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Alameda County Family Law Blog

Back child support and purchasing a home

A California parent who owes back child support is considered to have a derogatory credit event in their credit history. This child support arrearage could actually impair the chances of getting a loan approved to purchase a home. However, there are steps a parent can take to address the issue.

They should first verify what is being reported on their credit report, which can be obtained from any one of the three main credit reporting agencies. A prospective homebuyer should then note their FICO score and determine if it is within the guidelines established by the mortgage lender. It's also wise to use a home affordability calculator to determine if making monthly mortgage payments is feasible when overdue child support is owed as well.

Prepare to divide your assets through solid negotiations

You went to school for years to become a surgeon, and during that time, your spouse did support you. You worked long hours, and your relationship fell to the side as you focused on your career.

Now, when you're finally where you want to be, your spouse has decided to end things. Too much time has caused you to grow apart. It's not an uncommon story, but it's one that you're worried could negatively affect you, financially as well as emotionally.

Some workers are more likely to divorce than others

People in California may not be surprised to consider that their career choices affect their personal lives, from their physical and psychological health to their interpersonal relationships. According to one study, however, the reach of career choice into romantic partnership goes beyond the effects of stress or a long workday. The September 2018 study says that when straight, married people work around more people of the opposite sex, they are also more likely to have a divorce.

Previous studies had indicated that men who live in communities with many more women are more likely to divorce, but researchers pointed out that for many people, the communities where they spend most of their time are found in the workplace. This study reviewed two decades of Danish employment, marriage and divorce records to gain a view of how different professions are linked to the likelihood of divorce. It included those involved in a marriage to an opposite-sex partner at any time between 1981 and 2002 who also worked at some point in that period. Once the researchers factored in known issues like marital age, number of children and level of education, they found that people were indeed more likely to divorce when they worked in careers with more potential partners.

Health risks to watch out for during gray divorce

As the divorce rate for older couples continues to rise, California residents who are considering divorce and are also over age 50 might be concerned about how to take care of themselves during and after the process. While divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone involved, older people are at higher risk for developing physical and emotional health conditions.

One of the most prominent effects of divorce is the development of depression, anxiety or chronic stress, which experts say seniors often develop after their marriages end. These conditions might also come with related PTSD-like symptoms, such as flashbacks and nightmares. Some seniors also develop insomnia, which in turn leads to forgetting simple, yet necessary things, like taking medication or paying some bills, lack of energy or daytime sleepiness. Older exes might lose their appetite and experience mood swings, hopelessness, fatigue and physical pain.

Helping your child: 7 tips for better visitation and custody time

From an early age, children benefit from a supportive routine. There is no question that it is more difficult to maintain a routine when a child has to go between two parents' houses. It is important to maintain some semblance of similarity between the routines at each home. If both parents cannot agree on how to raise the child, it may lead to conflict, since the child will not know what to do or what is acceptable with each parent.

There are a few different tips that can help you have smoother visitation days. Here are seven tips to help you and the other parent keep your child comfortable between homes.

  • Be flexible

Reasons why couples may want to consider a prenup before marriage

Couples in California planning to legally become one often anticipate spending a lifetime together. Realistically, not all marriages will last as long as expected for one reason or another. While there's no way for soon-to-be-spouses to know for sure if a marriage will end in the future, having a prenuptial agreement can provide some added peace of mind and financial security under the right circumstances. Without this type of document, assets are typically divided as per state guidelines, which is sometimes a 50/50 split.

If a divorce occurs with a prenup, however, property and assets will be divided based on what was determined prior to marriage. It's an option that may be especially beneficial if one party has significantly more assets or inherited wealth. When one future spouse is a higher earner, a prenup can spell out alimony arrangements for the lower-earning partner. A pre-marriage agreement can also protect a business that may be owned independently by one party; otherwise, it might have to be sold or shared with an ex-spouse post-marriage.

Valentine's Day weddings face high divorce rate

When couples in Alameda County set their wedding dates, divorce may be the last thing on their minds. Couples may choose a specific date for any number of reasons. In some cases, they may opt for a date with special personal significance; in other cases, the date reflects the best time for most family members to attend. People may also choose a wedding date for a discount or better rate at the wedding or reception venue. According to one study, however, a couple's choice of wedding date could be correlated with their later likelihood of divorce.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne examined marriage and divorce records for 1 million couples, and they found that couples who chose specific romantic or trendy dates might be more likely to divorce later on. They found that Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, is the single worst day to get married in terms of its reflection on the duration of a marriage. Within 5 years of the wedding, 11 percent of those who married on Valentine's were divorced. Within 9 years, 21 percent had decided to separate.

4 ways a marriage can quickly come to a close

There are many reasons why people divorce and each case is different. Nevertheless, there are certain scenarios that divorce lawyers in California see again and again. Although the following divorce scenarios are fictional, you may find yourself identifying with one or more of them.

The cheating spouse who finally got caught: Spouse A and B have had a long-standing relationship of trust. In fact, they trusted one another so much that when Spouse B began staying late at work -- sometimes until 10 or 11 p.m. -- Spouse A didn't suspect a thing. Until one day, a friend told Spouse A everything. Spouse B had been spending time with another person sexually during those hours and was having an affair. Infidelity like this is a common way for spouses to lose trust for one another and it often results in the end of the marriage.

How comparative wealth can affect divorce

According to some experts, amicable divorces are actually more common among Californians with very significant assets. One divorce attorney said that wealthy couples with over $5 million in assets are more likely to achieve amicable settlements. However, upper middle class couples who still have substantial wealth but less than $5 million may be more likely to struggle over property division.

Of course, financial problems are themselves often a significant contributor to divorce, and that can be reflected in the process. This can especially be true in a high-asset divorce where complex investments must be disentangled in order to achieve a settlement. Upper middle class couples have achieved a great deal and developed their wealth, but maintaining that wealth is critical to their continued financial success. Therefore, both parties in a divorce may be highly invested in achieving a positive outcome. In some cases, one divorcing spouse may attempt to hide funds or minimize the value of an asset while the other spouse is left to pursue further research in order to correctly value the property.

Financial considerations when planning to divorce

California couples who are ending their marriages might worry about what their futures might look like. By taking a realistic look at their finances, they might be able to avoid making costly errors during and after their divorces.

According to one financial adviser, people should start by taking an in-depth look at their assets, income, liabilities, and expenses. When thinking about the assets, people should recognize that different types may have tax consequences. For example, people may be taxed on withdrawals from retirement accounts while they might not have to pay taxes on other assets such as money that is held in a money market account. The lower-earning spouses may also need to receive more of the assets so that they can pay for their expenses.

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