Privacy is important, but divorce is isolating enough without a self-imposed exile.
Your personal support team members are also the people who have the courage to tell you to take the high road when you're really feeling bitter towards your soon-to-be-ex. They are the people who will tell you when you're in the wrong.
The top criteria for choosing team members are trustworthiness and personal allegiance to you. While first-hand experience with divorce may be helpful, depending on the individual's experience, it may be also damaging, so experience is not essential. Desirable team members are skilled at evaluating the pros and cons of a situation; they're creative problem-solvers; they bring different perspectives; and most importantly, they are good listeners.
As you identify potential team members, ask yourself what strengths each person would bring. When you've narrowed down your choices, approach each person and ask if they would be willing to serve on your personal support team. Explain what being on your team means and why you see them as an important, potential team member. If you have to persuade someone to support you, that person is not the right choice. Move on.
Don't worry if you can't identify four people immediately — you can always add to your team later or work with a smaller team. Conversely, try not to have more than four people; having more people means spending more time updating everyone, dealing with more opinions and the potential for more disagreements — not what you need at this time. This is definitely a situation where quality matters more than quantity.
Mandy Walker is the founder of the divorce support blog Since My Divorce. Creating your personal support team is one of recommended activities in her Visioning Your Life After Divorce workbook which is available for download at no charge.