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Divorce Week
I Want a Divorce. Now What?

Surprisingly, women initiate almost 70% of divorces, so you’re not alone in thinking of making the first move. Read along with our series this week as we feature Attorney Lisa J. Gill, a family law attorney of Thomas & Gill in Germantown, as she shares her story of divorce as she was completing her law degree.

Here is her story:

I actually filed for divorce once and didn’t go through with it. I got scared and backed out. It took me a long time to actually file.

My husband and I had opened a restaurant, and I was working as a paralegal during the day. The attorney I’d been working for saw potential in my work and encouraged me to further my legal career by becoming an attorney and joining his firm. At this time, my son was starting kindergarten, and we were going through a tax audit. Any one of these things would have been stressful on its own.

There wasn’t one particular thing that was the last straw. I realized that I married someone that wasn’t supportive of my goals in life. I would work and go to school during the day, cook and clean and help with my son’s school work, and study for law school when my son went to bed. I’d do my law school work from 8:30 or 9pm to 2am, catch a few hours of sleep, and then start all over again.

My family was coming over to help us with our audit, help with our son, and my husband at the time felt that it was too hard for him if I went to law school. Are. You. Kidding. Me? He wasn’t willing to push through the few years it would take for me to complete law school?

I don’t remember what made me want to call, but I called my dad to speak with my stepmom. She wasn’t home, and my dad could hear that I was upset because my voice quivering.  He asked if I was ok. I wasn’t at all. He said he was coming to get me.

woman calling her dad because she wants a divorce

No matter how old you are, it’s such a relief to know you have that type of support. Not everyone has that. This particular day actually drastically changed my relationship with my father. He came over and we talked as I told him about filing for divorce a while back. We talked about how I felt then and that now I felt I was really ready, but I was so nervous. He told me he’d move me to his house that day if that’s really what I wanted.

Telling someone you want a divorce is a strong first step, taking it from a maybe to a decision. You may have googled apartments and wondered what it would be like, but something changes when you’re actually ready.

That’s why I wanted to bring Second Saturday™ to Memphis and make sure it was available to women. I, along with Dollie Halford, Cindy MacAulay, and Jessica Shea host this monthly workshop for women to give them access to a panel of professionals who can help get a lot of the initial questions answered and out of the way. All of these women have their own personal experience with divorce, and they bring that point of view to the workshop.

My colleagues and I host this workshop on the second Saturday of each month via Zoom from 9am to noon. The workshop being hosted via zoom has been a silver lining to COVID-19. “It’s added an extra layer of convenience and anonymity that our participants appreciate. We’re covering some heavy topics, so being able to participate from a private space, in a comfortable space where you can cry or take notes while no one is watching or distracted is actually better than in person.”

This Wednesday, March 24, we’ll continue Lisa’s story as she recalls her worries and fears about being a single mom and a student while working and how she provided for herself and her son during her divorce.

Sign up for Second Saturday™ here. The next workshop will be held Saturday, April 10th.

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