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Riverside Family Law Blog

Mediation and collaborative divorce offer benefits during divorce

Divorce rarely conjures up positive images in the minds of people. This is because divorce proceedings are often wrought with conflict between the two married people who have decided to split up. However, collaborative divorce or divorce mediation may make the divorce process easier to navigate both emotionally and financially in California.

Collaborative divorce as well as divorce mediation are known to save divorcing individuals both money and time. With a collaborative divorce, the two parties involved in the proceeding cooperate in an effort to resolve their divorce issues. They even sign an agreement that states that they will not take their divorce case to trial.

Divorce-related choices may affect standard of living, income

Getting divorced can be one of the most stressful events in a person's life. Two people in California may find themselves in disagreement about how their assets should be split and even how issues such as child custody should be handled. Unfortunately, the difficulties of divorce can continue to plague a person even years after the marital dissolution if a person fails to make educated decisions regarding the divorce settlement.

One of the biggest concerns that people may have when getting divorced is how their standard of living will change after the divorce. In most people's cases, this living standard will be reduced, as income and assets that had previously supported one household will now be needed to support two separate homes. This includes covering insurance, taxes and more than one set of utility expenses, for example.

Property division involving marital home big focus of divorce

The marital home is often at the center of a divorce proceeding in California. This huge asset can become a huge liability during a marital separation. A few tips, however, can help divorcing individuals who are dealing with property division to navigate the often complicated process in a way that is personally beneficial.

From a lender's point of view, two divorcing people have joint liability for their mortgage unless they sell the home, one of them takes over the mortgage on the home, or their property ends up being refinanced with brand new conditions and terms. Refinancing happens to be the most common way that couples handle mortgages during divorce. This is because one person would like to stay in the house and maintain sole title to the property.

Tax implications of divorce decisions are wise to consider

Navigating the process of divorce can be strenuous because of the financial and emotional components of this type of family law proceeding. One of the biggest areas of contention during a divorce in California is the financial assets. When divorcing couples focus on how to split their marital assets, they sometimes concentrate on making sure that their immediate needs are met but fail to think about how their decisions today may affect their finances in the long run.

It is important, for example, not to forget about a divorce settlement's tax implications. One spouse might have $100,000 in an individual retirement account, or IRA, which is taxable. Meanwhile, the other party might have the same amount of cash in another investment account that is also taxable.

Splitting up 401(k) during divorce requires core steps

One of the most challenging parts of going through a divorce is preparing for the financial aftermath of the dissolution of the marriage. Divorcing individuals in California may be especially concerned about how the divorce will impact their long-term retirement plans. However, splitting up a 401(k) as part of a divorce settlement can be less painful if an individual takes the proper steps.

First, it is wise to have a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, draw up. This order tells the administrator of the 401(k) plan how exactly the plan should be divided. The order has to be signed by both the administrator of the plan and the judge.

Property division can be complex during divorce

The process of divorce can be complex for couples in California, particularly when it comes to dividing property. The state of California is considered a community property state. Therefore, divorcing individuals must equally divide both the debts and the assets they acquired while married when tackling property division during this type of family law proceeding.

There are a couple of property types in the state of California: separate property and community property. Community property has been acquired during the course of a marriage. Meanwhile, separate property may have been acquired prior to the marriage or after two married people have become separated. It can also be acquired by inheritance or gift.

Debt may cause conflict during divorce

One of the most contentious aspects of divorce involves the splitting of assets between oneself and one's soon-to-be ex. However, another major source of financial conflict during a divorce proceeding may be the division of debt in the marriage. A couple of tips may help individuals in California fight for their best interests when addressing such debt during a divorce proceeding.

In California, which is a community property state, most debts that either spouse incurred while married end up being owed by both individuals. This is true even if just one of the individuals signed the necessary paperwork for particular debts. As a result, people can walk away from a marriage being responsible for debt racked up during the marriage for the purpose of covering family necessities or maintaining assets that were jointly owned.

Amicable divorce may benefit a person financially

Getting through divorce can be financially stressful, especially when the process of dividing marital assets and property is complicated. When two people cannot agree on the best way to distribute their assets, this only makes matters worse. However, aiming to be amicable can go a long way in achieving one's desired outcome in a California divorce.

First, it is imperative that a divorcing individual try to keep his or her emotions out of the decision-making process. Instead, it is important to be as clear-headed and rational as possible; appropriate legal guidance can help with this. It is also important to avoid being vindictive, as this may only stifle the divorce process rather than moving it forward.

Property division during divorce can affect business owners

Owning a business can be a source of pride for an individual in California. However, it can quickly become a source of heartache if that person decides to get divorced. A couple of tips can help divorcing individuals to protect their business interests while tackling contentious issues such as property division.

If a business owner's spouse plays an active role in the family business, it is worth noting that the spouse can make a stronger case for having an interest in this business as well as its profits. The same is true if the spouse has been working for the company for a long period of time. Therefore, prior to getting divorced, the business owner may benefit from easing the spouse out as soon as possible.

Prenuptial agreement may help with property division in divorce

Splitting marital assets can be tricky during a California divorce, particularly when two divorcing individuals cannot agree on how to proceed with this. Property division can be even more complicated if two people own a family ranch or farm. Prenuptial agreements can be a huge help in divorce situations where high-value assets are at stake.

A prenup is a legal contract that two people enter into before getting married; the agreement spells out what will happen to certain assets in the event that the two become divorced. A prenup is recommended when one individual has more assets and wishes to protect these assets during a marital dissolution. It is also wise to create an agreement when previously made promises must be honored -- for example, a commitment to an heir about owning a certain asset eventually.

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