A high-asset divorce can feel very complicated and overwhelming. When your spouse files for divorce, it may come as a shock, and you just have to get your head around these impending changes. Then you have to think about child custody plans, employment, support, asset division, debt division, updating your estate plan and a whole lot more.
You can imagine how it may feel like things can spiral out of control. In fact, many people procrastinate important decisions because they don't feel like they know where to start. It's too much.
To help you, here are three important questions to ask. When you decide on the right answers for you, in your situation, it can help to jump-start the process and get you working on manageable portions of your divorce. Once you start, it begins to feel easier.
1. Do you want to keep your home?
Asset division is complicated, so start with the asset that has the biggest impact on your daily life: your home. Do you want to keep it? If so, do you need to refinance the loan on your own? If you don't want to keep it, does that mean you should sell it and split the proceeds with your ex?
Deciding what to do with the house can get you working on things like asset division, debt division and child custody planning. It's a natural way to start planning for what your life will look like after the split.
2. Is there a right way to tell the kids?
If you have children together, you need to tell them at some point. When is the right time? You don't want to do it too early, especially if you think your spouse might change their mind. You also don't want to wait too long, so that the children find out from someone else. On top of that, you have to consider where to tell them, how you can do it together and if there are any important events -- like a birthday -- that you want to avoid.
Answering these questions also gets you thinking about child support, child custody rights and what decisions you can make in the best interests of the kids.
3. Will this take an emotional toll?
Divorce can be very difficult, emotionally speaking. Do you need to talk to a therapist? Do you have a support system that you can trust, consisting of friends and family members?
Deciding how you feel about the divorce allows you to work through your emotions early on in the process. Remember, you do not want to make emotional decisions about asset division, child custody rights or anything else.
Hopefully these three questions helped you get started. Make sure you take the time to look into all of your legal options in New York.