Whether you’re the one who decides it’s over, your partner asks for a divorce, or it’s a mutual decision, you’ll face a difficult road ahead as you navigate dividing assets, separating your lives, and in some cases, determining child custody. You may not know where to begin or how to proceed.
What you need is a comprehensive resource to guide you through the process, along with a team of trained professionals to act in your best interests. You need advocates, a support system, and divorce assistance tailored to your situation and your personal preferences.
You’ll find everything you’re looking for at DivorcePlus, with DIY legal forms, public resources designed to answer your questions, a community forum that lets you reach out to others going through the same struggles, and access to on-demand virtual professional services to help you through.
What types of professionals are available to assist you? And what benefits will you gain when you build your own team through DivorcePlus?
1. Start with a Divorce Coach
You might think your first step is finding a lawyer, and this can certainly be an important step, depending on your situation. However, you might want to start by speaking with a professional life and divorce coach. If you’ve never heard of divorce coaching, you’re not alone. What does this professional do?
A divorce coach offers a goal-oriented approach to the process, helping you focus on what you hope to accomplish by the time your divorce is complete and guiding you toward the decisions that will get you to your goals. Your coach is there to motivate and support you in making the right choices for yourself and your future.
This is about more than an equitable division of assets or joint custody, although naturally, these are part of many divorces. It’s also about emerging from your divorce feeling strong, confident, satisfied, and ready to move forward with your life.
A divorce coach helps you let go of the life you had planned with your partner and see a path where you thrive on your own or work toward healthier future relationships. Even if you’re uncertain about what you hope to accomplish at the outset, divorce and life coaching can help you pinpoint your wants and needs in order to make a solid plan to achieve the best possible outcome.
2. Get the Support You Need
Going through a divorce can be stressful, to say the least. Even couples who mutually choose to divorce and attempt to remain amicable are unlikely to agree on everything. If you’re in a situation that’s contentious or abusive, or if your partner is fighting the divorce, the process could drag on for months or even years.
This is why it’s so important to get the right support and guidance from trained professionals. You need advocates who put your best interests first, come up with customized solutions tailored to your situation, and do the heavy lifting for you.
Your family, friends, and colleagues are no doubt happy to offer advice and share their own experiences. However, when it comes to the legal ins and outs of the divorce process, it’s best to trust professionals to provide you with accurate information and the targeted support services you need.
3. Consider Mediation Services
Some couples can manage a divorce on their own, filing the paperwork and submitting an agreement to the court without the need for lawyers or other assistance. Then there are divorces so contentious that the prospect of discussing or negotiating is completely out of the question.
For many couples, however, mediation is an ideal divorce support service designed to help both parties settle their differences and reach an agreement without the time and expense associated with going to court.
A solution-oriented mediator facilitates efficient and productive discussions to help you and your partner work through the issues holding you back so you can reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
4. Find the Right Lawyer for You
If you decide you need legal assistance for divorce, the most important thing is to find a lawyer who is right for you. Family law attorneys are not a one-size-fits-all category. Each lawyer is going to differ in experience, personality, and approach to serving client needs. You want to find a professional who understands your goals and how you prefer to reach them.
For example, some people want an aggressive pit bull of a lawyer who will use any and all legal means to win for their client. Others may be hoping for a more amicable outcome where they can still be friendly with their ex-spouse. In this case, a lawyer skilled at diplomatic negotiation could be more valuable.
With the right online resources at your disposal, you have the best opportunity to find a lawyer suited to your requirements and sensibilities.
5. Prepare for Court
Many couples see divorce court as a last resort, but even if you try to go it alone or you enter mediation, you and your spouse might still wind up unable to resolve your differences and reach an agreement. If you get to the point that court is your only option, you need to make sure you’re prepared.
If you’ve already hired an attorney, this professional can advise you on the best strategies for the courtroom setting and help you prepare to serve as a witness and give testimony.
Although divorce is incredibly emotional, your interests are best served by calmly and concisely answering the questions posed by the judge — you never want to react to baiting by your spouse, as it could hurt your cause.
Professionals in the field of testimony and witness preparation will not only instruct you on how to behave in court but also run you through practice sessions to ensure you feel comfortable and confident before you ever set foot in a courtroom. This can make a huge difference in an emotionally charged situation like divorce proceedings.
6. Prepare for a Custody Battle
It’s not unusual for divorcing parents to put the best interests of their children first and agree to a joint custody arrangement that offers each parent relatively equal time. This helps to create stability and continuity for kids and ensures that they enjoy full and ongoing relationships with both parents.
Unfortunately, there are situations where one parent may feel they deserve more time with children, or they may allege that the other parent is unfit. No matter where you land in a custody battle, you’ll need the help of seasoned divorce and custody lawyers to properly prepare for what’s ahead.
The process may include evaluations, witnesses, and hearings spread out over several months. It’s important to know what to expect and how to meet the court’s requirements to ensure the best chance of success when you’re seeking some form of child custody.
7. Coordinate Parenting Efforts
There could be any number of reasons why your marriage didn’t work out, but part of it may be that you and your spouse simply couldn’t coexist. This can put you in a tricky spot when you still have to interact with your ex regularly as part of a custody and co-parenting arrangement.
Even if you’re prepared to go above and beyond to ensure the health, happiness, and well-being of your children, and your ex feels the same, you may not agree on what’s best for kids in terms of schooling, religion, friends, activities, screen time, or even diet.
You might need assistance from professionals who specialize in parenting coordination to help you manage not only a custody schedule and child support but also the intricacies of co-parenting after divorce.
8. Manage Your Personal Well-Being During and After Divorce
It’s a rare individual who has no stress related to their divorce. Even if you feel a sense of joy or relief at the end of your relationship and you and your ex remain amicable, the process of separating a joint lifestyle is never easy. For many people, it’s much more complicated, and anxiety can run high.
The right team of professionals and experts can help guide you through the process and offer advice with your best interests in mind. Your team can help you manage all the legal aspects of the process, from court filings and deadlines to collecting financial records, prepping witnesses, and building a court case, if necessary.
This legal help frees you up to focus on your own health and wellness throughout the process. It’s easy for a divorce to become all-consuming, but this isn’t healthy for you, not to mention children who are relying on you. With the right resources, you can get through the separation process and continue to practice self-care after divorce.
9. Make Informed Decisions that Are Right for You
When you first enter the divorce process, whether you’re the one seeking the divorce or your spouse sprung it on you, you may not even know what you don’t know. How do you file for divorce? What information do you need to provide to the court during the process? How do you create an equitable agreement for the division of assets or child custody with your partner?
It’s important to understand your options so you can make informed decisions that help you reach your goals. Life coaches, attorneys, mediators, and other consultants can all help you along the way, but you first have to find them.
With the right resources at your disposal, you can put together a team dedicated to providing the service and support you need.
10. Consult Trusted Professionals Who Have Your Best Interests at Heart
Perhaps the best reason to build your own team of experienced divorce professionals is so you have a network of people committed to supporting your best interests, helping you reach your goals, and ensuring you come through the process as unscathed as possible.
With DivorcePlus, you’ll find the best online divorce services available, paired with public resources and a helpful community forum.
Assemble the right professional support team for your needs with our on-demand professionals.