Divorce is never easy. Most of the time it leaves people feeling many different emotions. Many feel lost, scared, angry, bitter, and shaken. Some feel relief and hope. Everyone feels something. The good news is that this emotional roller coaster is not an experience you have to endure by yourself. Divorce is common these days and this means that there are many divorce support resources available to help you survive the process with some level of dignity.
Before we get into the resources that might help you make it through your divorce with your head still on your shoulders, let’s talk about one resource that you should not rely on – your friends and family! While the people you love are great when you need shoulder to cry on or to distract yourself from the negative feelings you’re experiencing, their advice on specific matters is often not helpful in a divorce. In fact, their advice is often uninformed, misguided, and even damaging to your ability to think clearly. You need their emotional support in this difficult time, but do your best to get actual advice about how to proceed with your divorce from objective professionals. You’ll be better for it.
What you need more than anything when you’re going through a divorce is a team of dedicated professionals. These people need to be smart, capable, and able to communicate well with you and with each other. If you can put a team like this in place, you are well on your way to having the resources you need to make it through your divorce.
So where do you start?
A Good Therapist
Divorce is its own kind of emotional trauma and you really need to talk it through with a qualified professional. A therapist will help you define your role as you bring your relationship to a close. They can also help you define your goals for the next chapter of your life. The idea is to help you learn from your experience and move on in a healthy way.
Most communities in the US have a non-profit that offers resources for people going through divorce. Do some research to find these organizations in your city and state. Look for groups that are non-profit and are not affiliated with a family law practice. These groups often facilitate support groups, have advice on divorce laws in your state, and can refer you to other professionals who can assist you.
CDFA™ or Financial Planner
The most common fear that people face during a divorce is the question “Will I be okay financially?” Feeling unsteady in your finances is inevitable and unfortunately costly mistakes are often made. Before you agree to a settlement, make sure you have a second set of eyes on the financial ramifications. Any financial planner can help you make basic financial projections based on the proposed settlement. A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst can take this a step further and provide detailed projections, assist you in splitting retirement and pension accounts correctly, and help you avoid expensive tax mistakes.
Divorce is commonplace and this means that the internet is full of resources. There are hundreds of divorce sites offering a wealth of free information, downloads, articles, and referrals. It can be difficult to sift through all this information so go slowly. Find the sites you connect with and disregard the rest.
Your divorce is going to be a challenging time in your life. But you can come out of it stronger and more resilient – if you choose to be. Don’t do this alone. Use the divorce support resources available to you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.