When you finally decide to get a divorce it feels like it can’t be over soon enough. The problem is a California divorce can’t take less than 6 months. Your game plan should be to have your Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA) on the judge’s desk waiting to be signed well before 6 months pass so that all you’re waiting for is their signature. Below are things I’ve seen divorcing couples do that either accelerate their divorce or slow it down.
This is the countdown of 5 things you need to do to speed up your California divorce.
#5 Respect the Divorce Professional’s Time
If the mediator or legal assistant you’re working with has made themselves available to you then you need to respect their time. Be on time for your appointments. Their schedules are full and it may be a while before they have another opening. Don’t no show. Not cool. If you are lucky enough to have access to their cell number don’t abuse that privilege. That’s not a license for you to talk their ear off, call them multiple times a day, or text them to death. You have that number so you can quickly communicate if you’re running late or are having tech issues.
#4 Complete the Steps in Order
Oftentimes people want to just skip to mediation and begin negotiating. That’s a mistake. If you do that you’ll increase the chance that you’ll have to go back and renegotiate once the financial disclosures are done and the meditator has more accurate numbers. It’s a much better use of your time to complete the steps in order so that your negotiations can move forward smoothly without the starts and stops that come with doing things out of order.
#3 Get Your Paperwork Done Quickly
Speaking of doing things out of order, people usually want to do that because they are overwhelmed with completing the financial disclosures. Don’t get overwhelmed. Make a plan to work on them a little bit each day until you are done. Financial disclosures are a pain but there’s no way around them, they’re required. One of the biggest delays people face that causes their divorce to stall is that they procrastinate doing the disclosures. Remember that your divorce professionals can’t work any faster than you do.
#2 Pay Your Bills ASAP
People will work harder for you if they don’t have to chase you down to pay their invoices.
#1 Keep Talking to Your Spouse Offline
The most successful divorcing couples don’t leave the conversations just for mediation. They talk between sessions to find solutions. It’s delightfully surprising to see them deadlocked in mediation and then come back a week later with a deal worked out. It happens a lot. Their secret is that they don’t really want to damage the other person and they really believe they can find a solution. And what you believe comes true eventually.
If you follow these five simple steps you will expedite your divorce and be finished well before 6 months. Then it’s just waiting for the judge to sign. And nobody can control that.