No one enters into a marriage with a hope of divorcing in the future, so it’s tough to think about how to prepare for the process. Still, there are a few tasks you should undertake before you initiate proceedings under California divorce law. The first is to consult with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, especially since a legal professional can assist with many other aspects of the process. You’ll get a head-start if you employ some tips on how to prepare for divorce.
You’ll eventually need various legal and financial documents as you go through the process, so do your best to collect them as soon as you start to seriously consider divorce. It will help streamline the proceedings if you can gather copies or originals of:
With the documents you’ve collected and other details, take a close look at your income, assets, and debts – for each of you individually and jointly. These financial matters will be relevant to property distribution and spousal support, and some of the information may affect child support. In addition, note all account numbers, ID numbers, and passwords for jointly owned assets.
Once you have a grasp of your financial condition, it’s time to review it in the context of your current and future circumstances. While you should discuss the specifics with your divorce attorney, you should open a separate checking and savings account. Refrain from taking money from joint accounts, but make sure to deposit your income into the new accounts. These funds may be helpful to cover living expenses and emergencies.
Avoid making any large expenditures other than basic living essentials, your mortgage, and other ongoing debts. However, you may consider applying for a credit card in your own name – which you’ll pay out of your individual account.
Under California law, the divorce process cannot be completed until six months after the respondent receives notice or appears in court. You should make a plan on your living arrangements during this time. Although you shouldn’t move out without consulting with your attorney, you might research apartments or talk to a loved one about temporary lodging. Think about practical issues involved with either one of you moving out, especially as the consequences affect children and their school districts.
If you’d like more information on how to prepare for divorce, please contact the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein at 877.721.4551. Schedule a consultation with a Century City divorce attorney who will review your situation and guide you through the planning phases.