They may not seem like die-hard romantics but divorce lawyers are surprisingly well-suited to the job of writing wedding vows. After all, they've seen firsthand the types of problems that can chip away at otherwise happy relationships -- and know what it takes to stay out of their offices.
With that in mind, we asked divorce attorneys around the country to share the wedding vows they'd write for engaged couples. See what they had to say below.
"We're bound to have disagreements from time to time -- but I vow to fight fair. Starting a fight at 2 a.m. when we are both exhausted is not fighting fair. Name calling, eye-rolling, and belittling each other in front of friends and family (or the future children!) is not fair. Physical violence of any sort is never fair (or acceptable.) If we have to fight, let's at least fight civilly." -- Karen A. Covy, a Chicago, Illinois-based divorce attorney
"Yes, we may have laughed about our different ideas on raising kids when we were dating, but when our children are born, I promise to work hard with you to develop a unified front on how we parent. Of course there will be some give and take in the process, but I promise to devote time to making sure we are consistent in discipline, diet and school with our kids. This way, I'll never need to chastise you for your parenting style because there will only be one parenting style: Ours." -- Christian Denmon, a Florida-based divorce attorney
"I promise to ride it out with you if life gets dull or boring and not automatically assume there's something wrong with our marriage. Life is full of dull moments but it's also full of a lot of fun moments. We'll experience a little of each and learn to enjoy and embrace it all." -- Caroline Y. Choi, a San Diego, California-based divorce attorney
"It may seem difficult at times but let's respect each other's families, including our parents. As imposing, opinionated or needy as some of our family members may be, they helped make us who we are -- and showing respect will become even more important if we have kids." -- Randall M. Kessler
"Communication is the oxygen of marriage. If something is bothering you, I want you to be able to talk to me about it. (If we're so afraid of causing a fight and we don't address our problems as they crop up, our marriage will eventually explode like Mount Vesuvius.) Let's agree that it's best for both of us to deal with issues as they arise. I promise to listen to your problems, even if they don’t seem like such a big deal to me." -- Karen A. Covy
"Over time, we may have different responsibilities with money in our marriage. Regardless of how we define our roles, I promise to make sure we're transparent with our finances. I'll make sure that we both can see income, expenses, assets and debts at any given time. And if the financial numbers tell us a story we don't like, we'll do the hard work of working out a financial plan that we both can agree on. I will not allow us to put our heads in the sand until it's too late." -- Christian Denmon
"I know it seems counter-intuitive but if we both focus on meeting each other’s needs, we'll each be happier and that will keep our marriage strong. If we put our future children's needs first, our own needs will have to be put on backburner and our marriage will weaken. And just to be realistic, if we do end up divorcing, let's then vow to put our kids' needs front and center. Doing what is truly best for them and making their needs our top priority will help minimize the trauma of our split." -- Karen A. Covy
"Let's agree to this: Threatening divorce to 'scare' each other into doing what we want is not the proper way to converse with each other. If we use the word divorce, it should only be after all other efforts to resolve our differences have been exhausted. Even then, it should be discussed in a polite, non-confrontational and cooperative way. We each deserve that much." -- Randall M. Kessler
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