Solana Beach Family Law Blog

Property division involving inherited IRAs may cause confusion

Dissolving a marriage is never easy emotionally or financially. However, one area of divorce that has proved to be especially difficult recently is the distribution of an inherited Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Here is a glimpse at why property division involving inherited IRAs can be tricky to understand in California and elsewhere.

IRAs in general are often sources of much contention during divorce because they are usually major assets. As a result, they naturally become divorce proceeding bargaining chips. However, the inherited versions of these retirement accounts are sparking a whole slew of new questions regarding whether they should even be divided during a divorce.

Property division involving debts can be dicey

The distribution of assets during divorce is oftentimes a source of major conflict between soon-to-be exes. However, property division involves more than simply the division of assets -- it also involves the splitting of debts. Here is a look at how personal debt is handled during a divorce proceeding in California.

As a general rule of thumb, two divorcing spouses share responsibility for any debt that they accumulated together while married. However, even if just one of the spouses took on debt during the marriage, the other spouse may still be liable for this debt in California. After all, California is a community property state.

High asset divorce involving business can be complicated

The dissolution of a marriage can be tough to navigate both emotionally and financially. However, it can be especially challenging when a business is involved. Here is a look at what to expect during a high asset divorce involving a business venture in California.

Business partnership agreements cover a multitude of situations, but the dissolution of a marriage typically is not one of these. After all, when people form business partnerships, they typically do not contemplate getting divorced in the future -- that is, unless their partners are their spouses. The reality, though, is that their exes might have the right to receive shares of their businesses.

How will an affair impact asset division in a California divorce

Discovering that your spouse has engaged in an extramarital affair can break your heart. This is a person whom you trusted with your financial future, your home and your heart. Now, he or she has moved on to greener pastures. It is common for people to wonder if they, in some way, cause their spouse to stray.

In almost all situations, cheating is a symptom of something wrong with the person who cheats, not one's spouse. However, knowing that doesn't make it any easier to accept infidelity. If you believe you will soon choose to seek a divorce in California over an unfaithful spouse, you may be wondering if that affair will impact your divorce.

Property division during divorce can affect finances long term

Getting divorced can be emotionally challenging in addition to requiring a person to make financial adjustments. Understandably, those dealing with divorce issues such as property division may feel anxious about whether they can maintain their pre-divorce lifestyles and achieve their financial goals long term. Here are a couple of tips for protecting oneself financially during divorce in California.

First, producing a budget worksheet may be helpful for outlining a divorced individual's new anticipated monthly expenses, including those related to transportation, utilities, food, insurance and housing. In addition, not overlooking debt is critical during divorce, as creditors can legally go after a divorced person for the debt on any joint accounts created while he or she was still married. Obtaining credit scores and reports from the main credit bureaus can help with uncovering any liabilities that a divorced party may not have known about.

California celebrity couple continue child custody clash

Celebrity actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are undergoing a divorce. As part of that breakup, the pair are negotiating child custody issues for their six children. At times, the pair's jet-setting lives can create additional confusion about the care of the kids. For the most part, the parents and children reside in California. For now, Ms. Jolie has primary custody of the children. 

However, a judge has stated that it is important for the children to have a healthy, ongoing relationship with their father and that, if Ms. Jolie is not able to improve her relationship with Mr. Pitt, he will have to award Mr. Pitt with more physical custody so that his parental relationship is not harmed. The judge also ruled that the children should be provided with cell phones so that they can communicate with their father. Ms. Jolie is not to interfere with the communications or read any text messages. 

Property division: Are dogs included?

Most individuals treat their pets as part of the family. During a divorce, however, in all except two states, pets are part of the property division process. This can be a painful realization for parties who can't agree on who gets the dog at the end of a marriage. Beliefs and attitudes about pets are changing, however, and in the future, perhaps California laws will accommodate for the best interests of a pet. 

Since pets are often beloved family members, whose cost and care is shared between the family, it can be difficult to identify a single owner at the end of a relationship. Because there are a few laws to guide these decisions, if a couple cannot agree, the decision will go to the judge. A judge may use a number of ways to determine who gets the pet. 

Proposed California program may increase child support repayment

A bill has been proposed to aid families in receiving needed financial support payments. The bill to collect unpaid child support payments just passed the California Assembly Floor and will continue to move through the legislative process. The program, already in place in several other states, will have insurance companies work with child support enforcement to recover missed payments. 

Sponsored by Insurance Commisioner Dave Jones, who says that the bill will significantly increase repayment efforts, the bill passed with a bipartisan vote. It would require insurance companies to participate in a program that would find out if individuals receiving insurance settlements are also behind on child support payments. If the person is found to be responsible for back payments, then any settlement funds would be first used to pay off the outstanding debt.

How can I modify California spousal support?

As a divorced spouse who is still paying spousal support, you might feel as though it is a financial burden that you are having to suffer unnecessarily. While you probably welcome the opportunity to pay child support and provide your kids with the financial support they need, you may have reason to believe that the spousal support you pay is no longer necessary for the well-being of your former spouse.

Spousal support orders are often quick to become outdated, and this is because life circumstances usually move quickly after a divorce. When circumstances change with your former spouse, for example, when he or she moves in with a new partner or gets a new job, you have the right to seek a spousal support modification. This is because with these changes has probably come a change in financial circumstances. He or she may no longer need spousal support in order to achieve a certain standard of life.

Alimony a consideration for some high asset divorce proceedings

Alimony is soon changing in this country. For individuals in California dealing with a high asset divorce, the timing of one's divorce can soon become important. A change in the tax code brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will now make alimony payments non-deductible for any divorces made after 2018. 

Individuals in the state of California typically must wait six months before a divorce can be finalized, so for any person who wants to end his or her marriage this year, time is running out. For any person who wishes to take advantage of the alimony rules as they currently exist, the time is now. Of course, there are pros and cons to each side, and luckily, a person can review the law against his or her own situation to see which is best. 

In Solana Beach and throughout the greater San Diego area, Ratzer Family Law is your best choice for experienced representation with personalized service. Contact us online or call 858-925-8099 today.

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