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What Should I Do or Avoid?

Going through a divorce is a very difficult ordeal. Its a time to have a good lawyer, counselor, and supporting friends. Its a time to avoid as many unnecessary life changing decisions as possible although many will have to be made.

THE DO'S

DO work with your lawyer to find reasonable solutions that are win win for both sides as much as possible with your soon-to-be ex. Reasonable compromise yields quicker results in divorce cases. Bare in mind the courts will place significant pressure on you to discuss settlement before you go to trial.

DO maintain good relations with your children through this process. It's even tougher on them than on you - don't make them pick sides.

DO let your spouse know when and where you will spend time with your kids while you work out permanent custody arrangements.

DO fully disclose all your assets and property to your attorney at the outset of the case. You will have to file a preliminary and final disclosure sooner or later both under penalty of perjury. Its usually best to file your preliminary disclosure as soon as possible. A court can throw out a divorce decree based on financial deception, putting you back in court years after you thought everything was final. A false disclosure is grounds for financial sanctions.

DO ask your attorney to answer your questions. Your attorney works for you, try to make sure the line of communication with your attorney is maintained. The breakdown in communication promotes extended litigation.

DO provide your attorney with a copy of your most recent statements for all of your financial accounts.

DO start a program of physical fitness, it will help you in many ways. Its recommended that you do so with a good and trusted friend. Maybe someone that has been through the process before.

THE DON'TS

DON'T make big plans to take a job in another state or move out of the country until your divorce is final. A new life could clash with your goal to complete your divorce.

DON'T violate any temporary custody or visitation arrangement. It could make it tougher for you to get the custody or visitation rights you prefer. Remember, court orders are legal obligations. All the more reason to work on settlement.

DON'T "give away" property to friends or relatives and arrange to get it back later. Hiding property can mean your spouse can take you back to court to settle those assets and seek sanctions.

DON'T go it alone. Divorce is complicated, and an experienced attorney should protect your interest and facilitate a resolution of your case. A good attorney should be well experienced in solving problems, not creating them.

DON'T bring your new significant other to court with you.

DON'T consume excessive amounts of intoxicants - it won't help for long. This is a point in life where too often people going through a divorce compound their problems with a drunk driving ticket. If you must engage in some form of excess our office recommends a heavy regiment of physical exercise or mans best friend - a dog.


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California divorce laws recognize that both spouses make valuable contributions to any marriage regardless of their employment. Property is labeled either "community property" or "separate property." Community property is all property, in or out of the state, that either spouse acquired during the marriage. Each spouse owns one-half of all community property. It does not matter if only one spouse worked outside of the home during the marriage or if this property is in only one spouse's name.
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