Your Back to School -
The summer is coming to a close :( It’s back to school! You have
been busy shopping for clothes and school supplies. You’ve been
busy preparing the children to go back to school, and for some of you
they are already back in school. This is the time of year when once the
children are focused and back into their school routines many couples
start focusing on themselves and their thoughts of divorce.
Often, at the end of summer, couples start revisiting the issues in their
marriages and start taking the necessary steps to prepare for their divorce.
I have seen a number of clients over the last few months who have shared
with me getting the children back to school, and into a routine, is a
priority. But once the school year starts, it’s time to focus on
dissolving their marriage. This is an emotionally challenging time. As
you move through this difficult period and you embark on your divorce
I find it helpful to have a Divorce Check-List. This list helps clients
organize their thoughts and to carefully consider some important pieces
of this complex puzzle.
The Divorce Checklist has been very helpful to many of my clients, I hope
it will be helpful to you too! :)
- CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR APPROACH:
There is more than one way to get divorced. Yes, most couples think about
the more traditional approach-Litigation-go to court-and fight! If you
haven’t been divorced before you may think this is the only way
to divorce. For some this may be true. But for others, a divorce can take
place in a safe, supportive, collaborative environment with less anger
and chaos. It’s important to explore what is available to you. When
you start researching lawyers, take a look at mediators too. Many people
do not know much about the process and benefits of mediation. Educate
yourself about both options and don’t rule anything out.
- DECIDE WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE:
Consider where you, your partner and your children are going to live. I
always recommend that this be thought through carefully. I never recommend
anyone just leaving the home before they have consulted with a divorce
attorney/mediator. Consider creating a budget to see how you will financially
be able to afford two dwellings. If there are children, consider the importance
of keeping their routine and home life as comfortable as possible. The
creative problem solving of mediation could help here.
- TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR EXPENSES AND CREATE A BUDGET:
Take a look at your monthly expenses. Include everything. Rent, mortgage
payments, food, utilities, clothing, etc. Be as detailed as possible!
A lot of times couples don’t even really know what their monthly
expenses look like. This will be a real eye opener. It’s also an
important tool for properly planning for divorce.
- ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCIAL PAPERS:
Start putting together all the necessary documents, tax returns (at least
the last 3-5 years) banking, checking account and credit statements. Organize
your stocks, investments, pensions, 401 (k)’s, life insurance, and
prenuptial or postnuptial agreement (if you have one). If you haven’t
kept statements etc. contact the various financial institutions to request them.
- MAKE A PLAN FOR PREPARING THE CHILDREN:
The best way to help your children deal with your divorce is for you to
prepare them. Talk to them about what is going on. You don’t have
to share all the dirty details, just the basics. Reassure them that you
both love them! It is much less disturbing to children when they know
what is going on and what to expect. What and how you tell them is very
important too! Sometimes I suggest the aid of a psychological professional
so you have the right guidance and tools. I always remind my clients that
it’s important during this process to do what is in the best interest
of their children.
If you are thinking of Separation or Divorce, consider a divorce attorney/mediator
to educate yourself and help you start the process. With over 35 years’
experience I have found that taking your time and exploring all your options
is best. For some of you going to court and litigating will be inevitable,
for others the mediation process may just be the right fit. The divorce
path taken is often determined by the personalities of the parties.
I would be happy to share with you all I know about both paths. I will
give you all the information necessary so that you can choose the best
process for you and your family.
If you would like to receive a free sample Statement of Net Worth to help
you start organizing a budget and your assets email me at
email@example.com and we will send you one.
For those of you ready to get started call today for a free in-office consultation.
This offer is good through the month of September - I hope to hear from