Some people know they need to divorce as soon as they discover a hidden credit card statement or an extramarital affair. Other people consider divorce occasionally for years while they try to salvage their marriage. Whether someone heads down to talk to an attorney the very same day that they first consider divorce or they to see if they change their mind over the course of a few months, they might overlook a very important part of the planning process.
Divorce is inherently complicated and is often fraught with intense emotional reactions from both parties. People who don’t plan properly put themselves at a disadvantage. The omission below is one reason why people’s divorces often become so expensive and frustrating for everyone involved.
People don’t set and maintain long-term goals
For many people, divorce is largely an emotional process, and their short-term goal may be a sense of vindication or catharsis. However, from a practical standpoint, divorce is about adjusting one’s current financial and legal circumstances to separate them from a spouse.
To achieve the optimal outcome, an individual needs to have a specific plan and goals that they hope to achieve. Thinking about what life might bring five and 10 years after the divorce is an important starting point, as people can work backward and reverse engineer the circumstances that they need to achieve that life. After considering the goals that they may have for the divorce, someone will then need to learn a bit about the state approach to property division and custody matters, as well as support issues, so that they create a viable strategy to achieve the outcome they need to build the future that they want.
People who fail to plan ahead may have emotional reactions to every minor issue and provocation during their divorce. They may spend much more money on the process and end up feeling less satisfied in the long run. Those who take the time to identify their top goals and to make achieving them a priority will often have an easier time negotiating and compromising and can potentially also keep their divorce costs lower by avoiding frivolous and unnecessary conflict.
Having thoughtful plans in place and seeking legal guidance can improve someone’s chances of a favorable outcome during an upcoming divorce.