12 Dec Divorce 2023: What You Can Do Right Now
If you’re planning a divorce in 2022, you’ve got lots of company. Few couples want to disrupt the family’s holidays with Divorce matters, and statistics show that Divorce rates are highest early in the year.
These are things you can be doing now that will help move the process along, minimizing the impact on your family.
1. Identify assets and liabilities
- Identify separate assets for each spouse. These are the individual assets that you brought into your marriage and are not subject to division. They might include real estate, valuable collections, such as antiques and cars. This also includes brokerage, savings and retirement accounts.
- Identify marital assets–those things you and your spouse acquired together during your marriage, to be divided equally.
- Identify liabilities. Identify individual and marital debt. It may be that you’re still paying off your college loans. If so, these likely are separate debts that you brought into the marriage—your spouse bears no responsibility for repaying these debts. If, however, you and your spouse buy a home together, your mortgage is a shared liability.
2. Gather/copy important records and financial documents
It’s helpful to have copies of your records in one place when going through your divorce, and you will need to have copies. Deeds, mortgages, car titles and other financial documents that show proof of ownership or investment are essential.
3. Amicable Divorce
While it can seem overwhelming, Divorce is actually a very methodical process. If you can agree on division of property and a parenting plan, you don’t need an attorney, and Guideway can save you a lot of money. We are available for questions throughout the process. Either you or your spouse will serve the other with a petition, which Guideway files with the court. You will need to exchange detailed financial information that includes both assets and debts, mentioned above. Our team is compassionate, knowledgeable, and responsive. We guide you through it, and we prepare the legal documents.
4. Guided Mediation
Guideway is an experienced, neutral third party that guides divorcing couples through the issues that have stalled their divorce, helping them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. There’s no judge, no winning or losing. Instead, our Guided Divorce is based on the principles of negotiation, open-mindedness, and compromise. Both parties must be our clients and must be willing to listen and compromise.
You’ll be asked to prioritize:
- What can’t you live without? It may be your house–your biggest asset that keeps appreciating, and the place your kids call home.
- What will you give up to keep it? Retirement benefits? Long-term financial support?
Our skilled guides help couples divide their assets and work through custody matters to reach mutually agreeable solutions.
Now is a good time to begin thinking about your priorities
- Do you want to continue living in the family home? Remember that you’re now living on one income rather than two, and home maintenance is expensive. It may make sense to sell the house and move to a more affordable neighborhood.
- How important will it be for you to obtain alimony (or minimize your liability for alimony)?
- What can you expect from your spouse in terms of co-parenting your children?
5. Think about your spouse’s priorities
Note areas where your and your spouse’s priorities are likely to overlap. This will help you to be better prepared to address potential conflicts.
6. Create a post-Divorce plan
Get realistic about your post-Divorce life. While Divorce represents a fresh start, the high cost of living in the Bay Area also makes it stressful. By preparing a budget and identifying your want-to-haves vs need-to-haves, you can be realistic about the new life you are trying to create for yourself and your family.
7. Keep a low profile
Hiding assets is a very bad idea and has serious consequences if it backfires. Maintain a low profile and keep your spouse and your Divorce off social media.
8. Manage stress
While your Divorce is a major life event with long-term consequences, try to keep this in perspective. You will get through this.
Guideway’s Divorce and Mediation Services
Guideway has been assisting Bay Area couples with Divorce for nearly 20 years. While the majority of our clients may not have worked out the details, they know they are willing to reach agreement on division of assets and a parenting plan—and those are the critical components of an Amicable Divorce. Our Guided Mediation is for couples whose Divorce has stalled for whatever reasons. We guide you through it, and we prepare the legal documents. Schedule an appointment with Guideway today.
Guideway services the entire Bay Area
Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.