Getting through a difficult divorce is challenging during the best of times. These days, it can feel all but impossible. Thankfully, there are plenty of professionals willing to help.
For example, Divorce Resource CT is an organization made up of mediators, attorneys, and a group of financial advisers. The group hosts virtual workshops for those contemplating divorce and for those who are already in the process of divorcing their spouse. The workshops include discussions with mental health professionals, interviews with financial and legal experts, couples workshops, and live QandA sessions. According to HamletHub.com, Divorce Resource CT is “driven by the desire to raise awareness for non-adversarial divorce options so that families can transition through the divorce process in a smooth and healthy manner.”
While complimentary virtual workshops may or may not be available in your area, they are not necessary. It is possible to get help getting through a difficult divorce no matter where you are and what your circumstances may be. Learn what professionals are most helpful and how to go about seeking guidance or assistance from them.
1. A Divorce Attorney
Although emotions may be running high, when it comes down to it, divorce is a legal process. The process of divorce legally separates your finances, divides up marital assets, divvies up debts, and determines child custody arrangements, child support, and/or spousal support payments, if and when applicable. That is not all a divorce attorney will do.
When you work with a divorce attorney, he or she will:
- Prepare necessary paperwork and make certain that you meet state requirements and deadlines. Those who choose to pursue a divorce without legal help may be setting themselves up for failure. In many states and jurisdictions, there are certain requirements that must be met. Failing to meet these requirements may result in considerable delays and, in some cases, may even lead to the court denying your petition for divorce. For example, if your spouse files for divorce, you typically have three weeks to formally respond. Responding in a timely manner is necessary to protect your finances, assets, and legal rights as a parent. Keeping track of these deadlines and require paperwork can be overwhelming. Team up with a lawyer, and he or she will do it for you.
- Iron out the kinks. The nuances of law can be tricky to navigate, no matter the field. Divorce law is no exception, and it can be particularly challenging getting through a difficult divorce while parsing out the legal complexities of the process. An attorney will help you determine how to legally divide up assets, including assets that may be subject to a prenuptial agreement or ones that were previously unaccounted for. They can also help partners devise a specific plan for repaying shared debts. Divorce proceedings aren’t always straightforward. Let an attorney help.
- Stay out of court. For the most part, it is often best for everyone if divorce does not require litigation in court. Qualified lawyers can help you negotiate a fair settlement with your spouse. Doing that will speed up the process and make it considerably less stressful.
Getting through a difficult divorce takes time, patience, emotional fortitude, and quite a bit of legal red tape. Do not go it alone. Team up with an attorney to ensure that all legal proceedings go as smoothly as possible.
2. A Health Insurance Professional
Although the specifics will vary by state and your previously active health insurance plan, for the most part, getting through a difficult divorce also means finding new health insurance coverage. If you were covered on your spouse’s plan, you may lose those benefits immediately when you legally separate or after the divorce becomes final. That means it is wise to work with a qualified health insurance provider during a divorce and to do it as soon as possible. Here are some key points to know about health insurance coverage when you are going through a divorce:
- There are options. You may not be dropped from your spouse’s plan during a legal separation or immediately following the divorce in certain circumstances. For example, health insurance coverage may be addressed in your divorce settlement. If that is the case, you may request you and your children remaining on your spouse’s plan as a condition of the settlement. If you hold the primary health insurance for the household, your spouse may do the same.
- Another option is to temporarily stay on your spouse’s plan by taking advantage of COBRA benefits. Using this legal loophole, you may be able to remain on your spouse’s plan for as long as three years. However, this is often prohibitively expensive. In most cases, it is much more cost-effective to obtain health insurance through your own employer or through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Your children are eligible to remain covered under your spouse’s plan.
Getting through a difficult divorce can be even more difficult when health insurance coverage comes into question. Work closely with a health insurance professional to secure a reliable plan independent of your ex-spouse’s.
3. A Business Lawyer
Once again, divorce is rarely a straightforward process. Getting through a difficult divorce is significantly more complicated when you and your partner own a business together. When you own a business together and divorce, you have three main options:
- Sell. Selling may be preferable if the business is not doing particularly well. Temporary measures, like filing for bankruptcy, may help the truly motivated and those truly dedicated to reviving their business. If that does not describe you and your spouse, selling is your best option. Once the process is complete, it is possible to equally divide up the profits from the sale and move forward without the business tethering spouses down.
- One spouse may buy out the other. While selling may be the simplest option, it is not the one divorcing couples overwhelmingly prefer. “The most popular method for dealing with private business interests in a divorce is for one spouse to purchase the other spouse’s interest in the business,” The American Bar Association (ABA) writes. The spouse who purchases the business will be wholly responsible for its expenses, including business insurance and liability insurance, moving forward.
- Continue co-managing as business partners. Just because you no longer wish to be married does not mean you cannot successfully co-parent or run a business together. In fact, some ex-spouses report even greater success parenting or running a business together after a divorce. “Sometimes former spouses get along better because they can see themselves more clearly as allies in a strategic goal — such as parenting their children or keeping a business afloat — whereas spouses in a waning marriage can feel like opposing camps in a cold war,” Psychology Today explains.
No matter what you choose to do, there will be legal red tape. Work closely with a business lawyer while getting through a difficult divorce to ascertain that your sale, buy-out, or continued partnership is within legal bounds.
4. An Employment Agent
Reliable employment can have a direct bearing on your marriage. According to Time magazine, unemployed men are 33% more likely to divorce than their employed counterparts — and unemployment is at an all-time high right now. Although coronavirus cases are finally beginning to decline, thanks to the rollout of the vaccine, there are still a disproportionate number of Americans who are struggling to find work. In Feb. 2021, 861,000 people filed for unemployment benefits.
While these are unprecedented times, a quality employment agency can help. Employment agents may have access to resources the average worker does not. These professionals can use their network and connections to help people find work, even with a tough market. Plus, these professionals are paid to seize opportunities. They can help you take a new approach to your job search — and do it successfully. For example, if you previously worked in an industry that is struggling right now, like the tourism industry, an employment agent or recruiter can help you find jobs where you will use the same skills. They can also help you make the case to potential employers that your skills are relevant and transferable.
5. A Home Remodeler
When going through a difficult divorce, it is common to sell your house. Often, spouses do not want to stay in a house filled with memories of their old lives, or they simply find that houses feel too spacious with fewer people around. As with selling a business, putting a house up for sale and finalizing the sale prior to divorce can make the process of asset and property division markedly easier.
Of course, it is always best to spruce up the appearance of your house at least somewhat before selling. Even making relatively minor fixes or improvements can pay off big. Talk to a trusted home remodeler about the best, budget-friendly fixes to make before selling. These may include applying a fresh layer of paint, investing in wood flooring repair, replacing your front door, and doing anything that will add to curb appeal. Replace out old lighting fixtures, purchase new outdoor outlet covers, power wash sidewalks and patios, and plant some fresh flowers.
6. A Retail Worker
Getting through a difficult divorce can be time-consuming. It may require a lot of patience and grit. Half the challenge is getting through appointments with lawyers, insurers, and financial experts. The other half of the challenge is finding a new normal. To do that, some retail therapy may be in order.
Head out to the store, and purchase a new wardrobe. If you do not know where to start, talk to a retail worker. They are there to assist you. Talk to them about what items you need and your preferred style. If you are applying for jobs, make sure to invest in several, interview-appropriate outfits. Similarly, if are working on establishing a new exercise routine, purchase the clothing and equipment you need to do it. For example, purchase running shoes for flat feet if you want to try out popular programs, like Couch to 5K, but lack defined arches on your feet.
7. A Pet Adoption Consultant
Another part of establishing a new normal means making sure that you have companionship while getting through a difficult divorce. Talk to a pet adoption consultant about adding a new furry friend to the family.
A new pet will keep you occupied and help you establish a new routine. Pets lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and make us happy. They’re the perfect companions for snuggling without the emotional baggage, and they can even help you meet new people. You may meet other dog owners at the local dog park or at events aimed at dog owners.
Before adopting, it is important to ensure that your home is fit for a new dog. Look into fence installation, dog gates, and puppy training. Getting these things together can be a welcome reprieve from thinking about your divorce.
8. A Car Salesman
Just like a house, a particular car may seem unfit or oversized when you divorce. Conversely, going through a difficult divorce may be the exact opportunity you were looking for — at least when it comes to purchasing new vehicles. If you and your spouse never quite agreed at car dealerships, now is the time to go ahead and buy the car of your dreams if you can afford it.
If downsizing is an equally appealing option to you, talk to a car salesman about a model that can save you gas and money.
9. A Limo Rental Agent
Sometimes what you need most while getting through a difficult divorce is to look forward to something again. For some, that may very well come in the form of a limo rental. Renting a limo can be a welcoming retreat for you and some friends or for you and your children. Rent a limo for a night out on the town, or take your kids’ minds off the ongoing divorce process by treating them to a luxurious tour they will never forget. Talk to a limo rental agent about your options.
Getting through a difficult divorce is trying in the best of times. Do not go through it alone. Team up with these nine professionals to mitigate the stress of a typical divorce.