Larry Sarezky is a family law attorney, mediator, writer and award-winning filmmaker. He is a past Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Family Law Section and a contributor to The Huffington Post among many other on-line and print publications.
Larry has practiced family law for over 3 decades. In recent years he has focused on improving the divorce experience for spouses and their children. His Telly Award winning short film Talk to Strangers and companion parents’ guide are being used by divorce professionals across the country and abroad as a powerful tool to protect children from unnecessary child-related litigation.
Larry’s new book, Divorce, Simply Stated, is a unique blend of information, comfort and empowerment for divorcing spouses. It is a 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards winner and an amazon #1 best-seller that provides the divorce essentials plus rarely discussed strategies and tips for achieving your divorce goals.
Please tell us about your professional background as it relates to divorce.
I've been practicing matrimonial law for over 30 years. Initially, my practice was a traditional, court-based one. But that gradually changed until eventually I dedicated it exclusively to divorce mediation… which I feel is a much better and efficient way to resolve family disputes. When I became Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association's Family Law Section in 2002, I believe I was the first Chair to have made that transition.
I was able to combine my experience as a lawyer and my experience with independent filmmaking in making "Talk to Strangers, which is intended – and actually has - dissuaded parents from unnecessarily subjecting their kids to child custody and access battles. "Talk to Strangers" in turn provided me the opportunity to meet and address judges, lawyers, mediators, therapists, and divorcing spouses across the country. And that helped me learn about divorce customs across the country, which was a big help in writing "Divorce, Simply Stated."
I’m happy to say that both projects have won national acclaim and awards "Divorce, Simply Stated" recently won a National Indie Excellence Award and “Talk to Strangers” is a Telly award winner.
How has your experience as a lawyer shaped your perspective on divorce?
I'd say two things have impacted me most. First as time went on, I became increasingly dismayed by so many folks paying too high a price—both financially and emotionally—in their divorces, and achieving too little. That's the main reason I transitioned from slugging it out in court to mediating divorces. And it's also why I decided to write "Divorce, Simply Stated." Neither of those moves, by the way, were brilliant ones financially. But they, along with Talk to Strangers" allowed me to stay in the divorce field in a way that felt comfortable to me.
My other major take-away from my experiences was how custody battles and other child-related litigation risk emotional harm to children. That conviction, which I shared with my predecessor as CBA Family Law Section Chair, a lawyer named Deb Grover, led to "Talk to Strangers." During the writing and pre-production stages, I was the only one involved who had any film experience, so it meant taking a hiatus from my law practice to get all that organized. And THAT was DEFINITELY not a smart financial move. [Laughter.]
Published: July 3, 2017.
Nonfiction » Law » Family law
From “the kind of divorce lawyer anyone would want: funny, kind, laser-focused, nonjudgmental, and extremely informative” (Foreword Clarion Reviews), the NIEA award-winning DIVORCE, SIMPLY STATED is “the best book of its kind!” - American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers past pres. Arthur Balbirer. Divorce essentials plus invaluable strategies from a veteran divorce lawyer.