Getting divorced is seldom a walk in the park. Nobody gets married planning to go through a divorce sometime down the road. But, life happens and people sometimes change or grow in different directions. As family law attorneys, we see the effects of such changes every day. The most common phrase we hear is “He (or she) is not the same person I married.” If divorce seems to be looming on the horizon, this is not the time to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Face the issue head on and start planning to ensure the best outcome possible. It goes without saying that choosing the right divorce lawyer is the first critical step in a divorce. A consultation does not necessarily mean a commitment, but a qualified, experienced California divorce lawyer can answer questions you didn’t even know to ask. A consultation is well worth the cost if it can save you thousands of dollars in costly mistakes. For those who plan to seek custody of the children, it is not too early to start a journal. Chronologically record specific events that relate to your spouse’s interaction and relationship with the children. Your attorney can help you distinguish which events are more important than others. Finally, put your accountant’s hat on and list all of the assets and debts you believe should (or shouldn’t) be included in the marital pie. Instead of thinking of divorce as an ending, think of it as a beginning. You will have a chance to spend time thinking, planning, and dreaming. Better relationships can be built with your children and extended family. You will have a fresh opportunity to become comfortable with who you are rather than what someone else wants you to be. And when you’re ready, you will have a chance to start over. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas. If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help. Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.