Deciding to divorce can be an extremely emotional and stressful experience for everyone in the family. Complex emotions, including grief and anger, are normal parts of the divorce process. However, they can quickly lead to bitter disputes that can make the divorce proceedings last longer than anyone expected.

The purpose of a divorce is not only to end the marriage legally but to help spouses separate their joint assets so that they can move forward into an independent life successfully. This is why many people state that spouses should approach divorce as if it were a business matter. So, it can be incredibly helpful to create a marriage exit plan when preparing for a divorce.

What should be in your marriage exit plan?

Planning for a divorce can help make this stressful situation a little easier for you and your loved ones. To make an effective marriage exit plan, it is critical to:

  • Create a strategy to tell your family: No matter what the relationship is like between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you both must discuss how you will tell your children about the divorce together. This often involves choosing the right time for the conversation and deciding what you will say.
  • Evaluate the living situation: This is often overlooked when spouses decide to end their marriage. However, overlooking your living situation before beginning the divorce process can cause significant issues. Some divorcing parents try birdnesting to ease the stress on their children. Other divorcing spouses might look for places to rent during the divorce. Regardless, you must consider your living situation beforehand, because it can be a significant factor when determining how a divorce could impact your finances.
  • Calculate your post-divorce finances: Protecting your finances is essential when going through a divorce. You should:
    • Assess your current finances, including income and spending habits
    • Consider the role alimony or child support will play
    • Estimate a future budget for your post-divorce life
  • Consider asset division now: Dividing property in a divorce can be a challenge. Under Ohio law, divorcing spouses must divide their marital assets equitably. You should consider how these laws will work in your individual situation, as well as what property you truly wish to keep. Considering this before the property division process begins can significantly reduce the chance of time-consuming disputes between you and your ex-spouse.

There is no way to completely eliminate the stress you feel during a divorce. However, making an exit plan can help make the divorce proceed efficiently and help you prepare for your future after the divorce.