If your divorcing friend is asking you for advice, one of the best things you can offer is to help figure out what the issues are. Being there to sort the emotional issues from the legal ones can prepare your friend to discuss the right issues with the right person – ultimately saving time, money and headaches in both their legal – and healing processes. Here are some ideas to help your friend decide who to use and when.
Your friend might need an attorney…
If your friend is a member of the ARAG® Legal Plan, he or she can contact a Customer Care Specialist who can help find an attorney and explain available benefits. For more information:
- Call: 800-247-4184
- E-mail: Service@ARAGgroup.com
When finances or children are in serious jeopardy. Encourage your friend to get legal help. In many situations, it’s also obvious that your friend needs to act fast. Even if your friend wants more time to consider alternatives, deadlines sneak up and lawyers need time to prepare. It’s generally better to start looking for a lawyer early in the process.
If your friend isn’t sure what their legal rights are. It might be worth their time and expense to retain a lawyer to evaluate the situation and advise on alternative courses of action. Spending a few hundred dollars to consult with an attorney could be an investment that ultimately saves time, money and effort.
If your friend is still concerned about hiring a lawyer, suggest looking at other sources to resolve legal issues. Many community groups and other organizations offer free legal help and information. Look online, ask friends and check with your local American Bar Association to find local resources.
Your friend might need a counselor …
If your friend is having difficulty mentally, physically or emotionally. Recommend counseling with an objective third party, such as a licensed mental health counselor or a pastor. Being involved in the legal process during a divorce can cause an immense amount of stress on anyone.
Working with a therapist can provide an objective and rational perspective and arm a person with the necessary skills to navigate the choppy waters of the divorce. People who rely on therapy during that difficult time benefit from learning more about themselves and see the life transition as an opportunity for growth and personal development.
Your friend might need you if…
Never underestimate the role of your friendship. When your friend is facing the emotional toll during a divorce, he or she could use a friend like you. The most important thing you could do is listen.
If you have been through a divorce yourself, you can share how it affected you but that you are more positive for it now, but try to stay away from telling them what to do. Everyone’s situation is different and if you interject what to do, it may impact your friend in a negative way.
Let your friend know you are there for them and lend an ear. That’s all most people are looking for anyway.