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Articles Posted in Property Division

Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

The decision to end your marriage is likely to be one of the most impactful decisions you ever make, and it is not one you should make lightly. While it’s vital to take the appropriate time to consider your decision and its potential effects very carefully, it is equally important to consider the potential drawbacks of ending your marriage and the steps required for completing the process.

Many Americans have preconceived notions about divorce that do not entirely align with reality, and many others encounter unforeseen issues with their divorce cases they did not expect and did not know how to handle. Therefore, before you file a divorce petition, consider the following so you can approach this demanding situation with greater confidence.

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Everything to Know About Premarital Agreements

Everything to Know About Premarital Agreements

Marriage is one of the most important decisions an individual will ever make. There are many diverse factors that go into choosing a partner, and they can differ widely depending on the individual. What does not differ, however, is the human drive to protect ourselves in the event that these major decisions fail to work out. That’s why many individuals opt to create a prenuptial agreement before marriage. In doing so, they are protecting themselves from future financial problems.

Prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups or premarital agreements, can be especially beneficial for couples who bring significant assets into the marriage. Prenups are also popular for individuals who have experienced divorce before. However, a prenuptial agreement is not the right decision for everyone. To accurately assess if a prenup is right for you, it’s essential to understand the basics of what a prenuptial agreement entails.

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Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Navigating the court system can be exceedingly difficult for those new to the experience. In particular, many individuals are unfamiliar with the often-prevalent legal jargon—especially when it comes to the complex processes and legal documents this jargon can describe. Fortunately, the average person is not expected to understand each detail of our complex legal system or the nuances within the law. Skilled attorneys exist to demystify the legal system and guide their clients through their court proceedings successfully.

However, it is important to be aware of the most common legal terms, especially those that pertain to your case. To that end, one of the most asked questions our attorneys receive is regarding writs and appeals. These two legal petitions can dramatically affect how a case proceeds and the differences between them can make a major difference in the timeline of a case. Further, some legal proceedings require a writ, while others require appeals.

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The Legal Process for the Division of Marital Property: Identification, Characterization, and Valuation

The Legal Process for the Division of Marital Property: Identification, Characterization, and Valuation

The division of property in a divorce case can be a very contentious issue—and for good reason. People feel pride and ownership in the things they have worked hard to attain over the course of a marriage. It’s only natural that most prefer to keep the assets they have earned, or at least take the time to decide how to divide them fairly.

However, it is important to recognize that California is a community property state, which means that all income earned, debt acquired, and assets purchased during the marriage are considered “community property” owned by the couple, not the individual. Because of this distinction, it is important for both spouses to understand the legal process of property division.

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What Are Grounds for Annulment in California?

What Are Grounds for Annulment in California?

In California, divorces and annulments serve the same general purpose—to legally terminate a marriage between two parties. However, the two tools function in vastly different ways. While an annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage never existed, it is different from a divorce. Divorcing spouses recognize that they were once legally married but choose to terminate the marriage relationship and keep a legal record of the life event. By contrast, annulments allow the spouses to proceed with no record of the marriage because the marriage was not legal in the first place. This specific illegitimate aspect is known as “grounds” for the annulment.

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Legal Separation as a Precursor to Divorce in California

Legal-Separation-as-a-Precursor-to-Divorce

Many people mistakenly believe that legal separation is essentially the same as divorce, but this is inaccurate. Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that can potentially serve as a springboard to a formal divorce in the future, but it is not as final as a divorce. Legal separation can functionally allow married spouses to hold themselves out as unmarried and live separately while they continue taking advantage of the legal benefits that marriage offers.

If you are thinking about ending your marriage in California, it’s essential to think about your reasons behind this consideration and the effects your divorce could potentially have on your life. It’s important to note that a legal separation does not simply mean one of you moving out of your marital home and living separately. Legal separation requires a formal family court agreement that includes specific terms and conditions.

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Can You Sell Your House During a Divorce?

Can-You-Sell-Your-House-During-a-Divorce

When a couple decides to divorce in California, their house is often the most important asset to distribute in the settlement. Spouses often wonder if they can stay in the house, whether they can retain ownership, or if they should sell. It is crucial to develop an understanding of your options when you are in this situation, and a trusted divorce attorney is the best tool you can use to understand your alternatives and protect your interests.

If you and your spouse bought your home as a married couple, it is considered “community property” in California. In the case of a divorce, this means that the home’s value will be divided 50/50 between the spouses. Your options for keeping or selling the home are dependent upon your ability to reach an agreement that satisfies both you and your spouse. This could mean selling the house and splitting any profit evenly, but many couples reach an agreement in which one party purchases the other’s share of the home.

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Making a Change in Divorce Judgements Due to a Change of Circumstances

Making-a-Change-in-Divorce-Judgements-Due-to-a-Change-of-Circumstances

Life can change in an instant, and individuals who are divorced are not immune. In fact, divorced people frequently experience changes in their life circumstances that may necessitate changes in terms of their divorce regarding spousal support, child support, or child custody and visitation. If you are in a similar situation that has made the terms of your divorce untenable, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, it is important to know that you are not alone.

The first step toward changing a divorce judgment is to request a hearing. A hearing allows you to prove in court that you have experienced a significant lifestyle change since the time that your divorce was settled. The courts do not provide a specific outline for what constitutes a change of circumstances, but they will consider various factors that may affect the terms of your divorce.

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Important Estate Planning Issues Related to Divorce

Important-Estate-Planning-Issues-Related-to-Divorce

If you are preparing to end your marriage, it is vital to understand that your divorce may be one of the most challenging experiences of your life and affect you for years to come. While you are likely bracing for your new reality as a recently divorced single person, one thing you should not overlook as you begin the next chapter of your life is your estate plan. It is very likely that if you have a will, trust, or other estate planning documents in place, you have your ex-spouse listed as a beneficiary. You may also have them included in beneficiary designations for specific accounts, such as your retirement account or life insurance policy. When you have decided to end your marriage, completing the divorce process is just the first phase of restructuring your life.

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Expert Witnesses in California Divorce Cases

Expert-Witnesses-in-Divorce-Cases

Divorce is likely to be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. Even if you and your spouse are relatively civil and agreeable with one another, the reality is that the divorce process is hugely trying in many ways. Whether you are concerned about the financial implications of your divorce or are struggling to reconcile your personal feelings about the matter, it’s imperative to understand that any divorce case has the potential to escalate into an incredibly complex court battle.

While family law is unique from other areas of the law in many ways, there are some common threads among family, civil, and criminal law. One of these is the value that expert witnesses can provide in some instances, particularly those that involve highly complex or easily misunderstood technical concepts, complicated financial entanglements, and issues regarding physical and mental health.

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