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Pre-Divorce Training-Train For the Marathon, Not the Sprint

It’s  race day- the runners are corralled waiting for the starting gun to commence a 26.2 mile run.  Undoubtedly, each one of those runners trained long and hard for that marathon because it is a very…long…run.

And a divorce is also a marathon, so the more preparation one does the easier it is to make it to the finish line[1].

So here it is: Cindy Vova’s guide to running the divorce marathon.

Step 1: Have a consultation with a marital/family law attorney

  • Do your homework
  • Ask for recommendations
  • Read reviews but be wary if every review is five stars. Remember “you can’t please all the people all the time” so perhaps these reviews have been laundered.
  • During the consultation you will not only see if the attorney is compatible with you, but you will learn about the divorce process and what preparation will allow you to make the process proceed more efficiently.

Step 2:  Gather all financial information you can and copy the documents.  The more you know the better it is.  Copy every document even if you don’t specifically know what it is.

Step 3:  Ask questions.

  • Prepare your questions in advance- this way you won’t forget something you wanted to know
  • The only bad questions are the one you don’t ask

Step 4:  Spend time determining what the family expenses are and what you will need after the divorce is over.

  • Be realistic. It is not often that two people living separately can live as economically as they did when they lived together.
  • Separate luxuries from necessities

Step 5:  Reply on professionals

  • Remember you get what you pay for. If you want to rely on the advice of your divorced friends (whose cases were

    Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint

    likely different than yours) go ahead- but then why are you seeking the advice of an attorney!

  • Your attorney did not get a law degree from Google. So feel free to do your own research but don’t rely on the internet for legal advice any more than you rely on it for medical advice (and if you do- stop- you’ll probably diagnose every ache you have as terminal).  I was an attorney for 14 years before Google even existed!

Step 6:  Find a lawyer who is genuinely cares.

  • Remember, divorce is one of the most emotionally tumultuous experiences you may ever have. Unfortunately, the law does not provide relief (other than the actual divorce) for these emotional pains.  But that doesn’t mean you cannot find a lawyer who is concerned about you.  We do exist!

Step 7:  Make financial decisions based on reality and not emotions

  • Understand and accept that the road is not easy
  • Divorce is disruptive, moving from a home is disruptive, but making a decision that will be the best financially is most important. People always say leaving the home will be traumatic to the children.  In reality it is probably more traumatic to the parents.    If you make the move positive, your kids will see it like that as well.

Step 8:  This is a big decision- don’t rush into it[2].

  • Prepare, practice, train..
  • Ready, set, go!
  • You can make it to the finish line.

[1] I’ve never run a marathon, and likely never will.  But I’ve watched my daughter train for them, run them and finish! Hard work and determination.

[2] Unless there is domestic abuse- then rush

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