Since I lead a very busy life, I usually have summer activities planned three months in advance. Things do not always go as planned, but with the blueprint, I ensure that the most important things will get done. As the saying goes, “Those who fail to plan; plan to fail.” This is also true for planning in marriage and for divorce.
Planning for divorce does not mean you need a formal plan such as a written pre-nuptial agreement, although I suggest that you have one in place. However, prior to getting married you should have a basic understanding that the lifestyle choices you will make during the marriage will impact any post-divorce lifestyle spousal support award or custody decision. Therefore, you should be knowledgeable of how, upon a divorce, the matrimonial laws in your state deal with custody, parenting time, alimony (maintenance in New York) and dividing the assets and debts accumulated in marriage.
Many people considering a divorce ultimately decide to remain married. One of the main reasons is that for the first time at the initial divorce consultation they realize how the economic and lifestyle choices made during the marriage may negatively impact a post-divorce lifestyle.
Even with a pre-nuptial agreement in place, I counsel the client worried about sustaining a certain lifestyle or maintaining meaningful parenting time with his/her children post-divorce to: (1) Take off time from work to take care of family obligations when possible; (2) Encourage a stay-at-home spouse to stay engaged in his/her career; and (3) Consider working part-time, flextime, or working from home a few days a week so that you both share in child rearing.
At the Law Office of Angela Barker LLC, we are committed to helping ease the transitions through marriage, separation and divorce. We counsel you on the importance of pre-marital financial planning. We also assist you in obtaining the most favorable outcome should your marriage come to an end. People are our business. For the benefit of our clients and the communities we serve, we have developed this newsletter as a legal and consumer resource. Enjoy!