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Role of attorney vs. role of therapist

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce cases are often highly emotional for everyone involved, and divorce lawyers know this. In many ways, attorneys provide counsel on more than the legal aspect of divorce; they discuss strategy, settlement options, child custody matters and other emotional issues that may arise.

Time limitations

It is very normal for clients to feel close to their lawyers and to feel that they can rely on them for emotional support. Many lawyers are happy to counsel their clients and be there for them. However, divorce lawyers are often handling dozens of cases at one time. They must treat every case equally as important as the next one.

For these reasons, it is vital to keep in mind that during a divorce, the parties may benefit from an additional professional they can go to for emotional support that extends beyond the boundaries of the case. For example, child custody matters tend to be highly emotional, and it is perfectly fine for attorneys to offer counsel and advice to their clients on these matters.

When is it time to seek help from a therapist?

Having a therapist while you go through the process of divorce can be highly beneficial. Not only will a therapist be there to listen to you and truly connect with you on an empathetic level, but they will also use their specialized training to help you navigate the different emotions that come up as you go through this process.

Domestic violence and child protection

If your divorce involves domestic violence or issues related to child protection (abuse, neglect or abandonment), a therapist will have the tools to support you and, in most cases, invaluable resources that you may come to need at some point.

Attorneys are, indeed, counselors as well. They are usually extremely committed to their clients and their cases, and many lawyers want to spend time speaking with their clients about what they are going through. If there are issues of domestic violence or child protection, it is highly likely that your attorney will also be involved in those, albeit in a slightly different role.

Keep in mind that attorneys are not psychologists and therefore it may be of greater benefit for you to have a separate person to help you navigate the mental health aspects of divorce which are very real and important for you to address.