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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for financial issues

When a couple makes the difficult decision to pursue a divorce, it is entirely common to find that the emotional aspects of the separation will trump all other concerns. While this is a natural reaction to a separation from a person you once loved, it can be dangerous. Divorces can come with significant complications that can impact a person’s life for the foreseeable future. From marital asset allocation to issues pertaining to child custody, it is important to be organized and prepared as you navigate the divorce process. If you are unprepared, a divorce can significantly damage the health of your individual finances. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that you will maintain a healthy and vibrant financial situation following your divorce: 

  • Be Organized: Organization is critical during divorce, especially when it comes to finances. In order to be truly prepared to negotiate a divorce settlement, litigate disputes in court, or resolve issues through mediation, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your financial situation. This knowledge can be the difference between a financially healthy future and a fragile one. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer for hidden assets or income

Coming to the conclusion that your marriage has broken down beyond repair can be a difficult truth to address. However, once you have decided that ending your marriage is the best decision for you and your family, it is time to begin preparing for the divorce process. Planning for your post-divorce life is especially important, since it will help you ensure that you can have a healthy financial future. However, in some cases, when a person knows or suspects that divorce is imminent, they may begin to hide assets from their spouse. This may be done as a way to avoid dividing property during the divorce or out of a desire to hurt one’s former partner. Whatever the reason, it is not only unfair to the other spouse, but it is illegal. If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets or income, you should speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney as soon as possible. 

How Assets are Hidden

There are a number of ways a person may attempt to conceal marital assets from their spouse. One of the most common methods of doing so is by opening a secret bank account and withdrawing money from marital accounts. A person may also transfer money to another party to hold on to until the divorce is finalized, and they may claim that these transfers are being made to pay a person back for debts that never actually existed. A spouse may also secretly purchase assets such as valuables, collectibles, or real estate, or they may lie about the income they earn in hopes of reducing any child support or spousal support they would be required to pay following divorce. 

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer health insurance COBRAMany people take advantage of lower rates or better coverage by receiving health insurance through a plan provided by their spouse’s employer. But what happens when your policy is through your spouse, and you are planning to get a divorce? Your best choices for ensuring that you will have insurance coverage will depend on your situation. Rather than rush out and try to find a new health insurance plan immediately, you can ask your attorney to help you navigate the sometimes-confusing laws and regulations of health insurance coverage during divorce.

Can I Stay Covered?

Often, you will be able to stay on your spouse’s insurance, at least for the duration of the divorce. During a legal separation, on the other hand, you may or may not remain covered. That will depend on the insurance company. Also, if you decide to proceed with a divorce, your coverage will definitely end when the divorce is final, since laws prohibit people from staying on an ex-spouse’s insurance policy after divorce.

Your children, depending on their ages, should be able to stay covered under the ex-spouse’s plan, but an agreement will have to be reached on that. If your children are between the ages of 18 and 26, however, you will not be able to force your ex-spouse to keep them covered. Even though it is legal to provide coverage for adult children, parents are only required to keep their children insured until age 18.

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Posted on in Divorce

San Jose, CA divorce lawyer

When a couple is involved in the divorce process, one of the most important issues they have to face is the division of marital property. When emotions are running high, it can be difficult to remember all of the assets that need to be accounted for and addressed, especially for couples with a complicated assortment of financial investments and debts.

Tangible Assets

This can include many items, but among the largest are a couple’s home and automobiles. Often it makes sense that one party will stay in the family residence, and in that case, the other party will generally be due compensation to make up for whatever value and/or equity that may have accrued. If both spouses want the house, that will have to be determined through mediation or a decision by the court if no agreement can be made. Another option is for the house to be sold and the profits split evenly or equitably between the divorcing spouses. As for cars, both parties will likely keep their own vehicles, if they each have one. 

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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.

 

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