Your Support System, “Village” in your Strategic Plan
One major component of strategic planning is having a support system or a “village”. Not just any support system but one comprised of people with various backgrounds or roles. Of course, having family, friends, support groups, etc. is important during divorce or custody. Your friend who has never been married has a perspective that’s different than your great-aunt who has been for 50 years. The roles or positions each of them plays, particularly because of their life experiences, is even more critical. The reason being, you are more able to anticipate your ex’s or soon to be ex’s moves when you have different perspectives to consider. As you know, everything for me is about strategy, so being able to foresee your opponent moves is key.
Assess Your Values
Everyone has or should have a role in your divorce or custody situation and their role serves a purpose. Family/friends, mental health professionals, legal experts, financial services and so on. When you take a good long look at your values, you can use the members of your support system as a guide. Your values force you to look at the things that matter most to you and how much you want to honor them. That means, family, health, happiness, etc., these elements should not be viewed in a vacuum.
Know Your Mission
This requires a look at your life journey and purpose. It includes those values you assessed earlier on, but now has you putting those in perspective. You should have an overall vision of where you are headed in your life post-divorce or custody (although custody can go on what seems like an eternity.) Your village also plays a part in your vision. They can help you get there in a theoretical sense, as well as a practical one.
Divorce and custody can…I’m sorry…it will, completely uproot your life. Your financial situation drastically changes, your emotional state is forever distorted and your mental being is constantly challenged. Your mission for your life as a spouse or even before parenthood completely changes once you are enthralled in divorce or custody.
You need to do a SWOT on yourself and on your overall case. Yes, you took time to assess your values, dug deeper to come up with a mission, now you need to look at your personal self. But here’s the thing, you shouldn’t do this on your own. Your strong and diverse support system will be ideal in helping you in this phase of your strategy. Your SWOT analysis requires you to look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Identifying your strengths, with respect to the divorce or custody, directs you (or your village) to look at the advantages you have over your ex or soon to be ex; the values that you have that they don’t; the resources you have and so on.
Your weaknesses, where it’s harder to be objective, looks at the areas you lack confidence; the limited resources available to you; your personality traits that make you vulnerable in this particular situation and so on.
The opportunities available to you include things like, the help and support your village can provide in the deficient areas; the ability for you to acquire skills to improve your limitations and so on.
Pinpointing threats forces you to look at obstacles that stand in your way; the potential for any change in your other positions to become a detriment and so on.
The SWOT analysis must be done very carefully, honestly, and methodically. It can cause tons of discomfort and force you to step outside of your comfort zone, but the benefits are endless. Your village’s cooperation and participation are very important if the SWOT is to be effective.
Wrap it All Up
You should not go into your divorce or custody without a plan, theme, or a strategy. Does not matter what you call it, the important thing is that you give some time and attention to developing a thorough, well thought out plan for every phase of the process. You cannot, nor should you, do it all on your own. It takes a combination of skills, talents, and traits to create the best strategy and that’s where your village comes in.
Take your time, get your emotions in check, and clear your mind.
When facing divorce or custody, it is not unheard of to seek help from therapists, church, friends, family, etc. But I wanted to show you a different perspective in how they can help you get through the process with a clear vision and plan. You increase your chances of getting better outcomes when you take the time to cultivate a village of supporters who bring something different to the equation.
If you need help with strategy in your Family Court matter, feel free to schedule a FREE consultation here.