Today’s Expert Divorce Help – Divorce Planning
The issue of divorce planning can seem daunting and today’s Divorce Expert discusses top things to consider. Let’s dive in and see what we can learn from today’s expert, Lindsey Egan.
Divorce Squad asks our divorce help experts how the work they do can improve the divorce process and outcomes for you!
How does the work that you do impact the lives of women that are going through a divorce?
As a divorce attorney, I am there for my clients during one of the hardest times of their life. As a woman-led law firm, I strive to keep an empathetic and supportive environment for my clients. A client’s relationship to their divorce attorney will be brief, but meaningful. It is part of my job to make sure that my clients feel they can trust and confide in me. I genuinely enjoy the personal aspects of family law and the relationships I create with my clients. I strive to make the divorce process as easy and stress-free as possible to make things easier for my clients. Divorce can get emotional, and if my client starts crying during one of our meetings, I’ll be there with Kleenex and some Beyonce songs!
When does the work that you do take place? During the divorce process, after the divorce, or both? (Please explain in detail.)
My work takes place throughout all stages of the divorce process. Often, clients will come to me months before they are ready to actually file for divorce. As a divorce attorney, I am there for my clients from the very beginning to the finalization of the divorce; however, I do a lot of work after the divorce process as well. I also assist clients who want modifications to their original agreement in areas such as alimony, child support payments, or child custody. This means I’ve had clients who I have represented in their divorce and later in subsequent modifications to their child support or custody.
What 3 tactics can you suggest for them to move through their divorce with success?
The most important thing you can do for yourself when going through a divorce is to utilize your support system. No matter what that system may look like, those people are here for you and want to help. You don’t need to go through this alone.
Second, taking a deep breath and listening to your attorney can go a long way in cutting down the stress and time involved in your divorce. I have had divorces drag out way longer than they should have because the spouses were fighting over a sofa. Heated emotions can cloud one’s judgement and it’s important to remember a divorce is about doing the best thing for YOU, not wasting your energy and resources arguing back and forth about small items of furniture. Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why taking a step back and getting support is so crucial.
Finally, gathering all your financial documents, and other paperwork needed, and giving them to your attorney in a timely matter can save you lots of time and money in return. Divorce planning typically require financial statements and exchanges dating back three years. That can be overwhelming to clients, and, while I do my best to make the process smooth and ensure my clients understand the path each step of the way, the client is the only one who can access their bank accounts and get this information without utilizing other costly methods, such as a subpoena. From a legal perspective, divorces are oftentimes largely financial matters and giving your attorney access to these financial documents as early as you can will save you so much time and resources.
What pitfall(s) have you witnessed that our readers should know to avoid?
As I mentioned earlier, clients who have a hard time focusing on the big picture and wasting time fighting over every household item with their spouse often have a much more stressful and costly divorce. To avoid this, I like to have my clients give me some of their “needs” versus their “wants” in the beginning of the divorce process. Then, if my client starts getting caught up in arguments with their spouse, we can take a second to look back at their original list. If the item in question is only a “want,” then you can leverage that to make sure you get the items on your “needs” list.
How would collaborating with you during/after divorce minimize the stress of the process?
I am acutely aware that my clients are letting me into their life during one of their most vulnerable times. I honor this by working endlessly to take the emotional burden off my clients. I often drive to my client’s house if they prefer to meet there to discuss their divorce or sign their paperwork. If my client is having a crisis at 7:00pm on a Friday, I’m on the phone with them discussing next steps. Communication is key, and I make sure to outline exactly what I need from my clients and what they should be expecting from me. We communicate throughout the entirety of our relationship to manage expectations on both ends. This helps take away from the mystery of the divorce process and sets standards for both the client and myself. I reach out to my clients well in advance of deadlines to give them time to gather the necessary items and ask me any questions they may have as things come up. I’ve found that this practice has made things so much easier, and my clients appreciate the open line of communication.
Interested in how Lindsey Egan can help you with your divorce planning? Contact her today!