How to Plan for the Changes of Divorce
Recognizing the need to end a relationship takes courage and the determination to follow through on a decision a person knows will cause a lot of heartache. Divorce may be necessary, but the significant repercussions make it advisable to plan for the changes in advance, perhaps some put into place before speaking to the other spouse or consulting with an attorney. Any major life change should be implemented with an appropriate amount of consideration, and divorce is one of the most disruptive decisions a person can put into motion. There is no way to avoid many of the consequences that will follow filing to dissolve a marriage, but it is possible to control when and how those changes occur by creating an exit plan that will protect your interests, rather than simply announcing one day the marriage is over. Of course, where to start and the right path to take to get to the point of feeling ready to file for divorce will have some variance, depending upon the circumstances, which is why talking to a divorce attorney before taking formal action is important.
Planning for divorce is not intended to develop a strategy to take the other spouse for all he/she has; rather, the purpose is to figure out where key aspects of one’s life are presently, and where the spouse wants them to be on the other side of divorce. By doing so, the spouse will hopefully avoid some of the more dire consequences of a bad divorce and leave the relationship with a solid foundation to move forward. Finances are big part of this process, as divorce is one of the most disruptive financial events a person can experience. As a consequence, determining how much money a person will need to earn through employment or receive as result of alimony or the property settlement is a crucial evaluation. This may mean exploring additional education or training that may be needed to secure desirable employment, and since alimony is far from certain without a prenuptial agreement, the process should start before seeking divorce, if possible.
As a practical matter, financial documents should be gathered, as well as a plan for a place to live in case staying the in current home is not an option. This includes creating a budget for living without the other spouse’s income, particularly if it is likely he/she will be the child’s primary caregiver.
Children take news of divorce hard, so a plan needs to be made as to how this announcement will be made in hopes of minimizing the negative impact. This includes an idea of how to help them cope with the change and a picture of how their lives will be affected to facilitate an arrangement that will better cater to their needs. Children of divorce need a lot of support to process this event, and the more stable the child’s schedule can remain, the better he/she will cope. This means having a frank discussion with the other parent about the realities of sharing custody and how to coordinate the logistics of parenting time. This conversation should be part of the initial divorce discussion with the other spouse, so an idea of how the spouse asking for divorce wants to divide custody of the child should be understood at the outset.
Speak to a Pennsylvania Divorce Attorney
Divorce is not a one-step process and requires a lot of advance planning to avoid a bad outcome. The attorneys at the office of Barbara Flum Stein & Associates know the obstacles you will face as you transition into single life, and can help you put yourself in the best possible to move forward into the next stage of your life. Contact the Media divorce attorneys today to schedule a consultation at (610) 565-6100.