Each year, divorce law firms see a surge in filings in January, which has been coined "divorce month" by divorce attorneys. The numbers of filings continue to peak through February, and into March.
If you're thinking about filing for divorce, you're not alone. About 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and we're seeing more and more Millennials who are pulling the plug, sometimes within a few years of saying "I do."
With Valentine's Day around the corner, and the fact that it's now a new year, unhappy couples are re-evaluating their relationships and thinking that it's time to get that fresh start they need. If you seriously considering ending your marriage, here is a crash course on divorce.
Don't move out…yet.
If you have children and want custody, you want to think twice before moving out and leaving them behind. If you do that, you're sending a strong message to the judge that your spouse is suitable to take care of the kids, and it can be difficult to change the custody arrangement later.
Be mindful of social media.
Today's divorce attorneys use evidence on social media, so you must be extra careful about what you post. If you don't want your spouse's attorney or the judge to see it, don't post it!
Don't hide assets.
You cannot hide assets from your spouse during a divorce. If you do, the judge will find out and you will lose all credibility in court. You can also get into legal trouble.
Pull your credit reports.
Pull your credit reports at the beginning of the divorce and at the end. This way you know which accounts you have and which joint accounts need to be converted so they are in your name only, or paid off and closed. You don't want any joint accounts with your spouse.
If you and your spouse can get along, consider divorce mediation. It's generally simpler, more cost-effective, and provides for a non-adversarial environment as compared to a standard divorce.
Keep the kids out of it.
If you have children together, keep their best interests at heart. For their sake, don't badmouth your spouse to them. You want them to be worried about the business of growing up, not about their parents' painful divorce.
Remember, you're entitled to half.
Under California law, you're entitled to half of the community property, otherwise known as "marital assets." If your spouse says he or she is going to leave you penniless, know that it's an idle threat and they can't change the law.
Dust off your resume.
If you have been a homemaker or unemployed for some time, it's wise to dust off that old resume or enroll in some refresher courses that may help you get a job. If you're not disabled or if your kids are school-age, you don't want to rely on spousal support because it's not guaranteed. Even if it is awarded, it may not be for an extended length of time.
Searching for a Los Angeles divorce attorney? Call today for a free case evaluation!