5 Divorce “Don’ts” for a California Divorce

If you are considering divorce, you may have reached out to friends or family to get their advice.  Many people may have shared with you the do’s and don’ts to help you navigate the divorce process effectively.  This article will add to the advice, with a cautionary list of things not to do. 


  • Don’t necessarily keep the house.


A home can have a lot of sentimental value, but when evaluating it in the divorce, you need to look at it as simply an asset or a liability.  Determine whether you have sufficient resources not just for the mortgage and utilities but for any maintenance. Consider whether it meets your needs now. Evaluate with logic not emotion.


  • Don’t ignore potential tax consequences or retirement accounts. 


Make sure you understand how your taxes will be impacted going forward and how any deductions or stimulus for the children will factor in.  Talk to an accountant or lawyer to plan taxes ahead of time so that you aren’t caught by surprise. Additionally, make a plan for splitting the retirement so that you aren’t left without those resources later on.


  • Don’t forget about health insurance. 


If you or your children have been covered by your ex’s policy, you need to determine how health insurance will work going forward. 


  • Don’t spend lavishly out of spite. 


You may be receiving support pending the divorce, but generally you should spend money the same way that you did during the marriage.  Spending lavishly out of spite could interfere with the asset division.

  •  Don’t roll over all of an ex’s retirement account into an IRA if you need some of the money for divorce expenses.


If your divorce settlement allocates assets under a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), then any withdrawal a QDRO alternate payee takes from a 401(k) or 403(b) is exempt from the 10% early withdrawal penalty—even if you’re under age 59½. The bottom line is if you think you’ll need money now, you might want to make a withdrawl before the rollover. But, do this with caution, because you will owe income tax on the amounts withdrawn.

Consult with Experienced Divorce Attorneys at the Law Office of David Knecht

At the Law Office of David Knecht we have extensive experience with family law in California and can help you successfully negotiate a California divorce.  Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.