First Legal Steps For Divorce

Divorce Process

First Legal Steps For DivorceIt can be hard to know where to start if you are considering a divorce. Divorce is a legal, financial, and emotional process. Your first step should be to get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney if you think your relationship is soon to end in a divorce.

A divorce lawyer can be a crucial element in helping you understand the likely outcomes in terms of custody and financial arrangements even if you haven’t quite made up your mind yet. There are a few common steps which apply to all married couples. However, you should know that nothing can replace the advice of a skilled attorney.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.

Child Stability and Residence

You may want to remain at your marital residence to save costs associated with maintaining separate households. This will also help towards preserving stability in your children’s lives. Living together gives you more time to agree on a parenting plan and budget. However, there are a few circumstances, such as the ones involving abuse where you may want to consider moving out immediately.


Separation is not always the first step to divorce. However, it is the natural first step for many couples. You may want to understand the legal implications of separation if you decide to choose this. You would need to agree on a provisional custody agreement if you have children and live separately.

Most attorneys advise providing reasonable access to children barring any serious concerns, such as safety issues. Your divorce attorney can help you file for an order of protection if you are concerned about abuse or violence. It is wise to document concerning and odd experiences.

Financial Steps to Take

Divorce has several financial implications. It gets more complicated the longer you remain married. However, things can be more straightforward if you have a pre- or post-marital agreement. You should gather all your financial documents at the outset.

You will need to have your own copies of retirement account statements, bank statements, mortgage statements, and other relevant financial documents. You should get your valuables appraised. Having a complete financial picture can help you protect your interests if your spouse attempts to prevent a fair division or conceal assets.

Unique Financial Situations

Financial situation can become particularly complicated if either of the spouses have businesses or are together in a business. An experienced divorce attorney can provide a business valuation specialist to negotiate a fair deal.

There are different laws surrounding property distribution after a divorce in different states. However, in most states, the property that is acquired during the marriage is split equally between both the parties. There are a few exceptions to this rule which can be explained by a qualified attorney. You can achieve a better sense of property division after speaking with the divorce attorney.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

Have any legal questions? Contact the Attorneys at SBEMP Law Firm: 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

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