Protect Yourself During Divorce or Separation By Getting a Good Therapist, Financial Advisor, and Attorney. Divorce and separation bring up so many inherent difficulties. Since this is such a vulnerable time, it is very important to protect yourself by getting a good therapist, financial advisor, and attorney. Here’s why:
- 1. Get a Good Therapist
Emotionally, individuals going through a divorce or separation are understandably in turmoil. Should I? Should I not? Why is s/he doing this? I don’t want this. I think I want this. What about the children? So many questions and confusion arise.
Everybody’s situation is different, so unfortunately there is no single correct answer to any of these questions. Additionally, attorneys or Mediators cannot help with the emotional questions. For these types of issues, it is best to set up a support system of friends, relatives, and professionals who can assist. Forming a relationship with a mental health professional with whom you are comfortable can help immensely during this difficult time. This can be even more valuable than the support of friends or family, who may sometimes tell you only what they think you want to hear, or base their input on their own situations or those of their friends. Since everybody’s situation is different, however, this is not always helpful or relevant.
In a previous post, I discussed in more detail the role of mental health professionals in divorce.
- 2. Get a Good Financial Advisor
Beyond emotional concerns, divorce also brings up many practical considerations, especially those centered around money. How will I/we live? How much child support will I get/pay? Will there be alimony? What about health insurance?
It is critical to get the proper help with financial questions. Finding a good financial advisor who has experience working with clients in divorce is invaluable. S/he can run support numbers, evaluate tax consequences, and provide context for many of the decisions that you will have to make at this time.
In a previous post, I discussed the role of financial advisors during divorce in more detail.
3. Get Good Legal Advice
Equally as important is getting legal advice. Not only is every situation different, but the laws are also always changing. That means what was true 10 years ago when your best friend’s godmother’s niece got divorced is not necessarily true now.
Divorce law can change in two ways: the legislature can make new laws or changes old ones; or the Court can rule on the interpretation of the laws, which may change how the laws are applied in the future. These types of legal changes happen daily. Some are predictable—we are expecting new child support guidelines soon, for example (check back for an update when that happens)—and some are not.
Whether you are in a Mediation or Collaborative process, having an attorney who can provide you with guidance and inform you about the most current law and its application is critical.
In a previous post, I discussed choosing a divorce attorney in more detail.
As difficult as divorce or separation can be, there is no need to wander through the difficult terrain alone. A good therapist, financial advisor, and attorney will help you navigate the journey and arrive on the other side in much better shape.