You have been busy shopping for clothes and school supplies. You’ve
been busy preparing the children to go back to school, and now they have
settled in. 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.
I have seen a number of clients over the last few months who have shared
with me that getting 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-hire a lawyer-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 most, 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 explore mediation.
- 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. I give clients useful forms to complete. This will
be a real eye opener. It’s also an important tool for properly planning
- ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCIAL PAPERS:
Start putting together all the necessary documents, tax returns (at least
the last 3-5 years) banking, and checking account and credit statements.
Organize your stocks, investments, pensions, 401 (k)’s, life insurance,
and your 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
Talk to them about what is going on. You don’t have to share all
the 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. In 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 be just 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.
For those of you ready to get started, call today for a free in-office
This offer is good through the month of October.
I look forward to hearing from you. 212.734.1551.