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