Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

The basics of preparing for your California divorce

For most people, divorce is one of the most dreaded events they will ever experience. Even when the couple wants nothing more than to end the marriage, divorce itself is typically unwelcome. The amount of time it takes to divorce combined with its negative emotional elements makes nearly everyone dread getting started. The most typical emotional reactions arising during divorce include:

  • Depression
  • Sorrow
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • And many others

Unfortunately, avoiding the emotional baggage that accompanies divorce is not 100% possible. However, in our Sonoma County practice, we have learned that good preparation can reduce at least some of the angst that comes with this unpleasant life event.

A great way to prepare and to become accustomed to thinking about your divorce involves making a list of issues to talk over with your lawyer. This can include anything from child custody and support concerns to fears about property division. Many people also include alternative dispute resolution topics such as mediation or collaborative law. We feel that broaching these issues with your lawyer can make you feel a lot better about your divorce.

It also helps to understand what sort of documentation you will need to provide. Most of this documentation revolves around finances. Examples include:

  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Retirement account statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Property and asset lists
  • Employment contracts

Divorce is a difficult prospect and that is not likely to change, but giving in to your negative emotions can turn an already unpleasant situation into one filled with hostility and conflict. We urge all couples divorcing in California to take advantage of the support an attorney can offer. Our lawyers welcome you to reach out to us for more information. You can also find answers to some of your concerns about divorce by continuing to browse our website.

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