There are many times in our lives when we will need support, and divorce is one of them. There’s a reason we refer to it as an emotional crisis, and it’s a period of time when you need those around you to help you get back on your feet.
However, it’s not just casseroles and a shoulder to cry on that you need. One of the most important steps your family will need to take is planning your future. Where will you live? Who will the kids live with? What is your budget? How will you handle your spouse meeting someone new?
These are the big questions and the hard ones. At this point in time, you probably don’t even want to think about them. But the fear you’re feeling about these questions is a fear of the unknown, and the only way to deal with that is by facing those questions head on and coming up with a plan.
However, you don’t have to do that alone. This is where you can get support, which is the most important support your family will get throughout separation. So how does it work?
Our collaborative method combines the skills of lawyers, financial planners, and psychologists to support you through this process. Don’t let the sound of lawyers scare you – the financial planner and psychologist have much bigger roles in the process. The lawyers are there to act as your advocate (you and your spouse will each have a collaborative lawyer representing you) and will communicate with your spouse’s lawyer openly, making the tough talks a much easier experience for you. They’re also there to manage any legal documents that may be needed once settlement has been reached.
The psychologist on your team is there to make sure that everyone involved is ready and their best selves at the table. If you or your spouse is having a hard time accepting the break up, we allow the time for that person to work through their emotions with a counsellor. The psychologist also oversees all negotiations, to keep relationships healthy and discussions productive.
If you have children, a child psychologist will work with them to ensure their wellbeing is being looked after first and foremost, and that you and your spouse are making decisions that don’t negatively impact your children. The psychologist can also help all of you to address any fears that may be holding you back. In most cases, fears are easily handled with knowledge. There’s usually a simple answer that will put your fears to rest, and the psychologist will help you ask those questions.
Last, but certainty not least, is the financial planner. A lot of fear and anger comes from uncertainty about money. Money may not buy happiness, but we do need it to get by in the world, and many separating couples worry that they will have a financial loss and struggle moving forward.
Your financial planner will work with you as a family to figure out what you have, what you need, and how to make it all work. The relief a financial plan for the future can bring is priceless.
No matter how good your best friend’s casserole is, it can’t plan your future for you. But it is a great way to celebrate having a plan!