When it comes to divorce, times can get tough.
You have children on the line, assets that are about to be separated, and lives that will be forever changed. But before making the decision to file for divorce, there are a number of steps that you need to take.
The filing process for a divorce varies by state, but in the state of California, there are requirements that will make the process more lengthy than you may think.
For example, one of California’s requirements is a six-month waiting period for all parties and individuals who want to end the marriage, not regarding the location. In other states this law is not enforced, but it is specific to just california.
So what are some ways to prepare for a potentially lengthy divorce process in California? Let’s find out.
Assess Your Readiness
First and foremost, before seeking a divorce, you need to be prepared.
Both emotionally and practically. You need to be prepared for the emotional toll it will take on you and the implications it will have on the people around you.
Not just your immediate family, but your extended family as well. Family gatherings are no longer going to be the same. Being with your friends is going to be different too, since unfortunately, they will be looking at you differently.
It’s important to consider getting counseling or seeking a support group, since there are many people that need just as much help as you do.
Gather Essential Information
In today’s digital age, it’s so easy to lose track of important documents, such as tax returns, information on assets, and other simple things such as credit card statements and tax returns.
Here’s a list of the specific items you will need to give to your attorney:
- Income Tax Returns
- Proof Of Income
- Marital Debt
- Real Estate Records
- Retirement Records
- Medical Information & Records
- Children’s Information
- Prenuptial Agreement
In addition to these items, you need to have a comprehensive list of all of your assets, including your houses, cars, and money you have on hand.
Exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution
Before looking at getting a divorce, which can be done with the help of an Orange County divorce attorney, there are other options you should consider. The first one of these is mediation.
Mediation is a third-party process where a mediator helps a couple come to a divorce agreement.
Usually, mediation can come with less hassle since it is less costly and it helps the couple understand each other in the process. It usually comes to a resolution regarding the division of assets, child custody, and alimony.
On the other hand, arbitration is another method where it is a private and informal session where an arbitrator, usually a former judge, makes a decision and it is final.
One key difference is that the session is not public, and there are some times where the sessions can be customized to meet the needs of each individual in a relationship.
Be Prepared Financially
And unsurprisingly enough, divorces and custody battles can get messy…and expensive.
Be sure to keep in mind how much you are spending on legal fees every time you meet with your attorney. There are certain programs you can opt into such as the California Legal Aid and Pro-Bono services if you may not have the funds to hire an attorney, especially if you have a complex case at hand.
You also need to keep in mind how much a divorce will impact your finances. Chances are, your assets will likely be divided, meaning that you will have half of what you previously had when you were married.
In addition, in the state of California, there is a fee waiver procedure for couples who want to divorce but don’t have the funds. So if you may not have the money, this is definitely a viable option.
Communication and Co-Parenting Considerations
Even after going through a difficult time, you need to communicate with your ex-spouse. Period.
Make sure to get on the same page regarding child custody arrangements, asset division, and learning how to get along when you see each other regularly.
You also need to consider the wellbeing of your children in the process as well. Make sure your children understand that you and your ex-spouse are not together anymore.
Be Prepared For The Divorce In California Today
In summary, you can be prepared for a divorce in California by assessing your readiness, gathering essential information, exploring alternative options, being prepared financially, and learning to communicate.
By following these steps, you can file for a divorce faster than you may think, even if it may be difficult with a six-month waiting period. But before making a decision such as divorce, you need to consider the implications that it will have on your personal life.