185071534-checklist-gettyimagesAs an attorney with two small children, I am very aware of how crazy family life can be, even on the good days. I am always looking for ways to create more peace in my day-to-day life, and in the lives of my clients. Many people experience the stress of fearing the unknown in the beginning of a divorce, which is normal. Although it seems counterintuitive, getting organized on paper can help lower your stress levels during a divorce. Many couples struggle, in the midst of hectic family life, to get their financial paperwork together for review. To help with this, I provide my clients with a checklist at the initial consultation outlining everything we need. This reduces a daunting task to a series of concrete steps that will just take time to complete, while the stress of not quite knowing what needs to be done is (somewhat) relieved. If you keep your tasks organized on paper, they can’t worry you as much, and the same goes for your thoughts. Just like piles of forgotten paperwork, racing, unorganized thoughts can contribute to stress. I recommend getting a personal notebook to jot down meeting notes, as well as your ongoing thoughts, to-do lists, and concerns throughout the divorce process. It is a good way to keep everything recorded in tangible form, which makes it easier to maintain your peace of mind. Writing your thoughts down helps you keep track of the big picture as well as little things to remember, and you can rest better at night knowing you won’t forget anything important. Recording accomplishments, thoughts, and tasks will not only help the divorce process go more efficiently, but it can really bring you a sense of peace, control, and empowerment as well. At the end of the day, this is what we are all looking for.
Cable car let go I just saw the pulse-pounding film Gravity, about American astronauts who are stranded in space following an unexpected catastrophe. This is not a spoiler alert—anyone who has seen a trailer for the movie knows this is going to happen. Without giving anything else away, I want to talk about a theme that runs through this film: when there are no guarantees of safety, but holding on is not an option, how do you find the courage to let go? If you are facing divorce, this is a question you may feel forced to answer against your will. For many people, divorce is an unexpected, disorienting catastrophe for which they are not prepared. In an instant, the world is spinning out of control. It can feel as if you are staring into the void, rudderless and without an anchor. There is no longer safety in trying to hold onto the past, but what lies ahead feels absolutely uncertain. “I have to let go, but how will I survive?” is a very real question. “You will make it!” is the answer. And despite how lonely you might feel, you are not alone. There are sources of support that you have never known about, because until now you haven’t had to find them. It is possible to find handholds, but you do need to make some leaps of faith, while acknowledging the reality that there are no absolute guarantees in life. One source of support is Collaborative Team Practice, an out-of-court divorce option that you may never have heard of before. A Collaborative Team provides calm, experienced and supportive assistance through the crisis, and helps families transform the chaos and anxiety that can accompany a divorce into a safer and clearer road map for the future. If this sounds like the kind of handhold you have been searching for as you need to let go, please visit our website at www.collaborative law.org. Any of our multidisciplinary team professionals–attorneys, financial neutrals, neutral coaches and neutral child specialists–can provide a free initial consultation to explain the process and inform you of your options. We are here for you, and know that you can find us.