When one or both people decide to end a marriage or long-term committed relationship, the couple often enters what I call ‘The Window of Vulnerability’. Everything is fresh, raw, and often overwhelming. It can be hard to know what you need.
Through my years of involvement with families experiencing separation, I know how vitally important it is to be an informed consumer of professional services right from the VERY beginning. It’s my hope that taking the Divorce Self-evaluation Survey, and reviewing the comprehensive report you’ll receive based on your responses, will help you do just that.
Why Knowing Your Options Is So Important — And So Tough
I try to help my clients to get an initial sense of which services seem most appropriate for them in their situation at that time. But it can be difficult to make the best choices at this point for a number of reasons.
First, there are many different types of services and service providers to choose from among legal, therapeutic and financial professionals.
Second, spouses at this point can be in different ’emotional time zones’—that is, one person may have been thinking about this for some time and is ready to start making decisions, while the other person receiving the decision of their partner may be experiencing strong emotions that make decision-making almost impossible.
Third, the tasks in a separation are ‘front loaded’,—that is, all the tasks required seem to come up at the same time, when emotions are raw and tensions high. This can truly be a difficult time to work together to make a good start. And if children are involved, day-to-day needs and activities still need to continue while parents are doing the difficult work of sorting out the separation tasks.
Lastly, well intentioned friends and family sometimes offer recommendations for services based on their experiences of the experiences of someone they know. Their intention is to help, but suggestions don’t always include an in-depth understanding of you, your partner and your situation, and often aren’t made with full knowledge of all the choices available. These suggestions may get you going in a direction you would not have chosen, if you’d been aware of all your options.
THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. This is a survey that attempts to help you to understand how your situation fits with legal, financial and therapeutic services.
THIS IS NOT A THERAPEUTIC SERVICE. We hope that by knowing how you and your situation fit with various professional services and process choices, you will feel calmer and safer. At the same time, it is not a therapeutic service.
Notes: The terms “lawyers” and “attorneys” are used interchangeably.
This survey is about process choices, not about the law in any particular area. The concepts presented here are based on professional services provided in Canada and the United States. There may be some variation in other countries however most of the basic principles will still apply.