The dissolution of a marriage, no matter how amicable the separation may be between both parties, is not something that is enjoyable. Whether you have come to a mutual decision to get divorced, or you are seeking a divorce and have not informed your spouse yet, there are certain steps to follow and things to know about getting a divorce in Folsom, CA. Divorce can be a quick and easy process, or it can be complicated, expensive and emotionally draining. No matter the case, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can explain the process to you, guide you through the paperwork and look out for you and your best interest until the divorce is finalized. Our team at Gale, Angelo, Johnson & Pruett P.C., is well-versed in how to file for divorce in Folsom, CA and can offer the guidance and support you need as you navigate the legal and emotional process.
There are some important things you need to do before filing for divorce that will help you get organized and hopefully make the process run smoothly.
- First, you need to gain an understanding of your belongings, or your marital estate. This is comprised of any assets, as well as debts, that you and your spouse have acquired over the course of your marriage. In the state of California most assets and debts are considered community property and will be typically divided equally between both spouses in case of a divorce. It is also important to itemize property that you or your spouse had before you got married as well as anything that was gifted or inherited during this time.
- Take the time to organize and gather any important financial documents like tax returns, loan documents, deeds, retirement accounts, family trust information and other similar documents. Find out as much as you can about your total net worth and gather copies of monthly pay stubs and living expenses to help paint a clear picture of future financial needs.
- If you and your spouse have children together, you will need to come to a custody agreement. Keep track of your involvement with your kids and how responsibility for childcare is shared with your spouse. Some questions to ask yourself include: are you the primary caregiver? What does the other parent do on a daily basis? Who takes the kids to their dental and doctor appointments? Keeping notes about important information, key events and interactions can help you prepare for court documents regarding the custody of minor children.
- Keep your business away from your social media pages – it can really hurt you during the divorce proceedings. Anything that is posted on social media is considered as evidence in court and if you were to delete any posts that compromise your character it could be seen as destruction of evidence. Keep your personal life to yourself and any compromising activities private.
- Lastly, it’s important to make a plan for your financial future. When a marriage is dissolved, unless there is an agreement for spousal support, it is likely that you will lose the financial support from your ex-spouse. Whether you seek alimony, take on additional work for supplemental income or rely on savings, make sure that you will have enough to sustain your quality of life until you’re ready to replace the lost income.
Once you’ve mentally prepared for divorce, it’s time to meet with your lawyer and file the paperwork. In the state of California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months and lived in the county where you are filing for at least three months to meet the requirements. Complete the necessary paperwork with assistance from your attorney and then file it with the Superior Court. Once you have filed for divorce your spouse must receive notice and sign paperwork acknowledging receipt. There is a waiting period of six months between the time your petition is filed and when the dissolution of your marriage is considered final, but this could be longer if your divorce is complicated and you get stuck in negotiations with the other party.
Divorce is one of the most life altering events that an individual can go through, so it’s important to have a lawyer by your side that understands the law as well as your individual needs. Our lawyers are knowledgeable, compassionate, thorough and thoughtful in their approach to assisting clients filing for divorce in Folsom, CA. Please contact us by filling out the contact form below or give us a call at (916) 290-7778 to schedule an in-person consultation.