By Kate Scharff
Imagine: You’re sipping coffee, perusing the Sunday paper. Suddenly, you’re jerked from your reverie by an ominous bang. You dash to the basement. Scalding water from your ruptured hot water heater rises around you. As your bare feet blister, you splash to your phone, Google frantically, then punch in the number of the first plumber you find who does emergency house calls. You don’t check references. You don’t care if the company is bonded. You can’t even think. You just want it to stop — now!
Facing separation and divorce is some version of this nightmare.
Whether you’re leaving or being left, whether you’ve been planning the split for months or it hit like a bolt from the blue, life as you’ve known it is over. Even as your emotions ping pong like lottery balls, you’ll have to make some big decisions — starting with which lawyer you’ll choose to represent you in discussions about two of the most important things in your life: your kids and your money.
Where to start?
Relax. You can do this. Here are some tips.
You’re under pressure. Maybe your wife has dumped your clothing in an angry heap on the guest room bed and left the real estate listings on the pillow. Perhaps your husband’s attorney is flooding your inbox with nastygrams threatening litigation if you don’t get counsel yesterday.
But guess what? This is a life crisis, but it’s not an emergency.
Don’t allow your spouse’s bullying or your own anxiety to force you into any sudden moves. Choosing a divorce lawyer is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Researching options will pay huge financial and emotional dividends — for the rest of your life.
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