If you’re considering leaving your spouse, you should have a prepared exit plan in mind, especially if you are a woman. The truth of the matter is that women still earn less than men comparably; the average mean salary for men in Orange County is $ 45,059 while women earn on average $34,026. Because of this, it is important to be well prepared, especially financially, if you feel divorce is eminent.
There are a few things to consider before announcing you want a divorce from your spouse. Pre-divorce planning is not about trying to take your spouse for everything they are worth. It is about being smart about your situation and planning for your life after divorce. It involves careful methodical planning of all aspects of your life, including where you are currently and where you want to be after your divorce. The more you plan, the better position you will be in to deal with your divorce once you tell your spouse.
California Divorce Planning Tips
To start you thinking and planning, here are a few areas to consider for yourself. It would also be wise to check out California divorce laws and resources to understand the process you will embark upon.
Finances are a major aspect to consider and plan for. You should not plan on alimony or child support paying for all your expenses following a divorce. You need to evaluate your own earnings, what potential costs of the divorce may be, and what you will need to survive the way you want to following the divorce. It would be wise to start saving a cash income to set aside for legal bills, especially if you are planning on hiring divorce lawyers if your spouse will be uncooperative.
If you do not have your own income, you are going to need to figure out some way to start earning one. It may be wise to either go back to school or start looking for a job prior to telling your spouse you want a divorce so you can start putting money aside and have something stable afterward. If you do have a job, take a serious look at your earnings and if you can afford to live comfortably on what you are making after a divorce. If you cannot, consider counseling, job training or even going back to school. Do these things prior to telling your spouse, any money you do make will be joint money and not deducted from your settlement.
- Paperwork and Statements
Be sure to copy all important documents ahead of time, especially financial ones, so that you are aware of everything that is earned and invested. Sometimes in marriages, one partner will handle all the finances while the other handles the household; this is a great partnership when it works, but will leave you blind in divorce if you are unaware of everything and have no documentation. When going through the divorce, some statements may go missing conveniently, and obtaining them via legal help will get costly. Prepare copies of the most recent bank statements, credit card statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, loan applications, last three to five years tax returns & W-2’s, property tax bills, mortgage statements, credit report, etc; anything that has any bearing on your financial status should be in your hands.
If children are involved, prepare how you will tell them and help them deal with the divorce when the time comes. You will need to learn ways to cope with loss and separation to help them.
- Support System
Divorce does not only affect you, your spouse and your immediate family if you have children, but also your extended families and friends. Prepare yourself for different reactions from your family and friends; some may feel threatened and fear their own marriage may fall apart if they interact with you, others, the unconditional friends, will be there for you no matter what. You will learn quickly who you can lean on without a doubt or worry.
Divorce will mark the end of your once-held goals. You will no longer have a future tied to the person you originally set the goals with, or who was in your life when you set them. Because of this, it is easy to go into the post-divorce depression funk because your future will not be what you originally planned out anymore. Help yourself by figuring out your own new goals that you want to achieve with your new life. Consider your passions and interests, and have something that you can look forward to forward to and stay positive about. This will help you emotionally heal following a divorce.
There are many considerations to go through when preparing yourself for an inevitable divorce. It is important to understand your current situation and where you want to be so you can plan for all the possible hurdles you may have to overcome; financially you should be prepared, especially if you have to hire divorce lawyers. These few tips will help you start getting ready and stabilizing yourself for divorce so you have a better platform to work from versus going in blind. For more divorce information, check out the divorce guide for more specific articles and topics.