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San Jose Divorce Checklist

There are certain steps you need to take prior to filing for a San Jose divorce. This article will explain how to prepare for your divorce and San Jose divorce requirements.

Separate Your Finances from Your Spouse's

Prior to filing for a San Jose divorce, you should take steps to separate your finances from your spouse's. In addition, you may want to consider making changes to certain legal documents in light of your impending single status.

Consider taking the following steps to separate your life from your spouse's:

  • Close all joint bank account, including savings and checking, and open your own.
  • Close any credit cards you have together and open your own.
  • Get your own health insurance if necessary.
  • Change your will accordingly.
  • Inform everyone of your impending divorce. It is especially important that you tell your employer and insurance carriers of your single status.

Gather Documents Relevant to Your San Jose Divorce

You will want to start gathering information relevant to your divorce. This information will be useful when you seek San Jose divorce help from a local attorney. In addition, you may be able to use the documents in court to support claims you make on such things as property you and your spouse share.

Important documents to gather include:

  • Financial statements, such as banking and investment statements
  • Pay stubs or your income tax filing
  • Proof of ownership of property, such as a deed or a title
  • Evidence to support claims you make regarding child custody or child support
  • Your prenuptual agreement, if you have one

Once you hire a San Jose divorce attorney, your lawyer can provide you with a list of other documents that may be useful to your particular case.

Investigate San Jose Divorce Lawyers

The San Jose divorce process can be quite complex. Although you can represent yourself, you should consider hiring an experienced divorce lawyer.

To find an attorney, you can start by seeking referrals from friends and family. Ask those you know who have used a San Jose divorce attorney in the past if they were satisfied with their lawyer's services. If so, you can get the attorney's information and contact him.

You can also use a site like Whether you are filing for divorce in Cupertino, Los Altos, Palo Alto or another part of Santa Clara County, can connect you to a divorce attorney near you. Just fill out the form on this site, or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, will provide you with the name of at least one San Jose divorce lawyer. The attorney will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.

Once you have at least one attorney you are interested in, set up an initial consultation. The initial consultation is a meeting where you can find out about the lawyer's practice, tell him about your case and make a decision as to whether to hire him.

Bring the documentation you collected to your initial consultation. In addition, prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. Focus on asking questions that help you make a hiring decision. Bring a pen and paper to take notes with.

After your consultation, you should be able to decide whether the attorney is right for you.

File Your San Jose Divorce Complaint

Once you have hired an attorney, you will be able to file your San Jose divorce complaint with the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Prior to filing the paperwork, you must meet certain residency requirements. Under California divorce law, you may only get a divorce in Santa Clara County if you or your spouse has been a resident of California for six months and of Santa Clara county for three months.

You must also cite the grounds, or reason, for your divorce when filing. In California, there are two grounds you can use to file for divorce. The first ground is irreconcilable differences, which means the marriage is beyond repair and should be dissolved.

The other ground is incurable insanity. You may only cite incurable insanity if you can provide proof, including medical or psychiatric testimony, that your spouse is incurably insane.

If you are not sure what grounds to cite in your divorce complaint or have any other questions regarding your case, contact a San Jose divorce attorney.