When you got married it was likely never a consideration that one day you’d end up in divorce court. It’s likely that as divorce becomes an option you find yourself dealing with a myriad of emotions. The worst part is the decisions that have to be made amidst all the emotional turmoil you’re facing. While one of the first things you should do is consult a San Diego divorce lawyer, there are some other things that should be done to prepare you for divorce. These are the first practical steps that should be made towards separating your life from your spouse’s.
Familiarize Yourself with the Family’s Monetary Situation
It comes as no shock that money is a leading cause of arguments and divorce nationally. However, it may shock you to know that many people don’t know their household expenses, but this is often the case. It is also often the case that people are unfamiliar with their spouse’s salary. One of the first steps you can take towards separating your life is to know where the money in your home comes from, and where it is being spent. You will need to be able to have a conversation with your San Diego divorce attorney about the monetary situation in your home. Family debt is a large part of a divorce. You will have to draw lines to separate everything, and this includes which party is responsible for which debts. Often times the hardest things to separate are the debts because many were joint decisions, things like mortgages, loans, joint credit cards, and these are just a few examples. Both your names are likely on many of these things, so who is responsible for assuming the payments once the split occurs? Talk with your spouse about how to handle these things. Many people opt to pay down the debts before they file for divorce.
Focus On Your Own Financial Well Being
Because finances are a major part of life they are most definitely a major part of a separation as well. If you’ve previously been unemployed outside the home, now is the time to begin building your resume. You will want to add all the skills you used during the years you stayed at home to your resume. Stay at home parents have marketable skills, for example, they are generally great at coordination! Aside from beginning the job search, you should check your credit. Not all financial decisions are joint decisions, and many may have affected your credit over the years. You should take steps toward improving, developing, and securing a solid financial future for yourself. This includes creating some savings for yourself.
Focus on Your Children
If you have children, make sure you give them the proper attention and care through this process. This will affect them very deeply. Try to keep life as normal as possible for them. Do not use your children as a weapon against your spouse. You may not like your spouse anymore, but your children still love him or her. Don’t speak negatively about your spouse in front of your kids. Talk with your kids about what is going on. Ask them who they would like to live with. Work with your spouse, if you can, to determine a schedule for visitation. By having many of these things worked out prior to the divorce, it will help the custody process along. It’s important that they feel they have a voice in this, and that both parents still love them deeply. The most important thing is to put your kids first!
Make sure you have created an extensive list of assets. The separation of material possessions is what most people think of when they think of divorce. This process is not as easy as it may seem. Does he get grandmother’s wedding ring back? Who gets the house? What part of the savings you’ve both invested in does either party get to keep? These are harder to deal with than you might think because it’s not always easy to create a 50/50 split. Before you talk with a San Diego divorce attorney, create an extensive list of everything you both own. You should inventory all bank accounts, jewelry, properties, safe deposit boxes, investment accounts, storage areas, automobiles, artwork, and anything that may be anywhere else you might keep valuables; then give this list to your attorney.
Be Well Documented
Keep records for everything. Make copies of tax returns, investment account statements, bank account records, life insurance policies, last will and testaments, vehicle documents, and anything else that you can create a physical paper connection with. Your San Diego divorce attorney will need these documents during the divorce proceedings. Not all divorces are amicable. If you and your spouse have had a violent separation, or there has been any physicality to your arguments, you should have copies of police reports if there have been any. In these instances try to make sure that correspondence is done in writing where possible, and keep all documentation of it, which includes emails, text messages, voice mails (they can be transcribed), and any other written or physical evidence. These things can all be used in court during divorce proceedings.
Contact an Attorney
Once you have decided to be separated it’s important to contact a San Diego divorce attorney. They can give you an exact list of all things that you need to keep record of which will be specific to your situation. Your attorney will cover things like what type of divorce you will go through, how your property will likely be split, and if you have kids, how custody is likely to be decided. Your attorney will be able to guide you through this process, and hopefully, make it as simple as possible. Remember it is important to consult a San Diego divorce attorney because only an attorney can give you legal advice. They will also have all information specific to the California Laws regarding divorce.
Divorce is never easy. Anything you’ve spent time and effort on is difficult to part with. When it comes to separation a San Diego divorce attorney can give you the best advice on how to move forward.