Sally was married for more than 25 years when she got divorced. Initially she tried mediation, but she felt that the way her ex-husband was suggesting splitting up their finances was unfair. Sally needed a solicitor to take the worry of legal issues off her shoulders.

“I felt as though he had more knowledge of the law and power than me. I needed to get someone on my side that could level the playing field.”

Someone suggested that Sally contact Michael Lowry from Stephens Scown. “Immediately I felt at ease with him. He is so calm and measured and I knew he would represent me well.”

“My divorce had some fairly complex financial aspects to it, so I needed to find someone with a wealth of experience and professionalism that I could work collaboratively with and who would fight for a fair outcome for me.”

Sally’s divorce went to court, which was something she had dreaded. “I had been really daunted about the thought of going to court, but in the end it was a lot less scary than I had feared. I didn’t have to speak myself. It was all facilitated for me and through the expert representation of Michael addressing all the salient points.”

“I felt a fair objective resolution was reached by the Judge and the whole process actually helped in drawing a line under things for me. I think if I had tried to negotiate with my ex-husband myself I would always have been left with a question mark over the outcome and how fair it was.”

“You don’t want to get into a situation years later when you look back and regret not having the best advice and instruction at that time. Raw emotions will heal but when the legalities are completed, the financial impact of poor decisions could last a lifetime!  I felt with Michael acting on my behalf I had made the right choice.”

During the process Sally made an effort to look after herself. “I had faith in Michael. I knew he had all of the legal issues under control. This allowed me to continue working in my full-time job which I find rewarding and served as a good distraction for me.  It’s important that as well as taking care of family and routine daily activities, that you relax a little and take time to look after yourself. For me that meant exercising regularly, engaging in pleasurable activities, eating well and trying to get a good night’s sleep.”

“I knew some days would be better than others, so for the bad days when I found myself on my own I would try to do something nice for myself. Just something simple like reading a good book, or catching up on a TV programme I really enjoy.”

So how does Sally feel now that the divorce is behind her? “It was a tough period of my life, but I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I realised that I was grieving – the sense of loss was that great. However, having got through it all I feel more empowered and stronger now than I ever did before.”

Sally’s advice

– Don’t be hard on yourself. You are not a failure. Some relationships just run their course.

– You need to grieve.  Divorce is a loss and everyone grieves in their own way. Tell yourself you’re going to be okay.

– Take one day at a time.

– Take time to work out what your future expenses will be. Making a mistake on this could be something you regret for years after the raw emotions of divorce have healed over.

– You might lose some friends, but you will recognize the genuine ones who really care and are there for you.  Reach out to them!

– Choose a lawyer you get on well with. Let them take the worry of the legal issues off your shoulders.

– Make sure you look after yourself.  Do things to make you feel good about yourself. Try to exercise, engage in pleasurable activities, eat well and get some sleep.

– Have some treats stocked up for bad days – for me it was a good book or some of my favourite TV programmes.

– Get organised, make notes and summarise things.

– You’re stronger than you think.

– It’s not the end of the world.  You will get through this.

No matter what your circumstances are, if you find yourself starting 2018 with a divorce, please have faith that things will get better. You are not alone and there is help and support available for you. Sometimes the hardest parts of your life are also the start of a new beginning.

Our team of expert lawyers have many years of experience in handling divorce cases sensitively and professionally.  Visit our family law pages for more information, give us a call on 0345 450 5558.