The moment you know your marriage is coming to an end, and there is no prospect of reconciliation, it’s best to start planning for the divorce. There are a lot of moving parts involved in the divorce process – no matter how long you may have been married. In my experience working as a Bergen County NJ divorce attorney and family lawyer, the following are some things that I have witnessed people do to gather their thoughts and overcome the challenges of their divorce.

Develop a Financial Plan

Depending on your situation, you could have been married to your spouse for several years, splitting household expenses, or he or she might have been the breadwinner and took care of bills. Are you prepared financially to leave your spouse? This is one major thing to consider as people often begin a divorce thinking they will get alimony and/or child support, but not every divorce ends that way. 

Therefore, it’s wise to develop a solid financial plan that will sustain you as a newly single person. You need to list all of your expenses and your monthly income. Cut out unnecessary spending and stick to a budget as best as you can. If your current job does not pay enough, either find a better paying position, or start a side business to pay off bills and save money.

Think About Your Children’s Needs

If you are a parent, you should make it a priority to consider their needs first. Depending on how long you were married to your spouse, your son or daughter have been accustomed to seeing both of their parents on a daily basis. Now, due to the divorce, there could be enforced visitation rules and you will have to split time between two households. This can be both traumatic and mentally draining for your child. It is important to have open and honest conversations with your children. And remember to remind them that while their parents may be getting a divorce and, ultimately, a lot of things may change, your love for them never will.

Are You Prepared for Conversations With Friends/Family?

News of a divorce can trigger certain emotions with your friends and family. This is especially true if they were close to your spouse and truly do not want to see the two of you get divorced. Conversely, some married couples within your friend group might feel worried that their own marriage will dissolve soon. Your friends and family will process this differently, and honestly, some conversations might not be as pleasant as others. However, there will be unconditional friends and family who support your decision, no matter what.

In closing, when your intuition tells you that your marriage is coming to an end, and you and your spouse have tried everything to keep it together, the next logical step would be to develop a pre-divorce checklist. Carefully consider all the important things, instead of hoping that things will be favorable for you. Take control and make sure you are protected. Create a financial plan, place your children’s needs first, and prepare for difficult conversations with family and friends.


This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.