Can I Afford to Get Divorced in California?

Can I Afford to Get Divorced in California?

When couples have a California divorce it often involves both establishing separate households after sharing income and expenses. However, going from having pooled resources to being self-supportive can be expensive, especially if you plan to live in the same community. In this situation, someone considering divorce may ask: Can I Afford to Get Divorced in California?

Planning for a California Divorce

California divorce can be a highly emotional decision with significant financial implications. Therefore, it’s important to get a complete picture of your finances before initiating your California divorce.

In some marriages, one spouse may know more about a couple’s finances. If that is your situation, you will want to proactively find records such as account statements, real estate deeds and related documents, investment portfolios, and other financial data. The more you can learn about your current holdings and debt, the better. Having a complete understanding of your finances is essential to determining whether you can afford to get a divorce in California.

Ideally, all of your marital financial information will be readily available and accessible. However, it may be the case that you believe your spouse is hiding resources. If you are concerned that your spouse is concealing assets, you should contact an experienced California divorce attorney to discuss your situation and concerns.

Creating a Post-Divorce Budget

Once you have a clearer picture of your assets and obligations, you should develop a post-divorce budget based on your anticipated living expenses, income, and current obligations.

Your post-divorce budget should include costs such as housing, utilities, home and vehicle expenses and maintenance, groceries, entertainment, health insurance, and childcare. It’s important to be thorough when listing your possible expenses so you can get an accurate idea of your needs. In addition, if you have minor children, you will need to be sure to take their expenses into account as well. Developing a post-divorce budget can be daunting, but it is well worth the effort. It’s also a vital part of planning for your California divorce.

Understanding How Marital Assets Are Divided

Understanding how marital assets are divided is another important part of determining if you can afford to get divorced in California. California is a community property state meaning that, outside of certain circumstances, income earned and debt acquired during marriage belongs equally to each spouse. However, there can be exceptions such as separate property owned by a spouse before marriage, inheritances, gifts, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreement terms that may be relevant to your divorce. The best way to determine how your property and debt will be divided is by working with an experienced California divorce attorney. Your lawyer can help you evaluate your marital assets and plan for your divorce.

Child Support and Alimony

Another factor you may need to consider is support. More specifically, child and spousal support (alimony). If you and your spouse have minor children, their financial support will be an issue in your divorce. California child support calculations can be complicated, and working with experienced counsel is essential when planning for and making this determination. California alimony, or spousal support, may or may not be awarded under certain circumstances. Further, this type of support may only be temporary.

If child support or alimony is an issue in your California divorce, you should consult an experienced California divorce attorney. Your counsel can explain how these forms of support are determined and may impact your case.

Planning for Divorce Case Expense

Divorce can be expensive. However, that does not mean you can’t proceed with the process. When a divorce case becomes contentious, expenses can mount quickly. One way to minimize your costs is by working with experienced counsel. An experienced California divorce attorney can help you evaluate your case and plan for possible issues before they arise. If there are disagreements, your lawyer can help you identify the most cost-effective ways to reach a resolution.

Sometimes, the strain of remaining in a marriage that is no longer working is not worth the emotional costs. However, there can also be situations when waiting before initiating a divorce makes sense. By working with a California divorce attorney, you can get help evaluating your circumstances and get the information you need to determine your options.

Contact an Experienced California Divorce Attorney

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced California divorce attorneys who can help you before, during, and after your divorce. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website.

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