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Life's journey isn't always a smooth ride. At times, we find ourselves at a crossroads we never anticipated, and one of the toughest crossroads to navigate is divorce. If you're currently facing this challenging phase, know that you're not alone. Coping with divorce can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but there are strategies that can help you find your way through the storm and emerge stronger on the other side. Let's explore some effective coping strategies together.

1. Allow Yourself to Grieve:

Divorce marks the end of a significant chapter in your life, and it's okay to mourn the loss. Give yourself permission to grieve the life you once had, the dreams you shared, and the future you envisioned. Emotions like sadness, anger, and confusion are all a natural part of the process. Don't rush this phase; instead, acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to heal at your own pace.

2. Seek Professional Support:

Just as you'd see a doctor for a physical ailment, seeking emotional support is crucial during a divorce. Therapists, counsellors, or support groups can provide a safe space for you to share your thoughts and emotions. Talking to a professional can help you gain perspective, learn coping strategies, and develop a healthier mindset to face the challenges ahead.

3. Prioritize Self-Care:

Divorce can leave you feeling emotionally drained, so it's essential to take care of yourself. Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Whether it's reading a book, practicing yoga, going for a walk in nature, or treating yourself to a spa day, self-care can help alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being.

4. Establish a Routine:

During times of upheaval, a routine can provide a sense of stability and normalcy. Structure your days with a balanced mix of work, leisure, exercise, and relaxation. A routine can give you a sense of purpose, helping you move forward and stay focused on your goals.

5. Focus on Your Children (If Applicable):

If you have children, their well-being is undoubtedly a top priority. Maintain open communication with them, reassure them of your love, and encourage them to express their feelings. Co-parenting, if possible, in a healthy and respectful manner can provide a stable environment for your children during this transition.

6. Embrace Change:

Divorce brings change, and although change can be scary, it can also be an opportunity for growth. Embrace the chance to rediscover yourself, pursue new hobbies, and set new goals. Focus on personal development and the things that bring you happiness and fulfillment.

7. Stay Positive and Grateful:

Amidst the challenges, try to find moments of positivity and gratitude. Count your blessings, even if they seem small. Practicing gratitude can shift your perspective and help you maintain a more optimistic outlook on life.

8. Give Yourself Time:

Healing from divorce is not a linear process; it takes time. Be patient with yourself and understand that healing doesn't happen overnight. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and acknowledge the strength it takes to keep moving forward.

Coping with divorce is undeniably one of life's most difficult journeys. Yet, remember that you have the strength within you to overcome this challenge and emerge as a more resilient, empowered individual. By allowing yourself to grieve, seeking professional support, prioritizing self-care, establishing a routine, focusing on your children (if applicable), embracing change, staying positive, and giving yourself the time you need, you can navigate through this storm and find a new sense of purpose and happiness. You are not defined by your circumstances; you are defined by your strength and ability to rise above them.

  • Writer's pictureMelanie J Bowbell

Choosing the right divorce lawyer is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the outcome of your divorce proceedings. Here are some steps to help you select a divorce lawyer who is the right fit for your needs:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Understand your specific situation. Is your divorce amicable or contentious? Do you have complex financial assets or child custody issues? Knowing your needs will help you identify the type of lawyer who can handle your case effectively.

  2. Research and Gather Recommendations: Start by asking friends, family, or acquaintances for recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals can provide valuable insights into the quality and experience of a lawyer. Additionally, research online for local divorce lawyers and read reviews or testimonials.

  3. Check Qualifications and Experience: Look for lawyers who specialize in family law and have substantial experience in handling divorce cases. Check their educational background, years of practice, and any additional certifications or memberships in relevant professional organizations.

  4. Schedule Consultations: Many lawyers offer initial consultations. Use this opportunity to meet potential lawyers and discuss your case. Pay attention to their communication style, their understanding of your situation, and the advice they offer.

  5. Ask Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask during the consultation. Inquire about their experience with cases similar to yours, their approach to handling negotiations or court proceedings, their communication style, and the potential timeline for your case.

  6. Assess Compatibility: It's essential to work with a lawyer you feel comfortable communicating with and who understands your concerns. Assess their responsiveness, their ability to explain legal concepts in plain language, and their willingness to listen to your preferences.

  7. Discuss Fees and Billing: Understand the lawyer's fee structure upfront. Some lawyers charge an hourly rate, while others may offer a fixed fee for specific services. Make sure you're comfortable with their billing structure and inquire about any potential additional costs.

  8. Check References: Ask the lawyer for references from past clients. Speaking with former clients can give you insights into their experiences and the lawyer's ability to handle cases effectively.

  9. Consider Compatibility with Your Approach: Determine whether the lawyer's approach aligns with your goals and preferences. If you prefer mediation or collaborative divorce, look for a lawyer who has experience in those methods. If your case is likely to be contentious, find a lawyer with a proven track record in litigation.

  10. Trust Your Instincts: Your gut feeling matters. If you feel uncomfortable or skeptical about a lawyer, it's okay to keep looking. Your lawyer should be someone you trust and can rely on during a challenging time.

  11. Review the Contract: Before signing an agreement, carefully review the terms of representation, including fees, scope of services, and any other relevant terms. If there are any unclear points, ask for clarification before proceeding.

Remember, your divorce lawyer will play a significant role in guiding you through a difficult process, so take your time to make the right choice. Don't hesitate to consult with multiple lawyers before making a decision. It's crucial to have confidence in your lawyer's abilities and feel comfortable sharing personal and sensitive information with them.

melanie bowbell
melanie bowbell divorce lawyer

Getting divorced when you cannot locate your spouse can be a challenging situation, but it's not impossible. In Alberta, Canada, the legal process for this scenario is known as a "Divorce by Special Dispensation."

Here's a step-by-step explanation of how to proceed:

  1. Consult with a Family Lawyer: Begin by consulting with a family lawyer who specializes in divorce cases. They can guide you through the legal requirements, paperwork, and steps necessary for obtaining a divorce when your spouse cannot be located.

  2. Attempt to Locate Your Spouse: Before proceeding with the special dispensation process, you should make reasonable efforts to locate your spouse. This can include reaching out to mutual acquaintances, checking last-known addresses, using social media, and exploring other resources to try to find them.

  3. File an Affidavit of Attempted Service: If your efforts to locate your spouse are unsuccessful, your lawyer will help you prepare an Affidavit of Attempted Service. This document outlines your efforts to find your spouse, detailing the methods you've used and the results of your searches.

  4. Application for Special Dispensation: With the Affidavit of Attempted Service prepared, you can then file an Application for Special Dispensation with the court. This application outlines the reasons why you are unable to locate your spouse and requests permission to proceed with the divorce without their direct involvement.

  5. Court Review: The court will review your application and consider your circumstances. If they find that you have made reasonable attempts to locate your spouse and there is a legitimate reason for proceeding with the divorce, they may grant the special dispensation.

  6. Public Notice: In some cases, the court may require you to publish a notice in a local newspaper or other appropriate publication, notifying your spouse of the divorce proceedings. This is a way to ensure that your spouse has an opportunity to respond even if they cannot be located directly.

  7. Court Decision: After reviewing your application and any additional information, the court will make a decision regarding your request for a divorce by special dispensation. If approved, the court will issue a divorce judgment.

  8. Divorce Judgment: Once the divorce judgment is issued, you are legally divorced. You will receive a copy of the divorce certificate, which you can use to update your legal status.

Keep in mind that divorce laws and procedures can vary, and the information provided here is a general guideline. It's important to consult with a qualified family lawyer in Alberta to navigate this process effectively and ensure that you meet all the legal requirements.

Divorcing when you cannot locate your spouse can be complex, but with the right legal guidance, you can navigate the process and move forward with your life.

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