How Professional Organizers Can Help with the Divorce Process
Divorce is not just a painful process for all involved, it can also be complicated and difficult to navigate. Even after settling big issues like custody of children and division of financial assets, there are still all the details involved with turning one household into two. Certified Professional Organizer® Joan McCreary, owner of JMPO Estate and Home Organizing, offers the following four ways that a professional organizer can help.
- Provide emotional support
While the attorney may be all about the paperwork, professional organizers are closer to therapists. They know how to manage the wide range of emotions that may be hit someone as they go through their home. Many items will have associated memories and experiences. A professional organizer can offer emotional support along with help selecting things that are important for people to carry with them into the next phase of their life.
- Act as a neutral party
Mediators and courts typically do not want to be involved with property division, and for all the various divorce scenarios, a professional organizer can be a neutral source of support while facilitating the process. They can walk through the house with a couple – together or one at a time – and help the negotiation along, act as a buffer between parties, keep everyone within the bounds of any agreements, and help contend with frayed nerves.
- Facilitate property division
Some parties may find it easy to take turns picking items to keep. But in situations where parties can’t easily agree on who gets what, a detailed inventory might be necessary. Some ways to do this include:
- A photo inventory of individual items
- A detailed written list of items by room
- Use of online software that allows both parties to upload their inventory and prioritize the items that are important to them for easier discussion
- Physically tagging the items they are interested in with tape or stickers in order to quickly see what items will need to be discussed and what can be discarded
A professional organizer can help find the right method for any situation.
- Offer child-specific solutions
Art projects from school. Handmade Christmas ornaments. A divorce involving children and keepsakes can add a layer of complexity to property division, especially when both parents are sentimental. An organizer can help find creative solutions, like making copies of finger paintings or creating digital photo albums of everything so both parents have a way to hold on to the memories. On the children’s side, sometimes simply splitting their belongings between houses may not be an option. Children on the autism spectrum who need more structure and can be averse to change may need duplicate environments at each parent’s home. An organizer can help find the right solution to meet children’s needs in a shared custody situation.
In addition to her help with divorce, Joan has three tips for keeping a clutter-free life. If you’d like to receive a copy, just use the contact link at the top of the page to send us a request. For more information on professional organizers, you can visit Joan’s website at www.JMPOestate.com or visit www.napo.net for a directory of organizers around the country. And if you find yourself on the other side of divorce and need help realigning your finances with your new life, including organizing your finances, Gates Pass Advisors is here.
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If you would like to speak with Esther or Erik about this subject or any other related finance subject:
CFP® , Certified Financial Transitionist®
Founder and CEO, Gates Pass Advisors
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