“Wow! This is the comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about surviving a divorce with your sanity in check and your checkbook intact.”
— Lois P. Frankel, PhD, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
"Ann Grant encourages divorcing women to ‘be better, not bitter.’ With her compassionate and levelheaded advice, she shows you how to reclaim your power, cultivate your well-being, and forge a path to a better life.”
— Christine Hassler, author of Expectation Hangover
"In the wake of the #metoo movement, women are realizing that claiming their power is easier than they once believed. Kudos to New World Library for being at the forefront of getting practical information into the female hands that need it. Ann Grant writes with a clear, strong voice, making it clear that women must claim their rights for themselves if they want to receive a fair shake from the legal system. From making sure that they are money wise before they find themselves alone in the world, to recognizing when the marriage is over, to finding a good lawyer if they need one, to telling the children, to handling narcissists and bullies, to moving through the grieving process, to effective co-parenting, Grant has put it all into very well organized terms, with Insider tip and sidebars. She wants to make sure that your customers know what to expect if it comes to divorce and what resources they will need to get themselves through it. This is a book that every woman needs to read BEFORE she falls in love."
- Anna Jedrziewski, editor of Retailing Insight Magazine
Not long ago, I was in your shoes. I experienced the demise of my marriage and it felt as though my life was over. Everything that I had dreamt of came to an abrupt end and on the worst days, I literally didn’t know how I was going to make it through. I was sick, scared, and constantly felt under attack from my soon-to-be ex-husband as our marriage was unraveling. I didn’t know where to turn.
In time, I learned that life could be better—much, much better. By combining my practical skills as a lawyer and an empowering healing practice, I found a way out of the chaos to take back my power and create a new and better life. In this book, I share what I learned with you, so that you too can create the life of your dreams. Divorce does not have to be the end of your life and it does not have to be an endless, complicated undertaking. It is an opportunity for a new and better life, and I am here to show you how to make that a reality.
The First Essential Truth
Let’s start first with an essential truth: You cannot depend on your husband any more to look out for your best interests. It is astounding how many women walk through the doors of my legal practice believing that, even as they are going through divorce, their husband can be trusted to “do the right thing” for them. These women assume that because they are trying to “do the right thing,” that their husband will as well. Every woman I have represented has experienced that “aha” moment of awareness—that he’s no longer looking out for you. This isn’t just “man-bashing.” There are plenty of good and honest fellows out there. But it is a fact that when your marriage is falling apart, the man you thought you could trust to put you first can no longer be trusted to do that. The sooner you accept this inconvenient truth, the sooner you will be on your way to regaining your power and a better life.
Like so many women, I gave up a lot of power to my husband during our marriage. I let him handle the finances and trusted him to look out for the best interest of me and our three children. In my twenties and thirties, I worked as a litigator at a big corporate law firm, but gave up my career in order to raise my three children. My husband – also a lawyer – did very well, and we had a good life. We lived in a beautiful beachside town, belonged to a private country club, and took vacations to Hawaii and ski trips with our friends. Life was really good. After 18 years of marriage, however, things began to change – and I chose to ignore the signs, because I wanted everything to continue just as it was. So I did what most women do: took my husband to a marriage counselor, hoped for the best, and let him continue to handle our finances the way he always had.
I want you to know that there has literally never been a woman who walked into my office who doesn’t have some version of this same story: we just didn’t want to see the truth about what was happening, and then one day it was too late. In the legal world it is called “willful blindness.” Virtually every woman who walks through the doors of my office has experienced this to some degree.
In my case, my willful blindness ended late one Tuesday night in April, a few weeks after our son’s baseball team, coached by my husband, won the Little League championship and we hosted a wonderful party for all the kids and team parents. Late that Tuesday night, I learned the hard truth that my marriage was broken beyond repair. My husband had betrayed me – all while attending marriage counseling and telling me that he would “do the right thing” for our family.
I tell this story now to let you know that if you are there – going to weekly meetings with a therapist, holding on to the hope of your marriage, carrying on life as usual – but knowing in your heart that he is not fully committed – you are putting yourself and your family at risk. It’s time to pull off the Bandaid, face the truth, and take proactive steps to protect yourself and move forward. There is a way out, and I will show you how in the pages of this book.
The Second Essential Truth
The second essential truth is that you cannot blindly depend on the divorce “professionals” to look out for your best interest. Many lawyers, accountants and even some therapists make the divorce process a lot more complicated and drawn out than it needs to be. This is no accident, because they get paid by the hour. These people have zero incentive for you to quickly wrap things up and move on with your life, because the longer you are tied up with your divorce and the more you fight, the longer and more you will be paying them. Divorces drag on for years and cost thousands of dollars more than they should while the “professionals” line their pockets with your misery.
Of course there are divorce professionals with high standards and integrity, and I will show you how to find them. Armed with the knowledge of how the system really works, you will be positioned to know who has your best interests in mind and who doesn't. The fact is that most divorces are not that complex. If you can make a human in nine months, you can untie the knot in less time, and I will show you how to do that.
The Third Essential Truth
The third essential truth is that you cannot rely on your aunt Martha from Chicago who got divorced back in ‘83, or on your friend from college whose husband is a patent attorney. These well-intentioned friends and family members can steer you in the wrong direction and the unintended consequences can be emotionally and financially devastating.
Who can you trust? Where can you turn? Divorce Hacker. In these pages, I show you how to take action so that you can create a new and better life with your sanity intact and your money in the bank. I’ve created a program that works. I offer up the same insider information I deliver to my clients every day: Truthful advice about legal, financial, custody, real estate, and career issues, plus compassionate guidance about how to heal emotional wounds and regain your power.
Wellness is an essential part of my program for getting through your divorce with your sanity intact, and absolutely indispensable to creating a new and better future for you. My divorce was nastier and messier than Kramer v. Kramer. In spite of that, I learned how to access the power within in order to move forward. If I could do it, I assure you that you can too. In this book, as we walk through each step in the legal process, we also walk through some simple yet powerful strategies for healing from your emotional wounds, so that when the divorce decree is entered, you are ready to start your new life from a place of strength and self-worth.
Start by downloading the DivorceHacker app. It guides you through the same steps as the book and makes sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Using a checklist approach to simplify what you need to do and when to do it, DivorceHacker outlines each step in the legal process and coordinates all the other things you must consider in six key areas:
Select the icons that apply to your situation and over the course of the next eight months, the DivorceHacker app will show you where you are on track and where you need to focus more time and energy so that nothing is overlooked. You can create the life you choose if you implement this program and follow these steps.