My Top 5 Tips Before You File for Divorce in California

Filing for divorce is not an easy decision. From deciding child custody and visitation, to dividing community assets and debts, divorce can make you feel emotionally drained. There are a few things you should consider before you file for divorce in California. Read my tips below to get started.

What to Consider Before You File for Divorce in California

 1. Make Sure You Want a Divorce

Do not file for divorce if you are hesitant about doing so.  Deciding to get divorced is a complicated emotional decision. Seek out marital counseling and try to reconcile with your spouse before filing for divorce in California. Filing for legal separation is also an option to consider. Legal separation will allow you to resolve issues such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. Legal separation does not end the marital union (you remain married), but allows a couple to maintain control over their individual assets. During legal separation, you can continue marital counseling. You can reverse your legal separation status if you reconcile with your spouse. You can also file for divorce if you do not. Make sure you exhaust all your options on making your marriage work before filing for divorce.

2. Research California Divorce Attorneys

Depending on the nature of your community property, you may not need to hire an attorney to file for divorce. You may be competent to represent yourself. If you have no minor children and limited assets and debts, consider working with a consulting attorney to guide you through the divorce process. The attorney may represent you in a limited capacity.

Hire an attorney if you believe your spouse may fight you on child custody and support. You should also hire a California attorney if you and your spouse own a lot of assets or are in serious debt. Contact us for more information about the family law services we provide.

California Divorce Checklist

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3. Figure Out Your Living Situation

Before you file for divorce in California, determine whether you want to remain in the house with your spouse or move out. The cost of living in California is high. It may be too costly to move out right away upon filing for divorce. If your spouse is amicable, it may be best to remain living together to save money until your divorce is finalized. If you remain in your home and your spouse moves out, you may be solely responsible for household related expenses. Speak with an attorney before you decide to move out of the family residence.

4. Maintain a Support Network

Develop a strong support network before you file for divorce in California. Going through the divorce process can be emotionally draining. Surround yourself with positive people to lift you up through this difficult time in your life. Meet with friends who have been through divorce and discuss how you are feeling. They may be able to provide you with peace of mind that it will all be over soon. Make sure you take care of yourself emotionally and physically during your divorce. Strengthen your spirituality or faith and maintain respect for yourself. Always take the high road if your spouse is argumentative.

5. Determine How Much Money Your Spouse Earns

Finally, make sure you know how much money your spouse earns before you file for divorce. Review joint and separate bank accounts to get an understanding of community income. Print off bank statements for the last six months to a year if possible. In addition, check all credit accounts. Try and pay off all debts and close charge cards before you file for divorce. Make a post-divorce budget that you can maintain. Obtaining this information will help you understand where you are financially.

SD Esquire Online Divorce Course

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  This includes preparing and filling your divorce petition, completing your financial disclsoures, and drafting your marital settlement agreement (MSA). Our uncontested flat fee divorce service starts at $1500 for standard divorce (you are responsible for paying court filling fees).  The fee also includes service of process fees. You can make installment payments as your case progresses. It costs $500 to start your matter. Sign up today to get started.

 

California Divorce Quick Start Guide by Kym Morris, Esq.
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