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When you start to get serious about the idea of separating from your spouse and starting a new life without him or her, it is really important that you start with the end in mind.

Writing down your goals for what you want out of your divorce is a very important exercise, and one that is often overlooked. If you want to start your divorce off on the right foot, this is something you must do.

I say this because I know you are tempted. You want to just dig in to drafting the separation agreement, or dealing with kids, property or support. You may even want to start immediately talking to your spouse about the details of when you are going to move out.

This is a BAD idea. A legal separation in North Carolina is a process, and it takes time. You need to go through this process one step at a time.

And here’s something else to consider. You must understand that separating from your spouse is emotional for both you and for them. Because of the strong emotions involved, either of you may start to latch on to issues and considerations that don’t necessarily move you forward toward your goals.

When we are working with our divorce clients, one of the very first things we do after we are retained is to meet with our new clients for a strategy session. This meeting usually takes about an hour and it gives us an opportunity to review what it is that the client wants, and help them to map out a process to get them there.

This is essentially what you are doing when you start to work through your goals worksheet interview. We will ask you a series of questions that you can complete and start to map out what it is that is most important to you. You will know going in what you do and don’t want out of the divorce process.

Below you will find links to our goals worksheet interview, where we will walk you though the process of setting your goals step-by-step. Alternatively, if you are more of a pencil and paper person, you can download a copy of the same worksheet to print off and complete on your own.