Filing for divorce on your own can be a very stressful process. Divorce is life-changing and often requires both parties to make major adjustments to their financial and living situations. However, sometimes planning with resources like a California divorce checklist is all it takes to keep a person focused and on track.
To help with this process, we’ve created a pre-filing California divorce checklist for individuals contemplating filing for divorce. If you have made the decision to file for divorce, A People’s Choice can help you navigate the legal complexities of the court system.
California Divorce Checklist
- Before filing for divorce in California, research the different ways a marriage can be terminated. For example, you should know the difference between divorce, legal separation, and annulment before you file. Plus, you may be wondering what you are entitled to in California divorce. These are important matters to research before making any important decisions.
Develop a Divorce Separation PlanOnce you’ve decided to file for divorce, develop a separation plan. The plan should outline details like where you will live, your monthly income, and your monthly expenses. Include court filing costs and related divorce expenses in your budget.
File for DivorceOnce you determine the grounds for your divorce and whether it will be contested or uncontested, contact A People’s Choice for help in drafting your California divorce forms. We can make the divorce process as easy as possible for you. Plus, we can help you prepare and process all the paperwork you need to file so you can deal with more important matters.
Stay Single and Avoid Getting Into a New RelationshipRemain single until your divorce is final. If you start cohabiting with a new significant other during your divorce, the amount of alimony or child support you receive may be reduced. Therefore, we recommend that you remain single until your divorce is finalized.
Divide the Marital EstateOne important aspect of divorce is dividing the marital estate. If you get stuck in the divorce process and cannot agree on the division of assets and debts, consider hiring a mediator. A mediator can help you and your spouse reach a resolution regarding the division of the marital estate.
Seek Counseling, if Necessary
A divorce can cause emotional anguish among couples and their children. Seek counseling for your family or reach out to a support group to discuss the emotions you feel during and post-divorce.
Additionally, if you have been married for a prolonged period of time and have children, you may want to pursue an uncontested divorce. In such divorce, both parties reach a resolution on how the community estate will be divided and agree on child custody and alimony payment.
In contrast, in a contested divorce, couples are unable to resolve such issues. For example, they may disagree on the division of assets and debts, child custody, and spousal support. This type of divorce takes longer to resolve.
Finally, a default divorce occurs when the respondent fails to respond to the marital dissolution petition. In such cases, the respondent is often left with unfavorable divorce terms and may be unable to do anything about it.
This plan is important because such details become determining factors for other decisions. For example, the spouse that remains in the family home may be required to cover all expenses including mortgage, utilities, and upkeep.
This California Divorce Timeline will help give you a better perspective of the divorce process.
Additionally, a mediator can help you and your spouse reach a compromise on the division of the family residence and community assets and debts, and develop a co-parenting plan. Mediators are known for helping couples save money on legal costs.
Contact A People’s Choice for Help With Your Divorce
After reviewing our California divorce checklist, consider contacting A People’s Choice to learn more about how we can help you file for divorce in California. We can help prepare all of the paperwork required to file and finalize your divorce. Call us at 800-747-2780 or use our convenient web form.