Making the decision to file for divorce is a big step. There are other things that you can do prior to filing the petition that can put you in the best possible position financially for the next step. At the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler in Beverly Hills, our dedicated legal professionals have helped many clients through the divorce process in California and are prepared to provide you with top-tier legal representation for your case. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
Gather Financial Document
The first step in preparing for a divorce is to collect all relevant financial documents for your case. Collect all documentation on what you and your spouse own as assets, including financial accounts, investments, real estate, retirement accounts, artwork and other collectibles, and other valuable personal property. You should also collect financial information on your debts, such as loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and other liabilities. This will help determine the property distribution in your case.
Prepare an After-Divorce Budget
The next step in the process is to prepare an after-divorce budget so that you know what you can expect to live on once the process begins. Be sure to include any bills that might become your responsibility, utilities, payments on cars or homes, and money for food, clothing, and other daily expenses. This budget can help determine what your options are and can assist in the determination of spousal support during and after a divorce.
Protect Your Finances
In preparing for a divorce, you also need to protect your own finances. It is commonplace for a spouse to raid financial accounts once they are served with divorce papers, and if you fear this as a possibility it is important to prepare ahead of time. If you have not done so already, open an account in your own name, remove half the funds from a joint account, and place them in your own. Consider having savings, money market, or other investment accounts frozen, and close all joint credit accounts in both of your names. This prevents your spouse from running up credit charges for which you may ultimately be responsible.
If necessary, establish credit in your own name. Open a credit card in your name only, but do not spend foolishly with it. This could help with opening credit lines after the divorce, as some spouses run into difficulty when they discover that credit was available because of their spouse’s credit score.
Hire a High Quality Divorce Attorney
Finally, hire a high quality California divorce attorney to handle your case. You want a lawyer who is dedicated to your divorce and will be there to provide counsel and advocacy at every step of the process. You need someone with experience to ensure that you are walking away with the best possible settlement to begin your life anew.
Contact a California Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are interested in learning more about how the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler can help in your Los Angeles divorce, call or contact our office today.