In addition to being an emotionally trying process, divorce can also be very complicated. California couples who are ending their marriages can take certain steps to organize and prepare for what lies ahead. Spending time getting properly organized can result in a less nerve-wracking process and may help produce the outcome that individuals want.

Taking inventory is an important first step of getting prepared for a divorce. Individuals should make a comprehensive checklist of all of their accounts/assets and have any related documentation easily available. The necessary documentation may include real estate deeds, personal financial statements, statements for investment and bank accounts, credit card statements, insurance policies, mortgage documents, trusts and wills.

In addition to important financial documents, it will also be necessary to collect documents related to prepaid funeral arrangements, premarital agreements, estate planning documents and long-term care insurance policies. Individuals who have these documents already on hand during the divorce can save a lot of money and time.

After all of the necessary documents have been collected, an organizational system should be devised so that they can be easily accessed and delivered upon the request of an accountant, attorney or some other advisor. Similar documents can be grouped together to prevent an important piece of information from being left out.

The classification of assets is another important preparation step for a divorce. Each asset should be classified as marital or separate property.

A family law attorney may advise a client of what legal divorce options are available to them. If necessary, legal counsel could negotiate to resolve disputes regarding spousal support, the enforcement of prenuptial agreement terms, child custody, the division of marital assets and other divorce-related issues.