Divorce and child custody cases are difficult for all involved. Your lawyer cannot necessarily help you with all of the problems that divorce and child custody cases can cause. Here are some helpful recommendations that I give my clients:
1) Go see a counselor
Counseling is a wonderful tool for those going through the difficult life changes divorce and child custody battles can cause. Even the most balanced, centered individuals benefit from a visit or two to a counselor. Usually, a series of visits in the best for individuals dealing with the complicated feelings these occurrences can cause.
Counseling used to have more of a stigma, but it really shouldn't. Counseling can be useful to even the most perfectly healthy individuals. And, if you aren't perfectly healthy mentally or emotionally, a good counselor can give you the tools to deal with your feelings.
2) Have your child see a counselor
Children truly benefit from visiting a child counselor in a divorce or custody battle. Divorce and child custody are felt by the child just as much, if not more than, their parents. A good child counselor can help your child fully express what they are feeling, and deal with those feelings. No matter how amicable the divorce, it is a change for the child(ren) and change can lead to a lot of good and bad emotions. It never hurts to have your child talk to a trained professional to get to the bottom of things.
3) See an accountant for tax questions
Lawyers are not trained accountants! We get asked a lot of tax questions and we are not trained to answer tax questions. While many lawyers do have basic tax knowledge, we do not have the knowledge base of an accountant. If you have tax questions, please see an accounting professional.
4) Talk to your retirement account adminstrator
If your divorce proceedings involve a retirement account (on either side), please talk to your retirement account administrator (and your accountant, for that matter, as many of these cases will have tax repercussions). A retirement account administrator can talk to you about options for dividing a retirement account, the process to divide retirement accounts, and the ways you can set up a new account.
5) Investigate your options with Guardians ad Litem
I have already written a post on Guardians ad Litem. However, it bears mentioning here. If your case involves children and you think you might need more assistance in determining a parenting plan, please consider trying to appoint a guardian ad litem. However, do be careful, as the wrong guardian ad litem can have a lasting, negative impact on your case.
6) Talk to banks and mortgage lenders
Many divorce cases involve a refinance of a joint loan, such as a home or car. There are many great resources for those looking to refinance certain loans. Before you get too deep in your divorce proceedings, do consult with a mortgage lender and/or bank before deciding how you are going to deal with your joint home loan, car loan, etc.
There are many non-lawyer professionals who can help you during your divorce or child custody journey. Your lawyer should be able to recommend stellar professionals in each field. If you want to discuss your options with me, please feel free to schedule a consultation at 406.204.0757 (call or text) or firstname.lastname@example.org.