I firmly believe that every woman going through divorce should have a support team that is on her side. It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help and advice from others who have advice and expertise to offer. In fact, seeking out help and advice to take care of yourself shows bravery and foresight.
Not only will having a support team make your divorce process go more quickly and more easily, but you will have a much better chance coming out of it in a healthier, happier, and more secure position.
Here are the six must-have experts that I think every woman should seek out.
> A supportive, responsive legal advisor
When choosing a lawyer to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce, I think it’s really important to first consider the tone of the divorce you want to have. Are you anticipating a high-conflict divorce where you have to negotiate every small thing, or are you working toward an amicable split?
The lawyer you choose can help or hinder these efforts based on their skills and experience. So it’s worth it to ask around for recommendations and ask the lawyer about their approach to divorce cases (many offer a free initial consultation where you can do this). Finally, make sure you get a signed fee agreement that clearly lays out their obligations to you, the costs involved, who will be working on your case, and how long your representation will last and when the relationship ends.
> A financial planner who can help you plan for the future
Dividing money and assets can be a huge sticking point even in the most amicable of splits—but a skilled financial planner can help you decide on priorities, think through your expenses, identify assets, and figure out ways to meet your financial goals for the future.
Many women who don’t have a financial planner end up regretting choices they made during the divorce process, and the vast majority experience an income dip and have trouble planning for their futures after the split. You owe it to yourself to think ahead and take care of yourself, so make sure you add a financial planner to your team.
> A skilled therapist who deals in divorce and couples therapy
Many people still feel as though going to therapy is just “paying for someone to listen to their feelings,” but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, therapists are there to let you get all your feelings out, but they will also challenge your ingrained thinking patterns, pose questions to help you see things from a different perspective, and offer coping strategies to help you move forward in your life and relationships.
I’ve found that a therapist was a critical piece of my own healing journey. Just like with your other experts, ask around for recommendations and realize that it takes time to build a trusting relationship with a therapist. You may need to meet with a couple of different therapists before you find someone that you “click” with. Just know that it’s normal to go through that process and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or the therapist.
> A kick-your-booty exercise partner
Self-care is a critical part of your divorce journey—and I’m not just talking about bubble baths and manicures. Self-care is also the act of doing things to take care of your body, even if it’s not necessarily fun at the time! Exercise can definitely fall into that category for some. But moving your body boosts your mood and endorphin levels—and helps you be more resilient and clear-headed as a result.
Finding an exercise partner can be as simple as coordinating with a friend for daily walks. But you could also book a personal trainer at the gym, join a dance class (making the teacher your accountability partner), or join a group—such as a runners’ club—where you are encouraged to show up and join in with the other members. The point is just to find a way to keep yourself accountable and moving.
> A divorce coach to guide you through the process
How is a divorce coach different from the experts I’ve listed above? Well, in the first place, I’m not going to dress up in 80s workout gear to lead you through a Buns of Steel routine!
All joking aside, what I can do as a divorce coach is offer an outside perspective on your situation, help you think through things to gain clarity on what you want and need, and help you create an action plan to achieve your goals. Most of the experts above can help you deal with the legal and practical aspects of your situation—but I help you put all those pieces together so that you can move on, and learn how to take joy in your life again.
Do you have questions about what a Divorce Coach does, or how I might be able to help you?
I’d love to talk with you about where you’re at in your divorce process and how I can help you create a new, fulfilling life. Feel free to email me, or follow me on Instagram for practical tips and advice.