California residents who are considering getting a divorce might be concerned about how to prepare financially before starting the process and how to plan for the post-divorce future. While settling financial issues can be a delicate process, with proper planning ahead of time, it can be managed.
Financial planning should begin as soon as couples realize they are headed for this type of separation. They should begin tracking finances, including costs for holiday, repairs, and other big expenses, as well as the day-to-day bills and expenses. This information can be used by both lawyers during settlement negotiations and by a judge to later determine such things as child support.
Another way to prepare is by gathering important financial documents, such retirement, checking, savings and credit card statements, records of loans and payments, recent pay stubs, income tax returns for several years and any records of assets acquired during marriage. Additionally, those who are getting divorced should also avoid making changes to things such as insurance beneficiary forms and even on how to handle joint accounts, since making changes that go against the law can actually work towards hurting the person who makes it. Finally, it is always a good idea to be frugal with expenses during the divorce process as way to save for the future.
It is not uncommon for people whose marriages are ending to turn to friends who have gone through a divorce and ask for advice. However, as every situation is different, the best advice might be to meet with a family law attorney and discuss how to handle the legal issues that might arise.