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CA divorce lawyerCouples who are planning to get married are not likely to be thinking about divorce. However, taking the time to consider how certain matters will be handled if their relationship ever ends can save them a great deal of difficulty in the future. By creating a prenuptial agreement, a couple can make decisions about issues such as the division of property or spousal support, ensuring that their rights and financial security will be protected, no matter what happens in the years to come. Here are some benefits that a prenuptial agreement can provide:

Protecting assets - California is a community property state, which means that property owned by married spouses must be divided equally during divorce. A prenuptial agreement can specify each spouse’s ownership rights to any property owned by a spouse prior to getting married or acquired by married spouses. This can be especially helpful when one or both spouses own business interests since an agreement can determine how business ownership will be handled and ensure that the business can remain operational after divorce.

Assigning responsibility for debts - If either spouse has significant debt, a prenuptial agreement can make decisions about who will be responsible for this debt after divorce. It may also specify how the spouses’ incomes will be allocated to pay for debt during their marriage.

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CA divorce attorneyWhen you decide to get a divorce, the process of separating your life, your home, and your finances from your ex-spouse can become incredibly complicated. During this time, it is important to make the right decisions, especially when it comes to financial matters. Here are some mistakes divorcing couples often make that can negatively impact their finances in the future:

  • Not checking your credit report - During divorce, it is important to get a complete picture your assets and debts and any accounts that are in your name. Obtaining a copy of your credit report will allow you to identify any sole or joint bank accounts and credit cards, as well as any other outstanding debts, and it will help you establish credit in your own name that you can use after your divorce has been finalized. You may also want to consider using an identity theft protection service such as LifeLock to ensure that your ex-spouse does not open any accounts or make any purchases in your name.
  • Not accounting for joint accounts - During divorce, any joint bank accounts should be closed, and their balances should be divided between you and your spouse. If possible, you should try to pay off any joint credit card debt, since both spouses will be liable for this debt, even after divorce.
  • Failing to consider taxes - Be sure you fully understand how the decisions you make during divorce will affect the taxes you pay, including your filing status, dependent tax credits, property taxes, and capital gains taxes. You should also be aware that while spousal support (alimony) is currently tax deductible for the payor and taxable for the recipient, it will be non-deductible for the payor and non-taxable for the recipient for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018.
  • Not understanding retirement accounts - Retirement funds such as 401(k) or IRA accounts that were created during a marriage are considered community property, even if they are in the name of one spouse. When dividing these funds during divorce, spouses should use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to avoid any penalties or taxes.
  • Not following a budget - While you may have become accustomed to a certain standard of living during your marriage, you may not be able to maintain these same standards on a single income. Be sure to create a budget that fully accounts for your income and expenses and allows you to maintain financial stability following your divorce.

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Divorce Attorney

Divorce can lead to financial difficulty for everyone involved, but with the proper planning, you can prepare to successfully move on to the next stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can answer your questions about divorce, ensure that community property is divided correctly, and help you complete your divorce as efficiently and effectively as possible. Contact a Los Gatos divorce lawyer at 408-395-8822 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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California divorce lawyerIn many cases of divorce in California, it is possible for divorcing spouses to avoid litigation and retain control over decision-making with regard to the division of marital property and establishing of parenting time with children. In some instances, however, it is not possible to reach a fair and mutually agreeable resolution, whether because of anger, resentment, greed, or other conflict-escalating emotions.

In high-asset divorces, particularly, there may disagreements over the division of marital property. In a California divorce, division must abide by the state’s community property law, which determines what constitutes the “marital economic community” in a marriage. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is arguing for unfair division of marital property, claiming as separate property what is, in fact, the community property of the marriage, turn to an experienced Sunnyvale divorce attorney.

California Is One of Nine Community Property Law States

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California divorce attorneyLove and loyalty are not the only considerations made by couples considering divorce. Beyond issues of emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, there is the question of wealth. Specifically, how are assets divided when spouses divorce in the state of California?

The answers to this question are complex and bear heavily on related matters of child support, spousal support, and the ownership of real property and personal property. Governing all such inquiries is California’s status as a “community property” state in matters of divorce. An experienced Cupertino divorce attorney will understand precisely how California’s community property laws will apply to the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a marriage’s dissolution.

The Marital Economic Community Is Relevant to a California Divorce

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b2ap3_thumbnail_mediation_20171101-034651_1.jpgCalifornia custody lawyerTelevision and film are rich with depictions of litigation, courtrooms, and righteous legal prose. In film, there are the many adaptations of novels written by author John Grisham, including The Firm, The Client, and The Pelican Brief, among others. On television, there are How to Get Away With Murder, Suits, and, perhaps the all-time most well-known show, Law and Order. A common thread among all these many narratives is the element of confrontation.

The reason for this commonality is the adversarial nature of litigation. Whether between a state prosecutor and a local criminal defense attorney or between a tort litigator and the defense counsel in a civil court, the parties are fighting for the outcome that best serves their interests. As human beings, we are wired to be interested in competition and conflict in the social world, as these activities have much to with power – a resource central to so many of the activities of society, whether in the U.S. or abroad. An experienced Los Gatos mediation attorney, however, knows that mediation and compromise may succeed where competition and conflict fail.

Bay Area Wealth and Property Values Bear on Matters of Mediation

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