It’s overwhelming to face a big process that you’ve never faced before. Divorce is no exception. In fact, in most cases, it seems to me like it’s the fear of the unknown – the what COULD happens – that keep most women lying awake at night. In many cases, these fears aren’t real or nameable. They’re just things that we worry over, repeatedly, and that gradually take on a life of their own.
When I first meet a woman, taking down those fears is usually my first step. To be sure, there are things about the divorce process that are uncomfortable or scary. It’s not fun, for example, to be questioned and cross examined in court. That’s worth being nervous about. But, at the same time, it’s something you can prepare for!
I get it, I’m a worrier myself. In fact, I specialize in lying awake at night, worrying about stupid stuff. In fact, just the night before last, I laid in bed for probably a full additional fifteen minutes wondering where I left my sunglasses and if I’d be able to find them quickly before I left the house. After all, driving to the office in the bright sun requires sunglasses. Where did I leave them? Would I feel better if I just got up now and looked for them, and put them in a safe spot by the door so that I’d be sure not to forget them? After all, driving to the office in the bright sun requires sunglasses.
Okay, so that’s not a big deal. But if I can worry like that about sunglasses, let’s just say I can do much worse when the subject really is something of concern. (Spoiler alert: I found my sunglasses, sitting conveniently on the kitchen island, and I did have them for my morning commute.)
A divorce is exponentially huger. I get it. And you probably have a LOT of unanswered questions. Whenever you experience something new, there are a lot of questions. Well, for me, at first, there are NO questions, because I have no idea what to ask. But, as I get more and more informed, I have more and more questions. At first, my questions are more like, “What happens, exactly?”
We represent women only in divorce, and empowerment through education is our biggest, most important goal. To that end, we have four free books and dozens of free reports all available for easy and immediate download. (If you live in our immediate area, too, you can request a hard copy of our books to be sent to you at whatever spouse-safe address you designate.) It’s a great way to get up to date, Virginia specific information from a source you can trust (it doesn’t get much better than directly from the mouths of attorneys licensed to practice in the state where you live – unless those attorneys happen to be dedicated to representing women only and you’re a woman).
Not everyone prefers to read their divorce-related information, though. We all learn differently, and some people learn better in a lecture-type setting. If you’re that girl, never fear. For the past thirty years, we’ve been teaching seminars on what Virginia women need to know about divorce. It’s essentially the same title as the book, but, of course, the information is a little different. We still try to cover the basics – grounds for divorce, how the process works, what it means to be separated, how assets are divided, etc – but it’s a lot more customized in the sense that it’s driven primarily by questions from women like you.
You mean, I can ask my questions at the divorce seminar?
Yes. That’s actually kind of the point. We do ask that you keep your questions general, since it’s not a confidential forum, but, yes, we’ll answer them! You should be careful about revealing too many details about yourself of your personal situation, but we can answer lots of the questions about how this all works and what to expect that you’ll probably have.
What do you mean, it’s not confidential?
Attorney client privilege only applies when you’re one on one with an attorney. Now, I don’t mean one on one with an attorney you cornered at a baby shower or in the corner at a cocktail party. It doesn’t have to be in that attorney’s office or anything, but it has to be in a situation where you and the attorney are having a real, specific discussion about your case. Usually, that’s as part of an initial consultation, or during the course of an attorney’s representation of you. Cornering an attorney and dumping out all of the details of your situation doesn’t create privilege. If you did, chances are good the attorney would keep it confidential (unless, of course, someone happened to overhear), but in a non-official capacity, discussions just aren’t confidential.
It’s the same way at the divorce seminars. Though WE wouldn’t spread your personal details, whenever there’s a third party there to overhear, the conversation is not confidential or privileged. We’ve never had a problem with anything that happened at Second Saturday, but, still – better safe than sorry! So, though we want to help, it’s best to keep real personal details to yourself.
Will the attorney at the seminar represent me?
Maybe! If you like the attorney you meet at the seminar, you can call our office and schedule a consultation with her. At the consultation, the attorney will talk to you about your case in detail (including all those confidential details), and discuss strategy and options for moving your case forward. She’ll also give you a retainer agreement, if appropriate, that discusses what working with us at the firm would be like, including how much it would cost.
Once you attend the seminar once, you can attend again for free – any time, without registering again. If you want to meet our other attorneys, you can attend different Second Saturday seminars, or come to one of our Girl’s Night Out events. (LINK) It’s difficult to pick an attorney just based on their bio; I get it! So if you want to meet us beforehand to get an idea what we might be like, come on and meet us. You can call the office to find out which attorney will be presenting at each Second Saturday seminar, and usually most attorneys attend each of our Girl’s Night out events (though sometimes, of course, scheduling conflicts, illnesses, travel, and even case-related work can interfere). So, there are plenty of ways to meet us, if that’s what you need before you make any decisions about your case and how/whether to move forward!
How much does the seminar cost?
The cost to attend is $40 if you pre-register and $50 at the door. We also offer fee waivers, if your therapist, victim advocate, or other mental health professional reaches out to us and indicates that there is a need.
Our attorneys volunteer their time at the seminar, and the fees we generate help cover the cost of room rental and printing materials.
In short, it’s definitely worth attending! If you’re just starting down the path towards divorce, you’ll need all the help you can get. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or for help registering for our upcoming seminars, give our office a call at 757-425-5200.