Practically the only way to gain experience is to fully experience a situation, and a divorce is no different. Most of the time we have to go through something in order to make the distinctions and gain the experience that will benefit us "the next time." Yet I'm sure you don't want to learn tough divorce lessons for any "next divorce!" In my case, by the time I learned the lessons that could have helped me manage my divorce better, the ink was long dry on the divorce decree.
I'm not going to even pretend that having a few nuggets of knowledge will make your divorce easier, but having some after-the-fact insight while you're still in the midst of it may make a fair amount of difference to you. Having the right "divorce team" assembled can make all of the difference in your todays and your tomorrows.
As I wrote in If Divorce Is a Game, These Are the Rules, there are three key players you need to have on your team: your divorce lawyer, your therapist, and to divorce coach.
Your attorney's role, quite simply, is to act on your behalf and with your best interests in mind. Done well, they will handle the majority of the negotiations, any visitation schedules, and even the settlement, while shielding you from the fight and a lot of the stress. While you will still have to be involved, and have a hand and voice in your divorce, a fantastic attorney will handle the day-to-day challenges which will allow you to get started with both healing and moving on.
Finding the right therapist can help you to heal wounds, old and new, while providing you with strategies and tools that will help you interact with your ex in the most appropriate and healthy ways possible. Not only is your therapist equipped to hear and help you deal with the daily drama of divorce, they can help you to keep your wits about you, and put to bed the previous vision you had of your future. Using a therapist does not mean there's anything wrong with you, in fact, a therapist can validate much of what is right with you!
Finally, a divorce coach (while a relatively new player on the divorce field) can help you conceptualize and plan a bright new future. Divorce coaches hold your hand and help you develop a new vision for your future, all while minimizing the amount of time (and money) you spend with your attorney. Great divorce coaches will ensure you stay focused on the positive, assist you with moving forward, and work with you to help you move into your new future.
This power team can positively impact not only your divorce, and also your present and future in ways a simple blog post cannot begin to describe. I hope you will take the advice of this seasoned divorce veteran, and use my experience to your advantage.