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What to plan for before getting a divorce

For many California couples, the day that they get married is the happiest of their lives. Conversely, getting a divorce may be among the worst. All 50 states allow for no-fault divorces, which means that there is no need to state a reason such as adultery or domestic violence as the cause of the split.

The first step to get a divorce is file a petition and pay the required fee. An individual must also notify his or her spouse of the intent to divorce. A divorce settlement may be reached outside of court and resolve issues related to how to split property or joint debt. It may also be possible for parents who are getting a divorce to come to a child support and custody arrangement on their own subject to judicial approval.

However, if there are issues that cannot be resolved in private, it may be necessary to ask a judge to make a ruling. In many cases, child custody matters are the most contentious. Judges will consider a variety of factors in determining the best interest of the child, which is the top priority in any custody decision.

There may be many issues that need to be resolved in a divorce such as dividing marital property or determining who may be entitled to spousal support. In some cases, an attorney may be beneficial in helping an individual get a favorable outcome. Legal counsel may also review agreements reached privately or in mediation to ensure that they are in a client's best interest.

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