California couples contemplating a divorce in 2016 need to plan ahead to make sure their affairs are in order. They also should meet with professionals to make sure that a divorce is the best option for them at this time. After doing their homework, they may decide it's more convenient to stay married.
People whose marriages are ending may want to first speak with a financial planner to see what effects a divorce will have on their situation. They are not alone in their situations at this time of year, as many people choose to file in January because they want to start the new year off with a fresh start.
Dividing marital property may be easier if there is a prenuptial agreement in place. California is a community property state, which means that property and other assets acquired during the marriage will be split equally between the spouses unless the couple already has an agreement or can come to an accord during the process. Tax implications need to be considered since high-asset divorcing couples could be hit with heavy taxes. Soon-to-be ex-spouses also need to consider insurance policies and retirement accounts, and who the new beneficiaries will be. Finally, some spouses may want to clean up their act to ensure nothing embarrassing turns up that could be used against them during the divorce proceedings. This is especially important when a contentious divorce is expected.
In some cases, legal separation may be a better choice than divorce. Having a team of professionals on their side may help some people decide if staying married, separating or divorcing is the best option for them. Obtaining legal advice during the decision-making process is a way for people know what lies ahead while protecting themselves at the same time.