Santa Please Bring Me! 12 Things That Should be on Every Divorcing Woman's (or Man's) Christmas Wish List

Now that you have wrapped all the Christmas gifts, it is time to put your list together for Santa. If you are going through a divorce in Cook County or Illinois, here is my wish list for you!  I have already been blessed with most of these.

Merry Christmas!  If you have a friend who is going through or thinking about getting a divorce, be a good friend and share this blog with them!  Thank you!

Here is my 2012 Wish List:

1. A compassionate and fair-minded judge

If you can't settle and control your destiny, this is the next best thing.

2. An ethical lawyer who is smart, appropriately aggressive and competent

Unfortunately there are some lawyers in town who will recommend a strategy that they know will not work, but create more fee for themselves.  For a list of some good lawyers see this and this.

3. An effective mediator or collaborative lawyer

If settlement is an option, then explore these professionals to help get you there.  One of my favorite mediators is the former Domestic Relations Court judge, Karen Shields at JAMS.  Unfortunately for me, "settlement" is not a word in my X's vocabulary.  But there is hope for you.  You believe in Santa Claus, don't you?

4. A good therapist

Avoid using your lawyer as a therapist.  Complain about your STBX and his narcissistic behavior to your therapist.  Neither you nor your therapist can change his behavior, but at least a therapist will be less expensive and can help you feel better in the long run.

5. Supportive family and friends

Need I say more?

6. A copy of Judge Michele Lowrence's book, Good Karma Divorce 

Practical, sensible advice, if only your STBX would take it.  The author is a current Cook County Domestic Relations Division judge.

7. A savvy financial expert

Whether it's a financial planner, coach or advisor, this person can help you understand what your living expenses had been during the marriage and plan a budge for post-divorce life.  This will help you negotiate a fair settlement.

8. Good bath salts or bubble bath to soak away the stress.

One of my favorites is Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath.

9. A plan for your life beyond divorce

What are your goals for the next chapter of your life?  Do you need to get a job?  Or move somewhere else?  I decided that I would use my legal background to do tax returns.  I even got my "Enrolled Agent" certificate and found satisfaction in going in a new direction in life.

10. Knowledge from organizations like The Lilac Tree [in Evanston] or the The PA Awareness USA organization, led by Jill Egizii:  www.paawarenessusa.org.  Both organizations provide support and great information.

11. Time to exercise

Go for a long walk, take a yoga or Pilates class.  Exercise is another way to relieve the stress of divorce litigation.  Make the time to do this a couple of times a week.

12. Emergency funds to tide you over until the divorce is finished

Remember that the goal of most nasty divorces [also referred to as "high conflict divorce" ] is to financially stress and break you so that you will settle for less than you are entitled to under the law. Having the emergency fund keeps you from having to make a bad deal.

 

In 2013, in addition to divorce-related news and opinion blogs posts, I plan to write 13 posts with 13 items on each one.  From 13 Best Divorce Lawyers to 13 Best Divorce Books, I will cover a number of useful topics for women going through a divorce in Cook County.

My favorite blog post this year was Should Holly Divorce David?  If she decides "yes" she will need this list too.

 

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