Who Can Help with My Divorce?
- Divorce mediator
- Certified divorce financial analyst
- Divorce attorney
- Legal coach
- Therapist or counselor
- Hello Divorce team
- Divorce coach
- Child and family investigator
- State-specific providers
- Recommended reading
Divorce is a life-changing process that requires significant time, thought, and planning. DIY divorce helps you get divorced your way, but you should not try to go through it entirely on your own. Spending a little time and money on help when you really need it is worthwhile. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available – and much of it is affordable.
Here, we list all the main “helpers” you might use in your divorce. These professionals can help you make smart decisions and deal with ongoing issues after your divorce paperwork has been filed.
Before a divorcing couple can legally part ways, they must create (or at least agree to) a marital settlement agreement. This agreement outlines all of their divorce terms, such as who gets to keep the marital home, who pays certain debts, who gets custody of the kids, who pays support to whom, and how much support is to be paid.
The thing is, people in the middle of divorce aren't always equipped to make these big decisions alone.
Enter the divorce mediator. This person has been professionally trained in conflict resolution. Their goal is to help spouses find solutions they both appreciate. A divorce mediator can work with both spouses in the same room, or they can meet with individuals and serve as a "go-between," if that works better. The mediator strives to help both people negotiate divorce terms that are fair to both of them.
Hiring a mediator is almost always cheaper and less time-consuming than hiring a lawyer and litigating a divorce case. Even if you and your spouse cannot speak to each other, mediation may be possible. Get hourly mediation with an experienced Hello Divorce mediator via phone or Zoom here.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
A CDFA is a financial analyst well-versed in tax law, asset distribution, and short- and long-term financial planning. A CDFA has a specialized goal: to help divorcing couples achieve fair divorce settlements.
A CDFA can work with you individually or serve as a neutral between you and your spouse. They can help you with all things financial: understanding your assets, valuing tricky things like stock options or retirement accounts, setting up a post-divorce budget, and evaluating support or property division scenarios.
At Hello Divorce, we understand that money can be a huge stressor for divorcing couples. That's why we offer flat-rate sessions with a CDFA on our menu of a la carte services. Whether you're worried about adequately preparing your financial disclosures, struggling to figure out child support or spousal support payments, or wishing you had someone to step in and help you understand your financial picture so you can make the best decisions, this trained professional can help.
Learn more about how a financial analyst or advisor can help here.
Divorce attorney or legal coach
If your divorce is complicated or you cannot agree with your spouse on divorce terms, you might need a lawyer's help. A family law attorney can explain your rights and your state's divorce laws and requirements. You could hire a divorce lawyer to represent you, or you could hire an attorney to provide you with legal coaching.
Hiring a divorce attorney
An attorney will advocate for your wants and needs and help you reach a final agreement either in or out of court. You and your attorney can opt for a "collaborative practice" if you and your spouse agree ahead of time to settle without a trial.
We have a list of questions to ask your potential divorce attorney to help you prepare. It's especially important to determine things like if your lawyer is open to working with a mediator. The biggest downside of using an attorney is cost. On average, spouses who use lawyers will pay $15,000 (no kids) or $20,000+ (if you have kids). Lawyers are also usually more focused on “winning the case” than helping you sort out your life in a way that feels efficient and fair. Fees, conflict, and time can get out of control pretty fast.
Before you put down a retainer fee with a divorce lawyer, we recommend meeting with more than one attorney so you find a good fit for your needs.
Working with a legal coach
A legal coach helps you negotiate, strategize, and understand your rights and responsibilities. They can also review your final paperwork (Step 3 of the divorce process) to ensure that everything is squared away. At Hello Divorce, we offer flat-rate one-on-one sessions with an attorney to help you get the advice and planning help you need. You can meet with your legal coach via phone call, video conferencing, or email.
If you need legal advice or coaching but don't want or need a lawyer with an expensive retainer fee, we urge you to consider legal coaching. Working with a legal coach almost always costs far less than working with a divorce lawyer because there is no retainer fee. and you use your purchased time to get only the support you need.
Need an attorney but can’t afford one?
If you need legal advice but can't afford a lawyer, call your local legal aid office. Based on your eligibility, this office may be able to link you with the supportive services you need.
If you are not eligible for legal aid, you may be able to find an attorney who will help you for free, or "pro bono." Contact your state bar association to find lawyers who offer pro bono or discounted services in your area. Some courthouses offer free or deeply discounted services to help you complete paperwork and other tasks required for a divorce.
Therapist or counselor
A therapist or counselor can help you work through issues related to your divorce, either individually or with your spouse. Many couples go to couples counseling, sometimes called discernment counseling, to determine whether their marriage can be saved. They might also work with a mental health therapist to fix communication problems, resolve co-parenting issues, or address other interpersonal conflicts that are holding them back.
Individual therapy can help you work through difficult emotions like grief and anger as you deal with divorce. A therapist can give you ideas and tools that help you move forward and find peace whether you are preparing for divorce, going through a divorce, or recovering from your divorce.
You may also want to join an emotional support group as you move through this big life change. Some support groups meet in person; others meet virtually. Meetings give you a chance to connect with others going through the same situations. It's a good way to feel validated and even make new friends.
Hello Divorce client services team
Hello Divorce helps you get lawyer results without the lawyer costs. Share your needs, concerns, and goals with us. We can help you find a divorce plan that promotes a peaceful outcome, gives you control, and saves you thousands of dollars.
Our clients have caring account coordinators dedicated to their cases. If you partner with us, your account coordinator will support you along the way by helping you through each requirement, answering your questions and providing helpful resources.
Schedule a free 15-minute call with a member of our team to learn more.
Did you ever wish you had a coach helping you through life's tough times? Someone to encourage you, point you in the right direction, and help you with logistics and other details? That's what a divorce coach is.
If you're struggling with any aspect of your divorce, consider working with a divorce coach. A coach can help you through any of these situations and more:
- You're having a hard time deciding whether to get divorced or reconcile
- You don't know where to start or what to do next
- You're overwhelmed by your negotiation process
- You're overwhelmed by any other aspect of the legal process
Child and Family Investigator (CFI)
Sometimes called a child custody counselor or child custody evaluator. A court-appointed expert investigates and writes a report to the judge as to the children’s best interests in a controversial divorce or custody case. However, a better out-of-court option is to use a co-parenting counselor to help manage expectations, adjust to life in separate households, etc.
Perhaps it's obvious, but don’t forget your friends, family, and other personal helpers – including your pet(s)! Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones when you need to talk, cry, laugh, or get some advice. You might also want your bestie to throw you a divorce party to kick off your new single life.
However, be careful about the advice you’re likely to get even when you don’t ask for it. Only you truly know all the details. Trust your instincts and take what they say with a grain of salt. Divorce is different for everyone, even that friend who claims she has “been there.” Remember: you’ve got this – but you don’t have to go it alone.
State-specific providers to know about
Family law facilitator (California)
This person provides a free service in California, though it's difficult to get time with one. A California family law facilitator is a lawyer who helps those without lawyers with their legal court paperwork.
Note: Although they are a lawyer, this person cannot give legal advice.
Family court facilitator (Colorado)
In Colorado, this person is the one who runs initial status conferences. They will help you understand what to do next as you move through your divorce process. Note that this person cannot give legal advice.
Did you know? Hello Divorce offers private judge services in the state of California. Choose your divorce date and skip the long wait. Read more here.
Have Questions About Divorce? Don't Know Where to Start?
Other recommended readings
Before you jump headlong into divorce, it helps to understand where you're jumping. In addition to the articles we've linked to in the text above, here are 10 helpful resources the team at Hello Divorce thinks would be helpful:
- Divorce Process Flowchart
- What Are Grounds for Divorce
- How to Find a Good Process Server
- Why Most People Should Consider Filing a Response, Even in an Amicable Divorce
- 6 Steps to Take Before You Begin Divorce Mediation
- How to Work with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
- How to File an Uncontested Divorce Without a Lawyer
- Webinar: How Emotional Support Groups Can Help You with Divorce
- How to Write a Postnuptial Agreement with or without a Lawyer
- Guide to Presenting Evidence in Family Court