Considerations Before Divorce

Mar 7, 2024 8:53:30 AM

Has your marriage reached a tipping point where you feel there is no other solution outside of divorce? Some couples find ways to mend a broken relationship through marriage counseling, but this route may lead others to decide that divorce is best. As you embark on what may feel like a daunting path, consider the following things.


Divorce can be an extremely emotional time and you will need to make lots of decisions. You will need help along the way, so be sure to have your support systems in place. This can be family, friends, a counselor or even financial and legal professionals who can help you navigate some of the complexities.

Learn more: How to Support a Friend Going Through a Divorce


One of the first things you will need to do is gather financial information and documents. This includes statements for all assets owned (brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, homes, cars, bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.) and all liabilities owed (mortgage, auto loans, credit cards, etc.). This information may be a good start to figuring out what you have, especially if you aren’t typically involved in the family finances.

Get Started With Our Getting Organized Guide


What type of parenting arrangement makes the most sense for your family? There are many ways to customize a parenting agreement, and ultimately both parents need to agree (unless there is a legal reason that would favor one parent over the other). It can be helpful to think through what is in the best interest of your children as you determine how you will share decision-making and custody arrangements, including parenting time on holidays, birthdays, summers and special occasions.

Learn more: Planning for Your Children During and After Divorce


Have you considered who, if anyone, would want to remain in the family home? There are creative ways to divide homes or grant one spouse the right to the home, but it can be complicated. If selling the home feels like the better option, consult a professional to find out how much the house could sell for, when is the best time to put it on the market and how quickly they think it may sell. Keep in mind that there may be home improvement projects to consider before the house is ready for sale.


There is more than one way to divorce. In most situations, it’s typically recommended that each party hire their own attorney or legal representative. Beyond that, there are a few different options.

  1.       Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where a neutral third-party mediator guides a separating couple through a structured process to resolve issues related to property distribution, child custody, financial support and other divorce matters.
  2.     Collaborative divorces require that both parties, each represented by an attorney, enter into a Collaborative Agreement that obligates each party to engage in the collaborative process. Collaborative divorce is typically recommended when both parties remain amicable and have little to no conflict.
  3.       Litigation is typically for parties who can’t agree on issues or have a high level of conflict. This requires the help of attorneys and a family court to resolve disputes and decide the terms of the divorce. 


Divorce consultants can educate you on the divorce process and help you decide what path makes the most sense for your situation. Certified Divorce Financial Analysts can make recommendations for splitting assets. Child Custody Experts can help you create a parenting plan that enables the best outcome for your children post-divorce. Financial planners can help with financial planning once your divorce is finalized and you need a plan going forward. Legal professionals will walk you through the legal aspects of whatever divorce path you choose.

In the end, there are many things to consider when approaching the possibility of divorce. Understanding what’s ahead can help you feel more informed and empowered when decisions must be made and the emotions are high.

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