Help! I’m Buried In Paperwork!
January brings about a New Year and a lot of paperwork.
When going through divorce, the paperwork seems insurmountable. It’s not rare that I meet with a client who has been through three attorneys, five boxes of documents, and has accumulated more than $40,000.00 or even $50,000 in attorney’s fees. The despair and anxiety is front and center when we first sit down.
They are overwhelmed and stressed and are so exasperated because they trusted that if they just gave as much paperwork as they have to their attorney, it would just all be taken care of and they would come out on the other side with all that they deserved. The despair on their face when they realize that’s not really what happened is prevalent.
And then, we talk about where they are…what specific document is weighing most heavily on them, and we start going through the pile. The piles of documents can be comprised of of real estate documents, business assets, appraisals, business evaluations, pension plans, bank accounts and the list goes on. My thirty years of paralegal experience allows me to have an “eye” for detail that sometimes gets lost in the mountains of documents. We start organizing, and I talk about a plan to organize paperwork – step by step.
We talk about what each document “is” and how it plays a part in the divorce in the divorce process. Just organizing assets and liabilities in a way that makes sense to them and in a way that they can confidently articulate questions and facts to their attorney or mediator is so empowering.
To help them read documents in a way that they can elicit appropriate questions as it relates to the process is so helpful! They walk away knowing and feeling confident about next steps and no longer feel it is someone else’s responsibility to fix their problems, but see their divorce team as an ally to achieve what is as fair and equitable as possible.
I love the difference when my client leaves, and their head is high and hopeful and more confident than when they arrived. Days are good at My Divorce Solution – one client at a time.
Karen Chellew is a legal liaison at My Divorce Solution who partners with Catherine Shanahan, CDFA. My Divorce Solution is committed to helping divorcing couples develop a transparent plan via a three-phase process to optimize the outcome of their divorce. Phase 1 is the development of the financial portrait.
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