LIFE SPANS – THE BRIDGE DIVORCE STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER Interesting Info You Can Read Over a Single Cup of Coffee

I Wanna Hold Her Hand

Let’s start with a simple set of facts: You bill by the hour. I do, too, but I also am compensated in other ways which give me a degree of flexibility on the clock that you don’t have.

Who benefits from this in a divorce case? Well, everyone. Especially you. Because a divorcing woman, i.e., the client I’ll help you with, needs more time than you can afford to give her in order to give you a lot of the crucial information you need to proceed with the case.

Allow me to explain. I know that you, as a family lawyer, deal in divorce all the time. And you know it’s a stressful situation for the divorcing party. That said, you still need to perform your job. But for the woman in the case, the very prospect of divorce represents the beginning of a grieving process, not too different from a death.

It’s a process, alright. Anger, denial, depression, and all that. Thing is, this process is not linear. It’s more a case of one step forward, two steps back. So you can’t meet with her on Day Three and assume she’ll be better than she was on Day Two. It just doesn’t work that way.

This is where my flexibility comes to the rescue. For a woman who—unfortunately, typically—hasn’t been involved in the family finances, tax planning, or retirement strategy, it compounds the grieving process with a real dose of fear. She doesn’t know if she’ll even be financially secure. How will she be able to afford the future? Will she, heaven forbid, end up being a burden to her kids?

Taking sides

I worked a case recently where the woman felt, well, wronged by her husband. Knowing the situation, I told her, “You’re right.”

Simple as that. I should know. I was divorced. This woman needed a shoulder to cry on, someone who can understand her situation. And I’m able to provide this within the context of moving the case forward.

To be clear: I’m not a therapist. I’m a CPA. A numbers person. But I realize that there’s no way I’m going to get valid numbers to work with if that woman is overwhelmed by financial stress based on decisions her husband had made, compounded by the grieving process of the divorce.

Example: I recently worked with a woman who owned a house, then put her husband’s name on it when they married. They later sold it. Then took a HELOC on the new house, and put that money into the stock market… is your head swimming yet? It’s hard enough to tease out the numbers to put into Excel, especially when the woman is literally lying awake at night, terrified by her inability to take charge of the situation.

You’re on the clock. You bill by the hour. And you’re up against very real deadlines for everything from submitting a valid AFI to communicating with the opposing party to working toward a fixed settlement date. Let me relieve some of your stress—by helping your women clients to de-stress, while also helping you build the strongest possible financial case that vaults you from hero to superhero.

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