I am an odd Divorce Attorney for many reasons. One I want to share with you today is this: I believe in marriage. I have been married for 29 years. Now, I could have been divorced. I have grown into a completely different person than I was 29 years ago. My husband was ok with my growth, it probably was painful; And he had to make the choice to grow too. I am unsure how everything would have shook-out if one or neither of us grew.
Because I believe in marriage I really dig deep with clients during the initial consultation. I want to make sure they have searched every avenue and that they are very aware Divorce is not easy. So even though I believe in marriage, I would not be doing what I do if I did not believe in this process. I want to help people through their difficult divorce journey.
I honestly do not know how I got here and why I have such a heart for it. As a child I was always trying to please everyone and keep peace; doing my due diligence to make everyone happy. This is not a healthy way to live but I am not going to lie it really gave me the tools to help people come to agreements. What a gift!
It was always important to me to read everyone and figure out what they needed. This is paramount in mediation. Thankfully, I now know I am not here to make everyone happy, but I can use the gift to help people see the other persons point of view.
I also have the burning desire to make people’s lives better by: Helping them create better future relationships and nurturing their communication skills. My number one point when we begin a mediation is you are doing this together; that means it is not all about you.
A second reason I love doing mediations is because everyone told me I couldn’t. In law school I was drawn to the process. The law professors said it was a nice thing to add to your practice. They advised using it more as a side gig. (I am not sure this is true any longer). I also asked other attorneys if they thought I could run a solely mediation practice. Overwhelmingly they stated it is more of a side hustle not full time. (Just so you know this is all I do!). This is no side hustle to me!
I had a huge awakening while I homeschooled my youngest daughter for one semester. In her words, “No child should have to go through having my mom homeschool them.” I mean, honestly, I was a mess. Really pushy no fun!
The homeschool journey began when I took my daughter to back to school night at her little catholic school. I was on the fence about sending her there. Then the priest came, and he was saying hi to all the children by name, he came to Sophia and starred at her. He did not know her name. We dropped off her supplies and left. I knew I could not send her there the next day. I had no plan. I did have a good friend that homeschooled. I thought maybe this was a sign. It was not.
I applaud homeschooling…however when I am not doing what fits, my mind and body (ultimately God) don’t allow me to. I was in a bit of a life crisis. What am I doing with my life? I diligently read a great book by John Maxwell and while I discovered my purpose. It only took 50 years. The rest is history and I keep looking forward. How can I serve my clients better?
Because I have not personally been through a divorce, I rely on others experiences, their feelings and what helped them. I have found that it relates to many experiences I have had in my own life.
As odd as this sounds my relationship with horses relates. I had a pure white majestic show horse named Charlie. He was a really big deal in the show horse world. Before we owned him, he was a National and Canadian Champion. My daughter showed him and then we retired him to our home. He could not help but be fancy. He looked like a beautiful my pretty pony prancing around our field. This was a completely different life for Charlie. He did not even know how to walk in a barn stall by himself. He became the best friend I have ever had. He loved his retirement, the barn kitties, the chickens and me. He would do anything for me. I could just jump on his back in the field and he would take me for a little ride.
Now this is really cool because I do not have a lot of courage around horses. I grew up with one that tried to get me off her back often. Charlie and I trusted each other. And then he got sick. I spent a lot of time, energy and money trying to heal him. He died in my arms. Now I know this is not as traumatic as divorce but it did break me. It has been several years and I am still trying to find a horse I can ride and trust. As I write I am outside our horse barn, heading in to ride my daughters show horse. I have not built up the trust yet. I am working on my courage as I am sure many who have been through divorce need the courage to build new relationships and a new life that is different than before.
A great book that helps me help my clients is Light on the Otherside of Divorce by Dr. Elizabeth Cohen. I would recommend if you are just beginning the divorce process; or have already gone through it. She has so much great information on dealing with the divorce trauma.
In another blog I will share her insight on dealing with your anger.