The decision to divorce is not an easy one. Even when the reasons for leaving are clear cut and justifiable, it is still difficult for most people to march forward into conflict. It helps to know that you are not marching alone.
Every person divorcing would be wise to have a good team in place. The ultimate divorce team would be comprised of an expert on the law (attorney), an expert on taxes (CPA), an expert on your comprehensive financial picture (financial planner) and someone to help you through the psychological adjustment (coach or therapist). Of course, many people cannot afford this. A decent divorce team can be made with an attorney and a financial “life” planner who is well-versed in tax and who has a holistic and hands-on approach to helping clients.
What is your part in the divorce? You are the information and document gatherer, the person with insider information and access when it comes to the family assets, debts and finances. Much of the actual ‘work’ of divorce is getting this information organized and accurate. By being on top of things, you make the whole process run more smoothly and efficiently.
Next, you are the student. You learn about the law, you understand your whole financial picture and each of your assets and accounts, you grasp that different scenarios have different tax impacts now and for your future, you learn about your different options and you listen to and evaluate the advice given to you by your team.
Finally, you are the co-creator of an agreement that ‘settles’ the issues of child custody and co-parenting, the division of assets and debts and the maintenance and support of each spouse. If you are lucky, your spouse will also have a good divorce team and will be making decisions wisely and in the best interests of the family as a whole.
After your divorce, you may no longer need the whole team as your focus shifts to your new life. Your financial planner and possibly a life coach can continue to be a big help, however, as you put together a positive plan for your future.