Who Do You Hire to Get a Divorce?
While it is common for someone to hire an attorney during their divorce process, there are a number of other professionals that can provide you insight and assistance in the completion of your divorce. I like to refer to these professionals as your “Divorce Team.” The great thing about a Divorce Team is that it is personalized to your needs. Much like a construction crew, you pick the specialists you need based on the project you are completing. A divorce is very similar - choose the professionals that can help you and skip those that can’t add value in your specific situation.
Your Divorce Team members may include:
Mediator - Third-party neutral who is trained to help you and your spouse work through conflict to find mutually agreeable solutions. Often much less expensive than working with an attorney, a mediator can help keep your divorce process shorter and lower conflict. Additionally, mediation provides a confidential process outside of court. It is important to interview your mediator and understand their background, as it is not a regulated profession.
Attorney - A licensed professional who represents individuals in court during a divorce process. While typically the most expensive option, a family law attorney can help provide you invaluable legal advice, as well as help you understand your legal options.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) - A certified professional who assists couples and individuals in understanding their finances during divorce. These professionals can help their clients with a number of services including - proposed plans for the division of their assets and debts, budgeting, creation of negotiated offers, and more.
Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) - A certified lender or mortgage broker who specializes in helping you understand your options for retaining your current home or purchasing a new one at the time of divorce. They help you understand how your income, support payments, assets, and debts post-divorce will impact your ability to qualify for a home.
Divorce Coach - A supportive professional who assists you in changing the narrative of divorce. They work on assisting you move forward beyond the divorce, including how to talk to your partner as well as draw on your better self when conflict arises.
Therapist / Mental Health Professional - A mental health professional can assist you in a number of different ways, from individual therapy while you work through the emotions of the divorce process to uncoupling therapy, where you and your spouse work to separate your relationship with one another. Further, mental health professionals can be beneficial for families or children working through the effects of divorce.
Business Evaluator - Do you own a business that needs to be divided? A business evaluator can help you understand its value and what options you have for buying your spouse out of their interest in the business.
Realtor - Selling your house or needing to buy a new one? Realtors can work with your other divorce professionals to line up the timeline of the purchase or sale with the rest of your divorce agreements.
QDRO Specialist - Typically an attorney who assists with the drafting and filing of QDROs or other related documents for the proper division of retirement accounts.
Other helpful resources could be - appraisers, financial advisors and planners, CPAs, forensic accountants, and more. Talk to your main divorce professional today about what other “team members” may benefit your process.