Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining. Even the "best divorces" can take a toll on a person's mental and emotional health. Below are some tips I have put together in my experience as a divorce attorney serving in Woodmere & Nassau County to help people navigate through the divorce process.
Information - it is important to arm yourself with as much information as possible about the divorce process and the laws in the State of New York. Information will be very helpful in determining if you even want to get divorced. If you decide to proceed with a divorce, it is imperative to know what your rights and obligations are and those of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Many people have faulty assumptions and misconceptions as to how New York State treats matters like custody, support and maintenance. Do your homework and consult with an attorney to ask the questions and get the information you need. Whether you ultimately choose to retain an attorney or utilize a mediator in the Woodmere & Nassau County area, information is key.
Professional Expertise - Once you have decided to move forward with a divorce, you must seek the advice and knowledge of professionals with experience in this area. Family and friends mean well, and it may seem that everyone you know knows someone who got divorced but EVERY situation is different. One size does not fit all in a divorce and only an experienced Nassau County attorney will be able to give you the guidance you need and answer your questions correctly. I always tell my clients that people mean well, but there can't be too many cooks in the kitchen. A good attorney will be able to guide you regarding your case with the understanding of the law and the issues that are important to you.
Homework - Occasionally your attorney may give you "homework". Whether it is forms to fill out, documents you need to find, information that needs to be discovered. Whenever your attorney assigns homework, it is crucial to get it done. Attorneys know what issues may arise and which documents they may need at some point. Attorneys do not want to waste their time scrambling around at the last minute. Although some documents may never be produced and some information may not become relevant, the more we know the better prepared we can be to help you with your case. Additionally, it is important to know where all your important documents are located or how to access them if necessary. Make a list of the professionals you will need to contact to acquire documents (accountants, bankers, wealth management professionals, therapists, doctors, etc.)
Responsiveness - Get into the habit of checking your e-mail. The most common form of communication that attorneys use with their clients is e-mail. I always tell my clients to check their e-mail twice a day to make sure they are up to date on any new developments and can respond to any inquiries. Attorneys do not want to run after their clients, and it will cost you more money in the long run if your attorney needs to follow up on every communication. Some issues are time-sensitive and need a response ASAP.
Self-care - The best thing a person going through a divorce can do for themselves is to build in some self-care into their schedule. Going to the movies, eating out with friends, exercising, or any activity that helps you re-set and re-focus. Divorce can be difficult and depressing. It is important to know there will be light at the end of the road and self-care is instrumental in helping you make it through the process. I had a client that after every court appearance would treat herself to some shopping and a facial. I thought it was a brilliant way to decompress after an intense few hours. She took the time to care for herself which helped her better care for her children.