The decision to end your marriage can be difficult and painful. There are many legal and logistical concerns to address.
When planning to file for divorce in California, here are some key points to consider.
Have you filled out the necessary forms?
You must fill out a divorce petition for the court and a summons to notify your spouse that you have started divorce proceedings. In most counties, the sheriff can serve divorce papers for a fee. You can hire a professional server or ask a trusted acquaintance to do it.
Check with your court clerk to determine whether there are local forms you need to file. It is important to keep copies of all your divorce paperwork.
Do you have your financial documents in order?
You and your spouse must fill out forms declaring your financial assets. To do this, you will need tax returns from the past two years and two months of pay stubs. You may also need account statements, insurance documents, titles or utility bills.
Are your personal belongings and documents secure?
Items that you acquired before marriage, inherited or received as gifts generally meet the definition of separate property. Consider storing sentimental items in a safe place or handing them over to a trusted friend or relative for safekeeping. You should do the same for personal and family documents like birth certificates and passports.
Do you have a support network?
Caring for your mental health is essential during a divorce. If you can safely do so, confide in a friend or family member about your plans. Consider speaking with a therapist or counselor to help you manage the stress and emotions that come with divorce.
Divorce is never easy, but you can ease the process by preparing thoroughly before you file.