Your Own D-Day

Sandy Balick of discusses how best to organize yourself going forward after you finalized your divorce.Most people approaching divorce are unlikely to have participated in what I’ll call history’s D-Day – the day Allied Forces invaded France on June 6, 1944 – the beginning of the arduous campaign that led, almost a year later, to Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945.

Without in any way seeking to trivialize history, the D-Day I’m speaking of here is less dramatic by far in a global sense, but no less major perhaps in a personal sense. It’s the date of your divorce and will forever be a bright line of demarcation between two important chapters in your life: pre- and post-divorce.

The effort to reach your D-Day may have been personally arduous. Many are left mentally exhausted and perhaps financially depleted by the effort. Even those who have been able to mediate their differences and/or settle on reasonably amicable grounds will likely have found the process to have been a diversion from life as usual.

However you arrived at your D-Day, the opening of your next chapter is an important time to reconnoiter on matters of personal financial health and related estate issues. This is not a commercial for a law firm or insurance agency, but is just a reflection of the fact that as life moves on, the necessity to have good financial and estate plans in place is very important for you, your kids and other heirs, especially in a world where there is so much competition for your dollars. Even if you had good estate plans in place as a married couple, you will likely have to revisit this subject to adjust your plan to reflect your newly liberated status.

While assembling a good personal and estate plan may require some combination of study, advice and choice, these things should not serve to postpone the process. Rather, breaking the process into component parts will make the task much easier for you. The purpose of this blog is to identify the key initial steps in this process with follow-up installments focusing on important additional details.

This may sound like a lot of work and effort but the opening of a new chapter in your life is just too convenient a moment not to begin the planning process, especially on the heels of a divorce. You have likely already had to pull financial records together, which is an important first step in the planning process. Marshaling account numbers and balances is a terrific start (many will recall that it proved time-consuming earlier in the divorce process). The preparation of a realistic personal budget is another critical first step.

If you mediated your divorce, then you will likely already have a good personal budget in place. If you don’t have a budget in place, there are many good, detailed budget forms available in books and online that will help you through the process. A helpful online source may be found at’s Financial Planning page at this address:

Next, start thinking about estate planning, if you haven’t already done so. Discard the notion that you don’t have sufficient assets to need an estate plan or that you are too young for such a thing. In thinking about this process, focus on its basic components: a will, beneficiary designations (for assets that aren’t passed on via a will) and, finally, your living will and advanced health care proxies.

I  believe I’ve given you plenty to think about for the moment, so I’ll pick up here in my next posting. In the meantime, ponder the following:

Do you already have a financial and estate plan in place? If no, why not?

Feel free to ask any questions, to comment, or to request more information in the Comments Box below. Also, please feel free to forward this blog to anyone you know who might be interested in its topic.

Sanford (Sandy) Balick, Attorney & Mediator, NY Sandy Balick signature
Sanford E. Balick, Esq.
Founder & Principal Mediator
Consensus Point Mediation, LLC.

Phone: (646) 340-3434


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