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Los Gatos postnup lawyerAfter you get married, you may learn a lot of new things about your partner. Maybe you did not know that your new spouse is bad with money, or perhaps you have become concerned about your spouse being unfaithful. You may also want to ensure that your children are taken care of if you should pass away, or maybe you are a business owner and want to protect your assets if you ever decide to get a divorce. No matter the reasons behind it, a postnuptial agreement can give you some peace of mind.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

While prenuptial agreements are signed by both spouses prior to a marriage, a couple may also decide to sign a postnuptial agreement after getting married. Postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts that can be set up to decide which party will take on certain debts and retain ownership of specific assets if the couple gets a divorce or separates. There may also be rules laid out for possible alimony in the future, and a postnup may include information about inheritances and estate planning in the case of either spouse’s death.

Additionally, postnuptial agreements could include “lifestyle clauses.” These address issues such as how often one spouse or the other may travel, how often they have to visit one another’s families, who is responsible for what household chores, and more. Some postnuptial agreements have been noted to include an infidelity clause, requiring a spouse who has an affair to compensate his or her partner monetarily by granting them certain assets during divorce or by giving up any rights to receive spousal support.

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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 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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