California couples who are facing the end of their marriages may want to assemble a team that can support them throughout the process. For emotional support, this could include a therapist as well as family and friends. Each party might also want a financial adviser and an attorney.
Some advisers focus a part of their practice on matrimonial finances. These professionals may be able to work with people on their specific needs during and after a divorce. For example, during a divorce, people may need to put together a financial history. Estranged spouses might also need help in evaluating various alternative arrangements relating to property division. After the divorce, people may need assistance in managing their finances on a single income.
In choosing an attorney, a person might want to start by asking friends and family for recommendations. However, people may also want to talk to several lawyers to get a feel for the rapport between them. A person may be working with an attorney for a long time, and it is important to be comfortable with the lawyer in both a personal and professional sense. The person may also want to choose an attorney who has experience in similar divorce situations.
California is a community property state, so most of the couple's assets acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned. However, the process of dividing marital property does not necessarily have to mean splitting everything 50/50. The couple might work out an arrangement with the help of their respective attorneys in which each takes certain assets that are of roughly equal worth. People should make sure they understand whether assets will tend to appreciate or depreciate in value. They should also make sure they take taxes, penalties and other costs into account, such as insurance and upkeep on a home, that might make an asset worth less than it initially appears.