Ending a marriage is not something that comes easy to most people, even if it is clearly the right thing to do. Spouses are under a great deal of stress: they have to make new living arrangements, decide on a parenting schedule, gather all of their financial documentation, and decide how to split assets, property and debts.
Change can be difficult to handle, especially because it all happens at once during a divorce. The emotions caused by these major life changes can make it difficult for spouses to think clearly and fully understand the legal processes involved. Such stress can impair a spouse’s ability to make sound decisions.
The good news is that getting through a divorce can be made less stressful by getting informed about the laws and the process before you file for divorce. The following information is meant to help guide you during this uncertain time.
1. It's better not to go into it fighting.
You don’t want to approach your divorce with the thought that you’re going to fight. In divorce, it’s all about negotiation, not about winning or losing.
Negotiating a divorce settlement is about compromise. Few spouses walk away with everything they want. Instead of anticipating a costly court battle, look for ways to achieve an amicable divorce.
2. You should not act without thinking about the consequences.
People make many life-changing decisions during and after their divorce. For instance, you may want to move back to New York to live by your parents, taking your children with you or leaving them behind with your ex.
Whatever you do, don’t make a big decision without first consulting with your attorney and thinking about the consequences.
3. You are better off taking the high road.
It’s easy to let the divorce drag you down, but you want to take the high road. Whether you’re talking to your children about your spouse, posting on Facebook, or talking to your boss about your divorce, you want to keep the emotions out of it.
Whenever you want to say something critical, pause and hold yourself back. If you need someone to talk to where you can let your emotions fly, consider contacting a counselor or another professional.
4. You must be honest with your attorney.
It’s important that you are honest with your divorce lawyer about the facts of your case, this way he or she can give you the most appropriate advice. If you hide something from your attorney, the facts may be revealed by your spouse or opposing counsel anyway.
Similarly, you need to be upfront with your spouse. Under California law, you are required to voluntarily disclose all of your financial information regarding assets, debts and expenses. You are also required to update this information if something changes.
Family law judges are serious about this duty. If a spouse is caught hiding assets or transferring property during a divorce, the judge can impose serious penalties on the spouse who failed to comply.
We are only scratching the surface in regards to what you need to know during divorce. For further information, contact our Los Angeles divorce firm!