Avoiding common divorce mistakes in California

California residents whose marriages are coming to an end will go through many changes after their divorces are finalized. However, by staying organized ahead of time, it is less likely that a divorcing spouse will make mistakes that could have long lasting implications. For those who have children, it is important to fully understand their rights as parents and how their parenting plan actually works.

Even if a former couple agrees to split parenting time without issue, there are other scenarios to think about. For instance, each parent should determine who gets to choose a babysitter for the child, who gets access to that child information and how the child will be raised when the other parent is not around. As this can be a complex issue, it may be worthwhile to have a separate checklist just for this part of the divorce.

Prior to announcing the intention to seek a divorce, people may wish to secure their sentimental items. Items such as old family photos, valuable separate property and important papers should be secured before they have the chance to be destroyed or mysteriously go missing. Ideally, they will be kept in a safe place outside of the marital residence even if they can't be retrieved until after the divorce is finalized.

One of the more complex issues surrounding a divorce may be property division. California is a community property state, and thus it is important that all marital assets are located and properly valued. A family law attorney can often be of assistance to a divorcing spouse in making certain that all assets are accounted for when negotiating a settlement agreement.

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    Attorneys Paul Gavin and Wayne Dersch are certified as a family law specialists. Learn More