The Next Chapter

Divorce Resources for Women

Jim

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Okay, so my story, by Jim Shaw. I was born in Mebane, North Carolina, so I’m just a local product born and reared here, and love it here. Went to school in Chapel Hill, studied business. Somewhere along the line, I developed a love of photography, so that was my career immediately after college. But then after a while, I said, “Well, you know, I should use my business degree,” so I wound out working for a bank as an internal auditor. Had a great 21-year career there and rose to ranks of executive leadership. But my passion for photography still burned and I had kept a low level of photography going all that time.

So after about 21 years, well, a friend of mine was retiring and giving up his studio. The numbers just worked, and it seemed to be a good time for me to jump ship before the next big merger came along and be in control of my own destiny. So I went off and was a studio photographer for about 12 years and that was a great season, really wonderful. But then because of economic collapse, and digital coming along and taking away a lot of my customers etc., it was time to close it down. The season had ended. So went back into the audit field, so now I’m back in, it’s actually IT audit, information technology audit. I like learning. I’m a learning junky.

So I met my wife one evening. It was the concluding evening of something called The Landmark Forum and we just happened to both be at the same place at the same time. She, I found out, was into the same thing, learning about life and what it is to be a human being. From there, we kept bumping into each other and eventually we decided to go out on a date. So our first foray was just to meet for coffee and just to chat, and kind of decide if we liked each other, if we wanted to pursue it. That coffee chat wound out to be about two and a half hours, so it was successful.

Then we were so busy in our personal and professional lives. She was finishing up grad school. The only time we could get together to have our first date was 7:00 on a Saturday morning to go birdwatching and it was magical. Well, we dated for three years then and finally we both decided that we were ready to do something more than just date. So we got married and we were married for 18 years. Had some great times, great experiences, great adventures, wonderful trips. We shared a lot in common. We just had a wonderful life and we grew in our careers. We experienced the other side of life too. She lost her father, I lost some relatives, stuff happens. We’ve all got our story.

When I was asked to leave the house, I had the dream, the thought, the desire that it would just be temporary, and we’d work things out and we’d reconcile. It obviously didn’t happen. But after about three weeks, then I got a letter from her lawyer, so she had started the action. So then I was in the need of my own council because I knew now this was serious, she had taken it to the next level. She’d gone into the judicial system. I’m smart enough to know that one needs representation, wanting to make sure that if we’re going to go down this road, that we did it the right way, and that I came out as whole as I could be and protected as much as I could.

There was just something about Rosen and I’m not exactly sure what it was, whether it was the language on their website or their straightforward attitude. True, they are a flat-fee provider, I guess. That gave me some comfort, so I chose. I went to see them and I liked what I saw. They seemed willing to help me, and non-judgmental, so off we went. The flat-fee model that they use is a positive one because then you’re not worried. I was never worried during the process about making a phone call or sending an email, that, “Oh, gosh, how much is that going to cost me?” That I was free to call, to talk, to text, whatever. The bottom line is, kind of like buying a car, to have that price, that fee fixed gave me a lot of peace of mind upfront, I felt a good connection right from the start. They listened well, answered all my questions. They took care of me, I guess.

They presented me with a book that Mr. Rosen wrote that was basically a how-to, how to divorce, and my only regret is that I didn’t have that book earlier. Because after, I had already left the house and whatnot, and then reading the book, I went like, “Oh, there’s like a thousand things in here that I should’ve done to better prepare for this transition.” They seemed to believe in educating their clients, hence, the book that talks a lot about it. But then in the consultations, in the meetings, I think they’re very good about saying, “Well, you might want to ask about this, you might want to ask about that. Here’s how the law is going to respond. Here’s how judges are going to respond. Here’s what your rights are. Here’s what you can expect. Here’s what may be unreasonable.”

If I was going to tell somebody that was going through it, I guess I’d say a lot of things. First off, I don’t wish it on anybody. It’s not a pleasant process. I know Rosen wouldn’t want me to say this but I would tell them to do as much work as they could to avoid the divorce. Not Rosen, if they’re going to do it, I recommend Rosen. But if they can avoid it for their own sake, for the sake of children, whatever, don’t. Whatever you got going, resolve it. When you get into a negotiation, there’s this story that you have to have a winner and a loser, and I really didn’t see it that way. I saw that we could both win. Maybe, we didn’t win as much as we’d want to win by, but we both won, I think, at the end of the day. When it came to the final settlement, the final negotiation, I was not vindictive and I didn’t want everything. But at the same time, I didn’t want to give up everything.

Well, I’m doing this video because I know there are guys out there like me that are suffering. I felt like I wanted to get a message across that number one, the suffering can be temporary, you can get through it. Number two, if you want somebody to walk with you through this journey, the Rosen Law Firm is very good. I’ve had a very good experience with them and I wanted to share that. They’re not paying me. I’m not a getting reduction of my fee. I’m not getting a book or a bottle of wine, or help with my next traffic citation. It’s just totally voluntary that I wanted to come forth. I felt like I was well-served and I just want to let other people know that.

If there’s guys out there that have been through, whether it’s a year of marriage, or 10 years, or 50 and they find themselves in this place, they’re going to need some help. They’re going to need somebody to be with them that knows the law, that knows their rights, someone that can champion for them, someone that can work on their side. My experience with Rosen was excellent and I think that they’re the ones to go to.

 

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