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Articles Tagged with marital settlement agreement

Keeping Separate Property in a California Divorce

Keeping Separate Property in a California Divorce

California upholds a strict community property law for divorce, meaning that all of a married couple’s shared assets and debts must be divided evenly in divorce. However, California is a dual property state, meaning the court recognizes both separate property and marital property or community property. “Separate” property is anything that belongs solely to one of the divorcing spouses, while community property is everything subject to division. While you might think this is a straightforward distinction, many divorcing spouses encounter disputes when it comes to their separate property ownership rights.

If you are preparing to divorce in California, property division is likely to be one of the most contentious aspects of the entire process. You may believe that you can easily identify your separate property and shield it from division. However, many people in this position discover that their separate property is not entirely immune from division in divorce. An experienced California divorce lawyer can help you complete your financial disclosure and establish separate property ownership rights, but it’s wise to know what your property division proceedings are likely to entail before you begin divorce proceedings.

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California’s Community Property Law in Divorce Mediation

California’s Community Property Law in Divorce MediationDivorce is a notoriously arduous process for many reasons, one of the most commonly cited being property division. Unfortunately, California is one of the few states that upholds a community property statute, one that many people find to be too rigid and imbalanced when it comes to determining a fair distribution of marital property in a divorce. However, while the community property law of California may seem overbearing at first, it is actually more flexible than many people realize, and many California divorce agreements do not end with a completely equal division of marital assets and debts.

If you plan to end your marriage in California soon, it is essential to understand the state’s community property law and how it is likely to come into play in your divorce. This law essentially states that all assets and debts acquired during a marriage are the equal property of both spouses. However, the actual legal process of property division in California requires a close examination of various aspects of each asset and every debt involved in a divorce.

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Divorce Mediation Vs. Litigation

Divorce Mediation Vs. Litigation

The divorce process is never an easy experience, even for couples who have reached completely mutual decisions to divorce without any second thoughts. The formal steps required to end a marriage in the California family court system are more stressful and time-consuming than many people realize, and it’s vital to approach this situation armed with valuable information that will help you make informed decisions about your options. One of the most vital considerations you must make is how you should go about handling your divorce. You don’t necessarily need to prepare for a difficult court battle; alternative dispute resolution can potentially offer a more streamlined, less stressful, and ultimately less expensive divorce.

Alternative dispute resolution allows a divorcing couple to avoid the typical stress, expense, and time commitment divorce usually entails. Divorce mediation has quickly become the most popular form of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples throughout California, and it’s essential to consider the potential benefits this process may hold for you in your situation. It’s also necessary to understand what the divorce litigation process involves and how mediation can help you avoid much of the litigation divorce usually entails.

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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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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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What Happens If Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work?

What Happens If Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work

Divorce mediation has become the preferred method of handling the divorce process in California and throughout the United States. Unlike litigation, which is very formal, daunting, and stressful, mediation provides a divorcing couple the opportunity to privately negotiate the terms of their divorce in a comfortable, low-pressure atmosphere under the guidance of a neutral mediator. This process is proven effective and allows divorcing spouses to save significant amounts of time and money on their divorce proceedings. However, the success of the mediation process hinges on the divorcing spouses’ willingness to negotiate.

It’s possible for divorcing spouses to initially agree to mediation only to later decide that they cannot reach mutually agreeable terms through this process. It’s also possible for one spouse to allow their emotions to overcome them, spurring them to demand a trial instead of taking advantage of the benefits of mediation. If you are preparing for divorce mediation or have already started the process, it is natural to worry about what might happen if mediation doesn’t work for your situation. However, several practical options can help you overcome this situation, and it’s possible to take advantage of mediation to an extent before moving to litigation to settle the rest of your divorce.

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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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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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