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Do your New Year's resolutions include divorce?

The start of a new year affects everyone differently. While many people plan to lose weight, or follow an exercise regime, there are others whose goals have more far-reaching consequences. As some California residents begin to turn their intentions to divorce their spouses into reality, what are the key things they should bear in mind?

It is said that everything comes down to money in the end, and in some ways, this is true of divorce. There is no doubt that it can -- and likely will -- take an emotional toll, but the financial cost is sometimes higher than one may realize. In addition to legal costs there will also be changes to one's financial position that will affect one's lifestyle going forward from separation. If there are children, then one parent may have stayed home to take care of them; however, for the majority of people it is unlikely that this way of living will be able to be maintained. It may be necessary to consider how to re-enter the workforce, whether that means picking up a former career or retraining for a new one.

Separating one's finances from those of a spouse may assist in making some aspects clearer. It may also help one to create a distinction between individual debts and joint ones. Other actions may also be appropriate, such as getting a new cell phone number when abuse of some kind within the relationship has been an issue. Bank and retirement accounts may be part of the community property, so it is a good idea to gather together all paperwork relating to these. The same applies to insurance policies.

It is natural to feel overwhelmed at this time, but it is important to find a way to carry out the practical steps that need to be followed during California divorce proceedings. Friends and family can provide emotional support. Seeking appropriate legal advice can provide one with the tools to pursue a fair settlement in order to move forward toward a more positive future.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Financial tips for women getting a divorce", Alessandra Malito, Jan. 3, 2017

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