For California residents and others going through a divorce, it can be an overwhelming and stressful process. This is because individuals may be attempting to legally end their marriages while still dealing with the emotional pain that it may bring. The first step is deciding what the divorce process will look like. In some cases, mediation or collaborative divorce may be better than trying to resolve the matter through litigation.

Settling a divorce through mediation or a similar method may help to ease the emotional burden that individuals may face. Regardless of how the process plays out, the first step is actually filing divorce paperwork. As soon as this happens, those who may be concerned about spousal support or child custody should take action to preserve their rights. Failure to take timely action, such as consulting with an attorney, could limit a person’s ability to get a favorable outcome.

After the divorce papers are filed and the other party responds, it is time to start negotiating. This is generally when financial and other relevant information is disclosed that may form the basis of an actual settlement. After negotiations are complete, a signed agreement is submitted and approved by a judge. In many cases, the terms of the agreement do not go into effect right away.

Speaking with an attorney may help individuals learn more about their rights and how to resolve common divorce issues. For instance, it may be possible to better understand how property division works or how to obtain maximum parental rights. If a prenuptial agreement or another document exists, legal counsel may review it to determine if it is valid. If the document is found to be invalid, it may be necessary to renegotiate its terms privately or with the help of a judge.