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The importance of organization in California divorces

California residents in the process of finalizing a divorce likely have a lot to consider. With emotions already running high, divorcees may have to worry about child custody and child support arrangements, property division and the many other financial and emotional aspects that are inevitable with divorce. During this difficult time, divorcees have one ally that can help reduce stress and potentially better the chances of a favorable outcome -- getting organized.

According to one financial planner, one way to start getting organized right away is to take a thorough inventory of all assets. This includes many less obvious assets such as retirement accounts, cash, employee benefits, bank accounts, collectibles and the like. This can help divorcees prevent any assets from getting lost during the divorce proceedings. Once the assets are listed, many should also be valued.

Next, it is important to have a clear picture of both spouse's incomes and earnings. They are needed to determine the amount that is appropriate for child support and alimony. Without an accurate picture of both spouse's earnings, it may not be possible to accurately calculate the appropriate amount that should be paid in alimony and child support, if applicable.

By becoming organized, California divorcees can begin to come to a clear understanding of their financial goals and how to accomplish them. They can focus on what they need to start post-divorce life on strong financial footing. What's more, by focusing on property division goals, divorcees can help reduce some of the stress and anxiety that comes with not knowing how their assets will be divided. With guidance, divorcees can oftentimes form strong divorce strategies that help maximize the chance of a fair and favorable settlement.

Source: CNBC, "Getting divorced? Get organized first," Valerie Adelman, March 9, 2014

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