Good Advice for Divorcing Couples

Reading about divorce in the popular press every day as I do, I’m accustomed to some really schlocky reporting by journalists who should know better. It generally takes the form of some reporter getting a news release from some professional who wants to make money on divorce. The reporter talks to the professional and then a couple of the professional’s clients, and then writes the story.

Because most professionals want to get more money from people going through divorce, these stories too often tend to encourage people to spend more money than they need to on their divorce. That’s why I found this story in the New Jersey Star-Ledger so refreshing. It’s called “A Broken Heart Doesn’t Mean a Broken Wallet.”

It starts out with the same tired formula, but it finishes with some sound, practical advice that should be helpful to everyone going through divorce. Here are the highlights:

  • Make from and work within a budget
  • Pull credit reports for both spouses and make sure there are no surprises
  • Tally assets, liabilities, and earnings histories.
  • Don’t fall in love with an asset.
  • Don’t rush to hire lawyers.
  • It’s possible that Kathy Kristof, who wrote the story, has done the same lazy reporting job that I’ve seen from other reporters. Maybe she got all this good information from one professional. If so, kudos to the professional. And in case that’s what happened, I’ll link to the pro herself, A. Natalie Nelson. A quick glance at Google will convince you as it did me that Nelson is relentlessly self-promotional. But if she’s going to promote herself by dispensing good information like this, I say “Go Natalie!”