Preparing for a Divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally, mentally, and physically depleting process; the separation of two individuals, especially based on the duration of their partnership, can lead to an exhaustive amount of entanglements and loose ends. ​Sometimes, by the middle to end of the divorce settlement, there is an overwhelming feeling that “life will get better if I acquiesce to every desire of my ex-partner so that I can continue to live my life and move on.”

However, these desires will lead to further discontent at the end when you realize that you were left with considerably less than what you believe was your share. Before the beginning of any divorce proceeding and settlement agreement, there are few things that divorcing spouses should do to prepare for the long-haul marathon of divorce.

Create a Financial Plan

The most difficult part of the proceeding is figuring out how the division of financial assets will affect the rest of your life. Start by creating a range of scenarios, depending on the amount of money, property, or assets that you want. If you have included, for example, your primary residence on your “want” list, it is important to understand how much it is worth, the amount of money that is needed to maintain the residence and/or any emergency renovations throughout the years, whether spousal maintenance is needed to maintain the residence, whether you could afford the domicile if the maintenance were to end or your financial situation were to change, and what the tax implications of this asset are.

By listing your largest assets first, your financial range will suddenly come into focus on what you can afford once you are separated and what you can live without. At the end of the day, it is possible that the primary residence is more expensive or more of a hassle than it is worth, and another residence instead might make more sense.

Imagine the Future

Though the present may be gloomy, focusing on the future is extremely important because it reminds you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Imagining your new future will also help you evaluate your financial plan. In your idealized future, does it make sense for you to be the primary caretaker of your child? Is your spouse in a better position to be the primary caretaker? What is the ideal situation for you when it comes to your children? These are questions that can help you prepare for whatever the future may hold.

Get Support and Stay Healthy

Being able to either talk (or not talk) about your divorce to another person may be the best way to handle your situation. Sometimes bouncing ideas or gaining perspective from the people who know you the best may help you to move the settlement along. Another person's perspective might help you determine that you no longer want a specific asset due to significant tax encumbrances. Also, staying healthy, minimizing alcohol consumption, sleeping well, and staying active will help you to make better choices and keep your mental and emotional balance.

These are a few pieces of advice to help you before the initial stages of a divorce settlement. The final and most important piece of advice is to find a family law attorney who you trust and you believe will be your biggest advocate and supporter throughout the process. An experienced attorney will help empower you through this difficult time, and join your expectations with realistic goals and strategy to meet your needs. If you are considering a divorce and would like more information tailored to your present marital situation, please contact one of our experienced Naperville family law attorneys.

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