The Do's and Don'ts of a California Divorce
Before filing for divorce, make sure you have taken all the necessary steps to protect yourself. This guide outlines the "DO's and DON'Ts" of Divorce.
DO the FOLLOWING (the DO list):Make sure you really want a divorce before you file. o Consult an attorney before filing. o Prepare your children for the impending divorce. o Prepare yourself for a long, stressful, and difficult process. Expect money to be tight for the foreseeable future. Make copies of all financial documents. o If appropriate, tell your spouse before you file. o o If appropriate, discuss visitation for the children. o Cancel all joint credit card accounts and lines of credit. Close any joint bank accounts. Open a separate bank account in your name only. Change any direct deposits into your new account. o Take everything you want when you leave. o o Get a copy of your credit report. o o Expect to compromise during the divorce process. o o Honor your spouse's wish not to talk to you. Cancel any joint cell phone plans. Notify your auto insurance of each spouse's address. File a Notice of Non-Liability with the DMV. Place all utility bills in the appropriate spouse's name. Read all documents before signing them.
DON'T do the FOLLOWING (the DON'T list):Take divorce lightly. o o Let anyone pressure you into getting a divorce. o File first unless you really want a divorce. o Underestimate the expense and stress of divorce. o Confront or threaten your spouse when you are angry. o Sign paperwork before consulting an attorney. o Withhold your children or hide their whereabouts. Continue to share bank accounts with your spouse. Continue to share credit cards with your spouse. o Conceal any assets. o o Discuss the details of your divorce with your children. o o Use controlled substances during a custody battle. o o Move with your children without consulting an attorney. o o Leave the state with the children. o o Give your spouse cash unless you get a receipt. o o Divide assets before first consulting an attorney. o o Move out before consulting an attorney. Stay in the same house if there is domestic violence. o Contact your spouse if he or she has asked you not to. Ignore a summons once you have been served.