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Roseville Legal Blog

Guard against disruption to retirement plans during a divorce

Any time a marriage ends in California or anywhere around the nation, there are always countless issues to resolve. No matter how old a couple is, the decisions made during a divorce have major implications on the lives of those involved. However, older couples may realize that getting divorced may throw a wrench in their retirement planning.

Individuals may have put considerable thought into planning for the retirement years. However, if divorce comes into play, those plans can hit a bump in the road. For example, specific legal documents are required to divide pension accounts, IRAs or 401(k) funds. Regular savings accounts and property are likely owned jointly and will also have to be divided. The consensus is that, after all the splitting of assets, divorced households have less money than those that are not divorced.

Prenups more popular among millennials, divorce experts say

When couples in California or elsewhere around the country decide to end their marriages, the issue of property division can often become contentious. As emotions likely run high during the divorce process, the parties involved are concerned about protecting their individual interests. However, if a couple has developed a prenuptial agreement or other marital agreement, the decisions about "who gets what" are more straightforward. Experts are reporting that these types of agreements seem to be more commonplace with a particular generation.

In the past, prenups often had a negative connotation. Many couples viewed having one as a sign that there was a strong possibility a marriage would not last. Today, however, the millennial generation in particular looks at these types of agreements more positively.

Couples who spend more on weddings at higher risk for divorce

Weddings in California can be expensive, but whether a couple spends a few hundred dollars on their special day or tens of thousands, most believe that the outcome is the same -- the celebration of the start to a happy marriage. A recent study showed that this line of thinking might not be accurate. Researchers discovered that the more couples spent on their wedding, the higher their chances of divorce were. 

Researchers included over 3,000 individuals from all across America in the study. They asked participants several questions, including ones about their marital status, number of children, education level and the cost of their engagement ring and wedding. If they were divorced, researchers asked about the length of their marriage. 

Want to avoid confrontation? Non-litigation options for divorce

If you were to closely observe your extended family members, friends and co-workers in California or beyond, you'd likely notice that some people are, by nature, more argumentative than others. Where do you fall regarding this classification? Are you someone who is prone to debate even the most minor issue or do you try to avoid confrontation at all cost?

Perhaps your personality is somewhere in between. The way you typically handle stress or prefer to discuss important topics may influence your decision as to whether to litigate or mediate your divorce. Mediation is definitely not for everyone and may not be your best option if you can barely be in the same room with your spouse without wanting to scream. However, if you're looking to save time and money and decide the terms of your own divorce, then you may want to give mediation a try.

Another state passes child custody law promoting shared parenting

When a couple decides to get a divorce in California or elsewhere around the country, there are dozens of issues to address. While property division may seem to be of utmost importance, couples with children have crucial decisions to make. Child custody determinations can often create conflicts among the parting spouses. Another state has recently passed a law regarding shared parenting that may prompt other states to examine their custody practices.

Traditionally, courts tended to side with mothers in matters of child custody. Children were most likely to live the majority of the time with their mothers. Fathers were often awarded visitation on weekends and some holidays. However, experts have been vocal in their assertions that children who spend consistent time with both parents fare better in every aspect of life.

Couples separating, delaying divorce affects property division

Many couples in California and all around the nation are separating, yet still remaining married to one another. When celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain recently passed away, this scenario was found to be true for him. He had never gotten a divorce, though he had been separated for quite some time. While couples may have a variety of reasons for doing this, it is worth noting that the practice may have significant implications regarding property division.

The couples who are separated may behave as though they are divorced. However, they are still married according to the law. Therefore, laws pertaining to taxes, estate planning, retirement accounts and other spousal rights would come into play. Financial experts acknowledge that the scenario could affect couples both positively and negatively.

New tax law affects how alimony in a divorce will be handled

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that became effective on Jan. 1, 2018 affected many California residents and others around the country. While the Act addressed numerous issues, one notable topic dealt with how alimony, also known as spousal support, will be taxed. These tax changes will have a great impact on those couples who divorce in 2019.

According to reports, there are roughly 600,000 individuals across the nation who claim alimony when filing their taxes. Before the new law was enacted, the person paying alimony could deduct the amount from his or her taxable income. Conversely, the recipient was required to pay taxes on the alimony payments. For any divorce finalized after Dec. 31, 2018, this will change.

Prepare for child custody proceedings with these things in mind

If you've ever discussed divorce with family members or friends who have gone through it, you may have heard stories of various challenges they faced, perhaps regarding property division or parenting issues. The latter may be on your mind a lot lately as well if you're currently preparing for child custody proceedings in a California court. Like most good parents, your children are your highest priority; that's why you want to make sure you protect their best interests when the court makes decisions about their care.

There are several things to think about when navigating custody proceedings. Beyond the typical issues, such as where your children will live, whether your ex will pay support, and who will get the kids for holidays and special events, there are also ideas to consider that may help you avoid major obstacles and keep stress levels to a minimum. If problems do arise, it's critical that you know where to seek support.

When can I file for stepparent adoption?

Being a stepparent is a truly unique and rewarding experience. While some people in California wonder whether they could truly love a child who is not biologically theirs, you know that it is not only possible, but that it is better than anyone could ever imagine. Unfortunately, not matter how deeply you care for your stepchild, you might have no legal rights to him or her should anything happen to your spouse. A stepparent adoption can address that problem while making your relationship official. 

If your stepchild's other parent is out of the picture because of death or termination of parental rights, you can move forward with the adoption process. If this is not the case, you and your spouse will need to have the rights of the other biological parent terminated. If it's been over a year since the other parent last contacted your stepchild, then termination of his or her rights will usually proceed quickly. 

How pets are treated in property division during a divorce

There are millions of dog and cat owners in California and throughout the nation who view their pets as members of the family. A pet owned by a married couple is likely viewed as belonging equally to each spouse. While this may be how the couple feels, certain courts may not view pets the same way when property division issues are addressed during a divorce.

Most states in the country consider pets to be property that could be sold. When a marriage ends, discussions about who gets what are prevalent. Since most pets are viewed as part of the family, custody conflicts are likely to arise.

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