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San Mateo California Family Law Blog

Why you should seek a FAIR settlement

It’s not uncommon for divorces to come with a side of vengeance. Some try to take everything their ex had known and loved out of spite. Others may relent to their ex’s demands, letting them take what they want to get the proceedings over with.

But allowing these “winner takes all” type of divorces to happen is a huge mistake. Here are a few reasons why.

How to handle your family business during property division

Starting a business with a spouse might seem overwhelming at first, but many California couples find this to be a lucrative and exciting option. However, there is a chance that starting that business might feel easier than splitting it up during property division. For married business owners who are ready to divorce, dealing with business matters can be extremely complicated.

Before deciding what to do with the business, it is important that everyone involved understands its value. Thoroughly valuing a business can be a complicated process and it might be hard for interested parties to produce an unbiased result. It is usually best to utilize an impartial third party to establish the value.

Should you keep these relationships after a divorce?

A divorce isn’t usually the separation of just two people. It often comes with difficult decisions about staying in touch with the people who are connected to your ex.

Here are a few important things you should consider when choosing whether or not to keep these relationships.

Is your ex hiding assets from property division?

Creating a sense of financial security for life after divorce requires more than a single-faceted approach. From securing essential post-divorce payments -- including alimony and child support -- to obtaining half of the marital assets during property division, California family law provides ample opportunities to ensure that a person is not financially stunted from divorce. Unfortunately, some individuals try to circumvent these protections by hiding assets during their divorce.

Hiding assets is a popular method used by those who want to keep more than their share of the marital assets. These individuals might use a variety of approaches for keeping assets hidden, such as claiming that they lost an asset or that it never existed in the first place. Temporarily transferring property to another person until the divorce is finalized is another common approach.

Do credit card rewards points factor into a high asset divorce?

Credit card rewards programs are a significant draw for those who use their cards responsibly. Many people in California use their credit cards strategically so as to optimize their rewards. However, during a high asset divorce, these become another complicated asset to value and divide.

It is important to determine whether the rewards points are either separate or marital property. If one individual can thoroughly demonstrate that they opened the card and earned all of its related rewards points before marriage, then he or she may keep them as separate property. In general though, rewards points earned during the course of a marriage are considered to be community property. This is true even if only one person opened the account and spent money on the card.

Are you worried about divorce after 50?

Health care later in life is a serious concern for most people in California. While most do their best to prepare, unforeseen circumstances can impact a person's access to health care, retirement benefits and more. Divorce is just one such situation which might alter a person's ability to maintain his or her expected standards of living. However, most people have options to address these concerns and preserve their access to these and other essential supports during retirement.

When a person is covered by health insurance through his or her spouse's employer, divorce can be an understandably concerning matter. Once the divorce is finalized, the person not employed by the company will have his or her coverage immediately terminated. Health insurance coverage is particularly important for those over the age of 50, as many serious or chronic medical conditions tend to present later in life.

Second marriages and property division -- consider a prenup

Getting married is an exciting and magical experience, but those who are ready to tie the knot for the second time around may understand just how important it is to be prepared. Prenuptial agreements can be especially helpful in this regard. Not only have these individuals already dealt with property division before, but they also understand that divorce is a reality even for the seemingly happiest of California couples.

Remarrying after age 40, 50 or even 60 usually involves significantly more assets than marrying for the first time at the age of 25. Individuals usually have real estate, motor vehicles, retirement savings, investments and more that they want to protect. Some also want to ensure that their assets are protected so that children from a prior relationship can still receive their intended inheritances. Prenups can even give couples the opportunity to address important topics that will come out throughout the course of their marriages.

Keeping separate property out of property division

As young adults in California prioritize their careers, they tend to put off marriage until a later time. The intervening years between establishing a career and tying the knot are often a prime opportunity to accumulate a large amount of personal property, and combining those items during marriage is not always easy. When dealing with separate and marital property, keep the following in mind to avoid huge property division headaches.

One of the easiest ways to formally document separate and personal property is to use a prenuptial agreement. Couples can use a prenup to list their personal property before tying the knot, ensuring that these items will not be subject to community property division if they divorce. However, not everybody is in favor of these documents.

Dealing with property division, genetic material in a prenup

A marriage is an emotional union between two people, but it is also a legal commitment. As more people in California acknowledge the significant legal implications of marriage, prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular. These agreements can address a wide range of topics, including property division and more. Here are a few things soon-to-be-married couples should consider including in their own prenups.

Fertility issues are an emotionally draining experience for couples. In America, 11 percent of women and 9 percent of men experience issues with their fertility during their reproductive years, and many turn to medical advancements like in vitro fertilization. This process often involves creating and freezing embryos, but what if a couple divorces before using those embryos? It is best to address how to handle genetic material ahead of time, and a couple can outline their decision in their prenuptial agreement.

Worried about co-parenting during child custody? Don't be

California parents have plenty to worry about during divorce, which can lead to serious tensions. From figuring out property division to settling on the right amount for child support, there are plenty of opportunities for emotional turmoil to take control. When issues are bad enough, some parents may even begin to question whether they are making the right choices regarding child custody. While it is normal to worry about children's well-being, evidence demonstrates that children still fare well when their parents' co-parenting relationship is not wholly cooperative.

Researchers looked at approximately 400 divorced parents who were co-parenting at least one child between the ages of 10 and 18. Researchers expected to find that children whose parents effectively co-parented with one another not only fared better emotionally, but also had more stable relationships with their parents. Factors in stable parent-child relationships included parental knowledge of things like the child's daily schedule.

California Family Law And Litigation

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