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Please See Also Other Divorce Related Inquiries:
How much is this divorce going to end up costing me (no, in total)?,
How long will I have to carry this weight around?
Can’t we just end this already?
Haven’t I suffered enough?
The marriage is done so the divorce should be done.  Amiright?

Kind of.

You probably already understand that asking such a broad question to an attorney will get you at least fifteen questions in return (instead of one answer, ugh).  Divorce attorneys have to laugh when a couple that spent eighteen months planning their wedding will not dedicate eighteen minutes to planning their divorce.

But, to oversimplify, how long your divorce takes is actually up to you and your spouse!  No, really!

And another secret, you have more power over this than you may think…

If you want to spend less precious time, money, energy, and grey hairs on your divorce figure out at the outset what you need, what you want, and what you can maybe do without.

This is an entirely different analysis for everyone.

Once you know exactly where all your stuff falls let your attorney know, but no one else.

For example, if there are two young children of the marriage, and you have legitimate concerns your spouse is addicted to or abusing prescription medication, then you need at least temporary sole custody of the kiddies and for him or her to seek professional help.

If you and your spouse own real estate (what was the marital home) and you were the one to move out you may very well want at least some of the major items from the home so you are not stuck with a huge credit card bill furnishing your new place.  Who needs more debt in a divorce?

If your spouse twisted your arm and convinced you to adopt a kitten while you were married, even though you are really a dog person, you can probably do without taking the cat (you guys never got along anyway) so please understand insisting that aloof little Katy Purry be awarded to you in the divorce solely to spite your ex is going to delay things.  For all of us.

Compartmentalizing make this brave new world you are entering simpler.  Put the marital stuff in three buckets: what you cannot live without, what you desire, and what you don’t genuinely care about.  This takes mindful consideration of your feelings, some of which you have been ignoring or repressing for a long time if you have been in a failed relationship.

Give no regard to what other people think should be important to you.  In your heart you know.

If you cannot decide between the first two buckets?  Think about why you “need” it.  For example, do you truly “need” your entire retirement account intact at the end of the divorce if you are thirty-eight years old and successful?  Why, because you always saw it as yours, and can’t view your future without it?   Could it be that if you found the right financial advisor after the divorce, could you separate a portion of your retirement but make what is left work harder for you?  Maybe your advisor can find and free up money in your budget so you can contribute a little more into that retirement and with a little help from the market your investment will be exactly where it was again in 7-8 years.

What you think is a need may be a want.

On the other hand, if you have Type 2 diabetes and are unemployed, you damn well may need to remain on your spouse’s health insurance for a very long time.  And that is fine!

There is nothing wrong with needing what you need and wanting what you want.  What the Court demands of you is to know which is which.

A few moments of honest reflection can save you a lifetime of regret.

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