15428 Civic Dr, Ste 325, Victorville CA 92392
Ritter & LeClere A.P.C. Attorneys at Law

Practice limited to Family Law, probate and wills
Schedule an Appoinment

Family and Estate Law Attorney for San Bernardino County, CA

Informational Links

Tips For Preparing For Divorce

A divorce is a major life event. It is very important to be prepared as much as possible mentally, emotionally and financially for the process. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your divorce and to meet an attorney to discuss your options.
1. Gather as much financial information as possible. Make copies of bank statements, retirement statements, investment statements, car titles, credit card statements, monthly bills, mortgage statements and deeds.

2. Change your personal passwords for all your accounts. Do not share your new password with your spouse.

3. Do not post things on social media that you would not want the entire world to see. Remember that anything you put in writing can be used in Court regardless of the format it was in. Remember to think before you post and do not post anything in the heat of anger.

4. Create a proposed budget that you will need to live on after you are separated from your spouse.

5. If you have not worked during the marriage and are in good health, look for a job or enroll in school so that you can return to the workforce with marketable skills. If you are in poor health or cannot work be sure to document your health issues and why you cannot be gainfully employed. Discuss your options with your attorney.

6. When you move out of the house, unless you are prevented by court order, take all the personal property that you really want with you. Make copies of family pictures and videos. Be sure to take all your personal effects and document what you take and what you leave behind. Do not damage or destroy anything and do not dispose of or sell anything without discussing it with your attorney first. Do not give away things either.

7. If possible, get copies of credit card applications and loan applications made by you and your spouse for the year prior to your separation.

8. Get copies of both your state and federal income tax returns for the three years prior to your filing for divorce.

9. Consider getting a therapist for yourself and the children if they are having problems adjusting to the situation. This is a very difficult time emotionally for everyone and the support can be of great help.

10. Review all your insurance policies and make copies of them. Be sure to review who is the beneficially on your policies and review your will. You cannot make changes to your insurance policies or beneficiaries without leave of the Court or agreement of the other party in writing once the divorce is filed. It is best not to make changes immediately before fling either. But once the divorce is final you will want to know what needs to be changed.

11. Keep your children out of the divorce. This is a grown-up matter and you do not want to make them pick sides or feel that they are disloyal if they still love the other parent. Do not discuss the terms of the divorce, the Court proceedings or allow them to read Court documents. Do not say negative or derogatory things about the other parent when the children might hear it. Also, don’t let any third party say negative or derogatory things about the other parent in front of the children or where they might hear it. The less involved in the divorce the children are, the better their adjustment will be to the status quo when the divorce is over. Remember, your children are not divorcing their parents, you are divorcing your spouse.