Divorce — just like marriage — isn’t something you can do alone. There are a lot of emotional, financial and legal steps surrounding a divorce. That’s why many experts recommend that people going through a divorce have a support team to help.
Who do you need on your team? While the real answer depends a lot on your circumstances, here’s a good place to start:
Divorce is stressful. Many people consider it the most stressful event of their lives. It’s frequently stressful enough to actually affect how well a person’s immune system works.
A therapist can help you work through all the emotions you’re feeling — many of which can be confusing. For example, you might feel anger at your spouse for leaving you or causing the divorce while simultaneously being relieved that the marriage is over and grateful you have your freedom.
A therapist can also save you money. Your attorney has to charge for his or her time — and that can get pricey if you’re using the attorney for a stand-in therapist.
A divorce coach
Divorce coaches are similar to therapists in that they help people process their feelings, but they’re more centered around strategies for the future. While a therapist tends to help you understand your past and how you got where you are, a divorce coach helps you plan your tomorrows and see where you’re headed.
Find an attorney who is focused on family law. You may need to address diverse problems, ranging from asset valuation to custody rights — so make sure that you’re comfortable with the attorney you choose. For a little while, at least, you’ll be working very closely with this person.
A financial adviser
You may need someone who specializes in forensic accounting or you may be able to use a regular financial adviser. Either way, you want someone to look at your entire financial picture and help you determine good ways to divide the marital property. There could be ideas you’ll miss on your own.
While friends and family are always good additions to your team, you can’t always rely on them for an unbiased view. The advantage of professional help during a divorce is partially their knowledge and partially their objectivity.
Source: divorcemag.com, “How to Create Your Divorce Support Team,” accessed April 20, 2018.