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3 things you should do before filing for divorce

So, your marriage hasn't been going well in recent months. You find yourself feeling frustrated with your spouse or even unhappy just to be in their presence in the evenings and on weekends. Perhaps they have developed new, unhealthy habits, or maybe you discovered an extramarital affair.

You can't help but imagine that your life would be better without them in it. Divorce is the obvious solution for those whose marriages no longer seem to work. However, before you jump the gun and head down to the courthouse to file, there are three things you should do first.

Talk about your feelings in a confidential environment

Sometimes, even the best relationships go through dark or unhappy phases. It is human nature for us to have a wide range of behaviors and feelings that can change and evolve as our lives go on. What seems like an insurmountable issue to you today could be old news in a couple of weeks.

Sometimes, what a person really needs is the perspective that comes from talking with a neutral third party about their issues. Generally speaking, your friends and family won't truly be neutral. Even if they agree with you, they may be hesitant to criticize your spouse in any way. They could also share what you say to them with other people, including your spouse.

A counselor or therapist is a good option. You might also have access to a pastor or other religious official if you attend a local church. Generally speaking, someone with a professional obligation to keep your discussion confidential is the best possible resource when discussing your feelings about divorce.

Get copies of your financial records now

Once your spouse finds out you want to divorce, they could start trying to hide assets or keep other financial secrets from you. They might even destroy account records in order to prevent you from accessing certain assets or demanding a fair share of them.

Getting copies of financial records, including tax returns and important account documents, is a critical step to take before you file for divorce or talk to your spouse about it.

Sit down to talk with an experienced California family law attorney

Most people don't really know what to expect in a divorce or what its likely impact will be on their lives. What you hear from other people or in the media often gives you an inaccurate concept about the process of divorce.

Talking with a family law attorney will give you a better perspective about the realities of a California divorce. From how the courts handle the division of your assets and debts to common custody outcomes, your attorney can educate you about all of your major concerns and worries.

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