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Roseville Legal Blog

Bifurcated divorce: What is it and who can get it?

Celebrity divorces are fascinating. When California residents see celebrities trying different divorce strategies, they wonder if those options are available to them or only to the rich and famous. The Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt marital dissolution case is in the news often and has been for the last few years. The former couple filed for a bifurcated divorce. What is that?

Some couples struggle to reach agreements on property division, support and child custody. This, of course, prolongs the divorce process and keeps them legally married for much longer than they would like. This makes it difficult for all parties to move on in their personal lives. Jolie and Pitt have been trying to reach a divorce agreement since September 2016, and they are to a point where they just want single status. A bifurcated divorce would grant them that.

Website would publicly ridicule those with unpaid child support

When two parents are raising children, but not in a relationship with one another, it can be complicated. One parent is often required to pay child support to the other to ensure the children have their needs met. Some parents have difficulty making the payments due to financial circumstances or other obstacles, but occasionally, there are parents who shirk their responsibility for indiscernible reasons. One California state lawmaker has introduced a bill that he hopes will entice parents to make their required payments by using the internet to expose them.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey authored a bill that targets parents who owe more than $5,000 in overdue child support. If implemented, the parents would have their photos published on a public website. He says that other states have used this idea and had positive results.

Causes and potential effects of a grey divorce

Though recent statistics suggest that overall divorce rates are falling, that doesn't seem to be the case for people aged 50 and older. This is an experience often called "grey divorce" by researchers and the media. Residents here in California who haven't encountered this term may wonder about the reasons for grey divorce and what the possible consequences could be, and experts have several answers. There are innumerable reasons for anyone to get a divorce, but there are several circumstances that can lead to a grey divorce.

Money matters are a common problem, whether that means one spouse has difficulty handling finances or if only one partner is earning income. Many couples report that they simply grow apart after years together, particularly once their shared children are no longer living at home. Infidelity is also a frequent catalyst in many divorces. The longer life expectancy and improved health that many people have these days can also cause some to question whether they would be happier for the remainder of their life without their spouse. Some people say that an addiction to drugs or alcohol and its consequences are to blame for their divorce, for obvious reasons.

A business could be subject to property division in a divorce

Marriage is not always forever, though most people in California enter into it believing that it is. The optimism isn't a bad thing, but it can cause people to overlook certain things that could affect them during a divorce. One of those factors could be a business, which people often fail to realize could be considered property and subject to division as part of a divorce agreement. Experts do have advice for those who have questions about how a business should be handled during property division in a divorce.

First, spouses can draw up a formal contract, typically a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Such an agreement can outline how the business is valued or how any assets associated with it will be divided. One spouse could have the business considered his or her separate property, meaning it would not be considered community property and thus not subject to division in a divorce proceeding. If the business is an equal partnership, the agreement can state which spouse would need to buy out the other or whether the two intend to continue running the business together. If the value of the business increases during the marriage, that amount can be considered community property and an agreement can specify what percentage the non-owning spouse would receive in divorce.

Your business and your divorce: what is going to happen?

Divorce is a difficult process, and couples are often unable to agree on how to handle marital property. This is particularly true for couples where one or both parties own a small business. If you own and operate a California company, one of your primary goals is to keep your business intact and ensure its continued operations.

Business owners often find significant benefit in protecting their interests by drafting a prenuptial agreement before they walk down the aisle. This is a smart step, but not everyone chooses this path. Whether you are preparing to marry or you already married but want to protect your company, these are steps you can take to accomplish those goals.

Actor Tom Arnold and wife set to divorce

The ending of a marriage is often an unhappy event for everyone involved. However, there are times when two people feel compelled to move on without any angry feelings towards one another. Those in California may be interested in what actor Tom Arnold had to say regarding to his and his wife's recent decision to divorce. He claims that the two have simply grown apart.

Arnold, who was once married to Rosanne Barr, has filed for divorce from his estranged wife. The court documents cite irreconcilable differences as the cause of their separation. The two were married for nine years. The documents filed with the California Superior Court of Los Angeles say that the division of their property will be handled at trial.

Differences between divorce mediation and collaborative divorce

Many marriages end in divorce -- it is a fact of life. Though sometimes a divorce can be filled with a great deal of contention, there are those people who agree that a divorce is the best path forward and want the process to be as simple as possible. For those in California who find themselves in this category, there are other options besides fighting in court. One is divorce mediation and another is a collaborative divorce. They have similar aims, though there are differences between the two.

First, mediation is a process in which two divorcing spouses choose a third party who will assist them in negotiating a divorce agreement that is voluntary and mutually beneficial. The third party stays neutral and helps both people involved see all of the available options and determine what issues might arise. When the agreement is finalized, it is recognized by the court and both ex-spouses are legally-bound by its terms.

Mistakes that can cost money in a divorce

When people choose to end their marriages, it is probably not a decision they come to lightly. Most people give it serious thought after considering how it will affect them from an emotional standpoint. However, some neglect to consider the potential financial consequences of divorce. Anyone here in California considering a divorce may wish to heed the advise of one professional who says that there are five mistakes that people frequently make in divorce proceedings that can have a significant financial impact.

Though it is common these days to share everything on social media, experts advise against doing so. One recent example involves a man who claimed he wouldn't be able to afford his potential divorce settlement. Then he posted online about a lavish vacation and recent work success, giving his ex all the ammo she needed to prove her case.

Stepparent adoption: Girl "proposes" to her stepdad

Families in California come in all varieties, united by love and caring. Though some family members aren't always legally bound to one another, there are definite advantages to undergoing that process. One such situation is when a stepparent makes the choice to legally adopt his or her stepchildren. One happy story of stepparent adoption happened recently out of state when a little girl "proposed" to her stepfather.

The now 8-year-old girl's mother got married in 2012. The stepfather has been part of the girl's life ever since then, having cared for her since she was a baby. The girl recently decided she wanted her stepdad to adopt her and implored her mother to help pull off an adorable "proposal." They took him to a baseball field, since the girl and her stepdad share a love for the sport, and when he stood on the pitcher's mound, the girl held up a sign saying "Papi, you are my forever home. Will you adopt me?"

Tips for how to handle finances before and during a divorce

Earlier this month, this blog discussed the impending divorce of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and founder. He and his wife apparently had no prenuptial agreement, and their divorce is subject to the community property laws in their home state. California is also a community property state when it comes to divorce proceedings. While Bezos is said to be among the world's wealthiest, there are several lessons regarding these family law concerns that individuals with more modest income can still learn.

First, retirement accounts are typically separated during divorce by using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Here in California, that typically means that these accounts are split evenly. If a prenuptial agreement is in place, this could supersede a QDRO. Though some couples find pre or postnuptial agreements to be unromantic, they can be the best way to ensure that each individual retains the property they brought into the marriage.

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