During the divorce process you will be forced to make difficult decisions that will have long-term implications. The intensity of emotions running through your mind-fear, shame, guilt, anger-will cause you to make choices that do not serve your best interests. You may be too overwhelmed, too tired or getting steamrolled by your partner into believing that these choices are what’s best for you. In the interest of ‘getting it over with’, you may not consult all the experts available to you or turn to someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
Everyone will be giving you divorce advice. Your family and friend’s kind words may be well-intended but may make you feel even worse. Your attorney will be telling you what the legal answers are to your concerns and may advise you one way or another in terms of direction, but won’t tell you what to do-filling your head with options, but not necessarily answers. Your boss will be understanding-for a little while.
Finding the right source of support that can help you with your decision process will be crucial to getting you the right settlement. So, where can you turn? Here are a few suggestions:
- Find a neutral financial professional to help you assess your financial picture. While attorneys often have some financial acumen, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFDA) can look at your overall picture and help you figure out what it may look like in the future. They understand the tax implications and are typically versed on divorce law. A CDFA can also work hand in hand with your attorney which is key to proposing reasonable settlements.
- If there are children involved, find a therapist that can help you and your spouse communicate through the divorce process. I know that seems like a radical idea, after all, if you’re getting divorced, counselling likely failed or wasn’t an option, however, being able to express your concerns about the children without fighting will have incredible benefits for the long-term health of your family. You will be in a lifelong relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the sooner you can find a working relationship, the better off your kids will be.
- If you own real estate, get advice from several local Real Estate brokers on the value of your property. If you’re considering keeping the house, you want to know what it’s truly worth, what the costs of long-term ownership will be and what you may be able to get if you sell it now versus hold on to it. Don’t take your spouse’s word for it, you need to know the market value.
- Hire a Divorce Coach to help you keep it all together. You’re juggling so many aspects of your life at once, it’s hard to keep it straight. On top of that, your emotions are running wild. A Divorce Coach is a neutral person that truly understands your situation and won’t pass judgement on your situation. She will know the right professionals to refer you too, understand what your attorney is telling you and be able to help you cope with all your relationships given the stress you’re under. A good Divorce Coach is your lifeline through your divorce.