Making the decision to divorce is not one most people make lightly. Often it comes on the heels of months or years of fighting or simply drifting apart. If you are considering divorce in Monterey, there are some points to keep in mind to protect your interests.
Consider alternative dispute resolution options
Not every divorce has to result in a heated courtroom showdown. Often times many divorce issues such as property division, spousal support and child custody can be settled out-of-court. One way to do this is through mediation, where the parties work with a neutral third-party mediator who helps them reach a resolution to their divorce issues.
Another method for settling out of court is a collaborative divorce in which the parties and their attorneys agree in writing to reach a settlement on all their divorce issues. If some issues remain unresolved the attorneys must bow out of the case and the parties must retain new attorneys to assist them in litigation.
Understand your post-divorce finances
It is important to keep in mind that trying to maintain the same standard of living for two households based on income that was previously maintaining one household is generally not possible for most couples. It is important to have a clear understanding of what your expenses will be post-divorce so you can make informed decisions in the property division process and when negotiating spousal support. It is likely that both parties will experience a lower standard of living, at least at first, than they had while they were married.
Update your estate plan
If you have a will, you will want to ensure your ex is removed from it. Other assets with a beneficiary designation such as life insurance policies will also have to updated to remove your ex. After all, most people do not want their ex to inherit their estate.
Seek professional guidance if necessary
This post does not contain legal advice. Those who are considering divorce will want to consult with an attorney to understand how to protect their interests both before, during and after their divorce.