Our mission as divorce lawyers doesn’t always stop with the divorce. We have a responsibility to our clients to prepare them for their new lives as single parents, single individuals, or self-sufficient people. Because the family lawyers in our Levittown office are also licensed mental health professionals, we approach each client as a whole person with unique needs and individualized future plans.
First, we assess what each of our clients want for their future. Sometimes this isn’t as easy as it seems. Many of our clients have been married “forever.” They have no sense of independent self. Slowly, gently. they have to relearn how to dream. Then we compare their goals to the economic realities of their probable divorce settlement. Do they want to keep their home? Go back to school? Marry their new love. Learn a new profession? Invest money for retirement? Travel? Put the kids through college? Do they want funds now or do they want regular income into the future? Or both? Then we plan our divorce strategy to accomplish those goals.
If a client has never managed their own funds before, within our expertise as lawyers, we give them basic tax and financial planning information, then refer them to accounting experts who we know to be sensitive to divorce issues. If their anxious about managing their own funds, we use the divorce process itself as a beginner’s financial training.
If a client has never bought or sold a home before, we guide them through the process, refer them to the best mortgage and real estate pros, go to settlement with them (and even give unasked for decorating advice. We’re partial to 50’s Formica counter tops, shag carpeting and faux wood paneling).
If a client has been in a destructive and toxic marital relationship, we can use the divorce litigation itself as a healing process in which the client shares responsibility with us for assertively planning, negotiating, and confronting their Ex in a safe and protected legal environment. Many of our clients are victims of abuse. They start the divorce process scared, feeling beaten down, and fearful of their future. They can complete the divorce process more empowered and with a clearer sense of identity, determined not to repeat the same relational mistakes again.
If children are involved in the litigation, with our experience in literally thousands of family break-ups and custody fights, we support our clients with advice on how to best transition the kids through separation, visitation, living in two households, and dealing with the ex’s new love interest. Being a single parent requires vision, self-confidence, an understanding of child and adolescent development, and the maturity to allow the children to unconditionally love your Ex whether the ex “deserves” it or not.
At WE CARE LEGAL SERVICES, 855-LAW-FAMILY, we are available 24/7 to discuss a divorce, custody, and support, whether it’s just in the “thinking” stage or whether a client is ready to file. There is never a charge for this consultation. Our goal is for the new client to leave the consultation with the knowledge they need to thoughtfully consider their next step and the sense that if they trust us with their divorce, we will treat their situation with the greatest sensitivity and care.
Jan Grossman, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Attorney at Law
Nicole Levitt, Licensed Professional Counselor, Attorney at Law