Divorce is a topic that most married couples don’t want to consider, much less discuss, until there is no other option. Most couples try other options to save their marriage, from couple’s therapy to long discussions with friends and family. But unfortunately, for some, their final solution is ending their marriage – in other words getting a divorce.
According to the CDC approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. California’s divorce rate is much higher than the national average, at about 60 percent. If you are contemplating divorce, you should hire an experienced Fresno divorce attorney to protect your legal rights and ensure a smoother process.
Below are five steps you should consider before you hire an attorney:
1. Protect Yourself, Your Children, and Your Finances
If your spouse has a tendency for a bad temper or has displayed a propensity for violence throughout your marriage, it is important that you ensure you and your children are in a safe place before you start the divorce process. If there is a chance for violence, you should even consider obtaining a domestic restraining order.
You should also talk to your children’s school teachers so they can be more mindful of your children’s social and emotional well-being during the divorce process.
Next, before beginning any dissolution proceedings or even notifying your spouse of a possible divorce, you should lock down your assets.
2. Make Sure You Meet California Requirements
In order for you to file a divorce in California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing. Additionally, you must have been a resident of the county where you will file for at least three months.
3. Get Important Marriage Information
You should have all pertinent information before you meet with your Fresno divorce lawyer. Some items to collect include:
- Copies of W-2 forms and income statements
- Previous tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Mortgage and loan documents
- Credit card statements
- Car payments
- Deeds to any properties you own
- Life and health insurance forms
- Your spouse’s social security and driver’s license numbers
4. Determine If You Will Be Asking for Child Support and/or Alimony
You need to determine if you need financial support during and after the finalization of your divorce. You can seek temporary spousal support and child support orders. You can do so by completing and filing additional forms.
5. Hire a Fresno Divorce Lawyer
Hiring a divorce attorney is important and will ensure the process runs smoother and is less stressful for the entire family. An experienced lawyer will also protect your legal rights and ensure you are well represented throughout the process.
Call an Experienced Fresno Divorce Attorney
If you are in the process of getting a divorce or plan on initiating one, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Fresno divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.