Planning a successful garden is a lot like planning a successful Divorce.

One summer day several years ago I decided to rip out the bonsai bushes in my front yard. I didn’t know what I wanted to replace them – I just knew they had to go. (And you can see why.) So I  started hacking away. As soon as they were gone, I went to the garden center and bought a bunch of pretty, colorful plants to replace them. I did not research sun requirements, water needs, hardiness or anything else. I just picked what I liked. In some cases, I got lucky and it worked out. In many cases I have had to transplant or replace many of my original choices because they were not suitable to my site. (Do as I say not as I do.)

The next summer I got smart and planned my next steps. I came up with these goals.

  • I wanted a lot of color
  • I wanted visual interest year-round (Colorado has a pretty short bloom season,)
  • I wanted it to be low upkeep
  • I wanted it to be inexpensive to maintain (low water.)

Did I get all of that in that next season? No – it is a work in progress. Because I made some mistakes the first year, choosing plants not well-suited to Colorado, I made more work for myself. I had to move plants and even start over again where I had made ill-informed decisions about what to plant. If I’d had this list when I started my landscaping project, I would have made much better decisions. Now that I have this list, I have a much better chance of coming home with something that fits in with my vision for the garden.

Step 1: Planning for a successful divorce

Plan for the divorce you want by planning for the life you want. Visualize what you would like your life to be 5 years after your divorce. After the hurt and anger are gone, if your life could be any way you choose what would it look like? Be as specific as possible. Where will you live? Where will you work? What activities will you pursue?

Where will your children live? Will you share decision making with your soon to be ex (stbx?) What will you do if you don’t agree on decisions? Where will your children go to school? What activities will your children be involved in?

How will you describe your divorce? How will your children describe your divorce? How will you and your stbx remain in contact? Will you and your stbx be able to attend kid’s activities, future graduations or even weddings?

Now use this list to help you make decisions as you work your way through the divorce process. Does the current action support you in your quest for your best life after divorce?


About the author:

Bev Banfield is a CPA, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, and founder of Banfield Divorce Financial Advisors. The Denver-based company was established to help divorcing couples more easily and equitably separate their finances. Banfield has more than 30 years of experience in financial analysis, budgeting, and auditing. Contact us for more information at (303) 482-1726 or Connect with me on LinkedIn