How to prepare for and fund your divorce

If you are contemplating divorce, one of the things you need to think about is the immediate expenses involved in getting a divorce. Here’s a quick guide to get you prepared for divorce and for the next chapter in your life. Click here to download and print this checklist on how to prepare for your divorce.

Before you and your spouse file for divorce:

  1. Take an inventory of your finances. Make a copy of your current financial account statements. Gather your online login information in one easy-to-find location to easily access your financial accounts. This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, and credit card accounts.
  2. Take inventory of personal items you would like to keep. This can reduce the amount of
    arguing you and your former spouse may do over personal items.
  3. If it is safe, discuss what you and your spouse envision custody to look like post-separation. Understand that California courts want to see equal parenting time as much as possible.
  4. Consult with several family law attorneys to find the attorney that is the right fit for you. Many attorneys are qualified to take your matter. It is essential for you to make sure that you feel comfortable and trust your attorney throughout the divorce process. You will discuss many aspects of your personal life with your attorney, so make sure you find someone you can speak to without feeling embarrassed or judged.
  5. If your credit and income allow it, take out a credit card with a credit limit of at least $10,000.00 so that you have funds readily available to start your divorce. Oftentimes, when you file, you may not have immediate access to money. You want to make sure you have a credit card in your name to access funds when you need them.
  6. Seek the assistance of an individual therapist.
  7. If you and your spouse are discussing separation, then it may benefit you both to seek the assistance of a couple’s counselor who can assist you both with “uncoupling” in a
    peaceful way.
  8. Gather a team of friends and family that will be able to emotionally support you throughout the divorce process.

How to Prepare for the time after you file for divorce:

  1. Either you or your spouse may have moved out of the marital residence. Prepare for the costs of maintaining two households. The cost of maintaining two households can be a shock to many recently separated couples.
  2. If you are the higher earning party, be prepared to pay spousal support to the other party. It helps to discuss potential support amounts with an experienced family law attorney prior to your separation so you know what you can expect to either receive from or pay to your spouse post-separation.
  3. Keep things peaceful with your spouse. During a divorce, emotions are high. Whatever the reason for the divorce, both parties can feel upset and angry. It is important to keep your emotions in check during this process. You do not have to be friends with your ex, but remember you will be tied to them for a very long time if you have children together. It is better for all parties to be cordial and peaceful in all aspects of communication.

*DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice but should be construed for general informational purposes only.

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