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Los Gatos, CA high conflict divorce lawyerWhile divorce is rarely an easy process, it can become especially challenging if one spouse begins to act in a hostile manner. If your spouse is attempting to bully or intimidate you into meeting their demands or behaving in a way that increases conflict and makes the divorce process more difficult, you may feel helpless or unsure about how to respond. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your rights and resolve disputes as smoothly and effectively as possible. By working with an experienced family law attorney, you can be prepared to address your concerns and reach a positive resolution to your divorce case.

Steps You Can Take During a Hostile Divorce 

First and foremost, you will want to be sure you and your family are safe from harm. If your spouse has made any threats against you, your children, or other family members, or if they have behaved in a way that has caused you to fear for your safety, you should speak to your attorney about your options for obtaining an order of protection. An emergency order of protection can be obtained at a court hearing, even if your spouse is not present, and it can prevent your spouse from committing any further acts of abuse or harassment while prohibiting them from contacting you or entering a shared residence. The court can then determine whether long-term protections will need to be put in place throughout the divorce process and beyond.

As you proceed with the divorce process, you may find that hostility by your spouse has made it difficult or impossible to speak with them and work together to resolve your outstanding issues. In these cases, it may be best to avoid contacting them directly, and mediation may not be beneficial, especially if they are not willing to work together with you to reach compromises about divorce-related concerns. Instead, you can communicate with your spouse and their lawyer through your own attorney and work to reach a settlement or resolve disputes in the courtroom.

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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 divorce attorney for disclosure of assets and liabilitiesThe divorce process can be complicated, especially as it pertains to the division of marital property. In a California divorce, couples are required to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. The state’s policies are based on preventing community property from dissipation prior to the divorce and ensuring that the shared estate is equitably divided between the two parties. Unfortunately, a spouse may look to hide or devalue assets during a divorce. If you are pursuing a divorce, you should speak to a qualified attorney regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities.

Chapter 9 of the California Family Code defines the disclosure of assets and liabilities. 

Examining Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities 

In the state of California, community property is defined as assets or income earned or purchased during a marriage while the spouses are living together. It is important to note that anything acquired prior to the marriage, after the couple has separated, or given to one spouse specifically as a gift, is known as separate property. California state law only requires that community property be divided during divorce. 

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer for high conflict casesIf you have decided to end your marriage and pursue a divorce, you may experience a great deal of turbulence in your life as you determine how to separate from your spouse and begin living as a single person. In some cases, couples may separate amicably and work together to resolve divorce-related issues using methods such as mediation. However, there are also cases in which a divorce can become hostile and highly contested. If you are experiencing high levels of conflict when separating from your spouse, you will want to understand the best ways to respond and protect your rights during the divorce process. 

What You Can Do During a Hostile Divorce 

When a divorce becomes contentious, it is important to remain calm, avoid conflict whenever possible, and focus on the things that matter. Some steps you can take in these cases include:

  • Focus on Your Safety: If your spouse has committed abuse against you or your children, or if they have acted in a way that has caused you to fear for your family’s safety, you will want to take steps to protect yourself and your children from harm. You may need to obtain an order of protection that will prohibit any further acts of abuse or violence, prevent your spouse from contacting you or entering your residence, and put arrangements in place to ensure that you will be able to meet your family’s needs as you proceed with the divorce process.

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos child custody modification lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and it will require you to make a number of changes to your life. As you transition from married life to being single, both you and your ex-spouse may be looking for a new living situation, seeking new employment, and determining how you can provide for your children. While the decisions made during your divorce are meant to provide a permanent solution, either party’s situation may change drastically in the years after the divorce. In cases where a person’s circumstances have changed, certain parts of a divorce decree can be modified. These post-divorce modifications may address changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, and when pursuing a modification, you will want to work with a knowledgeable attorney. 

Modifying Your Child Custody Order 

In order to seek a modification to child custody, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that a change in circumstances has occurred. During divorce, the decisions made about legal and physical custody may take parents’ work schedules and housing situations into account. If a parent experiences changes in these areas, either party may petition the court for a modification. For example, if a change in your work schedule would allow you to spend more time with your child, you may ask that your visitation schedule be modified accordingly.

Modifications can also be requested if either parent has failed to provide the care their child needs. If the other parent is struggling to get your child to school on time, not spending adequate time with the child, or failing to provide proper food or clothing, you may ask that the child spend more time with you so you can ensure that their needs will be met. If your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, and this puts your child at risk, you can request that restrictions be placed on their parenting time, such as requiring supervision to be present when your child is with them.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

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