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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for hidden assetsGetting a divorce can be a challenging time in your life. The process of permanently separating from your spouse is difficult enough, but addressing complex matters related to marital assets and child custody can make things even more grueling. While many divorces can be resolved amicably (including through divorce mediation), some spouses will look to do anything and everything they can to spite their former partner during divorce proceedings. One of the most common forms of foul play that can occur during divorce is hiding assets. If you believe that your spouse is attempting to conceal marital property, you will want to work with a family law attorney to determine your options. 

What Are Hidden Assets? 

In the state of California, all assets owned by a married couple are considered community property. In other words, any property accumulated during a marriage belongs to both spouses, barring a prenuptial agreement that states otherwise. If a spouse attempts to devalue an asset or conceal property from their spouse and the court, this is known as hiding assets. 

Hidden assets can come in various forms, but they are rarely as simple as concealing a physical item in a place where the other spouse cannot find it. Some of the most common forms of hidden assets include intentionally avoiding reporting income through tax returns or financial statements, setting up a secret bank account (which may be done through the use of a child’s social security number), or requesting that an employer delay paying wages and bonuses until after the divorce process is finalized. 

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for prenuptial agreements

Every year, thousands of Americans choose to pursue a divorce. The decision to separate can be difficult, and the process of resolving disputes through litigation or mediation can be very stressful. However, if a couple makes the decision to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married, the anxiety and pressure of a divorce can be significantly lessened. There are multiple benefits of a prenuptial agreement.  If you are getting married, you should consult with a skilled family law attorney to determine whether a prenuptial agreement is the right option for you.

How a Prenuptial Agreement  Can Help

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between you and your prospective spouse made prior to marriage that will define how certain issues will be resolved if the marriage ends, including through divorce or legal separation. Most notably, a prenuptial agreement may outline the division of property and make decisions about spousal support if you ultimately decide to divorce. Here are just a few ways that a prenuptial agreement could benefit you in the long run:

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Los Gatos divorce mediation attorney

Every year, thousands of American couples make the challenging decision to pursue a divorce. While most couples view divorce as a complicated process that will likely have to be resolved in court, other methods of resolving divorce-related conflicts are continually growing in popularity. Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution strategy in which the two parties work together with a professional mediator to reach a divorce settlement. Mediation can be used to address issues such as child custody, property division, and spousal support payments. While mediation can be the most optimal strategy for resolving the outstanding issues in your divorce, mistakes can be made during the mediation process. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your mediation goes as smoothly as possible:

  • Find the Right Mediator: Mediation can be a fantastic alternative to litigation in court, allowing a couple to resolve conflicts while a professional mediator facilitates the discussions and guides the parties toward a mutually agreeable compromise. In order for this process to work as well as possible, you and your spouse need to find the right mediator for you. Basic qualities you should look for in a mediator include experience and knowledge of your state’s divorce laws. On a personal level, you want to find a mediator that will be compassionate and understanding of both parties’ perspectives. 

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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 prenup lawyerWhen a couple is preparing to get married, the possibility of divorce is often the last thing on their minds. The reality, however, is that divorces are common throughout the United States, and it can be wise to prepare for the possibility that the marriage may come to an end. In some instances, a soon-to-be spouse may feel the need to establish a premarital agreement. In the state of California, a premarital agreement, which may also be called a prenuptial agreement or prenup, is an agreement that enables spouses to protect certain assets and ensure a financially healthy future in the case of a divorce

Why a Prenuptial Agreement?

A premarital agreement is not necessary in all situations, but for some, it can save significant time, money, and stress in the future by deciding how property will be divided in a potential divorce. If you have significantly more assets than your future spouse, it may be wise to consider a prenup. A prenuptial agreement may also be appropriate if you have a highly successful business, expect to receive a substantial inheritance, or have children from a previous marriage that you want to pass your assets down to. In other instances, if your future spouse has accumulated significant debt, it may be wise to develop an agreement that states that you are not responsible for the payment of said debt. 

As you look to establish a premarital agreement, it is important to understand the steps that must be followed in order to make the agreement official. Both parties must voluntarily agree to the deal, each party must have the opportunity to hire an independent attorney, and each spouse must have at least seven days to look over the agreement before signing it. If you fail to meet these requirements, the agreement may be void. Since there are a number of ways in which a premarital agreement can be deemed invalid in court, it is important to work with a qualified family law attorney to develop a prenup that meets the necessary legal requirements while addressing the needs and concerns of both parties. 

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