Well, it’s officially the new year. With all those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and eat healthy and be happy come some others. In fact, though it may not seem like it at first, they’re really along the same lines anyway. Separation and divorce are often part of a New Year’s resolution, too.
I’ve seen it before. A woman comes into me, complaining of various ailments (anxiety, depression, stomach complaints, whatever), only to find that, after she separates from her husband, most of these completely disappear. I’ve seen others who come in and tell me that, after many, many years of putting everyone else’s needs first, that it’s time for them to make their own happiness a priority. Maybe they want to escape from drug and alcohol abuse, or maybe they’re dealing with infidelity or abandonment or some other issues. Maybe their husband has been manipulative and controlling (maybe he’s a sociopath or a narcissist or something else), and it’s just time – it has been time, in fact, but now it’s time to really act.
New Year’s inspires us to make all sorts of changes for our betterment, for our increased happiness, and for our general improved well being. Even though divorce may seem unorthodox, it really isn’t. If you’re thinking along those lines, too, you’re not alone, and I’m here to help provide you the helping hand you need to get started.
Most of the time, in the beginning, I find that people have a couple general questions. They’re in the process of feeling everything out, of getting their feet established back under them, and figuring out what their first steps should be. They want to know their rights under Virginia law, and whether what their husband has told them is true. (Spoiler alert: It’s probably not!) My experience is that these first questions are often very similar, even though the cases and the women involved can be very different. Getting those first questions answered is really important, because it helps a woman plan her first steps in a way that will allow her to make the best decisions possible (all while keeping her ultimate bottom line in mind).
What’s the bottom line? Well, chances are, yours is probably much the same as pretty much every woman I’ve ever met with: getting the best possible divorce for the least possible cost. Right? Keep in mind, of course, I’m not always talking about financial cost—though that is certainly part of the equation. The costs include the stress to you and your children as well. There are always a number of considerations to weigh on either side, and there’s no right or wrong answer. From these beginning stages, divorces take all sorts of different paths to their ultimate ends. For some, the answer is a separation agreement, for others, we have to file for divorce and seek recourse in the courts. It really all depends on a lot of factors – what you have, what you want, the reasonableness of your husband, and even the attorney he hires.
You’re not without power, though, even though you might not feel that you have a whole lot right this second. As a married person, you’ve contributed to the marriage, whether or not you worked and actually contributed monetarily. You have a right to things that were earned, purchased, or acquired during the marriage, including but not limited to real estate, retirement accounts, bank accounts and more.
The first thing to do, though, is to start gathering information. That’s where I come in.
1. Request a copy of our free divorce book.
We have two divorce books: one for military spouses (active duty and retired), and one for everyone else. If you get the military one, you don’t need the regular one, and vice versa – just in case you were wondering!
It’s free, and it covers a lot of the questions we commonly get at the beginning of the process. It’s full of tons of awesome information, and we definitely recommend that you read it with a highlighter in hand so that you can mark it up with your notes! Even write your questions in the margins, if you like!
There’s lots of great information, and our book is a great place to start.
2. Check out some of our divorce related free reports.
But wait! There’s more! (Haha – just kidding, this isn’t an infomercial.) We’ve written a couple extra free reports, above and beyond the information we’ve included in the books. If you’re wondering about the documents you should be familiar with to prepare for divorce or the biggest mistakes people make in divorce, visit our page, look at our free reports, and request the ones that apply to you.
They’re free, and no obligation. But there’s tons of awesome information, and on very specific, targeted points, so you can find one that speaks to you and your unique situation. No two divorces are exactly the same anyway, so it’s nice to request information that speaks to you and your situation. There’s custody information, too, if you have minor children, so there’s also that.
3. Attend our monthly divorce seminar.
Next you might find that you want to ask your divorce related questions directly to a licensed divorce and custody attorney. After you’ve read the book, requested some free reports, and started to do your planning, the next logical step is to talk to someone.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready for a consultation, though. Consultations cost money, and, anyway, you may not be at the stage yet where you’re ready to think about hiring an attorney. That doesn’t mean, though, that you don’t need more information. That you don’t have certain, specific questions keeping you lying awake at night. You probably do! And, sometimes, there’s no other way to get that information than by talking directly to an attorney. No obligation, no risk.
4. Meet one of our attorneys for a consultation.
Next up? Well, there’s really nothing else but to go ahead and have a consultation. An opportunity to talk one on one with a licensed, experienced attorney dedicated to representing women only in divorce and custody cases can help give you the information you need to make the best decisions possible in your case over the coming days, weeks, and months. An attorney can help you come up with a custom tailored plan of action designed to address your needs, and move your case forward – or not, if you’re not ready yet!
After all, it’s not like Pandora’s Box. It’s not like you ask a question and you’re suddenly a train on a track you just can’t stop. You’re just getting information. It doesn’t mean you have to separate, or get a divorce – though you can, if you want to. Plenty of people go on to reconcile and recover their marriages after attending a seminar, requesting a book, or even coming in for a consultation.
If you’re not ready for a divorce, we’ll never push you in that direction. We just want to make sure you have the facts so that, whatever decisions you make, they are informed, calculated decisions. Your happiness and well being, and that of your children, is our first priority. At New Year’s and at every other time of the year, we represent women only in divorce and custody – it’s what we do, and you’re in the right place.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, give our office a call at 757-425-5200.