Divorces used to involve only the divorcing couple and their attorneys. But today’s divorces often include more people, specifically professionals who can aid you through every facet of divorce – legal, financial, and emotional.
Your divorce “team” should be gathered together to protect your best interests in the present and with an eye on the long-term. You need people who are looking out for you, understand your situation, and are ready to support you throughout this process, and even after your divorce is finalized.
Here are the three key players you need on your divorce team:
1. An Experienced Michigan Divorce Lawyer
Seek an attorney who focuses on divorce cases and has experience in handling divorces in your Michigan county. When vetting potential attorneys, consider the following questions:
- Does the attorney practice regularly in the court where your case will be heard?
- Does the attorney work well with the judge who has been assigned to your case and have credibility with that judge?
- Does the attorney understand what you want?
- Will the attorney be intimidated by the other lawyer or judge?
- Will your attorney be reactive or proactive and control the flow of the case?
- Will the attorney use their time wisely and only charge you for services that make a difference?
- Does the attorney come highly recommended by another person?
- Does the attorney have a good reputation in the county where they practice?
- Will the attorney handle your entire case or will a junior attorney or other partner be responsible for parts of your case?
- Do you feel comfortable and at-ease with the attorney?
To help your attorney settle your divorce case successfully, you have to fulfill your part of the attorney-client partnership and be honest about everything regarding your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In short, you must trust your attorney with every detail surrounding your divorce, the reasons why you’re divorcing, and financial matters. It’s unlikely that your attorney will be shocked by any part of your situation – they’re not there to judge but to support you, develop the best plan of action for your case, and help you settle your divorce successfully and move on with your life.
2. A Divorce Financial Analyst
A certified divorce financial analyst is different than a financial advisor or financial planner. The purpose of a divorce financial analyst is to help you better understand the financial issues that are at stake in your divorce or that will affect you during and after the divorce. Hiring a divorce financial analyst is an appropriate move for any divorcing couple, particularly those who have accumulated significant marital assets or own a business together. Often, the divorce attorney you hire will already work with divorce financial analysts, but in case they do not have someone to recommend, hiring your own divorce financial analyst will help you with issues like:
- How to determine what constitutes marital property.
- How to put a value on marital property and how to divide it.
- How to determine whether you should keep or sell your home, let your ex buy you out, or refinance.
- How to divide retirement accounts or other savings.
- The tax implications of the financial choices you may make during your divorce negotiation.
- How your divorce settlement will affect you financially in the short-term and in the future.
A divorce financial analyst will also help you develop a new budget for yourself so that you can ease into a new life. Ultimately, a financial expert like this will help you, along with your attorney, in making the right choices about which divorce settlement to take and where negotiations still need to be made. In some cases, other financial experts will be needed in a divorce including a forensic accountant, a valuation expert, or a real estate appraiser.
3. A Mental Health Therapist
You don’t have to go through your divorce alone. Having the support of an attorney or financial expert is important, but you also need to worry about your mental state. Divorce will take its toll on your psyche, creating stress and, in some cases, damaging your self-confidence. There will be anger, grief, sadness, and a slew of other feelings and emotions to manage, and parents in particular will need the tools to help their children cope with the divorce as well.
The prospect of starting over after divorce is exciting for some people, while others do not thrive in such a situation. You need support either way so that you can stay healthy for yourself and your children. If you feel alone or feel like family and friends are too far away, too detached, or maybe even too involved to offer you the proper support, a therapist or counselor will be the impartial third party you need to aid you in navigating the turbulent divorce process and coping with your feelings as they develop and change.
Begin your Michigan divorce by consulting with an experienced divorce attorney. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost initial interview and start building your divorce support network.