Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Divorce Preparation


Getting a divorce is difficult. It may be hard to know what to do and who to talk to. The first thing to do is relax. Stressing out is one of the worst things you can do in any given situation, and divorce is certainly no exception. There is help. There are plenty of resources available to help you get through this rough time, including a San Diego divorce attorney from Garwood Family Law and Mediation.

Know the State’s Laws

Living in California, it is important to know you live in a no-fault, community property state. With that in mind, you need not worry about who wronged who, and if anyone was cheating. There is no fault in these divorces, so your marital history will not affect the property division. All property obtained after the marriage began will be divided equally unless one of the parties or a third party paid, gifted, or contributed toward the purchase (we need all the facts). Of course, if you signed a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, things may work out differently. In this situation, you may be best off reviewing your agreement with your San Diego divorce attorney.

Prepare Your Records

Although we live in a community property state, the court will still need evidence of how much certain properties are worth. If you have records of important purchases made during or before your marriage period, these will help the court divide your property properly. Usually, if someone keeps the house, the other person will get property or money worth half of the home’s value. Particularly, locate all records related to your pets, assets, debts, life insurance, and all documents relating to any separate property you may want to claim. Sometimes you may need to trace your interest in property and we can help you with that.

Seek Help

Both legal and emotional. Many divorces require a San Diego divorce attorney or at least a mediator to help sort out all the fine details. These professionals can also help you see your spouse as little as possible, which can help keep emotions down. If you and your spouse are somewhat civil, put serious consideration into mediation. It is a much cheaper and civil alternative for filing divorce. You also may probably need a few therapy sessions and there is no stigma to this. Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. Don’t go through it alone. At very least, speak with a few close friends. There are many types of mediation – Call or meet with us to get informed.

Think About the Children

If you and your spouse are on good enough terms, you should discuss child custody together. Whoever is closest to the children may elect to be their primary care provider, but know that each case is individual. Kids are the happiest and healthiest when they see both parents on a regular basis. As to you, your spouse, or the father or mother of the child, you may not like each other but hopefully you can walk away from this marriage or relationship being civil to each other.

Gather Evidence

In most divorces, this will not apply because faults are not taken into consideration for property division. If you believe your spouse is an unfit parent though, you may need evidence to prove it. If your spouse does drugs, is an alcoholic or brings home sexual partners on a regular basis, etc., this may affect their custody rights. You may need proof of these accusations though. If you have any photos, phone recordings or other evidence of their misdeeds, get the evidence ready.

Review Your Prenups

If you signed a prenuptial agreement, now’s the time to remember all the details it involves. Make sure you both met all the requirements and see what it says about the issues of the case. Prenups can really help make divorces a mess-free process when they are well-composed and certain laws are followed.

Prepare Your Finances

If you expect to pay alimony and/or child support, be sure you budget these expenses into your current bills. Garwood Family Law and Mediation can help you estimate how much you may be paying for these support efforts. If you’re selling your house and will have proceeds from the equity, we have even helped with the timing of your new residence purchase.


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1450 Frazee Road, Suite 501, San Diego, CA 92108