breadwinner and you have no penny, they empty the bank account and you have no penny to... You can be living wealthy and fine and then all sudden, you have no penny one day. So you always make sure you want to always have your own account.
Christi Gray (18:06):
But that doesn't mean it's secret. It means maybe the other person has access to view the transactions or whatever. But I definitely think everyone should have their own separate account, separate credit card, but then also a joint... That doesn't mean no joint.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:21):
Beth Demme (18:22):
Yeah. It's just so each person sort of has their own credit and their own access to finances no matter what happened is what it sounds like.
Christi Gray (18:29):
Correct. It could be a car accident or they're in a coma. You don't have access to that money. What do you do? So I just think that's just kind of general advice.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:42):
Would you recommend that every time you buy something together, that you make sure your name, like you buy a house, you make sure that both names are on that mortgage or the deed?
Christi Gray (18:55):
It doesn't really matter. If you buy a house during the marriage and only one person's name on it, it's still considered a marital asset. And then having your name on the mortgage, it doesn't really matter either. Sometimes it's nice when you want to keep the house and you don't have to worry about refinancing and get the other person off on that way.
Christi Gray (19:15):
But I guess to be super safe, go ahead and have your name on both as many accounts as you can. But that doesn't mean if it's in someone else's name, you're not entitled to half of it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:27):
Okay. I guess, for me, I always think like... I have the stereotype that women lose out in divorce. Is that accurate? Do women... Because a lot of times, the man is the breadwinner and has most of the things in his name, is that accurate? Does that happen?
Christi Gray (19:47):
I would say more often than not, the man is the breadwinner. And yes, there are women who lived a nice life and they get a divorce and they no longer have that. But there's also quite a few women make more money than the man too. So that's not uncommon. I have two daughters and so what I tell them is you always need to make sure you can be self sufficient like with your education.
Christi Gray (20:14):
When I was a stay-at-home mom for four years, I knew I had a law degree. I can take care of myself tomorrow if I need to. And so I think that's important for everybody, but especially for women is you need to have a plan B no matter what.
Christi Gray (20:30):
Again, it doesn't have to be divorce. It could be a disability, it could be death. You always need to have a plan for yourself. Yes, in general, women's finances change more than men but I don't want to say a vast majority of the time.
Beth Demme (20:50):
It's probably something that's continuing to change over time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:53):
Beth Demme (20:55):
In 15 years, that might be different even than it is now. And now it's different than what it was probably 15 years ago.
Christi Gray (21:00):
I've had plenty of women who make six figures and the soon to be former husband, might be a teacher making $35-40,000 and so I do definitely get plenty of those too.
Beth Demme (21:14):
And then alimony becomes a question, where the wife is paying alimony to the former husband, which is maybe not how typically people think of alimony, but it does happen.
Christi Gray (21:23):
It does happen.
Beth Demme (21:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:24):
So that same advice of having your own account works for both genders?
Christi Gray (21:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:30):
You would need your own account just for that kind of safety net, like you mentioned and if anything happens, who knows? Divorce, maybe one of those things, but all of the things you had mentioned.
Christi Gray (21:41):
And I will say though about joint, you said talk about joint assets, but joint debt. I would probably recommend probably the least amount of debt in your name is probably better.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:52):
Christi Gray (21:54):
It's kind of hard when you have let's say $20,000 credit card debt and he's going to take it, but your name's on it. The third party can still come after you even though through the divorce, you're not liable for it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:11):
That's interesting. So maybe your name shouldn't be on everything.
Christi Gray (22:14):
If your name is going to be on it, make sure you 100% agree to it and realizes the consequences of that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:24):
Yeah, that makes sense.
Beth Demme (22:26):
So do you think that when people come to you and they're in a situation where they want to get divorced or need to get divorced even, do you think they perceive that as a failure?
Christi Gray (22:35):
I don't because unfortunately, our divorce rate is so high here. When I first got a divorce, I will say, that did cross my mind because I didn't really know a lot of people divorced at the time. Now, I feel like more people are divorced than not, now I'm 53. I don't really think that. But some people might feel that way.
Christi Gray (23:01):
I do feel like, sometimes divorce is a little bit out of your control to some extent. If the other side has substance abuse, that's kind of out of your control to some extent.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:17):
Or a mental illness or mental illness.
Beth Demme (23:21):
Back in preschool days, I remember a friend who also had preschoolers saying.... I just remember her going through this really terrible divorce. It was very litigious. It was really ugly. And her point was, she didn't want to get divorced, but her husband had depression that he refused to address or treat and he was miserable in himself, but he was also making the entire family miserable. And so she she really felt like it wasn't what she wanted, but she also didn't feel like she had a choice. So I think that that gets to this point about mental illness and how she had not failed. The marriage had failed maybe. But it was out of her control. It was out of her control.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:01):
Beth, I'm curious for you, though. Do you see divorce as a failure?
Beth Demme (24:04):
Well, I think something has to break down. So when I think of marriage, particularly like if I'm doing premarital work with a couple that's going to get married, I really present and I really see marriage as a covenant. You're making this covenant agreement to be monogamous and together for the rest of your earthly lives and something has to break down in order for that covenant to be broken.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:36):
But does that mean it's a failure?
Beth Demme (24:39):
I don't know if I would use the word failure.
Christi Gray (24:42):
Because sometimes things break. Like I said, well, that's no fault of your own. So you didn't really fail. But I will tell you, I see a lot of times people get married when they don't... It was broken down from before, "I do." And then you're kind of like, "I can't believe you guys even got married in the first place."
Beth Demme (25:00):
I can't believe you lasted three years or 12 years or 30 years.
Christi Gray (25:02):
Yeah. There was a red siren going before you even said, "I do."
Beth Demme (25:07):
Yeah. I don't know if I think of it as a failure. I hope not. I hope that I wouldn't use that language because I think it has a sense of judgment about it and I don't think that's helpful.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:15):
I feel like there's like... And I think it is changing, like you mentioned, I do feel like there's just the stigma of divorce that oh... Is the divorce rate 50%? Is that accurate or is it higher than...
Christi Gray (25:27):
What did you say? 2%?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:28):
Christi Gray (25:30):
Honestly, it might be even higher. But yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:32):
If 50% or higher marriages end in divorce.
Christi Gray (25:35):
Yeah, I would say and then your second marriage, the percentage is higher and third marriage is higher too. I was thinking the word maybe, Beth, is maybe disappointment, not a failure. But it's a disappointment. Now that I think about mine, I didn't really think of it as a failure, I looked at it as a disappointment.
Beth Demme (25:51):
Yeah. It was not what you had planned.
Christi Gray (25:54):
It was not what I had planned. Right.
Beth Demme (25:56):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:56):
Do you wish you'd never been married?
Christi Gray (26:00):
Nope. I think everyone should be married once. You don't have to be married once. I have some friends my age who have kids and they co-parent, live together. I'm not saying you have to even get married once. But I am not opposed to marriage at all.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:15):
But you don't regret your marriage?
Christi Gray (26:16):
No. I don't. I have three beautiful kids. It's a chapter in my life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:22):
Do you get along with your ex at all?
Christi Gray (26:25):
Let's just say we're not best friends, but we don't scream, fight and carry on. But we've also been divorced a while. He has his life, I have my life and our kids are adults now. There's really... We really have no interaction because we have no need for it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:38):
Yeah. How long did your divorce take?
Christi Gray (26:41):
Wow. Six months maybe.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:43):
Okay. Yeah. So it was more in the shorter end?
Christi Gray (26:45):
Yeah, yeah. Definitely.
Beth Demme (26:46):
Well, also, Christi is a sort of get it done person. It was like, "Okay, this is done. I want to move on. Let's finish this up."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:52):
And he was a lawyer. Right?
Christi Gray (26:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:53):
You were both lawyers, so also you kind of knew the ropes of like-
Beth Demme (26:56):
Yeah, but sometimes lawyers just make things messier.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:58):
Oh, do they?
Beth Demme (26:59):
And they just didn't. They just were like...
Christi Gray (27:02):
I had I definitely needed to go through a psychological process slower than he did. But it didn't take too long because like Beth said, I'm like, "Okay, this is what I need to do. How do I get there?" Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:15):
Like when you kind of knew in your life that you're ready to be divorced, how long was it from... Did you guys both feel it or was it like one of you brought it to the table?
Christi Gray (27:24):
I will say I was blindsided. Out of the blue, he just said, "I want a divorce." And we weren't fighting. We weren't... And I was like, "What!" But intellectually, I knew when this happens, there's another person in the picture. But I also realized fairly quickly that there's no choice here. Honestly, I was kind of relieved when I found out about the other person because then I know, "Okay. That's what it is. I need to move forward."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:55):
So then, in your case, it seems like it was probably pretty quick. He said, "I want a divorce because this happened." And so was it pretty quick that you guys got the divorce? Well, it took six months but-
Christi Gray (28:08):
It went pretty fast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:10):
Once he said it, you pretty much went and started the process?
Christi Gray (28:14):
Right. I knew that it was over and it's over, how do I get to the end.
Beth Demme (28:19):
Yeah. And you guys were able to talk about how to share custody of the kids. And it wasn't always perfect. But you at least were adults about it, I think. Looking at it from the outside.
Christi Gray (28:31):
I think in that situation, I... My kids are my world to me and I got what I wanted, let's just say that. That was my priority and I got my priority.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:45):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:46):
I'm curious, do you know in cases of divorce, how long somebody have decided in their head, they want to be divorced, but how long it takes them to actually make the step of getting the divorce? Is there any set amount of time? Could it be years? Could it be... Obviously, it was very short in your case.
Christi Gray (29:03):
I do have people who come to my office who are like, "I'm thinking like five years down the road," mostly the kids get older or whatever. Health issues is another reason people delay, or finances even. What's the best way to get in five years to set myself up nicely?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:19):
Christi Gray (29:20):
But I've also had people who've come to my office that have been separated 5-10, my longest is 15 years. They literally haven't spoken, seen each other for 15 years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:31):
In separation, is there any legal thing you have to do for a separation or you just are literally just separated?
Christi Gray (29:38):
Yeah. Florida, we have no legal separation.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:40):
So they're separated, but they're just saying that and they're not living together, but legally they're married, they still file jointly on or check that box.
Christi Gray (29:49):
I wouldn't say they file jointly, but they'd filed married but separated.
Beth Demme (29:54):
But they have to get divorced legally in order to get married again. Otherwise they've committed a crime.
Christi Gray (29:59):
Beth Demme (30:00):
So their lives are completely separate, their finances are completely separate, but there's still this legal reality that they're legally married.
Christi Gray (30:06):
Beth Demme (30:07):
15 years. Wow.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:08):
Why did they wait 15 years?
Christi Gray (30:10):
Some people don't like change. There's so many reasons. Some has to do with health insurance. They get a, "I don't want to get remarried. She's doing her thing, paying for her thing. I'm doing my thing own thing. I'm paying... But I have great health insurance." That could be one reason. Some people are just kind of lazy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:31):
The people that waited 15 years, why did they even get married? Why did they even get divorced? They waited so long, why did they even bother getting divorced?
Christi Gray (30:42):
I think that particular case, he did find someone and then the other person was bothered by it. Not that they were going to get remarried. And some times, it's just, "Okay, I'm ready." Again, there's a psychological process all divorce attorneys have to be very conscious of. And maybe it is a 10-year process. One person that was separated a while, it was real religion.
Christi Gray (31:03):
He felt like for his religion, divorce was a big no, no and he struggled with that. I think they were separated five years. And he really internally struggled with that for five years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:15):
Beth Demme (31:16):
I know that that does happen and I know that historically, the church has not been good about walking with people through life changes like divorce. That's hard to hear, but it is a reality.
Christi Gray (31:28):
There's a lot of miserable couples out there that will never get a divorce because of religion. That's their choice. I'm not judging them or anything.
Beth Demme (31:37):
Yeah. I would hope that the church would do better by them than that, than to have them sacrifice their happiness. I don't think that we're created to live unhappy lives. Not that happiness is the ultimate measure of life either but-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:52):
It's interesting to me because there's marriage as we see in the Bible and the religious aspect of marriage, but then when it comes to the law, we're just talking about the paper and the contract. To me, it's almost like two separate things. There's this covenant you make with God, like this very religious aspect. But then there's just like this piece of paper, which I wonder if is there always emotions involved with divorce. Are people always struggling with a divorce or have you seen ones where they're just like, "Yeah, we're done."
Christi Gray (32:23):
I think there's always emotions, even when people acknowledge like, "We're done. We agree everything. This is going to be easy." There's always emotions involved. I've had clients who have... We call it a grieving process. There's even divorce care in town where they'll talk about the multiple steps of the psychological process of divorce.
Christi Gray (32:41):
But I think most people, even during divorce, emotions come up and doubts and even people who want the divorce will second guess themselves and... It's an emotional chapter, not only a legal chapter in life, it's emotional chapter in life you're shutting the door on.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:00):
Before you were practicing family law, did you see emotions get involved with that kind of law before? Or do you think it's really specific emotions are so heightened when it comes to like family law, specifically?
Christi Gray (33:12):
They're super heightened with family law. Most lawyers will tell you they can't do family law, because of the emotion of all but I did do employment law for 10 years. And that has pretty high emotions too, because when someone gets fired, you're taking away their livelihood. And that's a huge impact on their personal life. There was some emotion in that and then I did insurance defense, and that's not really a big deal. It's like how much money is the insurance companies going to pay for...
Beth Demme (33:38):
Yes, in some insurance defense, it's like a professional liability case. You could see the professional being having emotions around the idea that, "I've been accused of malpractice," or, "This person thinks that I didn't do my best by them." That can be emotional, but not in the same way as family law, especially if you think about the impact on children, I don't think anybody gets married and has children thinking, "Yeah, this is temporary." Everybody goes into it with the idea that this is my future. So then when it doesn't work out, it's like, "Okay, this is the end of the future I had seen for myself." That has to be emotional.
Christi Gray (34:17):
Yeah. But like I said, I do think some people get married knowing it's not going to be forever.
Beth Demme (34:23):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:25):
I'm curious about that. Because Beth and I talked about this and we had different views of that. So do you find that?
Christi Gray (34:31):
I do think there's people there that just... It's either convenient or they just... I do think a lot of people get married not really thinking this is forever and I'm madly in love and who I want to spend the rest of my life with and grow old with. I do think there's a lot of marriages like that.
Christi Gray (34:50):
I don't know if they really intellectually go through that process. But I think and they know that this is not going to be forever.
Beth Demme (34:59):
Then are they getting married for financial gain? What's the reason to get married then?
Christi Gray (35:03):
It could be someone's pregnant. And like, "I got to do the right thing and get married. Let's see if we can make this work." It could be that financial gain definitely is probably another one. Some people just would rather have a companion and be miserable than be alone.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:21):
Wow. So what is your thoughts of that? People getting married and not thinking it's forever, what do you think about that?
Christi Gray (35:29):
I think it's their right. If they want to get married six times, because they feel like each decade is a chapter and they want a different... That's their right to do. I'm not going to judge people why they get married or even get a divorce. If it's religion, it's religion. I'm not a very religious person. So that personally wouldn't be my issue, but if that's someone else's issue, they have that right. I get it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:56):
I've seen a lot of people lately for the 10+ years, a lot of people saying, "I don't want to get married, because when people get married, they don't love each other anymore and da da da... And then they get divorced." And that's people's excuse for not getting married.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:12):
I've seen it a lot. Some YouTubers that I watch, they have this huge YouTube channel together and they are dating, but they're not married. And I look at that, I'm like, "Why is that? Why are they not getting married?" Because if that man decides he's done, he takes the channel, he takes everything and there's no security there.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:31):
If you're saying you love somebody, I don't understand why you can't sign a contract saying you love and are committed to this person, which is what marriage is. It's a contract. It's just a legal contract, saying that you agree that we're going to be together. But for me, I don't think there's harm in getting married and thinking that you're not going to be together forever.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:53):
That's a huge commitment. There's no job I can think of that you sign for life that, "Okay, I'm going to do this for the rest of my life." Obviously, if I get married, that would be my goal is to be married forever, but I also think we've set these unrealistic expectations about marriage that you have to decide at 22, you have to decide that... Beth, she's a different situation. They decided at like 16.
Christi Gray (37:16):
There's a lot of people like Beth. There's a lot of people out there like Beth and it's nice too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:20):
Oh yes. And I think that's great. And that's the goal. But also, I don't think we need to put down people and judge them for just realizing, "Oh, it didn't work out. I'm getting a divorce." There's no harm in it. To me 50%, okay, you at least committed and you tried. I think that's a valiant effort. There's a lot of people that don't do that, that don't even get married and then when they break up, they have no financial connection and one of those parties is probably going to be losing out. So I don't know.
Christi Gray (37:54):
Well, that just depends because if you can live together and own a house together, so it's not like marriage is what made you joint owners of it, if both your names are on, then you're single, you're still joint owners. If you have a business together, well, then you're going to have a business contract and then you'll have it... There'll be a whole other litigation in a different court, not a family court. There's that too. But I've thought about this, divorce and I thought about 100 years ago, one reason there probably wasn't divorced besides probably the stigma was people died in childbirth, in war.
Christi Gray (38:31):
Nobody was married 30 years back then. They were married and so you would see people who have multiple wives or whatever, several people had multiple spouses because someone died. And so then it makes me think, was marriage really meant to be 40 years? Because that didn't really happen.
Beth Demme (38:52):
Coincidentally, today is my proposalversary. So it was 26 years ago today that Stephen asked me to marry him, just FYI.
Christi Gray (39:01):
How are you celebrating?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (39:01):
Talk about divorce!
Beth Demme (39:03):
I guess we'll order pizza. Probably nothing really super exciting. Do you think that people are less likely to get married now that they are coming up with these sort of alternative arrangements?
Christi Gray (39:15):
I do think marriage is going to be less common going forward. There was some study done in Europe that people in the 20s are definitely not getting married. I haven't really read or heard of a study here, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Christi Gray (39:31):
I have a 22-year-old, a 20-year-old, an 18-year-old. I hear them talk and one of my kids is like, "I don't see why I need to get married." And then part of me thinks, "Well, is she doing this because I'm a divorce attorney?" So then I'm always like, "Everybody should try at least once." I don't want her to make that decision on my occupation. If she's making that decision because that's what her generation is doing, that's a whole different story.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (40:00):
Well, it's interesting and you use the word try. Because I think that's going into it like, I think when people look at it like, "Well, this is the rest of my life." How do you wrap your mind around that? "But I'm going to try my hardest. We're going to both be committed to making this work," I think is a better viewpoint than, "This is the rest of my life, done."
Beth Demme (40:23):
Yeah, I will say that we were probably... How long had Stephen and I been married? We had been married maybe six years. We hit a rough patch and kind of came out of that knowing we're going to make the decision every day to choose each other. So not this pressure of however many years we have left on earth, but really every day. Actually, that's kind of what we learned in recovery too. We're just going to do this one day at a time.
Beth Demme (40:51):
And there's a lot of joy in feeling like, "Gosh, every day he's choosing to be married to me." And every day I have the freedom to choose to be married to him. There's just a different kind of way to look at the lifetime thing. As people are getting married less, do you think there'll be more like prenuptial agreements? Like more consideration of what will happen if this ends?
Christi Gray (41:15):
Well, I think at least there's always going to be then paternity litigation. Just because you're not married doesn't mean you're not having kids. You're always going to have... And that is a third of divorce issues are the kids. And so that's always going to be around and then you take off really, the alimony is off the table. And then assets and liabilities are kind of off the table too.
Christi Gray (41:40):
But if you're single, you can still be both beyond the house and stuff. But for prenups I mean, I'm a big fan of them, especially on second marriages or if you have kids from a different relationship. I just did one recently and they're pretty young, but one of them has some family money.
Christi Gray (42:00):
Not only will it make divorce so much easier if it happens but people hate that thought. Like, "Well, I'm getting married to be married forever." But I think the other thing because I've represented the other person on the prenup too, the one that doesn't have a lot of money and like, "I'm going to walk away with this or nothing." I said, "Well, now you know that. So now you know you need to protect yourself or you need to focus on your retirement account too." It makes you more financially aware. And so even if you're on the other end when you're the disadvantaged financially person, I think it helps you to empower yourself to make sure you take care of yourself too, at least financially.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (42:43):
Is there any statistic I'm curious of how many people that get prenups get divorced versus people that I don't even know how you'd have that statistic, but I'm just curious, people seem to like... I feel like there's like a stereotype of, "If you get a prenup, you're going to get divorced because you're getting a prenup."
Christi Gray (43:01):
I don't know of any. Just my experience, I don't think getting a prenup means you're at a higher risk for divorce. I would not necessarily think that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:10):
Do you think you would have a stronger marriage by having a prenup?
Christi Gray (43:13):
It could happen. Because then you've laid all your cards on the deck and you're like, "Okay, this is what we have. And this is what we agree to work on." I guess it's what that Beth does, counseling for people before they get married, it's kind of similar.
Beth Demme (43:30):
Right, right. Yeah, absolutely.
Christi Gray (43:32):
You're communicating about what you expect out of the marriage.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:36):
I'm assuming based on the name prenup but can you do a prenup once you're married?
Christi Gray (43:41):
Yeah, we call this post-nuptials.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:42):
Christi Gray (43:43):
I do those occasionally too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (43:45):
So it's like the same concept, just a different name?
Christi Gray (43:47):
Beth Demme (43:48):
When would that come up?
Christi Gray (43:50):
So sometimes when people are like kind of struggling in the marriage, but they don't want a divorce, but they're also the maybe the big struggles financials, whether someone's a spender and someone's a saver and that's caused a lot of marital conflict, but they still love each other, they have kids and they don't want a divorce but that's just consuming them, then we'd be like listen, "Let's just separate our finances now." However they want to do it. There are post nuptials. Some post nuptials, when we start working through it, they do turn into marital settlement agreement. They're like, "You know what? I actually think I do want a divorce." But they they do happen too where you get a post nuptial because no one wants a divorce but there's financial conflict.
Beth Demme (44:34):
So Steph and I both and I know that you do too, both support the idea of gay marriage. But what about when a gay couple of then gets divorced? It must happen.
Christi Gray (44:45):
Yep, it's the same thing. Same law, same thing. We actually about... When gay marriage became legal, I guess we changed all the statutes instead of saying husband and wife to say spouse and... So we had to go through and change the whole statute so now it doesn't really say husband and wife.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (45:04):
Have you done any gay divorces?
Christi Gray (45:07):
I have. Tallahassee doesn't have it as much as South Florida, but there are a few here. They're the same.
Beth Demme (45:14):
Yeah. So when someone comes in for a consultation with you, how do you prepare them or begin to walk them through this process?
Christi Gray (45:22):
Well, normally, I schedule it for about an hour and a half. I know nothing about them really. My assistant will take notes on if it's a paternity case or a divorce or modification of alimony. I basically just introduce myself and say, "Tell me what's going on." Some people are straight to the point and some people will have to tell me their whole life story, which is fine too. And then I always say, "I am going to ask a lot of questions." Because I give them the heads up, because I do and then once I gather a lot of information, then I walk them through what I call the law.
Christi Gray (45:58):
I explain parenting to them, time sharing, child support, decision-making and then I'll explain what we call equitable distribution, which are the assets and liabilities and how we value them and how we divide them and kind of give them an example. Because by then I've gotten a rough sketch of their financial picture and I'll kind of just do a rough outline like, "Okay, if you get the retirement with 100,000, then she gets the equity and the house of 100,000, that's a wash."
Christi Gray (46:26):
So I kind of give him an example, I guess I'd call it. And then after that, then I go through the alimony if alimony is the issue and kind of explain how that works with needs and ability to pay. And duration, if it's 17 years or more, it's a presumption of permanent alimony. But permanent doesn't mean permanent. I have to explain that too. Then we talk about some miscellaneous stuff, attorney fees. Who's going to pay for all this? And then we go and then my second big thing is procedure, how do you actually get a divorce?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (46:59):
So you don't have to tell us you specifically, but I'm curious if someone is thinking about getting divorced or looking into it, how much should they expect to pay for their legal fees specifically?
Christi Gray (47:12):
It's a huge range. I did a divorce where they had 10 million marital assets and I think I spent a total of $2,000. Because they-
Beth Demme (47:24):
They just didn't argue.
Christi Gray (47:25):
They didn't argue. We got all the documents with all the numbers and we divided in two. When there's $10 million, if someone gets $50,000 more than the other one, they don't really care and they're not going to pay
Christi Gray $50,000 over $50,000. I've divorces where there's hardly any money for... Hundreds of thousands of dollars. Usually those are kids, but... So it just depends. But if I had to guess my average trial, you're talking $20,000 to go to trial.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:05):
Is that per... Because you each would have a lawyer. So it's $40,000 for the couple?
Christi Gray (48:12):
Correct. Correct. Correct. When you're fighting over money, do you want to pay or $40,000 for $40,000? Some people are like, "Hell, yeah. Christi, I'd rather you have the money than her or him."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:29):
I'm going to prove a point here. I'm not giving in. I'm right.
Christi Gray (48:32):
Yeah. And then, and then the reality of it is kids are priceless. People will cash out retirement and make loans to do what they need to do, what they think is right for their kids.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:44):
Yeah. That makes sense.
Beth Demme (48:46):
What's the longest marriage that you've seen?
Christi Gray (48:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (48:51):
Beth Demme (48:51):
Christi Gray (48:52):
There's a lot of what we call gray hair divorces. I've had a lot of divorces in 40 years. I've had a few in the 50, but 40 years, a lot in the 30 years and one of my family law conferences I think they were talking about that's the biggest demographic growing. For me, there's not a... When I notice my personal experiences, there's not a lot of emotion in it.
Christi Gray (49:18):
I think in general, they probably haven't been madly in love for a while, maybe not intimate for a while. But one person normally doesn't want it because they like the security. They don't want to be alone. And together they have a nice nest egg for retirement but when you split that pot, maybe not so nice. And then you have to start worrying about money when you're older and you never thought you were going to have to worry about money because you had a nice nest egg together, but those divorces tend not to be so high emotion.
Beth Demme (49:52):
So if you had to give one piece of advice to a couple that was considering marriage, given your experience with divorce, your professional experience with divorce, what would you say? What's your one piece of advice to them?
Christi Gray (50:05):
This is probably what everyone says, but communication. Have communication before. If you have poor communication before, you're going to have poor communication during a marriage. And then you also need to really look at their mental health. You've got to realize mental health is not probably going to get better during a marriage. If you see things about a person's mental health, you need to probably suspect it might get worse.
Beth Demme (50:30):
Well, with that in mind, do you think you're going to be a good mother-in-law one day?
Christi Gray (50:35):
I hope so. I hope so. I want to be one of those grandmas that will be part of the village and help out. I didn't have family support here on either my ex's or my side really. I would love to give that because I see some of my friends who have that and it just makes your life so much less stressful. And so I hope I'm that type of a mother-in-law that I'm there for support and someone they can rely on because raising kids is hard work.
Beth Demme (51:14):
We have so much fun making this podcast and we've heard from some of you that you're wondering what is the best way to support us. So we've decided to expand the podcast experience using buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and buy us a cup of coffee or for Steph, a cup of tea, or you can actually become a monthly supporter and that will give you access to PDFs of the questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (51:38):
The kinds of things that we would put on social media if we had a social media channel, but we actually don't for the podcast because we decided from the beginning that we didn't want to add to more white noise in your life. So one of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you'll be able to actually get an email when we post new content.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (51:53):
You can go straight there, and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you're looking for without a bunch of distractions. We plan to post probably like once or twice a week. And we're excited to get your feedback as members on our Buy Me a Coffee page which we are lovingly calling our BMAC-
Beth Demme (52:10):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (52:10):
BMAC. So you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more and to sign up. Well, Christi, we want to thank you so much for being here. Like I said, I was very excited to talk about divorce. Again, I don't know why. But this has been great. I got all my questions answered. Is it inappropriate to ask somebody why they've been divorced in general? [crosstalk 00:52:36]
Beth Demme (52:36):
As an etiquette question?
Christi Gray (52:37):
I would say so. Me, not so much yet. Most people, I think... Some people are open book and some people are super private and I just think you need to respect their privacy. But if they kind of open the door and you want to throw yourself through the door, go ahead.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (52:55):
That's a good way of saying it. Yes, you're right. If they're open to talking about it, it probably is a door that... Do you want to go in there?
Christi Gray (53:01):
You might get a little too much information.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (53:03):
Yeah, I never ask people but I'm always so curious when I find out some is divorced.
Beth Demme (53:06):
You're so nosy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (53:07):
Yes, but I don't ask them. I'm just saying like, if you're listening and you've been divorced, I want to know why. If you're willing to share. It's just interesting to me. When we have guests on, we asked them just a quick little fun questions. I'm curious what book, TV show, or podcasts are you excited about right now?
Christi Gray (53:24):
While TV is The Amazing Race because like Beth, I love to travel and I haven't been able to travel.
Beth Demme (53:34):
It's such a bummer.
Christi Gray (53:34):
I guess it's my little outlet of just watching it and I'm competitive. So it's kind of fun to see the competition.
Beth Demme (53:40):
Competitive lawyer, weird.
Christi Gray (53:41):
I know, right? Podcasts. God, this might be embarrassing to say, but it's because my kids, David Dobrik.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (53:49):
Christi Gray (53:51):
He's just so funny and inappropriate.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (53:54):
That shows a lot about you, in not a bad way.
Christi Gray (53:56):
What it just also tells you how old my kids are too. And then probably book-wise. Gosh, Beth and I we've read so many good books.
Beth Demme (54:05):
I just had to pull it up to see what we were reading this month for book club and it's called Before We Were Yours.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (54:10):
Did anyone read it yet?
Beth Demme (54:12):
No. We'll talk about it next month. I can't remember now who it's by. Oh, Lisa Wingate, this one?
Christi Gray (54:19):
Yes. I haven't even started it.
Beth Demme (54:21):
Me neither. And our book club, we "read" because we like to listen to them on Audible.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (54:30):
Is it an excuse to drink wine? Is that what book clubs are for?
Beth Demme (54:33):
Christi Gray (54:34):
Sometimes. But we have some non-drinkers. I think it's just more of a little bit of girl time and support because we don't even really talk about the book that much either.
Beth Demme (54:43):
No. We're pretty good about... Okay, we've got to say like one thing about the book, but then it's surely just catch up time.
Christi Gray (54:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (54:48):
You prove that you listened to it in some capacity-
Beth Demme (54:51):
Did anybody read the book this time? "No." Okay.
Christi Gray (54:54):
Yeah, we do have some of those. I think it's just a little bit of a girl time. For me it's just a set a group of friends like, although now I think about some of you are lawyers, but sometimes it was nice to have non-lawyer friends or friends that aren't connected to my children. Just another group of them. I'm a big girlfriend person.
Beth Demme (55:15):
Yeah, that's awesome.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (55:16):
If somebody is in need of your services, how would they contact you?
Christi Gray (55:23):
Google Christi Gray Law.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (55:24):
Okay. There you go.
Christi Gray (55:25):
Gray Law. I have another attorney who works in my office too, Kiki Dutton. I do what I do, because I love to help people. I went through it, it was a difficult time and I do it because I love to help people.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (55:42):
At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between and you can find a PDF on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (55:51):
Number one, what are your thoughts on marriage and divorce? Number two, do you think a prenuptial agreement is a signal that the people getting married expects their marriage to end? Number three, do you think marriage should be a lifetime commitment? Why? And number four, do you see divorce as failure? Why?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (56:15):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars Podcast. Thank you for joining us.