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Family law issues can be resolved without breaking the bank

Once a California couple has made the decision to file for a divorce, both parties likely want to get it done and move forward. In contrast to celebrity divorces involving significant assets, many couples may wish to avoid time-consuming and costly litigation that may provide little privacy or confidentiality. Fortunately, there are other options for couples who are prepared to put anger and revenge aside while negotiating family law issues.

To achieve an outcome with minimum financial impact, each spouse can start by gathering the necessary documents and information before meeting with their respective attorneys. Information that the attorney will require includes the personal data of the client and his or her children, such as health information, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth. The date of the marriage and any prenuptial agreement, along with all financial information about assets and liabilities, are crucial. It's also important to provide the dates that properties were acquired in order to determine marital property values.

Costs can be limited by agreeing on as many issues as possible, such as child custody, parenting plans, property division and more. The fact that California is a community property state may make asset and debt division more straightforward. If any unresolved issues remain, it does not necessarily mean litigation will be required. Divorcing couples may, alongside their legal counsels, utilize the services of professional divorce mediators to facilitate communication and compromise that may ultimately result in a divorce settlement that will accommodate the wishes and goals of both parties while also protecting the best interests of any children.

While such collaboration may not be suitable for all divorcing couples in California, it has proved to equip couples with negotiating skills that may serve them well in their post-divorce lives. Both parties will have the added support of their separate attorneys throughout any mediation process and the subsequent legal proceedings. An experienced family law attorney can protect the rights of his or her client while not losing sight of a family's wish to maintain amicable relationships.

Source: nj.com, "Divorce is expensive. Here's how to make it cheaper", Victoria Dalton, Nov. 21, 2015

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