How to Look For Experts

Experts who may be able to assist you (in or out of mediation)

By Lee Chabin
Director of Training and Mediation Program Development, Community Mediation Services, Inc.

In my last post, I began writing on the subject of getting help during divorce when it comes to gathering and understanding financial information. I mentioned that family members , friends and neighbors may be supportive. But, they may not be aware that we need their help; it may be awkward, even for those who care about us, to bring up the divorce and related issues, and so we may have to take that first step and let others know what we need. In my previous post, I also suggested that enrolling in a class dealing with the basics of handling money may be worthwhile for some of us.

Now, I want to introduce the idea of looking to experts:

If you are stuck, a therapist or support group might be helpful.
A social worker or psychologist may be able to assist if you have unhealthy attitudes about money. If sadness, let's say, is the issue rather than money, help in dealing with your emotions may make it easier to grapple with other matters, such as the financial ones.
A support group can be a very positive environment. During my own divorce, I felt embarrassed, even ashamed. As if I was the only one in the world going through a marital breakup. Joining a support group made me feel much less alone.
Having trouble with some of the numbers? Perhaps your accountant can assist you. (Depending on your needs, there are also “certified divorce financial analysts", tax attorneys and others that may offer the services you need. Think about what questions you need answered, and who can do that job for you. Unsure about what a particular professional does? Go on the computer and search for “What is a certified divorce financial analyst?”
If you need someone to listen, help you consider and develop your goals, and then hold you to account on fulfilling those goals, a “divorce coach” might be right for you. A good divorce coach will be on your side, offer support and assist in focusing your thinking. Even when we know what we ought to be doing, having someone to keep us on track can make all the difference in getting things done.
Wondering what something is worth? Almost anything can be appraised, from jewelry to a home, to artwork or a business. (Some caution is warranted here; not everything is worth the cost of an appraisal. There are other methods of assigning values to items; something to be discussed at another time).
This isn't by any means an all-inclusive list of the resources; but perhaps it will give you an idea of who and what is out there to help you learn more and get through a separation or divorce.

Spouses in mediation often avail themselves of one or more of these types of assistance. But, of course, you don’t have to be a mediation client to get such help.

All blog posts are for information purposes, and should not be considered as legal advice.

Next time: Experts in mediation: they play a different role than they do in litigation.

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