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With careful planning the divorce process can be made easier

When a marriage ends in California, each party has to consider the practicality and the financial consequences of the split. Unraveling every aspect that has been intertwined takes time, and moving through the process of divorce requires careful planning. A person can avoid being set back by a divorce by making calculated and informed decisions.

If the relationship of the divorcing spouses allows, the best divorce option might be mediation because, apart from the many benefits it offers, the financial advantages are two-fold. It costs significantly less than litigation, and fair distribution of assets can be controlled by the major players -- the two spouses. Another matter to address during planning is a post-divorce budget to trim down a previous budget to one that will be based on a single income. Furthermore, all joint accounts such as credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts and mutual funds will need to be closed, and separate accounts to be opened.

Then there are beneficiaries on 401(k), IRA, life insurance and other financial assets that may no longer be appropriate. Nobody would likely want an ex-spouse to be the recipient of his or her life savings rather than the children or even a new spouse in the future. In the time leading up to the divorce, it might also be wise to keep a close watch on the credit score to avoid unpleasant surprises.

There are so many steps that can be taken to ease the divorce process and pave the way for a fresh start, but it could all become overwhelming. Fortunately, it is not a road anybody has to travel alone because the support and guidance of an experienced California divorce attorney can help to make sense of it all. With a lawyer's help, mediation could be arranged, and he or she might have other resources such as financial advisers with whose help informed choices can be made.

Source:, "5 Financial Tips for a Smooth(er) Divorce", Jennifer Gretson, Oct. 21, 2017

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