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August 2015

Divorce 101

By | Blog

First, there is shock. Whether it was your spouse’s idea or your suggestion, the realization that your union won’t last “’til death do us part” requires a major mental reset.

Second, there are questions. Will it be expensive? What happens to my retirement money?

How will I begin to start over and have a new life? What about the kids?

Finding answers is not always easy. Often, it requires phone calls and meetings with multiple professionals. Now women can gather these responses all at once – at divorce workshops offered by

The workshop offers women a safe place to get the score from experts in the field. They explain all the aspects of the process, step by step.

In attendance are:

  • an attorney who’s a board-certified family law specialist
  • a family therapist
  • a financial professional who specializes in divorce.

While each divorce is unique and involves individual issues, here’s a brief look at the essential information.

The legal points surrounding divorce can be complex and thorny. You will need expert advice, not your brother’s friend’s cousin who went through this last year, and certainly not the type of “quicky divorce” filer you see advertised on park benches. Whether you need a litigator, a collaborative divorce attorney, or a mediator will depend on your circumstances and the attitude of your spouse. The process can also take some time, so be prepared for divorce to be a process, not just an event.

Even the person initiating a divorce will feel an emotional impact. Such a separation is a huge change in your life and the lives of your children. You should definitely consider family therapy to help your kids understand that this is not about them. Be sure you find your own support through therapy, a divorce support group, friends and family. It’s natural to feel guilty or angry about divorce, but your support system can help you through it. Try learning something novel to help you kick off your new life.

No matter the legal terms of your divorce, your monetary picture will change. Women often end up with less disposable income, even after child support or alimony. Those who left careers to care for children may struggle to re-enter the workforce. Speak to a financial adviser, and do it sooner rather than later in the process. Things will be different now, so make sure you have a plan in place. Remember to give time to what may seem like far-off issues, such as retirement. Consider also the fiscal implications of all your decisions. For example, the person paying alimony can deduct it as an expense on a tax return, while the ex-spouse who receives it will be taxed for the income. Think about selling the house. Your mortgage payment may be too high to sustain on your new income. While it can be difficult to let go, it might be best for your budget in the long run.

The workshops are designed to start you right on the road to answering these questions by bringing together qualified, local professionals. The environment is safe, collaborative and non-threatening. There are no “sales pitches”, just honest information given by people who care.