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The would-haves and should-haves of divorce

Previous posts here have covered the troubling aspects of divorce and just how a person might surmount them. Another potentially useful focus is learning from another's divorce mistakes. California residents may be interested to know what their peers would have done differently during their divorce.

There are many things to dispute when obtaining a separation from someone who was once thought to be a life-long partner. This process is often riddled with emotion and adversarial feelings. Many comments from people post-divorce often center around wishing they made decisions with a clearer head.

Many individuals wish they would have been willing to fight harder to keep the house or divide property more evenly. Instead, they felt defeated at the time and unwilling to push for what they deserved. One ex-spouse voiced in a recent article that she wished she would have obtained counsel immediately and entered the divorce discussion with adequate representation.

One major difficulty with divorce is simply that the divorcing spouse's emotions often get in the way of coming to a fair agreement. Only after the fact might a person look back on events and see that the heart-wrenching aspects of the separation prevented them from appreciating what they deserved in divorce, be that equal property division or more favorable child custody decisions.

California is a community property state, which as a default divides all marital property evenly. However, spouses can agree otherwise. While the impulse to give it all away in order to get it over with is often strong, this is a decision many ex-spouses later regret.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Advice: The One Aspect Of My Divorce I Would Do Differently," June 10, 2013

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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