Marriage Story recently made a splash on Netflix, where viewers raved about its relatable characters and life lessons. This memorable film diverges significantly from typical marriage and divorce-focused movies in ways that are definitely worth exploring for real-world couples in the midst of change. Key takeaways include:

The Reasons Behind Divorce Are Complicated

Movies tend to simplify divorce, often focusing exclusively on the role of infidelity. This portrayal does a huge disservice to an extremely complicated process that may begin years or even decades before spouses choose to part ways. Marriage Story explores these complications in-depth. Yes, cheating plays a role, but it’s almost an afterthought as compared to the clear incompatibility of Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver’s characters Nicole and Charlie.

Amicable Divorce Is Difficult — But Possible

Nicole and Charlie initiate their divorce with every intention to cooperate, but the very differences that made them ill-suited for marriage lead to significant conflict in their divorce. Add meddling family members, and overly aggressive lawyers, and you have a recipe for disaster. But while the potential for divorce drama always exists, it’s also possible for couples to carve out a more peaceful path, even outside of mediation.

Ultimately, Nicole and Charlie manage to work through their differences and keep the big picture — the health and wellbeing of their son — at the forefront. They may never return to square one, but they remain a family. They are more than capable of carving out a new normal that works for them and their child.

Watching Marriage Story may give you a better idea of which attributes make for an ideal family lawyer — and which are worth avoiding. At the Brown Law Offices, we strive for resolutions that benefit not only you, but your entire family. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to family law.

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Photo of Cynthia J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998. After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.