08/08/2013 04:28 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2013

Mistakes We Fear We'll Make During Divorce

Almost anyone who has gone through the divorce process will rank it as the single-most challenging life-event. Without a doubt, divorce is difficult. Brutal. Because most people divorcing are doing it for the first time, every unknown step is fraught with uncertainty and fear. "Am I making the right decision? " "What if I say the wrong thing?" "How will I know that I'm being treated fairly?" After surveying clients about the fears they had about the divorce process, here's what they had to say (in no particular order):

1. I had no idea how to choose the right lawyer.
2. I was scared that my private affairs would be splayed out in a public courtroom.
3. I didn't understand how spousal support would be calculated, and feared that I would be "taken to the cleaners."
4. We both want to stay in our house. How will it be divided?
5. What am I entitled to get?
6. What will it cost to get divorced?
7. What will happen if my spouse doesn't want to get divorced?
8. What will happen to my kids? How will the divorce functionally affect them?
9. What about our dogs??
10. I don't understand how it happens ... what are the steps that must be taken and what should I expect as I go through this process?

Rather than allowing the fear of the unknown to paralyze you into inaction, consider consulting with a family lawyer, certified family law mediator , or divorce coach. These professionals are trained in family law matters, and can often alleviate your fears during a single phone call. Concerns relating to your children, spousal support, co-parenting, etc. can all be addressed, allowing you to become more educated and make informed decisions about what's best for you and your family.

What was the biggest issue or fear in your divorce?