New Life

Four Steps to Navigating Divorce

Kathleen Stillman, Guest Author

Kathleen Stillman, Guest Author


Divorce is overwhelming. But you can get through it. And you can get through it more easily if you follow these four simple yet essential steps:

Step 1: Breathe.

Stop and take a deep breath. You are going to be okay. Going through a divorce can be daunting, as family and friends appear from every direction (can you say “out of the woodwork”?) with words of (often conflicting) advice and, of course, their own horror stories. Regardless of whether or not you want the divorce, it can be overwhelming to face the dual prospects of your relationship ending—and the unknown challenges of starting anew. In Arizona, divorces can take between eight months and a year, so you need to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint. Again: Breathe.

Step 2: Seek legal advice.

After taking that deep breath, the next most important step in navigating divorce is to seek specialized legal advice about your particular situation. One of the biggest fears of divorce is simply the fear of the unknown: “What happens next?” Good news: You don’t have to carry the weight of stress and uncertainty alone. Find an attorney you feel comfortable with—someone who will tell you what you need to hear relevant to you and your family. Knowing your best/worst-case scenario early on allows you to create a plan to develop your best case—and navigate toward resolution.

Step 3: Assemble your team.

No two cases are exactly the same; therefore, assembling your team of professionals to guide and support you through this is key. Your attorney can help identify and secure other professionals that are needed to resolve issues in your divorce (i.e., financial consultants, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, mental health providers, counselors, etc.). By surrounding yourself with a team of professionals knowledgeable in their respective fields, you will have the most accurate information, and the means by which to make decisions that are best for you.

Step 4: Begin your new life.

Armed with information and your team, you will have the tools and support you need to navigate your divorce so that you can begin your new life. We would like to help. For more information, visit our website at

Guest Author: Kathleen Stillman is an associate in the Phoenix law firm of Fromm Smith & Gadow, P.C.  where her practice is dedicated solely to the area of family law, specifically the areas of complex divorce, premarital agreements, child-related matters, post-decree modifications, mediation, and appellate matters.  Kathleen is a Certified Specialist in Family Law and brings thirteen years of teaching experience, advocating for children and working with families, to her practice.  Admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 2013, she graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Elementary and Special Education in 1995 and the University of Wyoming Law School in 2001.  Kathy serves on the Maricopa County Bar Association Family Law Board, is a Court Appointed Advisor, regularly provides pro bono legal services through the CLS Volunteer Lawyers Program, and serves as a Judge Pro Tem.