When my world came crashing down and I realized that I was headed down a road I had never traveled, the first thing I did was retain a divorce attorney.
I was angry, I was afraid, and I felt alone.
What else was I supposed to do?
Looking back, I wish I had waited before I paid and retained a litigating attorney.
As a Certified Divorce Coach®, I may not recommend that your first best step is to hire an attorney.
Don’t get me wrong – I work with attorneys every day and refer my clients to attorneys, but I want my clients to be educated so they can make an informed decision when that time comes.
I believe the first step we should take when divorce is imminent is to determine which divorce process you want to consider. Your family and friends may be telling you to go and find a “shark” attorney and depending on your particular circumstances, you may need to do that. But more than likely, looking at all the divorce options truly makes more sense.
Understanding and educating my clients not only saves them money but can also create a scenario of doing this amicably and with a lot less conflict and stress.
It’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of a DIY (Do It Yourself) divorce, mediation, collaborative law, or retaining a litigating attorney.
Once you know which divorce process to consider, then you can begin your search for an attorney who is aligned with what is important to you.
A Divorce Attorney:
It is so easy to talk with your attorney about the emotional overwhelm you may be feeling right now, but this will be a costly mistake both financially and emotionally. Discussing your emotional challenges with your divorce attorney and your divorce logistics with your therapist will drain you and your pocketbook. The truth is your divorce attorney is trained, skilled, and interested in helping you navigate things from a legal perspective and you will need that. Your therapist can help you uncover and recover parts of your story. Here are some key differences and why a divorce coach is an important part of your team of advisors.
This person serves as your legal representation. They will help you draft all the necessary paperwork, advise you about the divorce laws in your state, and negotiate to ensure you get the best possible divorce settlement.
They will not help you handle your former partner’s aggressive and combative attitude. They cannot help you get organized for the long, exhausting, stressful, and emotionally taxing divorce process. And they are not on retainer to help you face your fears about your future or about your kids.
This person is a mental health professional and can help with treatments for things like depression that you might experience as a result of your divorce. A therapist will help you evaluate and confront your past and help you work through grief and loss. A therapist will help you focus on why certain patterns exist in your life.
They will not come alongside you with guidance in the divorce process or help you make the most of your costly hours with your attorney. They also won’t help you organize and gather the information you’ll need in your divorce so you feel confident and prepared. Since they focus on why certain patterns exist in your life, they focus less on how to think about your future and reach your goals going forward.
A Divorce Coach:
As your Certified Divorce Coach and member of your team, I will help you focus on your future and create actionable goals as well as hold you accountable for them. I will help you navigate your new circumstances, execute strategies for communication and co-parenting, and make decisions with confidence and with your future in mind.
Unless you have an action plan, know what your goals and priorities are, and begin to see how destabilizing this traumatic event is, you are likely to make costly mistakes as I did and hear from so many people who did not know their options.
If you’re dealing with a high-conflict partner, the attorney may not be able to help you with all of the intricacies of this long, exhausting, and stressful divorce process.
That is why I believe in the importance of having a team of professionals instead of putting all of your faith and trust in one person.
Having a Certified Divorce Coach on your team will enhance the opportunity for a good outcome and give you the confidence and security that you’re making good decisions for yourself and your family.
I will also help you work through the seasonal firsts following your divorce such as creating new holiday traditions, regulating your emotions and reactions when your former spouse begins dating someone else, handling child rearing from two addresses, managing yourself when things are not going your way, and how to leverage your new alone time for accomplishing your goals.
You don’t need to do this alone. Please reach out for a complimentary call where we can talk about your biggest worries and come up with a strategy that will help you travel down this road with confidence and clarity.