The Importance Of A Detailed Divorce Exit Plan

Let's Untie the Knot | The Importance Of A Detailed Divorce Exit Plan

Once you have decided you want to get a divorce, it is crucial to have a detailed exit strategy to improve the likelihood that the process will work in your favor.  Although you may be overwhelmed by a mixture of emotions at this time, it is crucial to think your decisions through very carefully.  Pre-divorce planning is not about manipulation; it is about making intelligent choices with a clear mind.  It requires methodical preparation in the months preceding when you will tell your spouse that you want a divorce.  The more carefully you plan, the better your position will be in your post-divorce life.  The following are areas you want to include in your exit strategy:

 Collect vital documents and records:

You should make copies of all important documents and all correspondence between you and your spouse or related to the relationship between you and your spouse.  From the obvious, like bank statements and tax records, to the less obvious documents, like vacation itineraries and your child’s report cards.  Legal, financial and household documents are crucial in terms of classifying marital assets as well as determining child custody and alimony.

Get your finances in order:  

In order to sever the financial ties between you and your spouse, you should open a separate bank account at a different financial institution than the one used by you and your spouse.  Keep enough money in the account to support yourself and your children during the divorce process.  That said, be careful not to alter, transfer or make a gift of any assets that are titled in both you and your spouse’s names.

Reinforce your support system:

Divorce is very often an extremely emotional time.  Consider opening up to a select group of friends and family on whom you can rely for comfort and support.  In addition, you may want to hire a professional therapist to give you objective advice, help you sort through your feelings or just to act as a sounding board.  Divorce can be a very acrimonious and lengthy process and you want to be sure that you have the strength and support to withstand any difficulties you may encounter.

Consult with several attorneys before selecting “the one”: 

Every lawyer has his or her unique approach to divorce.  Some attorneys are better in court while others work better in a more collaborative setting.  In addition, some attorneys excel at handling complex financial matters while others have streamlined their practices to assist people with limited resources to obtain a divorce efficiently and cost-effectively.  Before you select an attorney, you should consider what you can afford and what type of person you want advocating on your behalf.  You should take your time in interviewing and consulting with a number of attorneys before you select the individual who will represent your interests.

The day you decide you want a divorce is one of the most momentous events of your life.  Preparing for a divorce is not about harming your soon-to-be ex.  It is about giving yourself peace of mind and organizing your affairs so that you are prepared for a very complicated process.  Divorce is like a roller coaster, filled with ups and downs and turns and twists.  Making smart decisions before you file for divorce is about being prepared so that the dissolution of your marriage goes as smoothly as possible.

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