When a California couple divorces, each spouse's personal finances will change. This is true even in an amicable settlement. Because of this, it's important for spouses to prepare for some financial upheaval.
One of the first things that divorcing spouses should do is close any joint accounts, such as checking, savings or credit card accounts. This can sometimes present issues, so they may wish to speak with their attorneys about the best way to go about this.
In addition, each spouse should order his or her credit report and monitor it regularly. There are two reasons for doing this. The first is to deter spouses from opening new credit lines using the other spouse's credit history. The second is to be able to immediately address any mistakes in credit reporting that can arise as a couple splits their finances.
Each spouse should also work out a post-divorce budget. This provides them with a guideline of how much money they realistically expect to spend each month during the first year or two after their marriage ends. This information cannot only reduce stress, but it can also help the spouses as they begin to work out financial issues privately, in mediation or with their attorneys.
Most divorces do not end up in bitter litigation that can be lengthy and costly and produce a result that neither party is totally happy with. Instead, some couples are able to come to an accord on their own, while others ask their respective attorneys to provide assistance in negotiating a settlement agreement that, once reached, can be presented to the court for its approval.