Step 2 in Preparing for Divorce: Align Yourself with Professionals

By: Adrienne Rothstein Grace
Last Update: October 26, 2016

As a continuation in my series of how to prepare for divorce, we’ll explore who you need to work with for the best counsel in order to get an outcome that supports your future.

Step #2 – Align yourself with professionals

First, think about the process you and your spouse will want to undertake. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this going to be an acrimonious divorce? Or will my spouse and I cooperate?
  • Do I already know about all of our household and personal finances? Or do I suspect that I may be out of the loop on some assets, debts, or income sources?
  • Do I trust my spouse to be cooperative and forthright?
  • Do I have any reason to believe that I will feel intimidated by my spouse during these proceedings?
  • Are we both focused on the well-being of our children?

If you believe that you and your spouse will cooperate and will have joint best interests in mind while negotiating, then you might want to choose a divorce mediator or embrace a collaborative divorce. Those options are less costly, more private, and usually result in a more peaceful settlement process. However, if you are not certain about finances, or cannot trust your spouse to be completely above-board and cooperative, then you might hire a traditional divorce attorney, who will only have your interests in focus while they help negotiate the complexities of your divorce.

Legal help is only the first step. Generally speaking, attorneys are focused on the legalities of your divorce, and while many are well-versed in understanding your finances today, they are not experts in how today’s finances translate into your future. Bringing a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) into the picture helps ensure that your financial settlement works for you both today, and down the road, as your needs and life-stage change.

Finally, round out the professionals you involve in your divorce with a therapist who is experienced in the divorce process. You will encounter new emotions, new fears, new adventures, and a “new you” as your divorce unfolds.  Having someone by your side to help guide the personal aspects of your divorce will help you to keep focus – which in turn makes you better prepared for both the legal and financial sides of negotiation.

We have all heard the adage, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Don’t forget that it takes a team to guide you through this life-altering transition.


Securities offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co. Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Davis Financial and Cadaret, Grant are separate entities.

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