Divorce can be ugly, but it does not have to be. With some forethought, the pain can be minimized.
Robin Williams and his wife Marsha chose to set out their personal differences during their divorce, for the sake of their children, and work things out amicably. Robin said in an interview that he was intent on avoiding a divorce that was 'like slash and burn'. He also made this comment, 'I think a lot of times divorce can be like circumcision with a weed whacker.' Quite a metaphor.
So, what should a person contemplating divorce consider? What will make the most difference when it comes to handling the financial portion of divorce?
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Allan, a nationally recognized expert on peaceful divorce and the author of "101 Divorce Secrets, A Survival Guide" and The Heartspace © System of Peaceful Divorce and the operator of a website called the divorce forum.
Susan gives these words of advice: "The 1st Step in creating a peaceful divorce is understanding the most likely financial income for you, your spouse, and your children in the event of divorce. Rather than having an attorney run the numbers using the Disso Master software used in the California Family Court System, consult a CPA who specializes in divorce or a CDFA, certified divorce financial financial, so that a financial expert can consider your financial issues and let you know exactly where you stand. D "word at home."
Her advice is to 'look before you leap.' Know where you stand before jumping into the void.
She also said this: "The 2nd Step is learning to Motivate to Mediate © so that you communicate peacefully and gently move your spouse to the mediation table, thereby creating solutions that work for you and allowing your family to avoid the tremendous cost of litigation. These skills will also allow you to craft co-parent agreements for the rest of your lives. "
Cynthia Tiano, a divorce attorney, the co-Author of "Happily Divorced! Secrets of the Win-Win Formula" and the operator of several dispute related sites, has advice for those contemplating divorce.
She says to interview a potential divorce attorney and ask them if they believe in the concept of peaceful divorce. Do they believe that it's possible for you, your ex, and the children to be better off after the divorce? Is it possible that divorce can lead to more for all? She also reminds those working with a divorce attorney that the attorney works for them, not the other way around, and those divorcing can do much to set the tone.
Divorce mediation has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you and your soon-to-be ex are both intent on creating a peaceful divorce, why not explore this option? It can be much less expensive and has worked well for many.
These are the real issues that control the financial outlet and the trauma to children of a divorce.
Kevin Bourke is a registered principal with and offers securities through LPL Financial Member FINRA / SIPC.