Even though marriage used to be an institution of “until death do us part,” modern New Yorkers know the reality of the state’s divorce rate. Although scores of New Yorkers are getting divorced every year, experts say many of them do not take the necessary steps to ensure success throughout the process. Property division after a breakup can be not only confusing, but often difficult because of the emotional process involved in divorce itself. To prevent problems with your property division negotiations, consider taking the following steps.

First, consider meeting with a financial planner before your mediation or divorce. Even if you are seeking an amicable split, you may not know which assets are best for your future plans. For example, why fight for the house if you are unlikely to be able to afford its upkeep? Create a clear picture of your financial situation before going into the divorce, and you are more likely to experience success.

Next, do not wait to organize your financial information until you break the news to your spouse. Your emotions are sure to be running high during this initial stage of the breakup. If you are trying to gather all of your financial records at the same time, you could cause yourself unnecessary stress. If you have an idea about fair property division before you enter into mediation – and before you even tell your spouse you want a divorce – you will be far ahead of most other divorcees. This is not about being deceitful, but rather about protecting your own financial future.

Finally, be sure to set up a support network for yourself before you break the news to your spouse. You should not be waiting until the divorce starts to recruit a support team; instead, plan ahead by seeking out legal and financial experts who can help you through the process. These professionals can help you learn more about your legal rights during property division and other negotiations.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, “The 5 biggest mistakes people make when considering divorce” Debbie Martinez, Oct. 15, 2013