Don't let emotion dictate divorce proceedings

California residents who are thinking about filing for divorce in January are encouraged to do so in a calm and rational manner. The holiday time is when divorce attorneys see an increase in consultation and retention rates as it can be a stressful period for most calm and rationale individuals. It may be a season where personal or financial issues are put under a microscope because family members are forced to spend several days together.

However, decisions made while fatigued or based on emotion are rarely good ones. Instead, those who wish to seek a divorce should do so with an end game in mind. It may be a good idea to collect financial documents before filing or wait until after a spouse gets a bonus at the end of the year. Those who are seeking a divorce may want to wait until after the holidays are over to protect any children that they may have.

Taking time to file for divorce may also allow an individual to find an attorney who fits his or her needs. Ideally, an individual will interview multiple attorneys prior to choosing one for representation during divorce proceedings.

California is a community property state, so courts will in general split marital property equally between the parties during the property division stage of a divorce. However, this may not be what the parties want and it does not have to be the case. The couple's respective family law attorneys can often assist in negotiating a comprehensive overall settlement agreement that can be submitted to the court and made a part of the final decree.

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