You’ve spent an entire life being told “Don’t procrastinate. Get things done early and you’ll save time, money, and headache”.
What they don’t tell you is, this is not-so-good advice when hiring a divorce attorney.
The sooner you retain a divorce attorney, the more it’ll end up costing you. They’re really only hired to do one thing – guide you through the legal process of divorce.
If you’re unboxing all of your worries, concerns, and anxieties in a session with an attorney… Well, you’re spending a lot of time on things well outside of their expertise. I see it all the time. Devastated clients bearing everything. Hoping their attorneys can use ANY bit of info.
Of course. They’ll listen. They’re human. And they care. But they’ll bill for each in-person and/or phone hour. Even if the conversation wasn’t legal in nature.
This gets really expensive. Even though the only thing they’re hired and equipped to do is inform you of your legal rights and represent you in court if your case is litigated. That’s it. All the day-to-day that goes in your divorce-life should really be going to your divorce coach who then will help you build your support team and refer to you other less costly non-attorney divorce professionals. This leaves only the legal work for the attorney.
The truth is, until recently there was no one for attorneys to refer their clients to with the following skill set:
-Preparing and accompanying clients to attorney meetings and court hearings.
-Assist with all the paperwork necessary in filing for divorce and preparation for meetings and hearings.
-Providing proper support for the intense emotions that are often swirling around during divorce.
-Making sure you include all your needs/wants in your parenting plans and financial settlement.
Relying on your attorney for the above, would be similar to going to a surgeon for what a physician’s assistant can provide. It’s overkill and costly.
That’s why it’s important that people find a divorce coach first when considering divorce, so the client has a much better chance at arriving at a fair and equitable settlement. Heightened emotions can get quite costly and when kids are involved, it’s almost impossible to avoid. A divorce coach is trained in helping people go through the divorce process at each phase with minimal hostility. Before firing yourself up over the next heated issue, ask yourself is this “fact” or “feeling”?
Aside from coaching you on action-oriented approaches to managing emotions, a divorce coach will outline a plan just for you. So you can rest easy knowing what comes tomorrow, next week, next month, up until the process is finalized.
Here’s a sneak peek at the first steps you can expect from a divorce coach.
Step one: Create interview questions for your Attorney and include these two areas:
-Finances: What are your retainer costs and hourly rate? Are you experienced with high net worth complex financial situations? Do you make financial arrangements to make your services more affordable? Will I have an agreement with everything spelled out for me to sign?
-Emotional: Do you handle a lot of custody cases? Are high conflict divorces common practice for you and what might be some suggestions, in the short term, to keep things calmer than they have been?
Step two: Interview 3 Attorneys, preferably ones that come recommended and that you feel a connection with. No question is a stupid one. And after every conversation, ask yourself, “do they treat you respectfully?”
Step three: Review with a neutral third party and make a well thought out decision as if it were your own business.
A divorce coach will help you go in with your eyes wide open, learn about the pitfalls, and avoid becoming a “frequent filer” (going to court for modifying the agreement)post-divorce. They will be there as your partner to take this on as if you were the CEO of your divorce.
You got this!