Creating a Strategy for Divorce
Preparing for Your Divorce in Advance is the Best Way to Secure a Favorable Outcome
As with most things in life, when getting ready to go through a divorce, it is best to be prepared. The more you do in advance of starting the process, the more confident you will feel when issues arise, and the better able you will be to make informed decisions with your and your children’s long-term best interests in mind.
Additionally, while no outcome is ever guaranteed, creating a strategy for your divorce can also help reduce the chances of a high-conflict divorce. If you expect your spouse to be combative or unreasonable, there are things you can do to keep your divorce on track – if you are ready. However, a comprehensive divorce strategy will also include contingencies for going to court and you should not overlook certain possibilities simply because they may be less desirable. Remember, it takes two to divorce, so your spouse’s conduct and decisions (no matter how ill-advised they may be) will play a role in determining the outcome of the process.
Preparing for Your Divorce in Grand Rapids or West Michigan
As you begin the process of preparing for your divorce and putting together a strategy for the best result possible, there are several questions you will need to answer. It is important to think critically about each of these questions – your finances and your relationship with your children may depend on your answers – and to try to think about not only what you want now, but what you will need in the years to come.
- Thinking About the Process
- Has your relationship truly ended or should you explore this in counseling?
- Is your spouse in agreement that it is time to get divorced?
- Do you think your spouse will negotiate in good faith?
- Would you and your spouse be willing to attend mediation?
- Are you ready for a high-conflict divorce if your spouse is not cooperative?
- Determining What is On the Table
- Did you and your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement?
- Do you know the value of all your and your spouse’s assets and debts?
- Do you have access to proof of those values?
- Which of your assets qualify as “separate property”?
- Which of your assets qualify as “marital property”?
- Do you have commingled assets that may fall into both categories?
- Have you or your spouse received a settlement or inheritance?
- Establishing Your Priorities
- How much are you willing to give up in terms of parenting time and visitation?
- Which assets do you absolutely want to keep?
- Which assets would you prefer to keep, but are willing to give up?
- How much alimony (spousal support) will you need or how much are you willing to pay?
- Do you want to stay in the house?
- Anticipating Your Spouse’s Priorities
- Which assets are your spouse likely to prioritize?
- Will your spouse approach this process reasonably or should you be prepared to fight every step?
- Do you think you and your spouse have conflicting desires regarding custody?
- Will your spouse file untruthful allegations against you with Child Protective Services, the police, or the court?
- Does your spouse have a business, retirement account or other high-value asset that he or she will want to keep?
- Will your spouse be anxious to complete the process, or will he or she be willing to go through litigation?
- Anticipating Your Spouse’s Actions
- Are you concerned that your spouse might take your children?
- Are you concerned that your spouse is hiding income?
- Could your spouse attempt to waste or conceal assets during your divorce?
- Will your spouse commit to informal resolution procedures, or could he or she suddenly decide to go to court?
- Will your spouse act out of emotion or be willing to acknowledge the legal parameters for getting a divorce?
Schedule a Free Divorce Planning Consultation in Grand Rapids, MI
If you are ready to talk about your divorce strategy, we invite you to contact us for a free initial divorce planning consultation. To speak with an attorney at our Grand Rapids family law offices, please call 616-285-0808 or request an appointment online now.