7 Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Divorce

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Marrying the person, you love and creating a life together is an exciting and wonderful thing to celebrate. However, things don’t always go to plan, and the inevitable outcome is divorce and moving on with your lives separately. If your marriage is on shaky ground and you’re considering divorce, you should know a few things before filing the paperwork. The following are some of the most helpful things to have under your belt during this difficult time.

Residential Rules

The residency rules vary between states, meaning you must understand the criteria in the state where you plan to file papers. In California, the rules state that you must have lived in the state for six months and the county of filing for three months. For itinerant workers and others new to the state, you’ll need to make plans to settle in one place for a period.If you wait to meet residency requirements, there’s plenty to do while you wait.

Gather Documentation

The courts need to understand the marriage’s state before its dissolution can happen. The best way to do this is to gather as much documentation as possible to provide tangible evidence of the status quo. Pull together paperwork for both spouses’ incomes and taxes, any assets held, and any other financial information to hand to your lawyer. In this way, officials can determine if either party has made untruthful claims regarding finances and other issues.

Lawyer Up

The paperwork alone makes hiring a divorce lawyer worthwhile, as a simple mistake can cost unnecessary time and money.Simple divorces are in the minority as most people have assets, pets, and children you must take care of. A good divorce lawyer understands your community, can communicate in your language if necessary, and listens to your needs and concerns. Fontes Riverside divorce lawyers are a prime example of such a law firm.


In most cases, before divorce proceedings head to court, the expectation is that both parties will meet with a mediator. The mediator is an unbiased, court-appointed official, such as an attorney, who brings both parties together to resolve the splitting of assets and custody. As the mediator is impartial, they provide no counsel, so having your lawyer present is advisable. When approaching mediation, it helps to understand that it can take several sessions to work through everything – don’t feel like you need to agree on anything in the first meeting.


When children are involved in a divorce, things become more complicated, and ensuring that their needs are looked after is crucial. It’s fair to let them know what is happening and give them as much support as they need, but don’t force them to pick sides or become your support. You can apply for temporary court orders for custody and child support while divorce proceedings go ahead. The purpose of this is to ensure that the children are looked after financially, and they know where they are on any given day during difficult times.

Inform Your Spouse

Although you may want nothing to do with your ex, you must inform them about the divorce.If you can’t locate them, contact the county circuit clerk to find out where to publish legal notice. Otherwise, have them served with copies of court papers (your lawyer can advise which ones). Or your soon-to-be ex-spouse can sign documents indicating that they are aware of the proceedings.

The reason you must inform them is so they can contest any decisions in court should they choose. When a spouse can’t be found, and the petitioner takes the publication of legal notice route, there are certain things the court can’t rule on. The court will only rule on something like alimony, child support, and property division if the other person becomes available. However, you can apply to the court to have full custody granted in this instance.

It Takes Time

You’ll find a tremendous sense of relief comes with finally filing the petition papers in court; however, it’s not official yet. Until your decree of Judgement of dissolution of marriage comes through, you’re still officially married. In California, it typically takes six months for this to happen. If you’re making plans that require the divorce to be complete and official, ensure you leave ample processing time.

Once you understand these things and you’re sure the relationship is over, you’re in the best place to gather information, find a lawyer, and start the process.

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