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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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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney child custody

The divorce process can be incredibly stressful for the whole family, including both parents and children. Children often need time to adjust to the fact that their parents will no longer be married or living together, and parents will need to manage the legal and personal issues involved in their divorce while ensuring that their children’s best interests are protected. If you are looking to maintain a meaningful relationship with your children after your divorce, it is critically important for you to understand California’s child custody laws. To ensure that your parental rights are protected in these cases, you will want to work with a skilled family law attorney. 

Physical and Legal Custody

In the state of California, there are two forms of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody addresses who children will live with, while legal custody addresses the right to make decisions about how children will be raised, including ensuring that they receive the proper healthcare and education. 

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Los Gatos community property division lawyerIn most states, the rules are not always cut and dry on how property will be divided between divorcing couples. This can result in a lengthy court battle, but for California and a handful of other states, there are community property laws that were implemented with the intent of easing the process. Community property laws require couples to split in half all the assets that were acquired during the marriage, exactly down the middle.

What Is the Basis for Community Property?

The community property law was developed under the premise that marriage is like a community. Both parties were working and contributing to that community throughout the marriage. Therefore, all property belongs to the community and should be split 50/50 when the marriage ends. No consideration is made for who actually earned the money.

The flipside of the community property law is that there are often debts to be considered as well. This means that spouses, or the community, also share the debts, no matter whose name is on any bills or statements. These debts could include a mortgage, car loans, credit cards, student loans, and more.

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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. 

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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.

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