McCoy Fatula, APCMcCoy
Fatula
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How to handle the family home in property division discussions

Many California couples and others around the country who get married a second time often develop a prenuptial agreement. The spouses may have children from their first marriage, inheritances, business entities or other assets that they wish to protect should they get a divorce in the future. While prenups eliminate many of the potential conflicts that often arise in property division disputes, some disagreements are still a possibility. A family law expert recently received a question from a woman regarding the difficulties she was experiencing in dealing with dividing the marital home.

After 12 years of marriage, a couple had filed for divorce. This was the second marriage for both of them, and they had a prenup in place. They had specified most details in the agreement; however, they planned to use a formula to divide the family home if a divorce occurred. Both spouses separately filed for divorce, and both asked for their prenuptial agreement to be enforced. Now, they are unable to reach a decision about what percentage of the house each owns.

While the wife wanted to take the matter to a mediator, she received discovery requests for many financial records from her husband's lawyer. The expert shared with the woman that, while the number of documents requested may seem excessive, her husband was entitled to see them. However, requests for items unrelated to the home could be tossed out by the court.

The adviser recommended that the woman get a lawyer. Certainly, when financial decisions are being made regarding property division that will affect someone else, it is of utmost importance to have professional help. A California divorce attorney can provide much-needed guidance to clients throughout the entire legal process.

Source: Boston Herald, "Couple struggles over division of home", Wendy O. Hickey, Feb. 4, 2018

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