As soon as you decide that divorce could be your reality, likely your thoughts will turn to your fears of your new reality and your financial future will be thrown into question. “How much of my income will I have to give up to support my spouse and the kids?” or “How much longer will I have to work, I won’t be able to retire until I am 75!”. A world of unknowns reveals itself in an avalanche of financial and emotional realities that must be dealt with. Despite the stereotypes around vindictive, nasty divorces, my experience is that the vast majority of couples (once they can conquer their emotional brain) truly and sincerely want what’s fair for all involved.
Fair. The problem here is that every person’s idea of fairness is different. Depending on emotional trauma in the marriage, perceived wrongs, apologies that remained unspoken… being able to agree on a “fair” solution may be worlds apart. This is a simple truth that has created a multi-billion-dollar divorce industry. What if there is a different answer?
What if you let go of the need for “fairness”? What if each party didn’t worry about what the other person was getting and sat down with a divorce financial planner and simply figured out what you need for yourself to be ok? And then they sit down with a mediator and start from there? Maybe this is the truest way to be fair. BOTH people walking away with what they need and their hopes and dreams intact!
Now by no means should you “give in, or give up” as you have legal rights to a percentage of assets and, unfortunately, the debts too. But if you focus on the specifics of what you need in the next phase of your life and how you can move on in a healthy, happy way that will preserve your family unit for the future. As I always tell my clients, my goal is to help you be the best divorced family you can be, because you’re still a family.