Divorce Advice for Women in California

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Divorces are difficult to go through, but when you are properly prepared for your separation, things will be a lot less emotional and a lot quicker. It's important to always put your children first and remember to take care of yourself as well. Reach out to friends, relatives and a therapist, if needed, whenever you need some extra support or advice.

Consider Mediation

  • If you and your husband are on any sort of agreeable terms, it is advisable to go through mediation rather than litigation. Mediation is less emotionally draining, much more flexible and much less expensive than the traditional courtroom divorce process. In mediation, an unbiased moderator will help you and your husband work out your property division and child custody agreements together. Your mediator cannot offer legal advice, but he or she can tell you the facts of the law and ensure your agreement is acceptable to both parties and legally binding.
    If mediation will not work for you, make sure to find a good divorce attorney to represent your interests.

Think About The Children

  • You may be tempted to seek sole custody of the children, but unless your husband is actually a bad parent, it is in your children's best interest to let them have access to their father. Additionally, you should avoid speaking negatively about your spouse while in front of the kids, even if you think he really wronged you. Remember, even if you absolutely hate your ex, he is still the father of your children and no one wants to hear bad things about their father.

Prepare Evidence

  • California is a no-fault state, so no amount of evidence will help you gain or lose property during the asset division stage. If you believe your ex is not suitable as a father though, you will need proof as to why. Courts will not justify denying custody to an interested parent without reason. Proof of domestic violence, drug use, a criminal history, financial insolvency and similar evidence will be required to show your ex-husband is not capable to take care of a child.

Organize Your Records

  • Because California is a communal property state, it will not matter who bought property during the marriage. Everything will be split evenly. That being said, there are a few exceptions, notably inherited property and pets.
    If you inherited any property prior to the divorce, you should gather all records proving the property was a gift. This will prevent your spouse from being able to stake a claim on the inheritance.
    If there is a chance custody battles will arise over your pets, you may want to find any adoption papers, veterinary receipts or other documents to show you have more of a vested interest in the animal.

Review Any Prenups

  • If you have a prenuptial agreement, bring it to your divorce attorney and review the contract. These agreements can supersede the standard California divorce laws in that adultery may matter when evaluating property division, property may not be evenly divided, and child custody may be already decided. It is important to review the contract to ensure all which, if any, clauses of the agreement have been broken and what the document says regarding a divorce.

Get Your Finances In Order

  • Always financially prepare yourself for the impact of a divorce. Get together money to cover the costs of your attorney and discuss your financial situation with your lawyer. If you will need to pay child support or alimony, rebudget your income accordingly to prepare for these expenses.

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