Some snippets about me
Childhood life goals were – to leave school at 15 and work at the makeup counter at my local mall, then win Miss Universe and get married. Life turned out so much better than that!
Is obsessed with grammar
Has totally illegible handwriting (that I can’t even read!)
Is addicted to The Real Housewives, Southern Charm…pretty much anything on Bravo
Occasionally leaves the security of my couch to fall off my mountain bike
Until then, I hadn’t even known what divorce was...
I thought all parents lived together. I remember lying in bed, my sister asleep in the bed opposite mine, listening to an argument through the walls. My parents were yelling about something my mum’s lawyer had told her. The next morning, my dad was gone.
Hi. Thanks for stopping by...
I’m Selina-jane Trigg, family law geek, educator and keeper of The Divorce Lighthouse and The Law Lighthouse. But I haven’t always been these things...
I grew up in a suburb in South Auckland, New Zealand. Our street was full of noisy kids riding their bikes in the middle of the road. Summers involved long days on the beach. We had just got a colour tv! My biggest worry was whether I’d be caught sneaking ice cream from the freezer. That and why I couldn’t roller skate or catch a ball. Then, when I was 9, things in my simple world changed dramatically. My parents divorced.
My parents’ divorce skills fell way short of the mark!
Don’t get me wrong – individually, they were good parents but they were lousy co-parents. They didn’t speak with each other. They spoke (or argued) through my siblings and I. My mum sniped about my dad. He sniped about her. Neither realised the very person they were showing disdain for was someone I loved and who was part of me. Or, perhaps they realised but were simply unable to stop themselves. We moved out of our family home. There was little money. We ate A LOT of chards (silverbeet) because this grew in the garden.
I moved between parents and their subsequent relationships, a displaced refugee of sorts. The rest of my childhood went on as a careful navigation of their collective animosity, resentments and grief.
Fast forward through school and university and no one was more surprised than I when I became a family lawyer.
Initially I loved being a family lawyer. It was thrilling to go to Court and to flex my brain around my cases. It was a thrill that was to become a grind. Some of my cases were horrific. I was working long hours. My clients were stressed and, as a result, some behaved badly. I set up my own law firm. On top of the challenges of being a family lawyer, I now added the stresses of having a start-up firm and employees. I was working harder than ever.
Worst of all, time after time, a nagging voice in my head was growing louder “There has to be a better way”.
When I left Court, got a letter from another lawyer or thought about the children in my cases, that voice would clammer away. I worried about what shape parents and children were left in when the legal process was over. Most of all, I hated the conflict of family law. It took me right back to being that 9 year old navigating her parents’ arguments. I dreaded calls from some of my colleagues. I disliked that my profession was sometimes responsible for unintentionally fuelling conflict, rather than healing it.
"I was ready to quit law. I loved the law. I just didn’t love who I was as I practised it. I didn’t love what it did to my clients, their parenting relationships, their children and their wider families."
I knew there had to be a different way to assist families through divorce-
– a way that empowered my clients and allowed them to gently reshape their family relationships without the acrimony, the angst and the emotional and financial cost. A way that cradled their hurt as gently as possible. A way that was squarely focused on what was important to them and their children.
I went on a mission to find a recipe for divorce without the turmoil and drama! The law is only one small part of your separation or divorce and I get that!
That was over ten years ago. I discovered tools to help my clients travel through their divorce with dignity, peace of mind and confidence. I now work with my clients in ways that avoid court and acrimonious negotiations.
And now I can share this with you. If you are facing your own separation, I can help you achieve clarity, confidence, calmness and cool as you walk through your separation pathway. If you are a family lawyer trying to find your own recipe for a happy and healthy practice, come and learn from the mistakes and lessons I made along the way!
Come on over and be social...
Come hang out with me over on social media where I share tips and ideas, first spread the word about goodies I am giving away and generally shoot the breeze about divorce, legal practice, chocolate and life!