When a client hires me to represent them in a divorce, they sometimes ask, “Should we involve a counselor?” My answer is an immediate, “YES!” In fact, if possible, that counselor should be involved prior to actually beginning the divorce proceedings. The emotional, financial and other important issues require the proper perspective and clarity so that the individual can focus and emerge in a healthy state of mind. While we can’t go back, our mindset can help us to move forward.
The divorce process, at its most basic level, is an unwinding of various segments of a relationship. Think about it. During your marriage, you’ve created a financial segment (e.g. your bank accounts, life-style, investments, debts, etc.). You have a property segment which may involve a house, car (and car loans), and other substantial, physical assets. You may have created children together, which involves educational and extracurricular expense segments. There are healthcare considerations in terms of insurance coverage and other related issues. If you’re going to navigate the process, as well as the decisions involved, a counselor can definitely add value.
Professional athletes, business executives, actors/actresses all spend time planning for success. A big part of that is visualization focused on what the desired outcome will look and feel like, once it’s been achieved. Many of these high-performers have coaches or therapists working with them to unlock and unleash their potential.
When you are preparing to go through a divorce, you need to focus on the outcome. This has the potential to be a very intense and difficult experience. The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way. Should we involve a counselor? Absolutely, because change is difficult for most people. As the various segments are being unwound and reestablished, dealing with those transitions are going to require an adjustment phase. How you approach the process and cope with those adjustments is going to be critical to your ability to survive and eventually thrive.