Time Kills Deals. This is a term that I used frequently in my corporate career and it applies to divorce.
The best outcomes from a divorce happen when the parties get through all the issues as if their lives depended upon it. The longer it takes the more money it costs and the harder it is for the parties to reach agreement on the issues. While it takes time for the shock of the divorce to settle in and to be able to deal with the issues on an emotional level, if the proceedings extend too long folks get set in their position and typically the legal battle is raging.
Unless there is tremendous wealth involved, divorce strains the finances, (same income two households). The ability to change/downsize your lifestyle to meet this challenge is not easy and usually savings are used to meet the gap. The longer the situation persists the more savings are used and, at the end, when you would like to have a nest egg available, it is gone.
So, how do you get things moving? A few ideas for your consideration.
- Deal with parenting issues first – This is essential for your children and a balanced parenting schedule will lessen the burden on them. As well this tends to be an area where emotions run high so getting it off the table will make the other more mechanical issues seem easy.
- Have your Coach run the child support guidelines to determine child support dollars for various alternatives so that you can see that the difference in the payments is fairly small. Get this off the table in your mind.
- Get organized on the finances as quickly as you can so that you are able to deal with money issues. Play around with support numbers; so that you can see that there is a range of numbers that will be acceptable.
- Don’t let bumps in the road stop the process. One of my client’s spouses lost his job while they were in mediation. Rather than continue the mediation and get things settled, everything stopped for 9 months. In that time savings continued to be used up and at the end there was nothing gained by waiting. Time is your enemy here. The longer things progress the more you will spend on legal fees and the more your will have the opportunity for disputes to arise.
- Remember that once you reach an agreement if there is a significant (run the numbers to see what the impact might be) change in circumstances you have the ability to re-negotiate alimony and child support if it makes sense.
So get on with it. Only when you are done will the stress of the process be off your back allowing you to breath a sign of relief and to move on.