Postnuptial agreements allow married couples to decide for themselves how their assets should be divided in the event of a divorce. These documents have always been popular in western states like California where strict community property laws give judges very little discretion. When divorcing couples in California cannot reach an agreement and no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is in place, judges divide the marital assets equally.
For many California couples, January may be a time for new beginnings and new divorces. For a number of reasons, divorce attorneys and even Google searches back up the claim that the new year brings with it an increased number of divorce filings across the country. Even as overall divorce rates are on the decline, with the rates of dissolution in 2017 being 8% lower than they were one decade prior, every year, January shows an increased number of newly initiated proceedings. There are a number of reasons why people choose to divorce along with the turn of the year.
Spouses who are going through a divorce in California may want to do so with the help of a mediator. Mediation can be an effective way for individuals to express their needs in a timely and safe manner. Typically, it is a less expensive option than settling a divorce in court, and it can be a less traumatic option for any children a divorcing couple may have.
While both women and men in California may face challenges after a divorce related to finances and children, these challenges are more common for women. Women have three times the poverty rate that men do after a divorce and tend to suffer a loss in income while men's incomes often increase. On top of this, mothers are still more likely than fathers to get child custody, and this can leave them concerned about how they will support their children.
Child custody decisions in California and around the country are made based on the best interests of the child. There was a time when following this doctrine usually led to mothers being awarded primary custody. However, shared custody and co-parenting arrangements have now become more common. Family law judges have warmed to co-parenting because research has shown that children suffer less emotional trauma following a divorce when they can spend time with both of their parents, but making these arrangements work is sometimes extremely challenging.
There are many issues that must be navigated in a California divorce. One of the most common sources of disputes is determining what will become of the marital home. Understanding the complexities and addressing them can avoid conflict and help craft a resolution.
In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, people in California and across the country are debating tax policy, especially the level of taxation imposed on people in the highest tax bracket. At the same time, some wealthy people are considering options that would allow them to retain a greater share of their income. One of these potential options is "strategic divorce," which is when an otherwise happy couple divorces in order to take advantage of a taxation gap between the highest bracket at 37% for two single people paying separately as opposed to one married couple.
People in California who are getting a divorce and who share a team of financial professionals with a spouse might want to consider working with a new team. This may be particularly helpful for a person who is a dependent spouse since the professionals likely have their primary relationship with the higher-earning spouse.
Starting in 2019, California pet owners going through a divorce may have to do what's best for their animals when splitting. This is the gist of a new state law that gives judges the discretion of considering pets' best interests when determining who gets Fido or Fifi. Previously, pets were legally treated as physical property. Specifically, the law allows pet custody agreements to be based on the care and well-being of the pet or pets that jointly belong to separating couples. Animal rights supporters applaud the measure.
Even amicable divorces can be difficult on parents and children in California. All parties often experience real sadness and, in many cases, anger over the dissolution of a marriage. These emotions can surface during the holiday season, particularly during the first few years after a divorce.