Have you ever had someone tell you that you have to be strong? You most likely have. The thing with Divorce is, that while you do need to be strong, you also have to know when it’s time to be vulnerable and reach out to others for help. Even (and sometimes especially) if you are a seasoned attorney or financial advisor, chances are you may be too close to your own situation to discern what truly is the best for you and your family going forward. It is imperative that you surround yourself with a team who is there for you.
There are three main areas you will need to focus upon to create an amazing empowerment team: Legal, Financial, and Emotional.
Divorce Attorney – Choosing the right one is imperative. The divorce attorney ensures all the legal requirements are met for your state. Additionally, some may advise on tax, valuation, budget and other issues, which may result in reducing the number of professionals you need to hire.
Depending upon the complexity of your financial situation, these are some of the professionals you should consider for your team:
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) professional – Helps you address the unique tax and financial issues of a divorce while analyzing the short- and long-term financial impact of different divorce settlements.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professional – Advises on your overall financial health, budget, and helps plan for future goals.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Identifies tax issues that need to be addressed and how you can minimize your taxes.
Certified Appraiser – Values residential, business and commercial properties.
Banker/Mortgage Broker/Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) – Advises on mortgage financing strategies.
Insurance Broker – Advises on risk to health, auto, home, life and disability.
Some of these professionals may be able to play dual roles. Additionally, your attorney may have some of the expertise to assist you and/or in-house resources.
Therapist/Counselor –Will help you (and your children) navigate the emotional turmoil of divorce. It is very important to have this type of outlet, as you will be paying your lawyer by the hour, and you want to ensure they are spending their time on legal rather than emotional issues.
Out of Town Friend – This type of friend is very helpful because they know you; however, are far enough away to maintain a somewhat objective distance.
Local Anchor – This person is your beacon in the storm. Choose someone who will lift you up and help you navigate this foreign terrain.
Journal – Sometimes, you need to write things down to gain clarity and reflect. A safe place to do this is in a personal journal. Remember, anything you post to social media can and will be used against you in court. It is best to keep your inner thoughts in a private place.
In order to empower yourself, you need to surround yourself with a team of people who have the skills and experience to assist you through your unique situation. As you choose your team, think about the type of divorce you think you will have – will you have a lengthy court battle, or do you think you will be able to agree with your soon-to-be ex on how to dissolve your union? Keep your emotional discussions separated from your legal and financial discussions. This will ultimately help you maintain a business attitude as you go through those steps of divorce. Make certain you are comfortable with the team you’ve assembled and then make sure they understand what you need and want so they can help you.
Meg Kamberis is the Hiring and Administration Manager at BDF. Having gone through a divorce herself, Meg identifies deeply with BDF’s mission and vision and enjoys contributing to the Women’s Service Team. With over 20 years’ experience in business administration, her passion for helping others live a full life is fulfilled on a daily basis working with the BDF team.