Divorce can be both costly and lengthy. For some California couples, the process itself can become more expensive if it is disorganized and chaotic. However, when you take steps to prepare for the process, you can make it more streamlined and efficient.
Gather your support system
As you get ready for divorce, you will want to gather a strong support system. This can include friends and family who can let you talk about your feelings and vent. It can also include a lawyer who can guide you professionally and explain how the process works. It might also include financial professionals, particularly if your divorce will include a complex division of assets. Finally, you might also include a mental health specialist, such as a therapist to help you work through your feelings.
Organize your finances
This process can start by identifying separate and marital assets. Separate assets might include:
- Assets acquired before marriage
- Individual gifts received during the marriage
- Family heirlooms
- Assets that have been established as separate through agreements such as prenups
For the marital assets, you should gather supporting documentation, such as the registration and title of your vehicle or mortgage information for your real estate. Other financial documentation you gather should include:
- Retirement accounts and pension information
- Life insurance information
- Bank account statements
- Information related to joint businesses
Plan for the divorce process and the future
After speaking with your spouse about the divorce and with your lawyer about the process, create a divorce plan. You should also create a budget for life after divorce, that anticipates rent or mortgage payments, utilities and any other regular expenses.
Taking the time to prepare for divorce can help prevent unnecessary tension and issues. It is better to take some time before starting the process to plan instead of having to deal with complications later.