Five easy steps to prepare for divorce

Understanding the divorce process can help individuals deal with some of the issues they will soon be experiencing.

The divorce process can seem daunting to those individuals who have no prior experience with the issues that often arise. However, those who take the time to prepare themselves for the process itself, as well as for life after the divorce, can make things much easier on themselves afterward. Here are some practical tips for individuals considering filing for divorce.

1. Gather information you need to determine the value of the assets you and your spouse have accumulated during the marriage. Once the divorce is filed, this information becomes much more difficult to retrieve from the other party. If you do not know what you have prior to filing, the other side could conceal assets. Since California is a community property state, meaning that each side is entitled to an equal share of the marital property, this is an essential step that you must take before moving forward.

2. Keep focused on the actual issues at hand, and not at the emotional disagreements you may be having with your spouse. There are relatively few people who can claim to have had a pain-free divorce. Emotions often run high during even uncontested divorces, and it is important that you keep your feelings out of the important decisions that you have to make. While you may want to “win” the divorce proceedings, any gain that you achieve may only be temporary. You need to know the long-term impact of the choices you are making at this time.

3. Understand the effect that the divorce will have on your financial future, and plan ahead accordingly. Your income will decrease substantially after a divorce, because you will be losing whatever funds your ex-spouse contributes to the monthly expenses. You will have to make sure that you design a budget that allows you to cover all of the new bills that will result after the divorce is final.

4. Consider the impact of the divorce on the children, and be ready to learn how to communicate with your ex. Custody matters often are some of the most impossible issues to resolve in any divorce. Once you and your spouse have decided to move forward with the end of your relationship, you need to commit to keeping the children out of the middle of your dispute. This allows each parent to enjoy a healthy relationship with the child, and will also allow you to create a custody agreement that stands a much better chance of lasting.

5. Consult an experienced family law attorney to learn more about your specific situation. While you might feel that your divorce has very simple issues to resolve, you might not have any idea about any of the specific matters related to these issues. This is an important time in your life, and if you have never been through the process before, it is easy to make a mistake that can have a devastating impact upon your future.

When you speak to an experienced family law attorney, you will receive advice that is focused solely on your needs. Whether you are trying to protect time with your children, or, retain assets that you feel belong to you, it is important that you have someone committed to protecting your rights throughout the process.

Keywords: divorce, family law, child custody