Get Moving: Your Next Steps

What you need to do now is get moving towards a life that you want to be proud of. Getting results requires taking action.

Yes, knowledge is power. It is important to educate yourself on strategies to deal with your husband and what will happen during the divorce. But you have to be careful. Don’t perpetually delay your need to make your life better out of perceived need to learn more or gather more information.

The mind is a powerful thing and odds are, deep down, you’re afraid of moving forward. Be cognizant of the fact that sometimes you may find yourself trying to learn more, gather more, do more before you take action.  Remember that getting results requires taking action.

Next Steps:

So a couple of next action steps, as least as recommended by a divorce lawyer… Before you do anything else, if you haven’t yet, you need to go see a therapist who really knows what they’re doing. I’ve got plenty of great ones listed at www.StayMarriedFlorida.com.   These are amazing therapists, most of which I’ve seen care a lot about my clients, that I trust completely. They’re on my website, there’s a lot of other great ones. If you haven’t seen a therapist yet, you need to. This is not necessarily for marriage counseling. It’s for helping you evaluate your situation, the relationship with your husband, and things that you can do to try to make it better if you have not.

If you’ve made the decision or are thinking of making the decision to move on from your husband, these therapists are critical.  Therapists are basically a partner or coach in you transitioning to the life that you really want.  It’s a very hard thing to do without professional help; these people make a living out of helping you get from where you are now to a happier life and help you be as comfortable and confident in yourself during the process, as possible. They can also give you strategies for dealing with a difficult spouse and day to day life and during a period of transition and conflict, like divorce can sometimes can be.

In case you are wondering, I am not by my nature a “huggy-feel good, California leftist, had my own therapist since birth” type of person.  I’m a weekend redneck.  I put on my suit when I meet with you or go to court but that’s about it.  I refuse to do the lawyer thing and drive one of those fast little foreign cars because I drive a pickup truck that can run them all over- and the only thing that could change is that I’ll buy a bigger truck. Heck, early in my practice I thought therapy was just a bunch of “kumbaya” nonsense.  But, with all this said, when I devoted myself to mastering my area of the law, I learned, time and time again, how important it is for people in crisis or people who are going through a period of life transition such as a divorce from a difficult person, to work with a therapist.  If you are averse to therapy, think of the therapist as a consult or a coach, because consulting or coaching on a very narrow set of issues is really what the therapist is doing for you.

So, before you do anything, go see a really good therapist. Otherwise, it’s going to be impossible for you, more likely than not, to get the results you need in the divorce with a lawyer, even if you have the best lawyer in the world. If your head’s not on straight for this, if you’re not prepared, if you don’t have the right mindset, the divorce is going to be very, very, very difficult, just like your husband.

Otherwise, as far as follow up items, I’ve got five of them for you.

Follow Up Step #1: Define Your Ideal Life & Develop Your Divorce Strategy

The first thing you need to do is start to envision and define your own life and develop a strategy for your divorce. We’re just talking big picture to start. I’ve got a whole book on the best ways, strategically, to approach divorce with things to be aware of, how your lawyer should be litigating the case, what to do before you even make mention of divorce or even go see a lawyer or even gather your first documents. There’s a lot of stuff that you should be thinking about to really do this in the correct way possible.

The book on this for you to read is Control Your Difficult Divorce, and you can download a free copy at  www.ControlYourDifficultDivorce.com. It’s a free download and after you sign up for the download you’ll get an email giving you the ability to request a copy of the book by mail too.   The book covers both how to develop the right mindset for divorce, and then how to develop and implement a legal strategy designed to control a difficult person (like your husband) to get a fair result as soon as possible.

Step #2: Learn the Basics of the Law

Another thing that’s important to do that has not been discussed at all really in this book is to learn the basics of the laws that will apply in your divorce, and understand what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen in your divorce.

And guess what; we’ve got a book on that too, and also a video.  You can request your book at www.FloridaDivorceLawGuide.com and you can watch a one-hour overview video on the website at http://brucepa.com/videos/florida-divorce-law-guide/. Read the books and watch the videos. In an hour an a half you’ll learn what you need to learn.  Just understand the basics now; a lawyer will fill you in on the rest.

Step #3: Get Organized

Next you need to start getting organized, gathering your financial information and figuring out what you want in your divorce, to the extent you can figure it out. Go check out my book for women, A Women’s Guide to Getting Organized for Divorce. It really tells you everything you need to know. It’s a quick, easy read. www.GetOrganizedForDivorce.com.  Do not skip this step; getting organized for divorce is one of the most important steps you’re going to take.

Step #4: Start Meeting LawyersAfter you are organized, start interviewing divorce lawyers, even if you are not yet ready to start the divorce.   Get to the point where you have picked a lawyer to work with when and if the timing is right for you to pursue divorce.

Oftentimes these meetings with attorneys can be very, very helpful because they’re going to dispel a lot of the common myths about divorce with your situation. They’re probably going to help put you at ease with a lot of your worries and until you go and hear the answers from somebody who does this stuff for a living every day and is good at it, there’s going to be a lot of worries. Oftentimes worry is caused by the unknown. Once you have a better idea of what’s going to happen in your divorce and the best way to approach it, you’re going to feel much more comfortable and at ease.

Many of my clients will have initially have a meeting with me.  I call the meetings a consultation and strategy session.  Usually, the meeting is about one and a half, two hours.  My team and I take the time before the meeting to gather background information from you, so that I can understand your situation and your most pressing questions before we meet.  Then, during the meeting, I address all of your concerns, how the law applies to your situation, and leave you with a plan of action to follow when and if you are ready to move forward. We’ll offer to record the conversation upon request, so that you can have to reference back to later.  What I do in these initial meetings costs “a couple of bucks” but –in my completely biased opinion– it’s worth it to have more certainty in what will likely happen and what needs to happen if you pursue divorce, and in many cases the people who know what they’re doing in my field often do not give “free consultations” because if they did they’d spend all day giving them.

People who meet with me may not hire me for another year, or ever, but it allows them a better idea of what might happen in a  divorce, which is important so when their husband is threatening them about “what happens if they leave”, they know what is and isn’t true.

Step #5: Move Forward

Step five is to file for divorce with your lawyer. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll start to feel better and the sooner this will be done. For many of you, the hardest part about the entire divorce process is going to be actually starting it. After that, the theory is that you hire the right people and they deal with everything while you keep moving on towards the life you want to be living for yourself.  It may not be the case that your divorce, from a legal perspective, is extremely complicated. It’s just that you’re divorcing a difficult person. And the sooner you start that, the sooner you get it done.

I will say this: you cannot get divorced until you’re ready. Only you know when it’s right for you. Don’t take any of this book as me encouraging you to go file for divorce. There are enough divorces going on to keep my firm and all the others in the business.

Just recognize that the sooner you start, the sooner it’s over. It may not be a simple process or quick, but the sooner the divorce is behind you, the quicker you’re going to be living the life you that you deserve. Quite frankly, to be living a life that you can be proud of.