Divorce, no matter how amicable, is not easy. It is highly emotional and involves a lot of change. Thus, it is essential to have a plan before filing your case. Pre-divorce planning can make your divorce go smoother and quicker, as well as protect your best interests. There are family, financial, and many other issues to consider. The family law attorneys at Evans Kingsbury, LLP, believe that life after a divorce doesn’t have to be challenging or chaotic, and we want to help you prepare in the best way possible.
Tips for Preparing for Divorce
Many aspects must be considered as you prepare for divorce. However, with hard work, organization, and the help of experienced family law attorneys, the divorce process can be more manageable.
Your children’s best interests are the most critical priority in a divorce. You must consider where your kids will live, how they will be raised, and how much parental involvement each parent will have after the divorce is finalized.
A plan for the family should begin with how you intend to tell your children and extended family members about your plans to divorce. Next, you should consider how to gather support for your children, including whether to attend counseling sessions as a family. Even though divorce means you are no longer married, it does not mean your family ends. Your children must have the comfort of knowing that while your family is changing, you will all still be there for each other.
One of the most daunting parts of divorce is the idea of how you will support yourself. Even if you are the primary breadwinner, you still have a financial responsibility to support your children (and possibly your spouse). In addition, you and your spouse will have two households and more bills to consider. And a parent should never rely on child support payments for their living expenses. Therefore, financial planning before you file for divorce is crucial. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you evaluate your financial situation, expected expenses after divorce, and other financial factors you should consider.
If you are not employed before the divorce, part of your planning should include how you will earn money post-divorce. For example, do you need more education? Should you begin searching for a job? Is your income enough to support yourself (and your part of child support) if you are employed? How will that work with child custody or visitation issues if you work outside the home? It would be best to address these questions and others regarding your career plans before filing for divorce.
An essential task in your pre-divorce planning is locating and organizing your essential paperwork. You need to gather all documentation evidencing your assets and debts. Below is a list of a few documents you should locate in your pre-divorce planning:
· Bank statements
· Mortgage statements
· Retirement account statements
· Credit card statements
· Investment account records
· Loan applications
· Last three to five years of tax returns
· Copies of W2s
· Property tax bills
· Credit reports
This list is not exhaustive, so you should gather any other documents that you think may be helpful in your pre-divorce planning.
Even if your divorce is mutual and friendly, it can still be exhausting and emotionally draining. The process can bring up memories and emotions that are difficult. Before you start the divorce process, ensure that you have a support system in place. Whether it is extended family members, friends, a therapist, or another person you can rely on, you need somebody to help you process your feelings during this difficult time.
Contact Experienced California Divorce Lawyers
Attorneys Deirdre Kingsbury and Noreen Evans understand the complexities of family law cases and how stressful they can be. They can explain your options with compassion and clarity. At Evans Kingsbury LLP, we are family lawyers with decades of experience, including family trials and settlements. Call us today at (707) 730-4724 or fill out our easy contact form to discuss your case.