August 2016

Legal Update: How to Help Your Client Through a Divorce


by Monica M. Potter

It has long been said that except for experiencing the death of a loved one, a divorce is the most traumatic experience a person can face during their lifetime. Clients often turn to their professional advisors for advice-what should you tell your clients?

  • Therapy-Even if your client is the spouse who chose to end the marriage, divorce is a life transition and anyone going through this process will reap the benefits of therapy. Many times mutual friends are not good sounding boards for the client because friends often don’t want to be “caught in the middle” so having an objective outlet is helpful.
  • Consult a Family Law Attorney As Soon As Possible– When I entered the word “divorce” into Google it returned 196 million results! For the majority of people, the divorce process is daunting and full of unknowns. The information on the internet is overwhelming and not necessarily accurate or applicable to California. Even if your client is only contemplating a divorce obtaining information from a reputable family law attorney will ensure your client is obtaining the correct information and advice to make a well informed decision.
  • Get Organized-The first step in preparing for a divorce is to gather all important documents and information such as copies of the last five years of tax returns, a current financial statement or balance sheet, the most recent copies of all account statements and title deeds to real property. It will be very helpful if your client has gathered this information before meeting with a family law attorney.