There’s a reason why I have this dedicated section and it’s pretty self-explanatory. I want an area dedicated to authentic, un-filtered topics. Life experiences, relationships, family, controversial topics and all from my point of view.
I have lived a life, a life that I love! But a life that’s been filled with huge ups and downs. In love, relationships, careers, family, you can bet your bottom dollar that I have hit the high notes and also hit the low notes, the very low notes.
So with my voice I want to share some of my experiences with you so that if in fact you ever find yourself on a similar journey you will know you’re not alone and perhaps even find solace in the fact that whatever you’re going through you can bet your bottom dollar that someone out there has been through a very similar experience themselves. I want this to be a platform where we can band together with love and support for each other and opinions are very welcome, judgements are not.
My first topic could be a little controversial but it comes from the heart and a whole lot of personal experience. Today I’m talking divorce lawyers.
Over three years ago, in February 2016 my husband and I made the heart-wrenching decision to end our nearly 10 year-long marriage. Three kids, a dog and years and years of planning and memories, we just couldn’t do it anymore. For now, that’s all the details I can bring myself to talk about but what I do want to touch on is the process afterwards.
When it comes to separations there is no hard and fast rule, no one size fits all. There’s a way we should behave and also definitely a way we should not. Without judging reasons or excuses for behaviours in other poeoples relationships (I can only speak from my own), I will stand absolutely firm in my belief that no matter what the circumstance you need to find a way to be amicable FOR THE KIDS. If there are no kids, then tread your own path. I can only speak from experience.
It can be very difficult to take out any resentment, swallow your pride and behave amicably, but if both parents have the opportunity to show up in their children’s lives then finding a way to show a united front is the best way to move forward. With studies showing that kids who grow up in a home full of conflict are more susceptible to mental health and relationship issues then no matter what your situation it’s important to be accountable for your actions and think hard about what message you are sending the kids. Human beings, especially children are hard-wired for love and belonging and this starts in the family dynamic whether together or not.
I want to talk now about the next step, the importance of engaging a Family Lawyer. Why? Because we didn’t and three years later we are still legally Mr & Mrs Embley with no financial settlement to date. Not ideal at all.
When you amicably separate there’s something about engaging a lawyer which translates to ‘let’s go to war’. All the movies you’ve seen and the nasty breakups your friends have talked about don’t really paint the greatest of pictures when it comes to an easy transition into legal separation. My personal thoughts at the time were ‘we’re reasonable people, we are amicable, why would we want to rock the boat with lawyers?’.
The other common thought was that if somehow we were to engage with the greedy, expensive family lawyer type that we would be paying huge fees and be advised to ‘take the lot’ which would immediately put a rift in the amicable relationship. It was because of these misconceptions that we both made the decision to do it all ourselves.
But was that the best move? Well nearly three and half years later, probably not.
We have filled out and lodged our court documents more than three times. I swear we got the funniest looks from people when we were sitting together at the courts to lodge our orders together. We have gone back and forth on what was required, filled out a tonne of paperwork over and over again. We’ve submitted orders multiple times to the best of our ability but as we aren’t aware of the legal terms or appendixes to reference our efforts continued to get knocked back. It would be an understatement to say that we were extremely frustrated. Making all this effort to stay amicable whilst going round and round in circles was ironically, taking a toll on our relationship.
After the last defeat, I’d had enough. I remembered a conversation with a friend about a really lovely family lawyer and made an appointment.
The way I can describe the first meeting with Catherine at Leach Legal is simple, utter relief. She read over what we had done, she understood how important it was for us to remain cordial, she gave me a fee and payment option and we went from there. To my amazement, I felt so comfortable. She immediately picked up on the errors on our last lodgement attempt and simply committed to redoing them and submitting them for us, making sure whatever is submitted would be thorough, correct and okayed by the courts. I felt calm, comfortable and in safe hands which to be honest, was the opposite of how I thought I would feel if we were to engage a lawyer for our separation.
We are still on the journey so I will update you in posts to come but for now, what I wanted to say is that I honestly feel we should have gone down this path sooner. We knew what we were entitled to and we knew what we wanted; we just had the wrong idea on how we would get there.
When it comes to a legal separation, the fact of the matter is:
- Most people are unfamiliar with monetary law
- It’s a very emotional time for both parties
- There is a tonne of paperwork to be completed and followed through with
- Things can be missed that neither of you thought of
A great family lawyer can assist you to settle reasonably and agreeably which not only saves you time and money but keeps it out of the courts which can be a massive emotional AND expensive roller coaster. If I knew then what I know now, this would have all been dealt with a long time ago. That being said, I’m still grateful for my path as my learning can hopefully help others in similar circumstances.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? I would love to hear from you.
If you’re in need of a family lawyer or just want to speak to someone I can highly recommend Catherine Leach, the managing director Leach Legal. Her team is compassionate, respectful and trustworthy, three of the most important characteristics you need at a very emotional and traumatic time.
Until the next time!