It’s time to take the first step. The marriage is over and it’s time to face the reality that a divorce is imminent. When this happens, one of the first steps that the California resident will want to do is discuss the situation with legal counsel.

Prior to this meeting, though, the individual will want to gather important documents that should be reviewed prior to making any decisions. These will include any legal documents pertaining to the individuals or the married couple. This will include any restraining orders, child support orders and any other legal items that may have an impact.

In addition, the individual will want to gather documents relating to each individual’s income, assets and liabilities. Copies of each individual’s paystubs, W2’s and other income related items will be helpful. Additionally, statements related to bank, retirement, investment and credit accounts will be needed. These documents will assist in determining the overall financial picture and who these financial assets and liabilities should be divided.

Along with these financial documents, the individual will want to gather paperwork related to real property and other assets including individual and marital assets. These will be important in putting all the pieces together. Then, an informed decision regarding what the individual wants from the divorce can be made.

Once the California resident has made the decision to divorce, it is time to take action. Gathering the necessary paperwork and documents is an important first step. This information can then provide the necessary data with which to negotiate the divorce settlement.