“Organizing Your Overwhelm” – Three Perspectives

On a personal level, it’s the overwhelm. 

The sense that you are out of your depth.

Airdropped into a land of chaos.

With little to no direction about how to move forward.

What a divorce process looks like depends upon who is looking. 

For someone at the outset of that journey…
Even if you agree that divorce is the right choice, change is hard. 

Divorce involves so many changes. Your desired destination seems far off and the roadmap – if there seems to be one at all – is cloudy at best. And all the good advice and well-meaning suggestions of friends and nearby advisors can add to the static of your overall overwhelm. 

I’ve been practicing family law for more than thirty years, and I’ve never seen the same set of facts twice.  Although situations and scenarios may rhyme, none are precisely the same.  Every individual is unique and the circumstances between two married partners are theirs alone. 

That having been said, similarities exist between all of these journeys. Those experiences can aid and inform you on your own road.  Having advisors grounded in adequate context and knowledge of the law and the facts can lead people to the help they need at the time they need it most.

What a divorce often looks like to a family law attorney

At the outset of a divorce, a good family law attorney will have a clear lens on the applicable laws and how they might impact your outcomes. And hopefully they will have sensitivity about personal challenges, even if clients don’t directly share all of those details initially. However, law school aims to develop a rising lawyer’s lineal and laser focus on the legal parameters of their cases. That same intensity of focus and highly developed skill can supersede an attorney’s attention to an individual’s emotional experience. 

In addition, attorneys are trained to give immediate attention to financial concerns, like temporary support and adequate housing.  Settlement options are also attended to over time, but often come secondary to decisions made in the Now. By not giving space and attention to longer term fiduciary concerns and asset assessments, or emotional considerations and concessions, people often feel unsettled moving forward.

From the Vantage Point of a Consilium © Consultant

A Consilium Consultant is a unique and specialized role. The Consultant is a seasoned attorney: someone who has practiced family law for many years and so has the experience and insights to guide clients to the right attorney, and other supports, and to guide the client’s attorneys in taking the larger view. The Consultant does not act as the attorney in court, but understands and keeps the perspective of the individual – and family’s — long-term needs.

The word “Consilium” means “council of wise advisors.” In ancient times, the Consilium of advisors was the collective of people that the judge could rely upon for individualized, situational advice.  We adapted that concept as our overarching aspirational goal is to create a deep and meaningful well of wise advisors for restructuring families.

A Consilium Consultant works to distill the relevant facts of an individual’s situation in the context of the law and helps them to set their goals and priorities in ways that realistically get divorcing individuals to their desired destinations. They research relevant legal issues, and create a detailed Consilium Synopsis that specifies the narrative arc of someone’s marriage and its dissolution. The Consultant uses their wisdom, experience, and Consilium Mastery Training to contextualize all of this research and information in the light of the law. Consultants recommend attorneys and other professionals for an individual and prepare them for their interviews with attorneys. Once the client has hired their divorce attorney, the Consultant can continue to work collaboratively with both client and attorney on goals and strategy. Consultants maintain an attorney/client privilege, just as the attorney retained to represent the client.

 Some of the key distinctions that set Consilium Consultants apart are:

  • having adequate distance to see potential barriers and obstacles;
  • being keenly aware of the legal goals and strategies of the attorney, but maintaining enough distance to envision alternative pathways;
  • being cognizant of their clients’ legal and personal goals;
  • crafting realistic visions of both the legal aspects of a client’s divorce and their personal paths of growth;
  • working in tandem with attorneys and allied professionals (often financial advisors and mental health therapists) to help people attain the legal, financial, familial, and emotional outcomes they want to achieve, and seamlessly integrate their individual visions of growth.

Consilium Consultants part the clouds.

Viable options are made clear, as a seemingly dense legal journey is contextualized in concert with one’s personal journey and intended goals.

Change is hard, and divorce is a crisis of no small magnitude. 

But a crisis seen clearly, becomes less danger and more opportunity.

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