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Now that the holidays are over and your daily routine replaces holiday events, your thoughts may turn to a California divorce. If so, you are not alone. According to Legal Jobs, divorces spike during the first quarter of each year. Even if you believe your spouse will not fight the split, it may still cause emotional and financial turmoil.

Planning for divorce before you begin the paperwork is an essential step, and it might help the process move faster and smoother than starting unprepared. Here are some tips to get started.

Get a post office box

Whether you are ready to start the discussion with your spouse or want more time to plan, add “getting a P.O. box” to the top of your to-do list and forward your mail. This can ensure important paperwork does not get lost. It may also serve as a consistent mailing location if you do not know what living arrangements will be like after your split.

Think about housing

Before leaving your current address, having a plan can help you maintain stability during the divorce proceedings. This is a critical factor for staying calm and thinking clearly for many people. Will you stay with friends or family members? Do you have the resources to rent your own place? Understanding your finances and options can help you plan and minimize the disruption moving causes.

Organize paperwork

Make copies of pertinent documents, from deeds to bank statements to credit reports. List all of your debts and assets so that you can manage money matters appropriately when the time comes. It also makes the property division process proceed faster if you have all the documentation in order.

Gather your network

A divorce may put you through the emotional wringer. Having a support system can help you cope, giving you a sympathetic ear and a sounding board when needed. Talk with people who experienced divorce and find out how they managed. Ask for help, engage a therapist and take any other steps you may need to help stay grounded.

Dissolving a marriage is seldom simple and easy. Preparing for the proceedings before they begin can help minimize the upheaval in your life and allow you to make informed decisions regarding the divorce settlement.