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Alameda County Family Law Blog

Advantages of refinancing a home as part of divorce

Dividing a house is one task couples in California might have to do if they are getting a divorce. Refinancing can protect the spouse that is not keeping the home. Often, if a person does not refinance, he or she will stay on the mortgage and be considered equally responsible for paying it.

A cash-out refinance might be one way for the spouse keeping the home to buy out the other person. Other options might be for one individual to keep assets of roughly equal worth. A person who would be owed spousal support might waive it in lieu of keeping the home.

How some parents use the gig economy to hide income

In California, a growing number of workers are turning to the gig economy as a supplementary or sole source of income. As this new economy rapidly expands, problems have mounted for the collection of child support.

Up to 70 percent of child support orders are enforced by income withholding orders. The states send these orders to the employers of the parents who are supposed to pay, and the child support is taken directly from their paychecks. When workers instead perform contract or gig work, it may be harder for the child support enforcement authorities to figure out where they are working. Some people are using the gig economy as a way to hide their income so that they can evade paying child support.

The potential pitfalls of divorcing after 50

Older couples throughout California and the rest of the U.S. are increasingly choosing to split, even as overall divorce rates have been decreasing. It is important for people who are older to understand the potential pitfalls that can come with a "grey divorce."

People who are older than age 50 when they decide to get divorced will have less time to save before they retire. At the same time, they may have to divide the money that they have saved for retirement with their spouses. This means that they might not have enough time to replenish their retirement savings and may consequently be forced to continue working longer. People who divorce after they have already retired may face added issues. Since they are no longer drawing incomes, these spouses may be left with little on which to live during their remaining years.

Deciding whether to get a prenuptial agreement

Since California is a community property state, people that get a divorce there may be required to split their marital property equally if they do not have a prenuptial agreement. Some individuals may feel that getting a prenup means they are preparing to divorce before they are even married, but there are certain situations in which this document can protect a person's assets in case he or she gets divorced, or his or her spouse dies.

For example, if a person owns part of a family business, he or she might not want it to go to his or her spouse even if the marriage ends with a death instead of divorce. A prenup can protect other assets that a person brings into a marriage as well. If one or both spouses are in debt at the time of the marriage, the prenup can help keep the debts separate in a divorce.

Understanding the tax implications of child custody

As you and your spouse work toward a fair resolution to your divorce, you may find that determining child custody arrangements proves particularly difficult. Many parents focus on their own desires for the child or focus entirely on emotional and practical issues and completely miss some implications of child custody, sometimes costing them dearly.

Child custody can even affect your tax liability and available exemptions. These can make enormous differences in a parent's yearly tax planning. Before you finalize your custody and parenting agreements, be sure to consider how your role in raising your child may affect your tax returns.

Divorce can be a challenge for business owners

When entrepreneurship is combined with divorce in California, many financial and emotional concerns could arise. A family or personal business owned by one or both partners can be subject to inclusion in the division of assets in a divorce. This can be very difficult for some spouses, especially when the business is successful and the fruit of many years of work.

The business can be the marital asset with the greatest financial value for many entrepreneurs. Even in a high-asset divorce when both partners have lucrative careers, a business can be a very special enterprise for the owners. In order to deal with the business properly in divorce negotiations, it is important to have an accurate valuation of the business. A forensic accountant can provide a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the value of the company for purposes of asset division. This estimation could take into account inventory, materials, real estate, debts and additional liabilities.

Preparing finances for a divorce

California residents that are getting a divorce should be aware of the negative impact the process can have on their finances. However, there are some things individuals can do to protect themselves and mitigate the financial effects of divorce.

Having financial accounts that are solely in their name is essential for individuals who are seeking a divorce. It may be wise for people to go to financial institutions that are different from the ones their spouses use to avoid mistakes or confusion. Credit that is obtained before a divorce may result in someone obtaining a higher credit limit as it will be determined by the combined income of both spouses. A person should open a personal bank account that only he or she can access. Doing so can offer someone privacy and a method for paying for his or her own expenses, which can include divorce-related costs.

Child custody woes of Tyrese play out on social media

Celebrities in California and around the country often represent a source of drama when their relationships turn south. Tyrese, the actor and rapper involved in a child custody dispute with his ex-wife, has endured public ridicule after one of his Instagram posts went viral. He wept in a video as he described paying $13,000 a month in child support while being unable to see his daughter.

This action followed the conclusion of a child abuse investigation. His ex-wife accused him of attacking their young child. Authorities dropped their inquiry into the allegations that he abused the 10-year-old girl, but his ex-wife continues to pursue a permanent restraining order against him.

Tips for deciding whether to postpone divorce for children

People in California might wonder whether they should postpone a divorce for the sake of their children. The answer to this depends upon the specific circumstances. Although their parents' divorce can be stressful for children, there are circumstances in which it may be the best choice.

In some cases, parents are unable to hide the conflict between them, and this can be stressful for children. If there is abuse, it is probably best for parents to divorce. Divorce might also be the best decision if parents simply cannot find a way to be happy together. None of these are healthy situations for children to be in. If parents have put time and effort into counseling without success, divorce may be the right decision.

Putting your kids first during divorce is the best holiday gift

During the holidays, it can be hard to manage all the things going on in your life on top of a divorce. Remember, you're not the only person struggling, though. For your children, the divorce makes the holidays uncertain, so it's a good idea to talk to them early and to reassure them about where they'll be, what they're doing and what to expect.

There are dozens of ways to deal with the holidays, and with the right discussions beforehand, you can work out a way to make the holidays fun for everyone. Here are some tips for putting your kids first and enjoying the holiday season.

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