What Happened When I Called The Divorce Lawyer
Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships
Kimberly Graham was really happy to talk with me. In addition to being a collaborative divorce lawyer, she is a certified family law mediator who promotes mediation, cooperation, and keeping families in communication. She also does pre-divorce consulting with anyone, anywhere in the world via phone or Skype. Her law firm is Graham Law Collaborative.
Kimberly can help anyone understand the options for the divorce process. The right choice of attorney or mediator and the right process can save people thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in their divorce. Part of her service, for instance, is being on speaker phone as you interview divorce attorneys. She asks questions you don’t even know you should ask.
Kimberly is like the friend you take with you to the doctor, to ask questions and take notes. Because you’re all bleary-eyed about your own health, it’s wise to have someone there with you who is not personally involved and who is (understandably) thinking way straighter than you are. This friend is someone who is present, awake and aware to help keep you on track and get the help you need.
That’s what Kimberly does for people who need help getting divorced.
We opened our conversation by exploring ideas, and wondering aloud about working in tandem in some creative, helpful and satisfying way.
I wondered about being of assistance to divorced people by helping them be successful in future relationships and helping them find love again. I told her briefly of how I had done that for myself.
So the questions on the discussion table were:
“How could a Divorce Lawyer and a Relationship Mentor help recently divorced people start over and be more successful in love the next time around?”
And: “How could we help divorce be a better experience — less stressful, and more loving?”
And: “How could divorce be avoided altogether?” Maybe some folks who start the divorce process don’t really need to call it quits. Maybe we could help them recover the relationship and grow in love.
Yep, big questions…
We talked, learned about each other, and brainstormed.
We mentioned the issue of how we might help someone, even if they didn’t realize they might need assistance after the divorce.
There is so much we don’t know when we’ve just cut ties with another in an attempt to start out fresh. The mentality after divorce is often, “This is great. I just got rid of my problem. Now I can go on with my life. Everything will work out now, because my problem is gone.”
But it’s often untrue.
I know for sure that we can “take our problems with us from one relationship to the next.”
(Sigh… yes, I have experience with this!)
A light bulb went on in both of us. She paused. I paused. The collective, collaborative wheels were turning.
Then she said, “Do you know the divorce stats for 2nd and 3rd marriages are higher than first marriages?” She hadn’t looked up the numbers in a while, but she knew that 2nd and 3rd divorce rates were actually significantly higher, not just a point or two higher.
So I went a-googling and found that 1st marriages have the divorce rate that everybody’s aware of — about 50%.
But second marriages have a whopping 67% divorce rate, and third marriages are even less successful — 3rd marriages have a 73% divorce rate.
But you know what? I shouldn’t be surprised.
I’ve been divorced three times and for a while, I became the poster child for things not working out well the 2nd or 3rd time around.
Kimberly has been divorced twice. She’s now in an 8 year relationship, and things are going well.
I never realized until my conversation with Kimberly, that failed 2nd and 3rd marriage stats were higher than first divorces. Maybe members of that “failed 2nd or 3rd divorce” category just try not to think about it. We plow blindly into the next relationship (with leftover emotions or extra determination) or give up altogether.
But as you may know, things changed for me. I turned my next partnership around at the five year mark after it began to fall apart just like all the others. I learned. I grew. I changed. I did things differently and it worked beautifully. It wasn’t difficult, but it did require an entirely different focus, orientation and thought process, which I found to be a great relief. It was easier, more joyful, and made me happier. Much happier! Which is what I wanted in the first place! Perhaps Kimberly and I can encourage others with a similar relationship track record do the same thing.
Are you part of this 2nd or 3rd marriage statistic or do you know anyone who is? I’d love to speak with you or someone you know to gather more information. Yes, we are in the research phase! And we would love to assist people contemplating divorce or separation for the first time, too.
Thank you for forwarding this article to anyone in this situation who might be interested in speaking with us. Kimberly and I both appreciate it! And so will our future clients.
For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.
About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 15 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant. I love really good food, good friends, good relationships!
2nd and 3rd marriages, collaboration, divorce, divorce rate, divorce statistics, Graham Law Collaborative, In Care of Relationships, Kimberly Graham, lawyer, mediation, relationship, relationships, second and third marriages, successful relationships, Terri Crosby
What a brilliant combo, the 2 of you in tandem!
Thank you, Shiner!!! I think we’d be outstanding as a relationship team!
When my husband and I divorced, we had a “divorcing ceremony.” Obviously, we were not combatants, just unable to continue the way we had been. In the ceremony, as we affirmed that we were divorcing each other (I mean, we made a vow! We have to undo it!), we both simultaneously felt a huge rush of incoming vital energy. It seemed to us that the energy we had invested in the social institution of marriage was returning to us. What a relief!!! I now love my former husband as much as ever, but in a new way. I don’t want to put my energy into that institution again, and don’t think that’s necessary for true marriage. Just what true marriage is has been an ongoing question since then. No definitive answers yet!
Btw, in some African cultures, it’s my understanding that they do a cutting type of ceremony when one partner dies before the other. Otherwise, the one living is still trying to draw energy from their partner who has crossed over. And since there is no energy forthcoming, they tend to follow their partner in death very quickly afterwards.
Devaya I appreciate you sharing about your divorce, thank you. I can appreciate the idea of “taking your energy back” during your divorce ceremony. I see that slightly differently, in that I believe I can’t really invest myself in anything outside me, but that I can invest in ways of thinking about something outside me. But the effect/result is the same — when I stop thinking a certain way that is not helping me, I do indeed feel a rush of joy or authenticity, as I am coming back on center with myself and who I really am. More of my natural energy is available to me, and that feels great.
Abraham-Hicks teachings joke a little about restrictive marriage vows, and if there was a vow (but certainly not required) it could say something like, “I like you pretty good, let’s see how this goes.” And no matter where you stand about the significance or importance of marriage vows, the vow they suggest would certainly give both people more room to move!
There are so many post-divorce questions/options, and this is where people get confused:
Now that I have my authenticity back, or my energy back, or my natural joy, what do I choose to do with that? Do I protect it like mad, hold my cards close to my chest at all times? Should I be careful when I meet someone? Is it good to be on the lookout for red flags? Or should I forget it? Maybe it’s better to keep to myself. I will spend more time alone. I’ll pursue my interests. Or maybe I’ll watch TV, feel lonely, eat ice cream or drink wine. On the other hand, maybe I’ll get out there and share myself fully again, knowing that I can always make adjustments, learn as I go, and take the reflective feedback that is always available to me. Maybe I’ll venture out to find a new relationship, knowing that even a challenging relationship can help me find more of who I am.
Lois Lytingale Henrickson
Our marriage vows were “as long as our love shall live” instead of “till death do us part.” (Perhaps that’s part of the reason we lasted until death did part us.) Marriage should not be “disposable”… but sometimes it has served the purpose and it’s time to move on, carrying as little baggage as you can manage and ready to look at your own piece of the action. No matter where I go, there I am with all my “stuff.” Trading partners doesn’t automatically make you a better dancer (but it might help your bruised toes recover).