Going through a divorce can be emotionally and legally complex, and it’s natural to seek support and guidance during this challenging time. But who can you trust?
The answer may not be comfortable reading, but it’s important you go through divorce with your eyes wide open.
The uncomfortable truth is that everyone has an agenda or bias that may consciously or unconsciously affect the advice and direction they give to you. It’s your life that’s being effected and important you realise that ultimately you are the critical decision maker.
Let’s take a brief look at various divorce professionals, their self-interest situation, and how that might effect the guidance they give.
Friends and family
Your close friends and family members can provide emotional support and a listening ear. They can offer comfort and be a source of encouragement when you need it most.
Friends and family have a relationship with you, that they will want to protect. In many cases they may not agree with some of your actions but be unwilling to raise it as they don’t want to upset you, and negatively effect their relationship with you at an emotionally heated time.
Do reach our to friends and family, but understand and appreciate that their best advice may be unqualified, and may be over flattering. Data suggests that friends and family may push people into divorce rather than accept poor performance of partners than professionals might.
Therapist or Counselor
A therapist or counselor can help you navigate the emotional rollercoaster of divorce. They provide a safe space for you to express your feelings and offer coping strategies to manage stress and anxiety.
Highly qualified, and usually highly experienced they can provide direction, insights, and techniques that others cannot that can drastically effect and improve your transition through divorce.
The vast majority of therapists and counsellors are effectively paid by the hour. Thus they are not financially incentivised to ‘get you over divorce’.
Find a Therapist: Divorce Club Directory
We are big fans of getting a divorce or relationship coach to assist you through the transition. However like everyone of this list, be aware of their self-interest, and stay in-control of the process. Consider financial packages where possible that are based on performance rather than per hour.
Divorce Attorney, Mediators etc.:
If you have legal concerns or issues related to property division, child custody, alimony, or any other legal aspect of your divorce, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified divorce attorney. Choose an attorney who specializes in family law and has experience handling divorce cases. They can provide legal advice, negotiate on your behalf, and represent your interests in court if necessary.
Similarly to divorce coaches mentioned above these are highly qualified professionals who are able to give their experience and insights to potentially dramatically improve your outcome.
Also similarly, they are often receive payment based on hours worked, rather than performance or result. They are therefore financially encouraged to engage in conflict, and to fight in negotiations rather than race to an amicable agreement.
Find an Attorney / Mediator etc: Divorce Club Directory
Seeking financial guidance is important, but be aware of the financial relationship that may affect the advice or guidance that they provide, consciously or otherwise. Where possible consider or ask for performance based payment structures.
Divorce often involves significant financial changes. A financial advisor or planner can help you understand your financial situation, create a budget, and plan for your financial future post-divorce. They can also provide advice on asset division and tax implications.
Divorce is a challenging time emotionally, and for most financial also. Seeking some financial advice from a professional can be a helpful and important step to help you make well informed financial decisions.
Some Financial Advisors are paid by the hour, some receive a commission on the financial instruments you invest in, some have both.
Those that receive their income via commissions may push you towards financial solutions you potentially do not need, after all they don’t get paid if you don’t invest.
Find a Financial Advisor: Divorce Club Directory
Be conscious of your financial agreement. It may be better to pay by the hour and potentially receive less biased information, as they would not receive an income from any investment that you make.
Joining a divorce support group can connect you with others who are going through similar experiences. Sharing stories and advice with people who understand your situation can be comforting and informative.
Support groups can provide a valuable support network. In most cases the support is provided well-meaning but unqualified persons. Some within the group may be coaches, or divorce professionals who may may offer commercial services (see above), some are transparent about this, others less so.
Please note: as the author of divorce support group (Divorce Club) you will need to evaluate my own bias as I write this.
Support groups are generally focussed on providing information. They will usually encourage conversation, debate, and dialogue. They may or may not have any ‘services’ available to purchase, and may or may not have any professional qualifications or experience in assisting people through divorce.
Using myself as an example, I do not have any formal qualifications in psychology, but have been working in various life coaching and divorce coaching businesses for approximately five years in total which I do believe gives me some valuable insights. In the main I refer to professionals for deeper insights, and to provide mastermind events.
Support groups can provide a powerful and largely unbiased source of opinions. However for case specific in-depth advise you should turn to professionals like those described above for specific information.
Don’t trust anyone
Don’t outsource any decisions to anyone. Seek their input and guidance, but ultimately make all critical decisions yourself.
Choose professionals with the right expertise and credentials for guidance, but remain in control. Be conscious and aware if any professionals obfuscate the situation. Consider carefully the financial agreements you have with your advisors, which may influence the advice you receive.
Support groups can be a great place to raise any concerns you might have, and to get general advice. Seek specific specialised advice for case-specific situations and critical decisions.