How Do I Prepare for a Divorce?

Photo of a light haired lawyer meeting for divorce

Divorce is one of the most complex life events anyone can face. It not only changes the lives of the separating couple, it redefines the way entire families work. This is why getting a divorce can seem so daunting. However, if you face divorce with preparedness and an openness for knowledge, you may find it easier to cope. Here are a few things you can do to help prepare for divorce and reduce the difficulties ahead.

Gather Important Information and Documents

Ending a marriage requires an understanding of your assets, finances and personal property. That means gathering a wide assortment of documents and paperwork for the court, your attorney and your former spouse. These documents can include but are not limited to:

  • Bank Statements
  • Investment Account Statements
  • Inventory of Property
  • Mortgage and Loan Documents
  • Real Estate Deeds and Paperwork
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Insurance Policies
  • Retirement Account Information
  • Cost of Living Expense Report
  • Proof of Earnings
  • Appraisals of Real Property and Personal Property

The list of documents you will need goes beyond just financial documents. Also gather estate plans, insurance policies and any premarital or postnuptial agreements when preparing for a divorce.

Get Organized

Merely having the necessary documents on hand isn’t enough to keep the divorce process smooth. Attorneys, accountants, advisors and judges will all need access to these documents. In many cases, they will need the documents on a deadline, so the faster you can produce them, the better. For that reason, many divorcing spouses develop an organizational system.

Group similar documents together for easy referencing. For example, if you and your spouse own a car together, make a file for that car. In that file put the vehicle’s title, financing statements and maintenance receipts together. If an appraiser or judge need to determine how much the vehicle is worth, they can easily reference the information they need in such a file.

Consult an Experienced Divorce Attorney

The next and possibly most important step to help prepare for divorce is speaking with an attorney. Different states have different laws when it comes to divorce and knowing these laws could make a huge difference in your case. For instance, California is a community property state. This means both spouses have equal ownership over any property acquired during their marriage, which can have major repercussions for the division of assets.

Experience with state laws qualifies attorneys to guide you through the many options available to divorcing spouses. They can help you choose between legal options such as alternative dispute resolution, collaborative law, mediation or litigation. Determining the best divorce option for your family may be the strongest tool you have for preventing arguments and resentment.

How Our Attorneys Help You Prepare for Divorce

Here at Divorce Attorneys-San Diego, our divorce attorney Steven Gnau is ready to help you through this difficult time. He understands the legal challenges faced in every divorce and is ready to help you start your new life. Reach out to us at (619)269-8000 to learn more about protecting your rights during a divorce or fill out our online contact form today.