Written by Sara Epler
This is a follow-up to a blog Sabrina Layman wrote on the five key points to keep in mind when going through the divorce process. This post expands on the concepts she touched on in points one and two, providing my perspective on the divorce timeline and why rushing your divorce could be detrimental to your future.
Throughout 15 years as a divorce attorney, I’ve dealt with a variety of clients including many with complex financial matters. During this time, I’ve learned each case needs to follow certain steps in a measured, methodical manner, and that clients must be well-supported emotionally in order to come out on the other side without regrets.
The divorce process typically begins with a client consultation where I gain a snapshot of the situation by reviewing the various financial documents that are needed to put the wheels in motion. I also gain an overview of the parenting situation, if applicable. Then there’s evaluating the assets. Although the marriage is coming to an end, many clients don’t want to divorce certain assets. This initial information allows me to design a plan to help the client achieve their desired end results and start the divorce proceedings.
Slow and steady
These steps require time, patience, and objectivity. With most cases, there is typically one spouse who wants to put the pedal to the metal (usually the one who filed for divorce), while the other spouse is reeling backward, struggling to come to terms with this new reality. Some clients have a full understanding of all their accounts and can quickly answer my questions, while others are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Regardless of where you stand, my advice is the same: don’t rush.
A friend indeed
It’s often said that divorce is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. The intense steps involved, decisions that need to be made, and documents that need to be combed through can feel overwhelming. Even if you initiated the divorce, you likely aren’t prepared for the feelings of anger, confusion, sadness, or loss you may experience. All too often, I’ve witnessed a spouse give up everything in an effort to keep the peace and quickly find “closure.” Finding a support system of friends, family, and/or a therapist will do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being, ensuring you regularly take a step back to clear your mind.
The bottom line is that pressing fast forward on your divorce proceedings is never a good idea. I advise you to take your time to adjust to this unfamiliar situation, and make reasoned decisions based on careful consideration and solid advice. These decisions can affect the rest of your life, and my goal is to help you find peace of mind knowing your assets were fully evaluated and details were appropriately attended to. Only then are you well positioned to create a future which brings you stability and happiness.
If this topic was of interest, be sure to check out Sabrina Layman’s post.