Divorce is a lot like chess. To be successful, you need to plan your every move because, yes, strategy matters.
Going into your divorce with a strong strategy prepared allows you to come out of it victorious, financially healthy, and prepared for a bright future.
While an amicable divorce is a great concept, please believe us when we say that now is not the time to be the “nice” one. Your financial future depends on you becoming the Queen and the first step in this process is understanding the rules of the game.
Below we’ve taken the four most critical steps of improving your chess game and adapted them to your divorce.
Step 1: Study the Process.
This is the part where you look for and identify potential financial challenges. Much like chess, studying and identifying tactics is the first step for those looking for victory. Before proceedings even start you should be educating yourself on all things financial—from assets, to investments, to retirement accounts. You should feel ready, and prepared, for the journey ahead.
Additionally, to win chess, a person has to be able to remain focused on the endgame. Trust us, we get it. Divorce is HARD, which is why it’s so important to not let your emotions cloud your judgement. While it may be inevitable to go through the emotional stages of divorce, you can choose to be constructive and focus on moving forward.
Step 2: Ask the Right Questions.
Divorce is one of the most vulnerable moments of a person’s life. When you make the decision to dissolve your union, having competent counsel is crucial to the game. Your lawyer, mediator, and CDFA all have the power to turn you into one of two pieces; either the Queen or the pawn.
This is the part where you remain determined to be the Queen. Now is the time to put yourself in the shoes of your opponent and analyze their position. You need to understand the moves they might make and the ideas behind them. Under the best of circumstances, gathering financial information is complex, tedious, and fraught with emotion. By building a team committed to a mutual relationship of respect and trust, you are that much closer to a successful divorce.
Divorce is HARD, which is why it’s so important to not let your emotions cloud your judgement.
Step 3: Set Boundaries.
Like chess, divorce is a slow, steady process that lasts a while. It is generally not an environment where impatience or short-sighted goals do well. So, set your boundaries. Remember, “No” is a complete sentence, no explanation needed. If you are already feeling stretched in too many directions, set firm boundaries with your friends, family, and (most importantly) soon-to-be-ex.
If people are being nosy about what is happening in your divorce, don’t be afraid to tell them to mind their own. It’s your business, not theirs. During this process, you get to be selfish and put your well-being first. Do Queens worry about what the other pieces are up to? No! They focus only on getting to the other side.
Step 4: Assess Your Financial Knowledge, Experience, and Confidence.
The object of your divorce is, ultimately, to checkmate your opponent. To do this ,you not only need a strong strategy but also the knowledge, experience, and confidence to move across the board for a “check” and “mate.”
A solid understanding of financial basics and your household’s financial picture can give you the confidence you need to make strong financial decisions not only throughout your divorce, but well into your future. You owe it to yourself to learn basic money management skills and build a team that will help you make sound financial decisions.
In the beginning of the divorce process, you may feel like you are backed into a corner, unable to do anything. By applying these crucial and winning components of chess to your divorce, you quickly become one of the most powerful pieces in the game.