6 Steps to Take When Preparing for Divorce
After living in disharmony for any period of time, you may be eager to get your divorce over and done with as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may be dreading the divorce and worried about all the decisions that lie ahead. The professionals from Divorce Options San Diego, the experts in San Diego divorce mediation couples rely on for alternatives to contentious and costly divorce proceedings, suggest that either way, you need to do these six things before you go through with your divorce.
1. Assess Your Marital Estate
In California, there are laws that determine how property is distributed between two parties during a divorce. The first thing you need to know is that California is a community property state. Anything you or your spouse purchased or acquired through other means in your marriage belongs to both of you. This also applies to your debts. Sit down and create a financial picture that shows exactly what you own between the two of you along with what you owe.
2. Gather Essential Documents
Your divorce mediator will need certain documents to submit with your settlement agreement to the court. Having essential documents available also helps you make important decisions and avoid potential conflicts with your spouse. For instance, you’ll need financial summaries that demonstrate what you have in your accounts. You’ll also need income statements along with bills from debtors. Create a file that holds all your important documents, and make sure to bring it to your mediation appointments.
3. Build a Support Network
Divorces are emotionally draining, and you’ll need every type of support you can pull together. Your mediator is one type of support you need in place to help you work with your spouse to come to an agreement. However, keep in mind the mediator is a neutral party who’s there to help you resolve conflicts. You may also want to add a counselor or best friend to your support network for times when you need to vent your emotions. Alternatively, seek out the services of a mediation team that also provides counseling, such as the professionals from Divorce Options San Diego, who manage all the practical, legal, financial, and psychological aspects of fair, respectful divorce agreements.
4. Secure Your Privacy
During your marriage, it’s possible you had shared accounts on social media or important accounts such as your home utilities. If you no longer share these types of accounts, you need to change your passwords so you’re more secure. Changing passwords prevents your spouse from going through and changing things that could create more conflicts as you work on your divorce.
5. Consider Your Preferences for a Shared Parenting Plan
You need to know what you want before you go into your mediation appointments. Parenting is one of the most important elements you’ll need to decide upon, and you need to know for sure if you believe your children will do best living with you as the primary caregiver. You may also want to explore other types of parenting arrangements. For instance, many parents today take on shared responsibility regarding child-rearing.
6. Think About Your Long-Term Plans
You also need to figure out some basic lifestyle choices. For instance, you need to know where you prefer to live during and after the divorce. If the divorce means you need to move, you also need to identify how much money you need to live on.
Divorce is never easy, so knowing how to prepare for it can help a great deal as you go through the process. Another great way to approach divorce is to work with experienced San Diego divorce mediators. Couples get tremendous benefits from the expertise of the team at Divorce Options San Diego. With backgrounds in law, finance, conflict resolution, and psychology, we work closely with couples, helping them end their marriages with respect and mutual satisfaction so they can move on to the next stages of their lives. To learn more about our groundbreaking divorce mediation process, give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.