It might sound like a cliche. But when I got married it was for life. I didn’t go into it halfheartedly, I was free of doubt, and ready to start the next chapter with the man I loved. But it wasn’t to be.
A few years into our marriage, with two small children in tow, my life imploded. A number of very difficult challenges and hurdles came our way, causing a storm that no matter how hard I tried, we simply couldn’t weather. And try I truly did. So much so that when I found myself sleepwalking into the offices of Harrogate Family Law, I was exhausted, lost and utterly broken.
My experience of working with Harrogate Family Law has been first class. So I asked the team if I could write a guest blog about it. After making sure I was fine, and emotionally up to the task, they said yes.
So here I am. No fluff, no jargon, no law really. Just a very honest and real account from me to anyone who might be going through the same thing, and wondering what the benefits of having a solicitor in their corner might be.
Settling my fear
Sounds dramatic? You better believe it. Whilst it’s not that way for everyone, divorce for me was crippling. It left me in fear for my physical health, my sanity, my family life and my financial future. In my defence, there were a number of issues to be addressed, including a narcissistic soon to be ex-spouse who made even the smallest of things difficult from the get-go.
Laura was so unapologetically calm and composed from start to finish that I couldn’t not trust her. Even just hearing her voice or walking into her office made me feel calmer and less fearful.
In tough times, particularly when your children are involved, fear can rule the day. And when that happens, ill informed decisions are made. You panic for fear of being shouted at, called stupid, or threatened. You just don’t want to make life harder, meaning the temptation to give in is overwhelming. Having someone else do the talking took pretty much all of that away for me. And that felt really good. After a while, I started to sleep again, and that felt amazing.
The ultimate confidence boost
As fear eases, confidence rises. If you’re right at the start of your journey, you probably won’t believe me. But hold the faith because it’s true.
Quite frankly, as I come out of the other side of this process I feel like a warrior. The feeling of strength I now have within myself isn’t just an emotional and mental feeling anymore, it’s physical. I just feel stronger. So much of that is down to the team at Harrogate Family Law. It wasn’t just second to none legal advice, it was care and empathy, it was saying nice things, and helping me to always look to the future.
Legal knowledge and intuition
One thing I’ve found I have in common with other people in this situation, is that trust is often in very short supply. I struggled to trust anyone after what I’d been through, even the professionals. However, Laura’s intuition when it came to my divorce was, at times, spooky.
This man I’d been married to for all of these years, had children with, been at my best and worst with – I thought I knew him better than anyone else. As it turns out, my instincts around how he’d react and behave during this process were less than reliable. He became the only person in the world of whom I expected nothing, but who still managed to disappoint me time and time again.
There were many times when my initial decisions were based on fear and gut reaction. When suggestions that were minor for him but life-changing for me were dismissed out of hand by him, leaving me ready to back down.
But that’s not really an option when you work with Harrogate Family Law. Laura is the perfect example of gentle assertiveness. She would always make me see when something wasn’t justified or fair, but was never afraid to give me a reality check when needed. And here’s the thing; she was always right. She was like a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge when it came to family law, and she coupled that with a fierce legal intuition that was just brilliant to experience.
Make no mistake, the decisions made were my decisions. But they were informed, and guided by Laura’s knowledge, skill and expertise. Safe to say, I trust her completely. And whilst holding my nerve throughout this whole process is one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do, it’s also been one of the most liberating.
I’ve learned quite a few things during my divorce. Fear doesn’t rule, confidence is critical, and a focus other than the here and now is important when making the right decisions for the future.
But most importantly, I’ve learned that good things can come from divorce. Freedom, happiness and strength – these are just a few of the blessings that I count for myself every day since that snowy day in January when I realised I deserved better for myself.
For all of the above, and much much more, I will remain eternally grateful to Harrogate Family Law, and Laura in particular. And I’d like to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
If you’d like to learn more about working with Harrogate Family Law, and how they can help you during your separation and divorce, all you need to do is get in touch.