How spouses can prepare for a smoother and quicker divorce
Many Californians are familiar with the challenges that come as a marriage is ending. Beyond the conflicts and anxieties is the need to make decisions about child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. For some spouses, this array of decisions leads them to put off divorce plans until just the right time and just the right circumstances.
Waiting for the right time to file for divorce, however, will make no difference if the spouse who is ending the marriage is not prepared for the process ahead. Given the amount of time, money and stress associated with a divorce, however, becoming prepared for the divorce is crucial.
The divorce process is a series of decisions about who gets what out of the marriage, including the custody of any minor children, spousal support and any assets, properties and debts the couple may have. To make informed decisions, a spouse should financially prepare by collecting all financial records that could be needed. Getting copies of these documents before filing for divorce also may show whether the other spouse is hiding assets.
Preparation also helps address a spouse’s finances after divorce. For this reason, a spouse should learn about the person’s credit score and how that will affect credit and finances. A spouse should also open a personal bank account before filing because opening one afterward is often more difficult.
Finally, having a divorce legal team can make the legal process run more smoothly. Most attorneys can address issues such as child custody, property division and child support. The best legal professionals, however, are also familiar with the emotional aspects of divorce and are thus better prepared to find the best outcome for the divorcing spouse.
Source: Forbes, “(Soon-to-be) Divorcing Women: What Are You Waiting For? Here’s How To Prepare To File,” Jeff Landers, June 26, 2014