Have you or someone you know been through a divorce?  Was the experience about as fun as a root canal? 

Some of you may be able to relate to a couple that I knew that had grown apart.  They were essentially living separate lives.  The wife wanted to go to counseling and the husband refused.  The husband had developed a habit of ending each argument with lets just get divorced.  One day the wife learned that her husband had developed a problem that he refused to acknowledge.  The ensuing argument led to the husband stating he wanted a divorce and this time…she agreed.  The wife mourned the marriage, picked herself up, and made a better life for her and their children.  

Going through a divorce is absolutely a very stressful experience and one of the most painful events many will deal with.  Many people understandably allow their emotions to control the divorce, which often leads to an adversarial experience.  There are different ways to approach your divorce.  It is important to recognize that there are essentially two things that people most often fight over – children and money.  

I am going to focus on the money. 

First and foremost, it is important to understand that in Georgia, you are each entitled to an equitable settlement.  That being the case, hiring a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) to thoroughly evaluate your financial situation and present you with options to arrive at an equitable settlement is critical.  Understanding what your situation is and what the options could be also helps to alleviate the mistrust and animosity.  A CDFA will also help you to see your financial position when you divorce and twenty years into the future.  This visibility helps you to make decisions regarding your settlement and plan for your future.  

Hiring a good attorney is also critical.  Your attorney will be your strongest ally.  Do you want a barracuda or a great negotiator or someone who can be both?  It is important to determine what type of attorney you are hiring.  Ask for referrals from other professionals, or friends, or relatives.  Ask the attorney for references.  Make sure that you are hiring someone that will represent you in the manner that reflects your goals. 

Your CDFA and your attorney will work together to ensure that you attain the best settlement possible.

Many people want to be validated through their divorce.  If you and your spouse were not in sync during the marriage, it is unlikely that your spouse will reach an aha moment during your divorce and see things your way.  This may be where you need to surround yourself with good friends, a therapist, and/or a journal.  

There is life after a divorce.  You can use divorce as a catalyst to reinvent yourself.  Focus on family and friends; follow your passions; and pursue new dreams – that is exactly what “the wife” did in my opening story.  I became a successful Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.  Immerse yourself in your career and develop your professional network.  ProWin is an excellent venue for women in Atlanta.  

As a business owner and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, I am here to help.  If you know someone facing this painful situation called divorce, connect us.  I would be happy to guide him or her to an amicable financial resolution and a revised happily ever after.

© 2015 Mitchell Hayes