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b2ap3_thumbnail_property-division_20170314-152211_1.jpgCalifornia is one of the many no-fault divorce states, meaning that no grounds for divorce are required to exist other than one party believing the marriage is beyond repair. Fault states are no longer common and the ones that still require grounds for a divorce require the couple to prove that a spouse did something wrong. In these situations, the faulty party suffered during litigation, especially with property division and custody concerns. Which of the divorcing parties is to blame no longer plagues courts in no-fault divorce states.

How does the court divide the community property?

If fault does not exist, how does one side “win” a divorce litigation case? In states such as California, there is no clear “winner” or “loser”. Even if evidence of adultery or abandonment are brought to the attention of the court, legally this evidence is irrelevant to the case and is not typically considered in the division of community property. A judge determines what is “fair and equitable” by considering all of the debts and assets within the community property, the property attained during the tenure of the marriage. What community property assets and debts is the question. The community property and debts are equally divided between the parties.

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Posted on in Family Law

California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyerA rising number of couples are turning to in vitro fertilization for child conception. Many use this methodology to conceive after years of difficulty. Recent scientific studies show that IVF significantly increases the likelihood of conception. Meanwhile, other future parents choose this alternative as a way to preserve their ability for when they are more financially stable and able to care for their beloved child. However, a lot can happen between the egg retrieval and the time at which the eggs are utilized. Sometimes, couples need to go their separate ways through divorce litigation or mediation. Do these frozen embryos qualify for custody arrangements or property division?

Why Is This an Issue?

There currently is no legislation in California regarding the usage of embryos after a divorce. The downfall to this is that each court then must decide the outcome based simply on the facts of the case, without taking into consideration the emotional or physical needs of either individual. As an embryo is a fertilized egg, meaning it has DNA donated from each biological parent, and many fertility clinics require a contract from both sides before completion of the procedure. There is often a clause in this contract indicating what to do with the embryos in the event of a divorce. Unfortunately, we are not all born with the capabilities of seeing into the future, and at the point of signing, these two individuals are often so full of every other emotion, divorce is not the forefront option. Within many of these contracts, couples readily agree to destroy the embryos should a divorce occur.

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California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyerWhen a pet-owning couple goes through a divorce, which spouse retains custody of the animals can be a contentious issue. While many people consider pets to be part of the family, California law considers pets to be property.

California has many laws on child custody, but it has no laws that specifically govern what happens to pets when owners divorce. For this reason, a court will not rule on a custody agreement for animals the way it would if there are children involved. Instead, it may consider the pet to be an asset of the marriage, much the same way a car or computer would be considered.

Because of this, many people find that mediation is a better way to resolve pet custody issues. With mediation, the parties are not bound to treat their divorce the same way a court would. In mediation, a pet would not automatically be classified as property. Rather, a pet’s best interest and well-being could be considered. In a mediation, a pet would be treated as a member of the family who is also affected by the changes that come with divorce.

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California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyerYour marriage is coming to an end. No matter how long it lasted, this portion of your life changed you. You built a life together, no matter the condition of it. Now you are returning to the single life but a little older, maybe some children, and maybe some items. To get there, all the life that you created needs to be systematically divided. For business owners, there is the additional duty to divide up the company. Will you go into your new life with or without a business?

Business Acquisition

There is no “one size fits all” solution to any property division during divorce. What works for one family will not function for another. Each household situation is as unique and different as a thumbprint. However, there are guidelines and stipulations that a judge would follow, should your divorce require litigation. Most of the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of the asset itself. In the case of a business entity, it is more than just who purchased it and at what point in the marriage it was acquired. Consideration is given to:

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California divorce attorney, California family attorneyDissolving a marriage is a complicated process. With emotions on both sides and an entire life to divide, the finality never can seem to come quickly enough. For some couples, the divorce process can take more than a year and thousands of dollars. However, there are methods available to avoid that worst case scenario. An increasing number of Americans are seeking to divorce through more amicable terms, such as collaborative law and mediation. These alternatives make dividing assets a much more pleasant memory, and there is a higher likelihood of getting what you want.

Property to Discuss

A large number of minute details join to create the life that you and your ex-spouse have together. The process of breaking it apart piece by piece is overwhelming and stressful to most who endure it. It is tough to ascertain where to begin. Many find it useful to have a checklist to complete. Assets you should consider:

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