You can recognize that a divorce would be a good decision for you while still feeling overwhelmed by the practical demands of the process. The idea of filing for divorce overwhelms many people and leaves them feeling as though they don’t even know where to start.
When you understand the basic steps involved in pursuing a divorce, you may feel more comfortable with moving forward with the end of your marriage. There are certain steps the average person will take when they realize that their marriage won’t last.
You need to gather important records
One of the earliest stages of divorce involves record gathering and preparation. You want to have copies of documents like tax returns and income statements so that you have an accurate understanding of your household’s financial resources.
Such records can help you uncover spousal misconduct like hiding assets or wasteful spending on an extramarital affair. It will also put you in a better position to negotiate a property division settlement with your spouse later.
Talk with a family law attorney
Even though some people do try to file divorce paperwork on their own, you will be better able to protect yourself when you have a lawyer on your side.
An attorney can review your situation and give you a reasonable expectation for the divorce. Their advice can help you better protect yourself given your unique needs. They can also handle the paperwork required in a divorce filing.
Submit documents to the courts and your spouse
Once you have reviewed your circumstances and determined what you think would be a reasonable property division arrangement or custody division agreement, you can file initial paperwork with the courts. You will then need to serve your spouse. A lawyer can manage both of those processes.
The next steps that you take will depend on your spouse’s response or lack thereof. You may move forward with an uncontested divorce, go to mediation together to resolve certain practical disagreements or end up litigating in court. Whether or not you have children and your ability to reach a settlement outside of court will determine exactly how long and expensive the process is.
Learning the steps involved in a Contra Costa divorce may motivate you to take those first steps and prepare to move on with your life.