Divorce is never easy. Regardless of the number of children or their ages, the amount of assets, the reasons, the length of the marriage, the willingness of the parties, and their earning power, divorce is hard, emotionally draining, financially challenging, and foreign territory for most. It isn’t supposed to be easy. But knowing what to expect and being well prepared can make it tolerable.
If you have considered divorce, you have probably weighed the pros and cons of doing so. If you haven’t, has your spouse? If it is contemplated by either, it is an analysis that must be done. Chances are that you don’t see eye-to-eye on the analysis either. But you must be comfortable and confident in yours.
Here are some considerations.
Financial – cash flow. It is more expensive to live separately than together. That’s common sense, but few couples considering divorce give it much thought. Recognizing the financial realities of maintaining two households will have an impact on the divorce even if one spouse is not at fault. Realizing this reality ahead of time and planning accordingly can ease the transition.
Financial – assets. What’s yours? What’s theirs? What is likely to go where if you don’t agree on how to split things up? What’s fair? Does it matter? Do you know the extent of your assets? Do you know what’s happened to them lately? Financial transactions occurring pre-divorce are subject to scrutiny after filing, so informed strategic planning is critical as is tenacity after a filing.
Emotional – you. It will be a rollercoaster ride. Have you ever ridden one without checking out the drops, spins, and loops that are in store for you? Do you know what is likely to happen? Ask someone who knows or has experienced what you are facing. Think about all the events that are likely to happen and how you may feel as a result. Then think about the ones that may not be likely but could occur. How will you deal with them? How dependable is your emotional support? Are you emotionally ready?
Emotional – others. The impacts of a divorce extend beyond the couple. Children, parents, grandparents, in-laws, friends, business associates, clients, and members of social and church groups are all impacted by a divorce. You cannot assume that everyone will understand, agree, or be supportive. And, you cannot predict who will see things from your perspective or how they will react. Are you ready to deal with that fallout? Is there anything you can do to minimize the negative impacts or control the damage? Broadening the scope of your analysis to include others, even those who shouldn’t be impacted, is important for your consideration.
There’s a lot to think about and lots to consider. You don’t have to do it alone, and you shouldn’t. Yes, you should do the numbers, but you must also evaluate the emotional impacts. Make sure your analysis is informed. Seek the help of those who know. Then get ready.