If you were to inform me that you (or someone you care about) are planning to divorce, my first question would be, “How do you plan to divorce?” This question catches most people by surprise. Too often, the couple lacks the knowledge of the various choices available and therefore the corresponding costs and benefits of each option. Deciding how to divorce is a critical step in this often difficult process. This choice has a direct impact on your post-divorce life. Some questions you could consider when determining the solution that is best for you include:

Do you understand the long-term impact of the financial, legal and parental decisions stated in your final agreement?

Would you benefit from voluntary full-disclosure of information?

Would you prefer to keep your divorce private?

Should you make the financial, legal, emotional and parenting decisions or should those decisions be left to the court?

Would you benefit from professional guidance by experts in their areas of expertise?

What is the long-term cost (emotionally and financially) of coming to a resolution that one or both participants CAN’T live with?

A divorce can be one of the most costly – emotionally and financially – periods in your life. If you or someone you care about is getting divorced, take the time to understand all your options before proceeding. Reviewing the important aspects of divorce may “cost” more today. Yet, knowing you came to an informed decision, one that you and your soon-to-be ex spouse can live with, will undoubtedly minimize the costs in the long run.