My most recent guest, Lisa Thomson kept a journal through her arduous divorce journey and then used that to write her book, The Great Escape: A Girl’s Guide to Leaving A Marriage. She told me she was motivated to write it because at the time she was going through her divorce she couldn’t find supportive resources. Thanks to the blogging world and self-publishing, there are more resources now and the challenge is finding the resource that fits your situation. Lisa’s book will appeal to women, specifically stay-at-home moms who are considering initiating divorce.
Throughout The Great Escape, Lisa honestly and frankly shares her experiences and makes recommendations for how you can avoid her painful and costly mistakes. I think that the chapters on working with an attorney and money management will be particularly helpful.
Lisa’s situation is what I would classify as complex because of their family business and the income level. Many divorces are not this complex: many couples don’t have the assets to argue over, they don’t have the finances for extended legal battles or the legal battles are not cost-effective. In Colorado, for example, I’ve heard statistics that some 60-70 percent of divorce parties represent themselves. So don’t be discouraged by Lisa’s experience but do get legal advice and familiarize yourself with the laws that will apply in your location. Lisa offers an excellent approach for interviewing attorneys and what to consider before retaining one and I think these would apply wherever you are.
While the other chapters of the book are organized chronologically from considering divorce to taking action, dealing with reactions and then parenting after divorce, don’t wait until you’re at a specific stage before reading the chapter. Read all the chapters while you’re making your decision and before you’ve said anything to your spouse. I say this for a couple of reasons.
First, while the legal divorce process does follow this neat linear process, the emotional and logistical processes don’t. Emotions don’t track like that because … they are emotions. Logistics don’t follow a standard pattern because every divorce has its nuances and they make each divorce different. And the timing of when issues arise differ. Reading all the way through the book will give you a better idea of your likely specific challenges and what you could do to head those off in the beginning. It means you’ll be better prepared and hopefully have more realistic expectations. More importantly, you’ll learn from Lisa’s story and hopefully that will mean a much smoother divorce process for you.