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Alameda County Family Law Blog

Dealing with divorce and cryptocurrency

Some California investors with the means to do so are exploring their options with a type of virtual or digital currency known as cryptocurrency. There is nothing wrong with simply purchasing or selling digital currency. It can, however, become a problem if marital assets involve cryptocurrency. First of all, this type of currency is often difficult to value since prices can fluctuate significantly over a short period of time.

Another way that divorce involving cryptocurrency can become complicated is if a spouse attempts to hide such assets. The process of tracking down digital currency is sometimes costly and time-consuming but not always impossible. In one instance, a financial expert was able to find crypto assets by looking through bank statements since purchases were made via online exchanges. However, cryptocurrency purchased directly and offline can be nearly impossible to trace.

Getting ready for a divorce

In addition to being an emotionally trying process, divorce can also be very complicated. California couples who are ending their marriages can take certain steps to organize and prepare for what lies ahead. Spending time getting properly organized can result in a less nerve-wracking process and may help produce the outcome that individuals want.

Taking inventory is an important first step of getting prepared for a divorce. Individuals should make a comprehensive checklist of all of their accounts/assets and have any related documentation easily available. The necessary documentation may include real estate deeds, personal financial statements, statements for investment and bank accounts, credit card statements, insurance policies, mortgage documents, trusts and wills.

Lying about spending or savings could mean trouble for marriage

People often tell what they consider to be small white lies to keep things moving smoothly in their home or their relationship. For example, not admitting how much money you spend on coffee every week may seem like a harmless issue if it helps you avoid an argument with your spouse. However, that attitude of avoiding conflict by withholding financial information isn't necessarily the best approach.

Instead, it can undermine the trust on which your relationship developed and lead to serious arguments or even divorce in your future. Your financial future is intertwined with the financial decisions that you and your spouse make. Both the income and the debts you acquired during marriage will impact your life for years to come.

How divorced parents can stay connected with their kids

Divorced parents in California who have a difficult relationship with one another might worry that the conflict will seriously hurt the children. However, a new study found that a child's relationship with each parent is more important after a divorce.

The researchers, who divided parental relationships into moderately engaged, conflicted and cooperative, found that how well the parents got along did not have much impact on the child. Frequency of communication was much more significant to the kid's relationship with the parent. When a child only communicated once a month or less with a parent, that parent reported having less knowledge of the child.

Using a QDRO to divide retirement assets

Many spouses who are separating in California will say that the divorce process can be emotional. Unfortunately, high stress and anger can lead to poor decision making. At the time of dividing assets and liabilities, it is important to reign in emotions and consider financial issues rationally and intelligently.

Many spouses have the false impression that retirement benefits are the sole property of one party. In California and elsewhere, most retirement benefits that have accrued during a marriage are considered marital property. The rationale is simple: If marital assets, including wages, are used to fund a retirement account, the fruits of that account should be in the marital estate.

High-asset divorce? You can still negotiate

As a couple with a high net worth, you may worry that your divorce will take a long time and that it will come at a great cost to each of you. You could be right, especially if you aren't able to agree on how to divide your assets.

California's community property laws make it possible for couples to know ahead of time that they'll need to split their assets evenly upon divorce unless they have a pre- or postnuptial agreement in place. If you have a property agreement in the form of a pre- or postnuptial agreement, then you will want to take it to your attorney to check its validity before negotiating for the assets you would like following the divorce.

Second marriages and prenups

California couples who get married in their 20s or 30s may believe that completing a prenuptial agreement is unnecessary. After all, many younger people do not have substantial assets. However, for older people who decide to get remarried, securing a prenuptial agreement can be a wise choice.

In many cases, people who are getting married again may have retirement accounts, substantial assets, business ownership, multiple homes and children from previous relationships. This means that if their second marriage does not last and there is no prenuptial agreement in place, they may experience significant consequences.

How divorce may affect a child's college fund

Many California parents start saving for their children's college tuition years in advance. They realize that the earlier they start, the more time they will have to space out the money they are saving for a quality education. However, if parents get divorced and do not plan in advance, they may find themselves squandering the money that they set aside.

According to statistics, 40 percent of marriages end in divorce. Unfortunately, two out of three married couples do not have a financial plan that includes what they will do in the event of a separation or spouse's death. As a result, the money that they have set aside for their children's college usually gets eaten up because of a failure to plan.

Study finds infidelity, lack of commitment contribute to divorce

Lack of commitment could be a significant factor for couples in California who get a divorce. In a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 75 percent of respondents cited it as one thing that contributed to their divorce. It was followed by infidelity, which was identified as a factor by more than half of respondents.

Participants in the study were 52 men and women who had participated in a premarital counseling program 14 years earlier called PREP but who had since divorced. They were asked to identify factors that contributed to the divorce as well as whether any one factor was the last straw. For example, around one-third of respondents said substance abuse was a factor while 12 percent said it was the last straw.

Yes, your property is split 50-50 in short-term marriages, too

As a young couple going through a divorce, you may have a relatively simple divorce on your hands. You have few assets, and you don't have children. This makes your official split much easier.

However, there are still things you need to do to make sure you get all that you deserve out of your marriage. Even if you've only been married two or three years, there are shared assets that you can divide. Additionally, thanks to California's community property laws, you're entitled to half of everything that is considered to be marital property.

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