Business Plan for Divorce ®
What is a Business Plan for Divorce® and why do you need one if you are considering ending your marriage?
Going through a divorce is one of life’s most traumatic experiences. Making the decision to end your marriage, even if it is a bad one, is a “saying good-bye” process. It is heart breaking and emotionally taxing. In so many ways, the trauma of ending your marriage is akin to the trauma we feel over the death of a loved one. There is grief and as we grieve, we often experience feelings of shock and denial, pain, guilt, anger, loneliness and depression.
In every way, it is an emotional event.
But it is also a difficult business and legal process, requiring a plan, a strategy, resources and an ability to negotiate. Having a well thought out business plan for divorce can make the difference in the quality of life you have, once it is over.
The challenge lies in this dichotomy. While you are experiencing one of life’s most emotionally difficult events, its very outcome will be largely determined by your ability to remain calm and make rational business decisions, throughout the entire process.
The Business Plan for Divorce® serves as your roadmap throughout the process. It is based on a proven systematic approach designed for entrepreneurs to manage all facets of starting a new business. And if you think about it, isn’t starting a new life as a single person a new venture that needs careful planning?
We’ve adapted this process to address the specific needs of people dealing with the break up of their marriages. Taking some time before you file for divorce to develop your business strategy will save you time, money and emotional capital. It will also serve as your anchor when the emotional side of the process becomes turbulent.
Your Business Plan for Divorce® Should Address the Following:
• Your Personal Brand
Take inventory of your unique set of skills, attributes, abilities, expertise and experience. Know what you are about and understand that you will change as you transition from being a married person to a single one. Start crafting your brand identity now and refine it as you go through the process.
• Market / Environment
In all likelihood, you are going to find yourself out there in the market. Whether it be the job market, dating market, housing market or all three, it is prudent to do your homework and know what the conditions are. If you have been out of these markets for some time, realize that things have changed while you were married and you must learn the rules of this new game.
• Legal Strategy
Laws vary from state to state. Although most of the U.S. is based on English Common Law, there are several states, primarily in the West, that are based on Spanish Law and warrant a community property approach to marital debt and assets. You will want to invest time interviewing attorneys who specialize in divorce and family law to determine who you feel most comfortable with.
• Living Arrangements
Most people, when their marriage ends, do not stay in their marital home. If you are moving, do your homework on potential places you will move to. Check out schools, rental options and proximity to amenities that you will need.
• Existing Relationships
People are always surprised when friendships they had when they were married go away. This is a very common occurrence, as people do not want to take sides. Identify your true inner circle of friends and family and nurture your relationships with them. Your transition into a new single life is a great opportunity to meet new people.
The ending of a marriage is a major life-altering event and you will need a set of resources to get you through it. Resources can include colleagues, financial and spiritual advisors, family members, babysitters, etc. Whatever you need, take inventory of what you have and identify gaps you will need to fill.
Having a sound and well thought out financial plan can be the single most important determining factor for your new single life. Create a budget of your monthly expenses and income. Know your financial situation as it relates to debt, credit cards and income. Don’t assume that alimony and / or child support will be awarded. Have a plan of how you will support yourself independently.
• Exit Strategy
The funny thing about divorce is that while you are going through it, you feel like it will never end. Then suddenly, it is finalized. Don’t wait until the end to plan the next chapter of your life. Set goals for your new single life and start implementing them as soon as possible.
Remember that although it is difficult, is not the end, but the beginning of an incredible and rewarding new life for you. Developing your Business Plan for Divorce® will help you get through the process, plan the next phase of your life and thrive in your new single life.
Divorce is difficult and one of the most physical and emotionally taxing processes you can go through. The reality that your marriage is ending can put you into a tailspin and ironically, it is during this difficult emotional time period that you need to be completely clear thinking in your business affairs.
You will need to make unemotional and strategic business decisions that will affect your future financial life as a single person.
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