So, you’re ready to take the next step. Depending on where you are in this journey, let’s talk about what that might look like. Knowledge is power, so let’s start gathering information.
If you’re in the contemplative, pre-divorce stage, you’re ready to tackle one of these items:
- Explore the different types of divorce processes. Mediation, collaborative divorce, and traditional litigation. I can get you up to speed about that and what’s available in your city and state.
- Make a list of what matters most to you. Is it the house, the numbers in your retirement account, your children’s school, the church where your friends attend … you get the idea. Make a list with the most important at the top, trailing down to things that are minimal.
- Get into counseling, if you haven’t already done so. Look at this from every side, up and down. Get clear about what you want, why you want it, and we’ll work on how you can make it happen. When you are ready, I am here to coach you.
- Look into costs of divorce. I will guide you to find the answers to your questions. This will depend on the type of divorce process and the professional(s) involved.
- Have a ‘kitchen table’ conversation with your spouse. This can be a good idea, when you both are able to put aside the emotions, to decide which direction to go. Mediate, collaborative, or traditional litigation? Do you know enough about these different processes to discuss them intelligently?
- Or, is there still a shred of uncertainty? Do you need more marital counseling?
- If divorce is the choice, have a 3-way conversation together with a professional who can assess your situation and make a recommendation as to which divorce process to use. I do this with couples regularly. It helps to have an objective professional who is experienced in divorce involved from the start.
If you’re ready to move into the action stage of things, you will need help with:
- Choosing a process – mediation, litigation, or collaborative divorce. Building on that, you will select an attorney to represent you. We can talk about how to work with your spouse on this, so that you are both aligned in the process decision.
- Deciding when and how to talk with your children. Do this before you talk to any of your friends or family. Remember, people talk, and their children overhear things. You want to be the ones who share this news with your children.
- Setting aside funds for the divorce. You set aside funds for your wedding, didn’t you? This is a part of being responsible, setting yourself and your family up for future success. If you can avoid divorce debt, do it.
- Creating a safe environment at home, so that both you, your children, and your spouse feel as comfortable as possible if you have to remain in the same home.
If you are actively involved in your divorce, already hired an attorney, you may want to:
- Gain a better understanding of the divorce process, especially if it is traditional litigation. Divorce has predictable stages, and I can help you anticipate what to expect.
- Cope with the stress of the divorce process, or the stress with your spouse. If your spouse is not reasonable, or your attorney is not responsive, we can work on how to get your concerns addressed. We’ll talk about keeping notes.
- Minimize expenses incurred in seeking guidance from a legal professional. Lawyers know the law – they are not trained in effective communication, goal setting, or handling an unreasonable spouse. When you have a divorce coach who knows how to do these things on your team, your legal bill will be much lower.
- Get a reality check on the decisions you are making as you divorce. You’ll learn better negotiating skills, what’s worth fighting for, and how to assert yourself with professionals. You will not make any rash decisions due to the discomfort of the process.
- Help you manage emotional reactivity to the divorce process. You may hit a wall during this process, but you’ll learn how to deal with it and keep moving forward. There is a future life out there, waiting for you.