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Riverside Family Law Blog

Collaborative divorce growing in popularity

The idea of splitting up with a spouse in California can be stressful financially and emotionally. However, when two divorcing parties are conflicted about how to approach property division and other major issues, the divorce can be even harder to get through. A collaborative divorce is one way to make a divorce proceeding easier for both parties.

The idea of collaborative divorce began during the 1990s, when family psychologists from California and lawyers began to explore a gentler way of getting divorced. They took into consideration that a divorce is more than just a legal matter: It is also a financial and an emotional one. The West Coast of the United States is one area of the nation where collaborative divorce is taking off exponentially.

Divorce process in California involves multiple steps

The divorce process can be complicated, especially when two parties cannot agree on how to divide significant assets, such as the family home or shared property. Proper legal guidance, however, can help you to navigate the divorce process in a way that will benefit you financially in the long term. Getting divorced involves several core steps in California.

First, if you are filing for divorce, your petition for divorce will be served on your spouse, known as the respondent. Your spouse then has 30 days to file his or her response. Once the response has been filed, both you and the other party can start to negotiate a settlement. This period also typically involves asking for temporary court orders on a variety of matters, such as spousal support, child support, visitation and child custody.

Divorce can have long-term financial implications

No matter what a person's income level is, getting divorced can be financially destructive. The divorce process can deal a huge blow to a person's finances, especially if he or she makes ill-informed decisions regarding important matters such as property division and asset distribution. A few tips can help people to make decisions that will lead to personally favorable results following a divorce in California.

First, it is necessary to create a detailed statement listing all of one's living expenses, assets and income. It is worth noting that the process may be particularly tricky for couples who own a family business or another type of major joint asset. Financial documents, such as those regarding retirement benefits and deferred compensation statements, are helpful to gather as well.

Financial tips may help couples during California divorce

Getting divorced can weigh heavily on a person emotionally, but the long-term effects can also be financial. Even if a divorce is amicable, the process of splitting assets often is not easy. A few tips may help people going through the dissolution of a marriage in California to put themselves in the best financial position possible, both short-term and long-term.

First, it is wise to avoid emotional spending during a divorce. For instance, those going through a divorce with children may feel inclined to buy the kids new toys in an effort to make up for the challenges of seeing their parents split up. However, overspending can result in overwhelming debt that can take a long time to pay off following the divorce.

Prenuptial agreement can protect one's assets during divorce

An improvement in the U.S. economy has led to higher property values and increased salaries, which have led to a larger number of prenuptial agreements. Although people in California and other states typically enter into marriage with the hopes of staying together for the long haul, life does not always work out as planned. Planning for divorce before getting married can help a person to protect his or her assets.

A prenuptial agreement is especially helpful if one person is bringing valuable assets into his or her marriage. Assets owned by one spouse before marriage are considered separate property. However, if an asset increases in value during the marriage due to the work of both spouses, this asset may be considered community property should the couple divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help to make sure that the property stays individually owned during the marriage, as well as during a divorce.

Asset and property division often an area of conflict in divorce

Divorce isn't always easy for people in California, as people are forced to juggle the emotional weight of the divorce along with the financial stresses associated with it. Communication and trust are usually low, which only makes the situation worse. Taking steps to ensure that a future ex is not illegally hiding assets will help a person to protect himself or herself financially when dealing with asset and property division during divorce.

In California, which is considered a community property state, any marital assets have to be split 50-50. One way a person may try to hide an asset from a spouse if he or she is a business owner is to delay a business deal that may end up benefiting their marital asset amount if it were to be finalized prior to the divorce. In addition, those who are wage employees might ask their bosses to defer promotions or bonuses until after their divorce settlements have been finalized, as these might be considered marital assets.

Divorce involving child custody can have positive results

A divorce can emotionally be tough to accept for the two parties who have decided to split up, but it can also be hard for the children involved to embrace. This is particularly the case in a California divorce where both parents do not see eye-to-eye on how child custody should be addressed. A willingness on the part of both parents to focus on what is best for the children may make the scenario easier for the entire family to handle.

Some individuals with marital problems often believe staying together is best for the children. Other reasons people decide to stay unhappily married is because of the fear of beginning over again and handling finances alone. However, the decision to remain in an unfulfilling marriage may actually paint an unhealthy picture for the kids of what a relationship should look like.

Divorce in California can offer multiple benefits

Divorce is often viewed as an emotionally distressing experience due to the conflict that often arises between two future exes. It might also be financially challenging, particularly when one is fearful of losing certain valuable marital assets or property. Still, appropriate legal guidance in California may help a person to complete the divorce process in as smooth a way as possible and thus more easily experience the benefits of getting divorced.

One of the benefits of divorce is that it enables a person to reclaim priorities in his or her life. Divorcing individuals can rediscover the passions they had shelved during their marriages and finally pay more attention to talents their former spouses might not have supported. They might also be able to focus more on friends they had previously ignored.

Divorce can pose financial challenges in California

A divorce may give a person the freedom he or she desires to pursue other more fulfilling romantic relationships, but it can also lead to financial duress. This is because, when a family's wealth is divided in half between the two divorcing parties, each party may feel as though he or she has to start all over financially. A few tips may help those going through a divorce in California to protect themselves from a monetary point of view.

First, it may help to use a mediator to resolve divorce disputes. A mediator is a neutral third party who can help the two individuals to work amicably toward a settlement that meets both of their needs. Through mediation, the two parties can avoid litigation, which is more costly and can also cause more stress.

Divorce may pose challenges during the holidays

The end of the year has traditionally been viewed as a time to enjoy the company of loved ones during the holiday season. This time of the year, however, may be painful for those who are going through divorce, with children having parents who live in two separate homes. A couple of tips may help people who are getting divorced in California to make the most of the holiday season from an emotional standpoint, even as they tackle legal issues such as asset distribution and property division.

First, it can be helpful to spend time listening to Christmas songs and find quiet opportunities to engage in games or other enjoyable activities with friends and extended family. When a parent does have the chance to see the kids, it is wise to use this time to maintain a meaningful familiar tradition, even if it feels a little different in light of the divorce. Parents may even wish to create brand new traditions as well as let the kids contribute their own ideas.

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