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Los Gatos divorce attorney for adulteryThe end of a long-term relationship is rarely easy or simple, but it can become much more complicated and difficult if one partner has committed adultery. In these types of divorce cases, the other spouse will likely feel wronged, and they may believe that because their partner’s actions led to the breakdown of their marriage, decisions should be made in their own favor. However, it is important to understand the actual role that infidelity may play in the legal process of divorce and how it may affect the decisions that are made.

Infidelity and the Legal Aspects of Divorce

During the divorce process, both spouses are treated equally, and in most cases, the reasons for the end of the marriage will not play a role in the decisions made. Spouses should be aware of how infidelity may be addressed when handling the following issues:

  • The divorce petition - California is a “no-fault” divorce state, and when one spouse files for divorce, the only “grounds” that may be stated for ending the marriage are “irreconcilable differences” or a permanent inability by one spouse to make decisions due to a mental or physical disability. In the vast majority of cases, a divorce will occur because of irreconcilable differences, and rather than blaming one spouse for the end of the marriage, a divorce petition will simply state that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer for hidden assetsThe divorce process can be very complicated, and it requires spouses to navigate a variety of legal and financial issues as they work to dissolve their marriage. While you are dealing with the stress of separating your life from your spouse, the emotional trauma that comes with the end of a long-term relationship, and the fallout from contentious disputes over child custody and other issues, it can be easy to neglect what seem like the smaller details of a divorce. However, it is also important to protect your rights, and if you are worried that your ex is attempting to hide assets and unfairly influence the financial decisions in your divorce, you will want to understand your legal options.

Addressing Concerns About Hidden Assets

California is a community property state, which means that divorcing couples are required to divide marital property equally. However, some spouses may try to hide assets to avoid having to divide certain pieces of property. A spouse may do this in an attempt to punish their spouse because they blame them for the end of the marriage, or they may believe that they are entitled to a greater share of assets based on the income they earn or their contributions to the relationship.

Regardless of the reasons for hiding assets, doing so is illegal, and a spouse could face penalties if these activities are discovered during the divorce process. A spouse may be required to pay fines or cover the other spouse’s attorney’s fees in legal proceedings related to concealed assets. In some cases, a spouse may even forfeit the rights to a concealed asset, resulting in the other spouse receiving a greater share of the marital estate.

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos divorce mediation lawyerWhile the divorce process can be a challenging experience for both parties, the end of your marriage does represent an opportunity to move forward in your life. Recognizing this, many couples will look to complete the divorce process as quickly as possible. In the state of California, the court requires a six month waiting period prior to the dissolution of a marriage. While this waiting period will hold true regardless of how you pursue your divorce, there are a number of ways in which you can simplify the divorce process and alleviate the stress of the dissolution. 

Understanding Divorce in California

In the state of California, the divorce process begins with one spouse filing for a petition for divorce. It is important to note that in order to file for divorce in California, a person must reside in the state for a minimum of six months, and they must be a resident of the county in which they are filing for a minimum of three months. According to California law, a minimum of six months must pass between the date the other spouse is served with the petition and the date in which the divorce decree or judgment is entered in court. 

Strategies for a Faster Divorce Process

While the six month waiting period is required in all California divorces, it may be possible to simplify the divorce process and ensure that all issues will be addressed by the end of this period. One way of doing this is through jointly filing for a summary dissolution. In order to qualify for a summary dissolution, spouses must meet a number of criteria. The duration of the marriage must be five years or less, the spouses must have no children together, and both spouses must sign an agreement that specifies how community property will be divided and states that neither party will receive spousal support

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Los Gatos, CA parenting plan attorneyDivorce has a major impact not only on the separating spouses, but also on their children. Because children do not necessarily have a say in their parents’ decision to divorce, it can be hard for them to understand how the divorce will affect them and what their lives and relationships with both parents will look like throughout the divorce process and after it is finalized. Divorcing parents need to work together to establish a clear parenting plan that reduces uncertainty for their children and makes sure that their needs are met.

Important Considerations for Child Custody and Visitation

There is a tendency for some to think of child custody as a question of “who gets the kids,” but this is an oversimplification that does not fully account for the children’s best interests or the fact that in most divorces, both parents continue to share responsibility for their children’s well-being. When you and your spouse are negotiating your parenting plan, you should consider a number of factors, including:

  • Your children’s education and extracurricular activities. You and your spouse will need to determine which of you will contribute to the choice of your children’s schools and their involvement in extracurricular activities. You should also account for where the schools and activities are located and when they take place to decide which of you may be responsible for transporting your children on a regular basis.

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Lost Gatos, CA divorce attorney asset division

While all divorces can come with their fair share of complications, the financial aspects of a high-asset divorce can be increasingly complicated. The state of California is a community property state and all shared assets are supposed to be equitably distributed in the divorce, but unfortunately, this does not always happen. In many instances, a divorcing spouse may hide or fail to disclose assets in an attempt to keep them out of the divorce proceedings. If you believe that your spouse is hiding a significant amount of the assets that are meant to be divided between the two of you, it is time to speak with your attorney. You should not jeopardize your financial future simply due to your spouse hiding assets.  

How to Search for Hidden Assets 

If you believe your spouse is hiding assets from you, it is important to inform your attorney as quickly as possible. You and your attorney then need to inform the court in order to invoke the disclosure or discovery process. While this is taking place, you can begin searching for hidden assets on your own. If you believe that your spouse is hiding financial assets, you may be able to find bank statements or stock certificates hidden in the house. If the home search is inconclusive, you should speak with your bank. 

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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