Blog
Call for a free initial consultation
Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Offering Limited Scope Service
Mediation and Litigation

Santa Clara County alimony attorney tax lawsThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been a major topic of discussion over the past year, and many people have been affected, whether positively or negatively, by the changes implemented in this law. Those who are in the midst of a divorce case or completed their divorce in the past year will need to understand whether they must file their taxes differently than in the past. In addition, alimony tax laws have been altered drastically, and this has resulted in increased conflict in many cases.

Spousal Support/Alimony Taxes

New laws have changed the way both payors and payees of spousal support claim these payments on their taxes. Those who pay alimony will no longer be able to deduct the spousal support from their taxable income, and those receiving it will no longer have to claim it as taxable income unless the parties otherwise agree. This may not have a large impact on some spouses, but for those in high-asset divorce situations, the money gained or lost could be significant, to say the least.

According to CNBC, the “divorce subsidy” that was previously available was responsible for saving some of California’s top earners as much as 50 percent in taxes. Those savings were enough of an incentive for many people to agree to more spousal support and settle their divorces out of court. Without this incentive, high-asset divorces may be more complicated and drawn out, and the payors of spousal support will be more likely to try to work out deals that will benefit themselves rather than their soon-to-be-exes.

...

Los Gatos divorce lawyer limited scope representationA divorce can be costly in many ways. For example, your out-of-pocket living expenses will go up, at least in the short-term, as you pay for a separate residence and all the costs associated with moving and furnishing your new home. You may also be thinking ahead to years of child support payments and other child care costs, as well as saving for retirement as a single person rather than as a couple. 

In order to net the highest value from your division of property and minimize the cost of the divorce proceeding itself, you might consider handling some aspects of the divorce yourself. Rather than pay for a “full service” attorney for both spouses, you might want to consider limited scope representation, also known as unbundled legal services.

Typically, a divorce lawyer will handle all legal aspects of your divorce from start to finish. This commonly includes:

...

Los Gatos divorce attorney pet ownership85% of people with a dog, cat, or other animal companion reportedly think of themselves as pet “parents” rather than “owners.” However, divorce laws across the United States are just starting to catch up with this way of thinking. 

Illinois was one of the first states to enact legislation that specifically addresses the issue of pets in divorce. A law that took effect at the beginning of 2018 empowered Illinois judges to grant sole or joint “custody” of a pet as part of a divorce settlement and are directed to consider the well-being of the pet when making such decisions.

California has now jumped on the pet wagon with a new law that takes effect in January 2019. Rather than treat pets like a car or a piece of furniture, something that has only a financial value and must be awarded to one spouse or the other, judges will now handle family pets more like they handle child custody. 

...
How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Divorce in California?

Los Gatos summary divorce attorneyOnce you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce, you probably want to complete the process as quickly as possible. Below are a few facts to help you understand the timeline for a California divorce:

Residency Requirements for Divorce

Before you can get a divorce in California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and a resident of the county in which you file for divorce for at least three months.

Waiting Period After Filing for a California Divorce

The first step in the divorce process is for one spouse to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in their county court. The petition must then be served upon the other spouse. California law requires that a minimum of six months pass between the date when the petition was served on the other spouse and the termination date of the marriage.

...

CA divorce lawyerIf you are in the midst of a divorce, you are likely to be experiencing a great deal of chaos as you adjust to your newly-single life, and you may be struggling to make ends meet. Along with the legal costs involved in divorce, you may need to address issues such as finding new living arrangements, paying moving costs, and adjusting to living on a single income. However, with proper planning, you can begin your life after your divorce on the right foot. During divorce, you should be sure to address the following financial issues:

  • Check your credit report - If possible, you should pay off any joint credit cards and close the accounts, or make sure that if credit cards remain in one spouse’s name, the other spouse is removed from the account. Close any joint bank accounts, and check to make sure any issues with creditors have been resolved. If necessary, obtain credit cards in your name to begin establishing your own credit history.
  • Complete the division of property - Finish dividing your community property, following the decisions made in your divorce settlement. Be sure to update or refinance loans or home mortgages appropriately. Pay close attention to the division of retirement accounts or pensions, making sure to follow the proper procedures to distribute these finds without being subject to taxes or penalties.
  • Update insurance plans - You may need to remove your ex-spouse from your health insurance coverage or obtain your own coverage under a new plan. If necessary, you may be able to receive temporary COBRA coverage. You should also make sure to remove your ex as a beneficiary of life insurance or retirement plans.
  • Understand your taxes - When filing your tax return for the previous year, you will need to determine whether you should file jointly with your ex-spouse or separately. You should also update your income tax withholding to reflect your new marital status and claim the appropriate exemptions, ensuring that you do not owe taxes when filing next year’s tax return.
  • Create a budget - To ensure that you will be able to maintain financial stability following divorce, take complete stock of your income and expenses and create a workable plan going forward. Make sure to account for child support or spousal support which you will pay or receive, mortgage or rent payments, household expenses (including food, gas, and utilities), and anything else that affects your day-to-day financial situation.

Contact a Los Gatos Divorce Lawyer

By taking steps to fully understand your financial situation during your divorce, you can plan for success in the next stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can advocate for your interests during divorce and help you complete the process efficiently and effectively. Contact our Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney at 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation.

 

...
Google Map Marker

Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

Phone Icon

Call us for a free initial consultation

408-395-8822
FBK TWT

Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
close to highway 280, 85 & 880

FREEVALETPARKING

Back to Top