Whether your marriage has been on the rocks for a while now or your divorce is a surprise, navigating the complicated process can be quite a challenge for anyone. During this vulnerable time, there will be several things that you need to address to make sure you are protected for the next chapter of your life. Understandably, this can be extremely overwhelming.
At Dan McCandless Law, we use our expertise, knowledge, and compassion to help our clients successfully navigate their divorce. As you try to rearrange your life, use this divorce checklist as a guide.
Before the Divorce
Contact an attorney
The California divorce process is complicated. Without a lawyer, you may make decisions that hurt the outcome of your case. It’s important to consult a family attorney who understands the law and can protect your rights.
Consider getting a P.O. Box
If your spouse is not aware that you are filing for divorce, you should open a P.O. Box to receive mail from your attorney. Having one during the divorce process is also beneficial so that you don’t lose any essential documents.
Gather essential documents
It’s important to begin organizing financial paperwork, personal information, property documents, and more. You should also make a copy of each document. The following documents will help your lawyer prepare for your case:
Records from financial accounts
Vehicle loans and records
Credit card statements
Shared account information
401K and retirement accounts
Other relevant income and asset information
At Dan McCandless Law, our attorney can provide guidance regarding documentation, valuation of a business, and other issues.
During the Divorce
Consider attending divorce mediation
The divorce process will have you confront sensitive subjects such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. Many people believe that all divorces go through litigation, but most are settled outside the courtroom. We recommend mediation, which helps both parties reach an agreement with the help of a neutral third party.
Figure out your finances
Not only can divorces be costly, but they affect your household income. Since it has such a significant impact, it’s important to think about your financial situation. Make a plan for how to pay divorce fees, create a new budget, work out your debts, and lay out your financial goals.
Decide on a parenting plan
Kids are often hit hard with the news of their parent’s divorce. Help them through the process by considering their emotions. Just like yours, their lives are about to change dramatically. You and the other parent should establish a parenting plan that covers holidays, where the children will live, and rules for raising them.
Avoid social media
Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is not the place to air out your dirty laundry. We’d even go as far as to recommend a social media blackout. Anything you publish, comment, or like can be used as evidence against you by the other party.
After the Divorce
Change your marital status
Once you’ve finalized your divorce, you’ll need to update your marital status. Some of the organizations include the IRS, insurance companies, medical records, and the DMV.
Make updates to your will or estate plan
In the event of an untimely death, you may not want your assets to go to your ex. Be sure to speak with an estate planning attorney to make the revisions to reflect your current situation.
Keep a civil relationship with your former spouse
When a marriage ends, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should cut all ties with your ex. Unless there were abuse and neglect, it’s best to maintain an amicable relationship for your children.
Ensuring Your Needs Are Met
The divorce process is not always easy, but we are committed to getting you and your family through it. With our firm’s dedication to your needs, we can promise that your divorce will go as smoothly and successfully as it possibly can.
Contact Dan McCandless Law online or call (858) 266-9171 to schedule your consultation with our top-rated San Diego divorce attorney.