Separation and divorce consulting
I believe that the divorce and separation process can be managed in a way to reduce the pain and anguish suffered, reduce the cost and optimize the outcome for all parties involved.
As a social worker and mediator who has also had a long career in strategic planning in government, I have worked with many sensitive projects. I believe that your separation and divorce need to be treated as business negotiations, and the most important and most sensitive project you will ever have.
You can and should think hard about what outcomes you are looking for, why you want them, and how you can get them. You need to think about how you can achieve these with the lowest cost and distress to you and your children. You need to think about business principles such as risk management, timing, and budget. As a mother and a person who has been through the difficult process myself, I can understand the difficult combination of managing your feelings, your family, and your job, at the same time as the work of separation and divorce.
In separation and divorce you are negotiating the sharing of assets (your home, your savings and your stuff), liabilities (your debts) and cash flow (how much of whose income will be given to the other).
I will help you articulate your position and wishes in a manner that will be acceptable to the other side so that you get what you want. I bring strategic negotiation skills to your divorce and provide guidance and advice to shorten the process.
I help clients present their financial position, track expenses and asset dispositions and make sure that they are getting a fair share of the marital assets. Clients feel empowered and confident, and enjoy having a strong ally in their corner.
A consultant and ally will help you keep costs down by helping you to think strategically, reduce conflicts with your former spouse, use legal services carefully, and understand the process.
In the first shock of separation, I will help you to figure out what steps you need to take:
- how to make sure you and your children are safe
- how to tell your former spouse that you are leaving
- how to think straight when your separation is a surprise
- who gets the kids and when
- where the important documents are, how to find them, where to keep them. Do you know what your assets are?
- when you need to hire a lawyer
- how to choose a lawyer (where to find one, how to get a lawyer whose style matches your needs)
- thinking about collaborative law and mediation, what they are, whether they fit your plan
- how to get your ideas, priorities and paper in order to make the best use of your lawyer’s time
- how to manage day to day family life when everything feels like it is upside down. How to ask friends and family for help; how to hire a sitter
- thinking about the best parenting plan for your children, for you, and for your children’s other parent. What are good practices? How can you talk to your children’s other parent about this?
- reading your court orders and helping you to make sure you are complying with them
- taming the paperwork (organizing your papers, helping you stay on top of the important items you will need while you sort out your separation, drawing up a calendar for your parenting plan to you can discuss it with your children’s other parent)
- keeping a handle on your money. It is easy to overspend when you are overwhelmed. Develop strategies for a livable but tight budget
- how to tell friends and family
As you settle into the post-separation phase, I can help you to make medium and longer-term decisions:
- raising children during this difficult time. Does my child need a therapist? How can I find other supports for him or her?
- how to manage your expenses so you have the best options for your future and your children’s
- decisions about retraining and job changes
- decisions about new schools and childcare
- decisions about selling your house and choosing a new place to live
- managing your relationship with your children’s other parent and extended family
- how to stay focused if you go through a long legal process. What is your game plan? How will you make sure it works?
- staying healthy and together for yourself and your children
I can help you to get through the difficult period, and make a difference for your future.
I provide home visits, and coaching and counselling by telephone and Skype, as well as office visits.