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Oakland CA Divorce Law Blog

California divorces and how to split the home

Since California is a community property state, one of the biggest complications when dividing assets can be determining what to do with the house. The only way to divide a house equally is to sell it and split the proceeds, but for many people this is not a workable solution because they want to remain in residence. Although more complicated, having one spouse move out and the other keep the house can work in some divorce cases and still allow for an equitable division of marital property, but there are steps people should take to protect their financial interests.

When couples in Oakland and Alameda divorce, any jointly owned debt does not uncouple along with the marriage. This means that if both peoples' names are on a loan, like a mortgage, then each of their credit reports will suffer if they miss a payment or default on the loan. If one person takes ownership of the house, that person should take sole responsibility for the mortgage. The only way to achieve this is to refinance.

Property division during divorce in California

Ending a marriage can be a stressful and difficult process, and there has been significant growth in divorces among adults over 50. According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the divorce rate for this age bracket doubled between 1990 and 2010. Older individuals are much more likely to have retirement accounts, and many people do not realize that they are entitled to a share of those assets in a divorce. In California, retirement accounts are considered community property as outlined in sections 760 and 771 of the state's Family Code.

Rather than focusing on material possessions like homes, jewelry and cars, it may be more prudent for someone going through a divorce to claim a share of his or her spouse's retirement benefits. Generally, retirement assets that qualify as marital property can be divided in a divorce agreement. If, however, a spouse enters the marriage with money already in a 401(k), those funds are considered separate property.

Former Dodgers' owner wins in divorce case

Two years after the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold for $2 billion, the former owner's divorce case is nearing completion. The high-asset divorce centered around the ownership interest of the team.

The ex-wife walked away from the divorce with $131 million. She also left with several luxury properties after their nearly three-decade marriage came to an end. The divorce settlement was entered into in 2012, and it included a provision that stated that if either spouse contested the settlement, he or she would be required to pay the legal fees necessary to defend the settlement. The husband later sold the team in 2012 for $2 billion. The wife brought forth a lawsuit claiming that the husband had undervalued the value of the team in their divorce case to shortchange her of her fair share.

Revamped child support for Marc Anthony and Dayanara Torres

California celebrity followers may be interested in the outcome of the child support battle between singer Marc Anthony and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. Torres had asked for a nearly $100,000 a month increase in Anthony's child support payments for their two sons, but what she got was much less, although it is double what Anthony was paying previously.

Torres' lawyer contended that Anthony, who had been paying $13,400 a month in child support, should be paying an amount based on his income and expenses. State calculations, according to the lawyer, put the amount in the range of $80,000 to $125,000. The lawyer and Torres asked for $113,000. Anthony's lawyer offered an increase to $28,000, plus a hike in the travel budget for the children to $30,000 a year.

Think about tax implications now instead of later

Divorce can wreak havoc on your life in many different ways. One of the biggest fears divorced spouses have is in regards to their finances and how their future will be impacted. One thing many divorcing spouses struggle with is how divorce will affect their taxes. 

Are you recently divorced? If so, you could really benefit from learning about how your next tax filing may change. Several considerations should be made when filing your taxes for this year and even though tax season is a long ways away, it's doesn't hurt to learn about tax issues that may come up.

California Supreme Court ruling clarifies community property law

The California Supreme Court's recent ruling on a legendary singer's divorce case highlights the state's community property laws and could impact future divorce cases. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Frankie Valli, saying that he still owns half of a life insurance policy purchased during his marriage. 

California is a community property state, which means that spouses share anything that was purchased during the marriage if it was paid out of a joint bank account. The state Supreme Court ruled that purchases from a joint bank account are considered community property unless there is a written agreement stating that one spouse will give up ownership. Small personal items are excluded from being considered community property in a marriage. 

Women responsible for more spousal support, child support

More women are paying spousal support and child support after getting divorced in the United States. In the past, it was often assumed that the husband would be required to pay spousal support and child support if the couple had any children. However, these days gender roles are changing and spouses going through the divorce process have noticed.

Why are more women paying spousal and child support? The main reason is that more women have professional careers compared to the past. In fact, women are the main breadwinners in 40 percent of all households in the country, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. 

Watch what you post online during child custody cases

Parents getting divorced in California may be concerned about how their children will be impacted by the split. One of the biggest questions parents ask is in regards to child custody and how custody and visitation orders are determined. Every case is unique but there are some common factors judges consider when determining custody arrangements. 

One of the biggest factors parents should be aware of is the impact of social media. Several other factors are also considered but social media continues to play a pivotal role in child custody cases in the country. Many parents may think their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are just ways to express themselves or to help them stay connected. However, these sites also portray you as a parent and could potentially harm your custody case. 

Child custody case could impact in vitro, sperm donor cases

A paternity case in California could have a significant impact on future child custody cases in the state. The actor Jason Patric has been seeking custody of his four-year-old son who was conceived through in vitro fertilization with his former girlfriend. After seeking paternity rights, a court ruled that he didn't have any paternity rights because the child was conceived through in vitro fertilization and the couple didn't sign a co-parenting contract. 

A California appeals court disagreed with the original ruling and will let the actor have his day in court. The appeals court ruled that the actor does have paternity rights and can seek custody in court. The actor wants to prove that he is more than just his son's biological father and that he wants to have a real relationship with his son.

California bill would change protective orders for children

Domestic violence cases can have a significant impact on child custody and visitation rights in California. In many domestic violence cases that result in criminal charges, the court often orders a protective order for the victim. However, a loophole in the state's law does not include children to be included in these protective orders. Instead, family members have to request a separate protective order for minor children, which can be time-consuming and put the child at risk until the protective order is issued.

A recently proposed bill addresses the loophole and has been passed by the California State Senate. What exactly would the bill change? To summarize, it would close the loophole by allowing minor children to be included in protective orders issued by the court to protect spouses and children from domestic abuse. The bill would allow children to be included on protective orders to keep domestic abusers from harming them during trial or after they get out of prison. 

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