California residents who go through a divorce could experience a wide range of emotions. However, it is important to keep those feelings in check when it comes time to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, an individual could face criminal charges, an unfavorable parenting plan or undesirable financial terms. Generally speaking, it is wise to consult with a lawyer before attempting to negotiate a deal. It can also be in a person’s best interest to review a settlement with an attorney prior to signing it.

Doing so may allow a person to determine if the settlement is reasonable. In most cases, settlements are supposed to be equitable, if not equal, in how assets are divided. However, it is not uncommon for a spouse to attempt to hide assets or make them difficult to find. Taking time to review a settlement before signing it may also result in more time to investigate a couple’s financial situation.

An attorney or a financial professional may be able to find evidence of hidden assets and revise a settlement accordingly. Ideally, those who are divorcing will avoid getting into new romantic relationships before it is finalized. This could result in emotional issues for both sides, and a judge may not look at that decision favorably. Ultimately, it can make it harder to get the deal that a person is seeking.

While a divorce may feel like a competition at times, the law and facts in the case will generally govern how a settlement is structured. An attorney may be able to help a person learn more about divorce law and how it may apply in a given matter. This may allow someone to stay in control of his or her emotions and make decisions that could lead to a timely and favorable settlement.