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Los Gatos divorce attorney for division of real estateThe divorce process can be an emotional and challenging time for all parties involved. Difficult financial decisions will need to be made as you separate from your spouse, and one of the most significant issues involves who will own your family’s home. Your marital home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you own, and it can play a key role in the division of marital property. It is important to understand how California’s divorce laws address the division of residential property, and you should work with a family law attorney to determine the best way to proceed throughout the divorce process. 

Dividing Real Estate Property

As you work through the divorce process with your attorney, there are a number of critical steps you need to take regarding your residential property. First and foremost, you must establish whether the home is separate or community property. In the state of California, most assets and debts accumulated by either spouse during a marriage are community property, and they must be divided equally between spouses. However, assets received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance are typically considered separate property. Property purchased after the couple has separated, but prior to the divorce, is also regarded as separate property that will not need to be divided between spouses 

It should also be noted that property purchased or acquired prior to a marriage is generally considered separate property. However, a home that was separate property can become community property if the spouses agree to to redefine the asset or if it became commingled with community property during the marriage, such as when both spouses consistently made mortgage payments or shared other expenses related to the home. 

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Los Gatos, CA child custody violation lawyerFollowing the finalization of a divorce, both parties will likely feel some level of relief, since they will be able to move on and begin the next phase of their lives. However, there are some cases in which conflicts can continue even after the divorce process has ended. Divorced parents are required to follow the child custody orders established by the court, and if one parent does not meet their requirements, the other parent may need to take legal action. If your spouse has violated your child custody order, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney to determine your legal options.

Examples of Custody Violations 

Custody order violations may pertain to both physical and legal custody. The most common violations involve a parent failing to abide by the terms of physical custody. For example, a parent may be consistently late picking up or dropping off children at the beginning and end of their visitation time, or one parent may refuse to allow the other parent to spend time with children as ordered by the court. Violations regarding legal custody may involve a parent making decisions about children’s education or healthcare without consulting with the other parent, or one parent may refuse to share information such as children’s school or medical records with the other party.

Steps You Can Take 

In the state of California, custody order violations are taken seriously, and they can result in significant legal consequences. If your ex-spouse has committed this type of violation, you will want to document the specific details of how they have violated the court’s orders. This may include noting the dates and times when they did not follow the visitation schedule or gathering other forms of evidence showing that they did not meet their court-ordered requirements. If your ex-spouse has consistently and willfully violated your child custody order, you may ask that they be held in contempt of court. If necessary, you can also petition the court for a modification of your child custody order to address your ex-spouse’s actions and ensure that your children’s best interests are protected.

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Los Gatos divorce attorney for hidden assetsIn the state of California, the divorce process is governed through the California Family Code. When it comes to the assets owned by divorcing spouses, Family Code Section 2100 states that both parties must present an accurate and honest statement of their assets and liabilities. This disclosure should be completed during the early stages of a divorce, and all assets owned by the spouses should be included, regardless of whether they are community property or separate property. Unfortunately, many divorcing spouses attempt to leave certain assets out of this disclosure in order to avoid including these assets in the property division process. If you are getting divorced, you should be aware of some of the most common types of hidden assets and the steps you can take if you believe your spouse is withholding assets during the divorce process. 

Common Methods of Hiding Assets 

In some cases, a spouse may make an oversight or error and accidentally fail to disclose property. However, there are many cases in which one party will attempt to conceal certain types of property to avoid having to divide or share these assets with their former partner. A divorcing spouse may hide assets by withdrawing money from marital accounts and depositing it in a secret account or transferring it to a friend or family member with the intent of reclaiming it after the divorce is complete. Spouses may also provide incorrect or fabricated information on income or asset disclosures, or they may purchase valuables, collectibles, real estate property, or other assets without informing the other spouse.

Addressing Hidden Assets

If you suspect that there are certain assets that your spouse has not disclosed during the divorce process, you have a number of options. In some cases, you may be able to resolve these issues by discussing them with your spouse. If your divorce has been amicable and respectful, your spouse may have simply made a mistake when they failed to disclose the asset in question. 

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for divorce mediationThe divorce process can be difficult to navigate, especially if you and your spouse have children together. Having challenging conversations with your children regarding the end of your marriage and resolving disputes over child custody can make a process that is already emotionally turbulent even more stressful. However, not every divorce has to come down to a hostile or aggressive battle in the courtroom. If you are willing and able to work together with your spouse to find solutions that will foster a healthy lifestyle for your child, you may want to consider divorce mediation as an alternative to litigation. 

Child Custody in California 

In the state of California, child custody is broken down into two primary forms: legal and physical custody. Legal custody provides a parent with the authority to be a part of important life decisions about matters such as children’s medical care and education. Physical custody refers to the child’s living situation, including where they will primarily reside and the amount of time they will spend with each parent. 

According to California state law, the protection of children’s health and welfare will be the court’s top priority when addressing child custody. It should also be noted that the state of California firmly believes that a child’s mental and emotional health can benefit from continued contact with both parents. The state will give both parties ample opportunities to establish a custody agreement on their own or through divorce mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will make decisions about legal and physical custody. 

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Los Gatos mediation lawyer property division child custodyThere are a wide variety of reasons why couples choose to pursue a divorce. However, even if a marriage failed because of specific conflicts, such as one spouse’s disloyalty, the couple’s financial situation, or issues with substance abuse, the divorce process itself does not have to be highly contentious. In many cases, the quickest, cheapest, and most seamless way to finalize a divorce is through divorce mediation. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, you should speak with your attorney to discuss whether mediation will be a good fit for your situation. 

When Is Mediation the Best Option? 

Mediation is an alternative to courtroom litigation in which spouses work with a third party mediator to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce. Mediation can be used to reach compromises regarding child custody, division of property, or any other decisions that need to be made. Mediation may be the right strategy for you in the following cases:

  1. You and Your Spouse Can Remain Civil: In order for the mediation process to be effective, you and your spouse must be able to have constructive conversations regarding your divorce. While the mediator can facilitate discussions and help you understand the legal issues that must be addressed, you and your spouse must be able to work together and make compromises. If you can put aside your differences and be productive during the mediation process, it can save you significant time and money. 

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