Preparing for Divorce

For most of us, the divorce process is an unfamiliar process.  Knowing where to start can make all of the difference.  Following is a simple checklist to help you prepare to commit to a divorce process that best meets your family’s needs. 

Initial questions to ask yourself

?        Is reconciliation with my spouse possible?

?        Could marital counseling help?

?        Am I willing to explore alternative dispute resolution options such as Collaboration or Mediation rather than go to court (Litigation)?

?        Is my spouse willing to explore these types of options as well?

?        When everything has been completed, what do I hope the outcome will be?

Determining the Process

Which of the following are important to you?

?        Non-Court

?        Non-Adversarial

?        Financial Interests

?        Speed

?        Confidentiality

?        Control over decisions

?        Children/Family Issues


You may wish to use an internet search engine to research the following:

?        Family Law Litigation

?        Family Law Mediation

?        Collaborative Family Law


Interviewing/Hiring an Attorney

?        Gather names of attorney’s specializing in the processes you are most interested in (Mediation, Collaboration or Litigation)

  • Ask friends/family for referrals
  • Ask professional contacts for referrals (counselor, financial professional)
  • Perform an Internet Search (e.g., Family Law Mediation in Anaheim Hills)
  • Consult with the California State Bar website to see if a particular attorney is in good standing

?        Review his/her website?

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Specialty/Philosophy

?        Schedule a consultation

?        Request client recommendations

Initial Questions for my attorney

?        What are the advantages of :

  • Litigation
  • Collaboration
  • Mediation
  • A hybrid model

?        What is the attorney’s specialized area?

?        How can I make this process as quick and smooth as possible?

?        What documentation will you need from me?

?        What is the expected timeline for completing this process?

Preparation for any Process

?        Gather all separate and joint financial records including tax returns, pay stubs, statements on assets and debts

?        Consider what is most important to you:  Financial preservation, child custody/visitation