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What’s Your Divorce Plan?

Considering Divorce? You Need a Divorce Plan!

If you’re considering leaving your spouse, considering divorce, you need a solid divorce plan. So often people start consulting with their attorney only after the divorce process has begun and everyone is in the thick of things.  I often say to clients that they should have come to see me BEFORE they couldn’t stand the situation anymore and BEFORE when they were still getting along.

Pre-divorce planning is not about taking your spouse for all you can. It’s about making smart choices with a clear mind. It involves carefully planning out all aspects of your life from where you are now to where you would like to be. It requires methodical preparation in the months leading up to informing your spouse you want a divorce. The more you plan, the better your position will be in your post-divorce life. Below are a few areas to start thinking about.

Finances: Whether you expect to receive spousal support/alimony and child support or will have to pay spousal support/alimony and child support you might be in for a big surprise. You might find that you have a shortage of money to make ends meet after your divorce (these divorce financial planning tips can help).

Career: The best way to avoid financial ruin is to make your career plans a top priority. If you’re already working but your income won’t be enough when you’re single, start re-planning your career. If that involves career counseling, re-training or going back to school, do it now while you can. Any money spent in this area will be considered joint money and not deducted from your settlement. The key, however, is doing it before you ask for a divorce where possible.

Children: If you’re a parent, you need to be prepared for how to tell your kids about the divorce. In doing so, you also need to learn ways to help them cope and to understand how their lives will be impacted.

Support System: News of a divorce can create different reactions in your friends and family. Some people will feel threatened and fear their marriages will be at risk if they interact with you. Others, the unconditional friends, will be there no matter what. Knowing who belongs in this category is important. Those will be the people to turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on.

Future Goals: Divorce can be devastating. It’s the end of once-held goals that are now gone. Because of this, it’s very easy to get sucked into an emotional black hole of depression. The best remedy is to create new goals for your future. Take the time to consider your interests, desires and what you’d like to do with the rest of your life. Having something positive and productive to work toward will make a big difference in your emotional life.

There are many aspects to consider when planning for a life without your spouse. Instead of hoping the best will happen, take control and make sure you’re protected.  Make that divorce plan. It will make all the difference in your life and future.