Get Ready For Divorce: Steps To Take Before You File

Divorce is no easy matter. It can be complicated, messy and emotional. Before you take any legal action, review these tips to prepare for your divorce.

Ask yourself, do I need an attorney/Consult with a good attorney:

Q: Do I need an Attorney? How do Lawyers charge?

A: Dissolving your marriage is not an easy task. The legal and financial ramifications of your actions will be felt for many years to come. Whether your case is resolved via settlement or trial, you should be advised by an attorney well versed in the intricacies of the law related to your dissolution.

Not only will your lawyer give vital legal advice they will serve as a valuable counselor and advocate during an emotionally difficult period in your life.

The majority of attorneys charge by the hour. Typically, lawyers require a "retainer" before they accept a case. The amount depends upon the complexity of the case and your ability to pay. During dissolution proceedings, the Court has jurisdiction over the subject of attorney's fees. If one spouse isn't able to pay their attorney, the court may order that the fees be paid from community assets or the earnings of the other spouse.

Keep a watchful eye on joint accounts

Keep an eye on your joint accounts in which you hold with your spouse. Always be mindful of the funds held in the accounts.

Gather and organize financial records

Find out everything about your household budget, expenses and possessions. Copy tax returns, bank statements, credit statements, and car titles. Gather as much information as you can and have your attorney help you with this.

Plan for the future

Divorce means living on a budget and possibly living in alternative housing. It is important to consider whether or not you may need to find somewhere else to live. Think about going back to school or finding a job. You are going to be independent so prepare yourself for life after divorce.

Always, think about the kids

If you have kids, it is important to put their needs ahead of yours. It is important to keep in mind their day to day routine. It is the policy of California to assure minor children frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated and dissolved their marriage. Parents are encouraged to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to affect this policy. The law requires the Court to award custody according to the best interests of your children considering their health, safety and welfare.

Have Support

Divorce can be very emotional so find a good therapist or a group of friends and family to assist you in getting through such a difficult time.

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