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Preparing for Divorce


So, you are looking into the financial challenges of divorce. Obviously, divorce is a very hard emotional decision to make. 

Our goal is to help you rise above the emotional financial stress. I have the experience, training and skills to help you make hard money choices and avoid mistakes.  David A. Dinsmore Professional Resume

When you make complex money decisions, everyone needs expert business and personal financial help. The fastest way to success is to work a good plan. Tips to Manage Change

Complete and accurate facts are very important. Do not guess. The court and your advisers use the financial data for a long list of things. And, keep your financial self-defense in mind too. 

You and I both know your case is unique. Our divorce planning digs deeper for your facts, so you can make better money decisions.

Your BEST STARTING PLACE is to first review your MONEY SITUATION. Make a detailed list of your income and expenses, and assets and liabilities.

NEXT, do the STEP 1 - JOBS listed below to prepare for your divorce process.

If you are not sure what to do or where to start, we will give you optionsContact us to get started today.

Divorce and Business Valuation


Introduction. Divorce deals with three major issues: Child custody; Spousal and child support; and Property Division. Your attorney should take the lead as your advocate, and help you with all three.

Understand exactly how the attorney you choose intends to help you. Have your prospective attorney walk you through their case and document management process and procedures including how they will keep you informed.

Ask about their family law case management software used, and how they will use it for your case. No dedicated divorce law practice software, move on to the next prospect on your list.

Read and track all communications when received. Do not put it off. YOU MUST DO IT. I have seen procrastination cost thousands of dollars.

If the attorney has poor or weak procedures (action steps in proper order for success), move on to the next prospective lawyer. Be sure you and the attorney agree on the expectations and responsibilities. Particularly that your fees accomplish your goals at process milestones, not just their time spent. 

Five Hours of smart preparation before you file for divorce will save you Ten or More Days of stressed work later.

You can print this page to use as a worksheet. Highlight the tasks to do, and then check the task off when done.


The more financially complicated you are, the more help you need before, during, and after the marriage.

Working with your attorney so you have the facts you need is part of our divorce preparation process. Facts are vital to finding your fair share of hidden money.


  • Prepare and set a detailed comprehensive plan to protect yourself, your children, and your personal finances and property before you file for divorce.
  • Know and prioritize your goals: What do you want? What will give up?
  • Know your budget, your spending plan: What can you afford? How will you pay your bills?
  • Gather your data and documents, personal and business.
  • Prepare to interview and choose an attorney.
    • Ask for a list of information they will want at the interview and to start the process; and a copy of their service agreement and fees to study.
    • Do your homework. It will go a long way to help control fees.
      • If they give you a weak or no planning form and document request, then move to the next one on your list of prospects.
    • Interview attorneys with a list of your questions (clarify their process, procedures, fees, etc.) in light of your goals and expectations. Talk about your goals and milestones. Keep good notes, and record the conversation, if you feel the need.


Prepare to meet with your attorney and others with lists of questions, your stories (facts on physical and mental abuse, harassment, police reports, and your documents that back up what you are telling them, think “show and tell”).

Preparation Suggestions. Consider Scripting Your Meetings: “In the next 15 minutes, I would like to update/discuss with you three things about my goal
(why you are there, your main points to stress).
Closing summary-one sentence of what you want to happen next.

Be as brief as possible to prove your points, create an agenda, use appropriate documents and research, allow questions but keep on track for where you want to lead the discussion.

Listen carefully to what the attorney says; and later for what they didn’t say, but should have.) Audio record your meetings on your cell phone so you can check yourself, and what you think you heard later.

Know Your Priorities and Perspective. The attorney should not be bashful about explaining realities to you; and you should understand their reasoning. You can reach some goals and others are just not possible.

You want to pay for reached goals, not the attorney's time trying. If early goals are not reached, it's time to evaluate changing attorneys. Think pay for performance. 

You must also be your own advocate. Do your own homework. Learn the divorce process for your special situation. No one cares about you as much as you do. Check out Ohio Divorce Basics, 50 FAQ. The list does not cover everything. For example, the Court may issue a Temporary Restraining Order, TRO. Be sure you learn when to seek a TRO, how to comply, and force your spouse's compliance when necessary. Along with this, it’s a good idea to discuss with your attorney the pro’s and con’s of filing for divorce first.

The timing of your filing for divorce also influences when other actions should be taken. Example: Domestic violence may drive filing for a protection order or a TRO  or a Civil Protection Order CPO, Ohio Protection Orders and a court order for exclusive occupancy of your residence and/or a No Trespassing Order. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that includes Children’s Protective Services also may have resources to check.


This is why we start with your personal financial records and organizing your business facts to set your 'fair deal' value. You can search the internet for personal budget work sheet, personal financial information organizers and/or personal document retention lists. Which is better depends on your personal situation, call we can talk about. 

          Documents and Data Are Critical to Reaching Your Divorce Goals.
                                  Keep Your Divorce Records Forever.
          You may need proof of asset ownership and income or
                                       property rights decades later.

Protecting your personal information is a big concern that makes planning critically important. Breaching your data is costly mistake that covers 5-7 active areas. We can help build your security strategy.

Your first step is to work on the suggestions here COMPLETING EACH BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT. However, when you want more help, you can set a complimentary 20-minute phone meeting to talk about personal records. e-Mail us for the free details. The Divorce Records Check, DRCSM will give you useful financial planning data and document lists to guide better preparation. In addition, the Divorce Records Check, DRCSM will help save your time and your attorney’s time answering financial questions. All attorneys are welcome to call with any questions without a fee.


We at work with the financial analysis for Property Division and personal and business financial challenges. Our financial work deals with Equitable Distribution in a Divorce, the money issues, for our client.

You and your attorney work with us on what you want to know and what the law says on a financial issue. There are no simple money issues in a divorce. We will offer you useful information and suggestions for the technical side of money questions. How you use the information is your choice and responsibility.

A divorce requires a good plan from the beginning. You need to understand your attorney’s plan for your case. You especially need to understand the process for gathering documents (called discovery) and the Court's process to deal with delays. Go over your testimony with your attorney

Early in 2018, I finished a divorce project that took over a year with documents in the thousands of pages. Even the simplest divorce has hundreds of pages of financial documents. A divorce generates so much paper that a Cincinnati paper shredding company gives me a discount.

Where can you make better
divorce money decisions?

Divorce Financial Issues are Personal and Business. 

Business financial planning, before and after the divorce
Valuing the business for the divorce
            Divorce Business Valuations For Litigation May Require Formal Certification.
            Definitions, standards, jurisdiction, and court influences
            Jointly retained valuation for mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR
            Unreasonable Compensation Analysis for Support Calculations and Business Valuation
Marital property ownership effects
Hidden income and assets investigation
            Occupational Earnings Appraisal, OEASM (Fair Job Income) for an under-
            employed or unemployed person for Child and Spousal Support Issues
            Prenuptial asset and income tracing; agreement money violations search
            Special conditions and considerations evaluation
Protecting the business during divorce and after
Comprehensive and single business systems analysis options

Personal financial planning, before and after the divorce
            Financial condition and earning capacity of the parties
            Career stability and compensation outlook
            Individual’s financial contribution to acquire marital assets
Marital property ownership and tracing
            Jointly Retained Valuation for Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR
Hidden income and assets
            Occupational Earnings Appraisal, OEASM (Fair Job Income) for an under-
            employed or unemployed person for Child and Spousal Support Issues
            Prenuptial asset and income tracing; agreement money violations search
            Special conditions and considerations evaluation
Valuing personal assets and liabilities
            Liquidity and marketability of assets
            Marital home and other real estate
            Unique and collectible assets
            Retirement accounts and pensions
Debt controls and elimination
            Selection pro’s and con’s of assets for division
            Tax implications of choices
Income and Expense Analysis and Management
            Setting up a budget for during divorce and for life after the divorce
            Housing costs and financing
Financial and tax analysis and long-term forecasts of divorce settlement offers
            Child support budgeting and calculation
Healthcare insurance coverage alternatives and other insurances

The issue complexities show in our firm’s organization chart. 

With deliberate divorce planning and preparation, you can make better money decisions.

In addition, while you cannot catch them all, with planning you can avoid problems and bad surprises before and after your divorce.

Our divorce planning process deals with 7 money problem areas. We discuss why over 25 tactics can make a financial difference for you.

And, stacked on top of that, we screen clients for nearly 100 divorce mistakes. Then we repeat the screening at 5 more critical points in the divorce process. Click to see 10 of 100 Divorce Money Mistakes.

Overkill, hardly. You have a lot of money at risk. We take all of our work seriously.

I have helped hundreds of divorcing clients since starting my firm in 1988. A good first step is talking with me, David A. Dinsmore, about your personal and business financial planning. See the discussion starters Starting the Divorce Business Valuation Process, 10 Initial Data and Document Requests and Ten Rules for a Top Notch Business Valuation. I have concentrated on coordinating these two complex financial worlds to build client wealth and limit client risks. The firm’s extensive library of planning articles and worksheets, strategies, and tactics give clients a wealth of useful information. 

In over 35 years of financial planning, I have never had a client say, “I was over prepared” or “I regret being organized to answer the hard questions.”

I have seen a multitude of disasters from ugly deals and costly choices caused by the lack of preparation. What should be obvious examples of do's and don'ts.

At first, the preparation may look challenging. My years of experience and organized approach make the process much simpler and faster. Good preparation drives smarter choices. Get your personal and financial life in order.

If you are considering divorce or are in the process, I encourage you to e-mail us today for a free consultation. Let’s talk. You are welcome to ask anything. Get to know more about the money problems you could face.