THE DIVORCE TEAM
Assemble your team. As you recruit each team member make sure they know that they are being recruited, and for what role.
Here are the roles you need to fill, and what their characteristics should be:
Cheerleader: (best friend) Does not offer legal advice. Does not criticize: not you, not your spouse, not your children. Does listen to you, for hours on end, if necessary. Does accept late night phone calls. Does remind you that you are doing the right thing and that you will get through it. Does remind you that you had valid reasons for marrying this person in the first place.
Defense: (parent/sibling) Does not offer legal advice. Does know you as well as or better than you know yourself. Does not say blaming or accusatory things about you, your spouse, or the children. Does help sort out which accusations against you are true or false, without hurting you. Does help you remember what your goals are for the divorce. Does keep track of legal advice from your attorney, and reminds you to apply it.
Offense: (legal counsel) Does know the law and what you can expect from your divorce. Does help decide what matters in the divorce. Does help you stay on target for the divorce. Does remembers spouse’s specific misdeeds, in an objective manner. Does not gloss over spouse’s weaknesses, but is not angry or nasty. Does not do anything to extend the process unnecessarily.
Special Teams: (friends) Does not offer legal advice. Does not know any details of your divorce. Should not be told any details of your divorce. Does not want to talk about your divorce, your spouse, or your kids. Is available for an evening out dinner/movie/drinks, or to watch the kids while you go out. Is not the same sex as your spouse* (*unless it is your spouse). Does not always need to be the same person, should be approximately once/month.
General Manager: (You) You are the general manager of your team. You determine overall strategy. You are the one who drafts the players, assigns them their roles, and calls the shots. You are the one who decides what information is given to whom. You are the one who must fire anyone who is not doing his or her job, and replace them. You are the one who must put a positive spin on this for the media feeding frenzy. You are the one who keeps the team focused and motivated.
What we love: You are the only one who has to be happy with the team line-up. Keep it for as long as it works for you. Change it when it needs changing. Now, for once, this is all about YOU!