Do you have a good exit plan for leaving your spouse?

If you can see the writing on the wall and know without a doubt that your marriage is about to end, you need to consider your options. You could let the situation become tense, stressful and chaotic, or you could put together a sound exit plan that becomes operational when the time comes to broach the subject of divorce.

The better you plan, the better your position will be following the divorce. Here are some items to consider when putting your exit plan together.

Consider your children

If there are children, think about how best to explain the divorce to them. You are going to have to help them get through the family breakup and move into a new chapter in their lives.

Review your financial situation

There may be significant assets to divide, especially if you and your spouse have been married for many years. Familiarize yourself with everything: bank accounts, investment accounts, credit card balances and contents of safe deposit boxes. Locate tax returns and make sure you have paid all taxes to date. Do not make any large purchases as you head toward divorce. Keep to a budget.

Think about future goals

You want to make the divorce as stress free as you can. One way to get over this hump is to focus on your objectives. What goals will you pursue post-divorce? What are your interests? Do you have a career? Do you want one? Giving thought to your future will help you through bouts of depression that will surely materialize from time to time.

Seek legal advice

Consult an experienced divorce attorney. You can prepare better when you have legal guidance. Do not move out of the house, for example, until you discuss this with your lawyer. There will be consequences to nearly every decision you make when a divorce is in the offing, and your attorney will become the primary member of the support group you will need as you move forward.

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