Full disclosure, your California divorce lawyer is going to need a great deal of financial and personal information to successfully represent you during divorce proceedings. Your divorce is going to involve questions of assets, income, debt, and family dynamics. The more your California divorce lawyer knows and understands about your specific circumstances, the easier it is to pursue your objectives and interests.
What information should you be prepared to share with your California divorce lawyer? Here are six facts that every lawyer will want to know at the onset of your divorce proceedings.
#1: Your Home: Do You Want to Keep It?
Division of marital assets is a substantial, and often confrontational, part of any divorce. You will need to divide bank accounts, personal possessions, and vehicles. However, for many couples, the most substantial asset is residential property. So, one of the first questions you can expect from a California divorce lawyer is whether you want to keep the marital home.
An Orange County divorce lawyer at the Bledsoe Firm is prepared to fight for you to keep your home. To be successful, the residential property needs to be a priority in divorce negotiations. You may need to make other concessions in terms of asset and should consider what property you can give up in exchange for the home. On the other hand, if you are ready to move out and move on, giving up the residential home can become a significant bargaining chip for other marital assets.
#2: Your Story: Why Are You Seeking Divorce?
Every couple has a unique path to love and marriage. Similarly, the decisions and circumstances that lead to divorce are singular to you and your spouse. A California divorce lawyer needs to understand this story to best represent you. Telling this story can be difficult at first and it may never become an easy conversation to have. Yet, it is necessary.
A California divorce lawyer from the Bledsoe Firm will keep the information you share about your relationship in strict confidence. It will only be used to pursue your interests and seek a better outcome from the divorce proceedings.
#3: Spousal Support: Do You Want to Ask for Alimony?
California courts view divorce proceedings as an equitable process. A family law judge will do his or her best to equitably divide any marital assets and similarly distribute any debts. The same theories of equity apply to decisions around spousal support or alimony.
In many California divorces, one spouse is entitled to spousal support. The purpose of spousal support is allowing both spouses to continue living the same lifestyle as before the divorce. If you feel entitled to spousal support, an analysis that can be handled or reviewed by your California divorce lawyer, you must negotiate the amount with your former spouse.
To best jump into this situation, your family law lawyer must know how important spousal support is to you and set your expectations for the negotiation outcome.
#4: Contested Divorce: Are You on the Same Page?
Traditionally, most California divorces were handled in a contested and challenging environment. Negotiations could be fraught with arguments. Of course, there are still many divorces that unfold through hurt feelings, strong disagreements, and opposing negotiation positions. The number of uncontested divorces is on the rise.
A greater number of spouses are finding they can agree on the varied issues of a divorce. From spousal support to child custody, these couples are working it out through mediation. As a California divorce law firm, the Bledsoe Firm is at the forefront of assisting couples through these alternative processes. If you want to split from your spouse without the fighting, we can help. The first thing we need to know does your spouse agree with this approach.
#5: Prenuptial Agreement: Did You Sign One?
Often, a prenuptial agreement dictates the direction of divorce proceedings. As these contractual agreements become more popular in California, they are also becoming more sophisticated and encompassing. Some divorces will unfold in direct alignment to prenuptial terms and conditions. This can improve the efficiency of your divorce, but it can also raise complications.
A California divorce lawyer needs to know early in your conversations if you have a prenuptial agreement. Even if you disagree with some of the terms or want to negotiate for an alternative outcome, hiding a prenuptial agreement only puts your lawyer at a disadvantage.
#6: Your Children: What Do Your Kids Know?
Likely the most sensitive conversation with your California divorce lawyer isn’t about finances, debts, or prenuptial agreements, but your children. It is really helpful for a divorce lawyer to understand your family dynamic and parental relationship before stepping into a divorce hearing or mediation. Questions around custody, child support, and visitation can be difficult and complicated, but your lawyer at the Bledsoe Firm is in the best position to fight for the outcome you want.
Ready to sit down with a top California divorce lawyer? Contact the Bledsoe Firm at (949) 363-5551.