When a couple has decided to get divorced, where do they begin? In order to have things go smoothly and perhaps uncontested, every couple needs a game plan.
If the parties have no minor children they will need to discuss the following issues:
- If you own a home, what do you plan to do with it? Will it be sold or will one party keep the home? Is there any equity in the home? What will you do about the equity? Will one party’s name be removed from the mortgage if the other party keeps the home?
- What about personal property? Cars, boats, motorcycles, ATV’s. Household furniture and furnishings. Who gets what?
- Debts and liabilities will need to be determined, including credit card debt, installment loans, debts on vehicles, etc.
- Will alimony be necessary? How do we determine the amount, if it is?
- Are there retirement plans? Does each of the parties have retirement plans? Does only one party have a plan? What if they are unequal, what do we do if we both want to have the same amount of retirement incomes? Can we divide the plans without tax liability?
- Life insurance? Is it needed? How much? What is the term?
Certainly most couples will not have all of the answers to these questions but this is a good starting point for your discussion.
With the help and guidance of a knowledgeable and skilled mediator, you will work through these issues and reach an agreement that sits well with both of the parties.