Adding to all the complexities of dealing with divorce is one key word: TRUST. Who can I trust?
A simple rule is to trust in the divorce professionals (attorney, finance professional, therapist, real estate agent, divorce coach) on your team and NO ONE else. That may seem very black and white or limiting, but it is clear, direct, and easy to remember in times of stress.
Why Trust Matters
Divorce is riddled with life altering components – financial, logistical and emotional. With whom you chose to share details of your divorce can have both immediate and long-lasting ramifications.
Trusting the divorce professionals on your team enables you to:
- Communicate with transparency, providing all relevant information – the good and the bad – with your team so that they can do their jobs.
- Let the professionals do their job efficiently and effectively.
- Save time and money that can otherwise be lost in the turmoil caused with misused information or by conflicting advice from the non-professionals.
- Protect your negotiation process by keeping the strategies to that inner circle.
- Build confidence in your case and your future because you aren’t enabling someone you can’t trust to sabotage it
How can you tell you don’t trust a team member? Perhaps it is a lingering gut feeling. Perhaps you notice that you are sharing information outside of this zone or find yourself seeking the advice of non-professionals. You may be withholding critical information, which could ultimately compromise the outcome of your settlement. However it shows up, if you don’t think that you can trust one of the professionals you’ve brought onto your team, it is important to address it immediately!
You must have trust. Use the other members of your team as a sounding board if you are feeling conflicted. Then either commit to the professional in question or seek another referral. Trust within your team is critical.
“So, really don’t trust ANYONE ELSE?” Let’s look at who “anyone else” is…
#1: Your Spouse: Avoid one of the major pitfalls of divorce: Don’t share anything with your spouse unless your attorney has instructed or advised you to do so.
This is tricky. You may be working towards an amicable divorce and feel that you are strengthening that goal by sharing with your spouse. The hard-core part of divorce is that there is a business side that must be addressed. You must respect that and treat as such. Not all of us are business savvy, but our spouse may very well be. If you are being transparent with your attorney then your spouse’s attorney will be provided all the necessary information by your legal team that is needed, allowing for a completely amicable divorce to take place.
When your spouse raises a new topic or seems to be poking for insight to your strategy, you can manage the situation with responses like: “Interesting. Let me think about that”, or “Ok, give me time to run this by my attorney.” There’s no need to justify this request, but do follow through if you feel that it is necessary.
#2: Everybody Else: Friends and family are well meaning but – because they care – are likely to be opinionated and unintentionally biased, which can increase your confusion. Bring that confusion to your professional team, and you’ve just increased your expenses.
If friends and family push for updates or insight into strategies, quickly put it to rest with a response that closes the topic, like: “Oh thanks, for asking but my attorney is fabulous and has everything under control.”
Family and friends can provide a wonderful support system. They can help you in many productive ways – moving, logistics with kids, taking you out for a fun activity, or just a great hug and some friendly company. Keep that relationship relaxed and less stressed by letting them know that you have the legal aspects under control. Your confidence will give them peace of mind and enable them to be what you need most: your friends and your family.