When you’re going through a divorce, you know that the entire process is filled with emotions. So when someone tells you to try remove the emotions from the decisions, it might sound impossible. How do you remove the emotions from the most emotionally-consuming time of your life?
Think of yourself as a business and the process of divorce as a business transaction. Easier said than done? Here are some ways to think strategically during an emotionally strenuous time.
Consider the ROI
Understanding the return on investment is a factor all business people consider before making any decision related to their portfolios. When you put in X amount, how much will you get back? For example, if you and your ex can’t come to terms on the distribution of some of your assets, you may want to pursue litigation. Taking him to court to get what you deserve seems to make sense.
But if that pursuit costs $20,000 and you end up with an extra $5,000 of a 401k you thought you were entitled to, is that worth the investment? It’s neither cost-effective nor efficient. A savvy business person would know that is a bad ROI.
Is it good for the bottom line?
When it comes to the division of assets, there is often a family home involved. A home filled with memories. Memories of children growing up and life as you knew it. The sentimental value of that house is priceless, and because of that, you might want to keep it. You may even be willing to give up other assets, like retirement accounts or pension plans. But is it good for your bottom line?
The truth of the matter is that a home comes with expenses. Upkeep, maintenance – the list goes on. If you still have a mortgage on it, the payment may no longer be feasible when you’re living on a single income. Is keeping a house that you may not be able to afford good for the bottom line? Probably not.
Short-term benefits versus long-term risks
When negotiating terms with your ex, it is tempting to stand your ground, no matter what. When he asks that the parenting plan includes a week in July with kids every year because his family has an annual get together, you may not want to agree to it for a variety of reasons. Maybe there will be something you want to do that week in July with the kids one year. You don’t want to agree to it.
Consider the impact it will have. Will he remember that when you ask to get the kids for an extra night at Christmas? Or when you ask to switch weekends, will he hold this against you? Is the instant gratification of holding your ground worth the risk of long-term animosity? Maybe not.
Working with a divorce attorney can help offer you the perspective necessary to make decisions that will be best for you now and a few decades down the road.