We plan for weddings. For vacations. For holidays. Even for death.

Who thinks to plan for a divorce?

It isn’t as odd as it sounds.

If you are part of the approximately 2 million couples who divorce in the United States each year, you need to plan for your divorce before you actually do it. Doing so actually will make the process easier.

So, just how do you plan for a divorce in New York, or anywhere in the nation, for that matter?

First, make sure that this really is what is right for you, your spouse and your children, if you are parents. Once you’ve decided that you want to proceed, consider the following:

  1. Organize all of your paperwork, such as financial statements and mortgage information. Your divorce attorney will need it, but it also will help you plan a budget for the future if you have a good idea of your income and assets currently and can project what they will be post-divorce.
  2. Determine what you’d like your life to look like in the future. What are your financial and personal goals?
  3. Speaking of financial goals, you will have decisions to make to guide you in divorce. Can you afford to stay in your home on your own? Can the kids stay in private school? You will need to answer such questions before the divorce settlement is made.
  4. What child custody arrangement do you want to pursue? Is joint custody or sole custody in the best interests of your children? That always should be your first concern when thinking about custody.
  5. Close any joint bank or credit card accounts.
  6. Put the team together that you need. That starts with your attorney but also could include a financial adviser and even a counselor to help you through some rough patches.

Divorce isn’t easy, and it’s very stressful for those who go through it. Being prepared will help ease some of the stresses.