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California divorce attorney, California divorce lawsYour life is on the verge of significant change. You and the person who you have spent the last chapter of your life with are going your separate ways, bringing on a multitude of emotions. Excitement, anger, grief and happiness are all expected throughout the divorce process. Anxiety from the unknown will also keep many people up at night, especially leading up to the mandatory settlement conference.

What Is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a judge-ordered meeting to try to reach an agreement between two opposing sides. It is not required of every divorce, as default cases and those that can come to an agreement will not find any use in an MSC. This session is for divorcing couples who are unable to agree on divorce terms and have not found full relief in alternative methods, such as mediation. Along with their attorneys, both parties will meet in one session, or multiple sessions, if needed, to reach an agreement on complex matters. A “pro tem” or temporary judge will oversee the discussion and will attempt to help the couple reach a final agreement. If MSC does not resolve the controversy, then a trial will commence the following week, and the judge will decide the terms of everything left undecided.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce laws, California divorce attorneyAfter years of working and saving for a future for yourself and your family, you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. During the divorce process, most clients immediately understand that the assets need to be divided. Assets include everything from debts to the money in the bank account, to the house and the items in the junk drawer (provided that it is not trash hiding in that collect all drawer). Assets also include that retirement plan on which you have been diligently working.

Who Gets the Retirement?

You earned the retirement, so naturally, you are hoping that you are the one who gets to keep the retirement plan. The reality is, retirement is an employment benefit, just like any income earned. Additionally, any profits obtained during the duration of the marriage up until the date of separation are a part of the community property. As you may know, California is a community property state, meaning that everything valued to be community property is divided equally between the two parties at the time of the dissolution of marriage.

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California divorce attorney, California family law attorneyAmericans hear it from everywhere: half of all marriages end in divorce. It is recited by the media, pop culture, and even expert analysts. There is, however, emerging evidence that suggests the divorce rate may not be quite as high as Americans are told. In fact, a 2014 publication from The New York Times reported that divorce rates are actually on the decline. And, more recently, an analyst determined that the rate of divorce varies based on a number of factors, including education level, ethnicity, and gender.

Why the Myth Exists

According to the analyst, the myth that half of all marriages end in divorce stems from bad math. He explained that most analysts divide the number of divorces of any given year by the number of marriages for that year. If, however, it was taken into account that the people who married that same year are not actually the same people who divorced that year, the numbers would come out quite differently. And, if the data is examined over a longer period of time, those numbers change even more. The New York Times article from 2014 estimated that about a third of all marriages end in divorce; the analyst says the data is even more complex.

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amicable divorce in california, Santa Clara County divorce lawyerDivorce does not have to be a knockdown, drag-out fight. There is a common misconception that all divorce is ugly and bitter, between two people who absolutely despise each other and have no idea why they even married in the first place. While, this does occur occasionally, many times it is a somber time where two people who genuinely cared for each other just could not make forever happen, at neither parties fault. For situations such as these, there are amicable divorce options.

"Amicable" and "Divorce" Really Do Belong Together

Divorce litigation can be timely and costly. You have spent an untold amount of time being at odds with your partner. No one wants to cope with having months and potentially years of arguing as an added stressor just to have things end. If you are capable of a civil conversation with each other, you can opt to work together for a common goal. Think of the divorce as a "peace treaty" to negotiate rather than how you can hurt the other person. If both can agree on terms, both parties win in the long run. If both sides can agree on all terms, both can save money in court fees as well as have everything processed sooner with little to no courtroom time.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

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