Step Three in Well-Meaning Advice
Divorce is a process. Like any process, it has a beginning, a middle, the end and life after that. Working with an experienced divorce professional makes all the difference in receiving guidance through the process. Research your professional divorce mediator, collaborative attorney or litigation attorney before you meet them in person.
Thanks are to the "online" Gods for this one. Do not go on referrals alone. Do your research. Read the Google reviews, the website reviews, the AVVO reviews. Read it all. Then select 2-3 professionals and meet with them face to face.
- Do not use a mediator who does not practice full time or who does mediations in the evening and full-time therapy during the day.
- Do not use a divorce attorney who does one divorce per month and mostly real-estate or wills.
- Do not use a therapist who never worked with a situation" just like yours" before.
- Chose a professional who has dedicated their entire career or practice to what your specific need may be.
You will be working with each of the professionals you choose for a long period; review their individual experience, skills, specialties, accessibility, and “bedside manners." The most expensive is not necessarily the best. Similarly, no need for the "big guns" if your spouse and or your situation is reasonable.
Ask for an estimate or a range of "normal" charges are to take a case from beginning to end. Ask about the "hidden cost" of divorce. For mediation clients, the "hidden cost" can sometimes be higher than the mediation fees. Above all, hire the professional with which you feel the most comfortable.
Place the right tool in your tool-box and use it strategically.
You will be happy you did. Cost savings will result if you discuss your problems with the professional most suited to respond to the specific problem or issue. Discuss with the therapist the emotional issues of divorce, if you have parenting issues which need to be resolved, discuss them with a parenting mediator coordinator or coach.
There is a niche in our divorce profession as a "parenting coordinator." Discuss the legal and financial issues with your attorney or attorney/mediator. Real estate transactions and considerations should go to a good realtor, not a loan officer. Loan officers sell mortgages; real-estate professionals help you consider selling or buying your home. Tax-related matters always go to the Accountant. An experienced divorce attorney, divorce mediator or collaborative attorney will always help you place the right tools in your tool-box. You will know when someone is trying to "oversell" you on services or if they are not qualified to provide.
Read all five steps
You are here - Step Three: Choose the "right" divorce professionals for your toolbox. Use your toolbox appropriately.