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I never would’ve guessed when my husband and I sat down with Jim Johnson back in the spring of 2010 to discuss insurance policy options, that he would ultimately play an integral role in my life.

Let me take a step back. The way that Jim Johnson came in to my life the first time was when I was looking at insurance needs for my family. My husband and I had two beautiful baby boys, 1 ½ and 2 ½ at the time, and we needed to make sure we were looking out for our future. I was actually referred to Jim by a woman who had worked for our company for many years and I had also heard him mentioned as highly reputable time and again so I decided to reach out to him for options.

At that time, Jim came to our home, sat down at our dining room table and invested his time finding out about who we were and helping us come to an educated decision about what we needed with regard to our life insurance policies. He was calm and engaging and seemed to be most concerned about our best interest. With my husband being in the sales arena as well, I was concerned with how the two salesmen would interact when put in the same room, but surprisingly they built rapport almost immediately.

By the following spring, I needed Jim’s help again only for a much different reason. I was in the midst of a divorce and I needed to speak with him about how to handle my coverage and make sure my family was protected. There I was, with two small children left in a house that I couldn’t afford by myself, in heated discussions with my soon to be ex-husband about custody, splitting assets and liabilities, car leases, and selling a house that we just built just three years before. In addition to that, we were racking up attorney’s fees with every discussion and disagreement at $200+/hour.

Well the more Jim and I talked about my options, he gingerly suggested that my husband and I may want to sit down with a mediator to try and resolve some of our issues so we would at least have a starting point to move forward from. Jim explained how mediation could be handled and the roles that everyone played. And that’s when he mentioned that this was a service that he provided and that he would be happy to sit down with Nick and me to discuss our issues. It was as if a weight had been lifted. I didn’t know what I was doing, what the rules were. I was questioning my every decision and I didn’t know where to turn and there he was – someone who knew us and could help us. I knew in my heart of hearts that Nick would see the light to sit down with Jim and try to work this out.

To make a long story short, Nick decided that he would meet. Prior to going to Jim’s office, he asked Nick and me to take some time and write down exactly what we wanted to accomplish with this mediation. Dig deep and figure out what we can and can’t live without, what is most important. When we got down to it, Nick and I knew we weren’t working together, but still wanted to be able to raise our kids as close to how we had originally intended and still be able to make ends meet in the process.

We sat down with Jim. He didn’t take sides. He helped us realize when we were out of line and when we were within reason. He helped us come to a mutual agreement about what we could live with and gave us a document that we could give to our attorneys so that we could finally work toward getting closure. It was like a weight was lifted.

Bottom line, no one wants to go through a divorce. No one wants to have their plans destroyed and the person they had intended to raise a family with leave. Feelings get hurt, emotions run high…and Jim Johnson helped us when we would have otherwise spent thousands more dollars and who knows how many more months living that nightmare.

Here is the email I sent to Jim after we all sat down.

“Thank you again for all that you have done for Nick and I. You really are impressive at what you do and we truly appreciate that you invested your valuable time with us.

As soon as you provide the document we discussed, I’ll make sure that Nick and I are on the same page and I will forward it to my attorney ASAP so as to hopefully prevent the need for either of us filing (costly and time consuming) interrogatories.

We are definitely in a time crunch, but I am hopeful that things will work out, and do so quickly. Nick and I are truly looking forward to the next step for each of us. We spent some time last night discussing our situation and I feel more comfortable than I have in a great while that we are on the same page with what we each need and want to come out of this whole endeavor.”