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Calabasas Family Law Blog

Preparing for divorce by becoming organized

Upon deciding to dissolve a marriage, many individuals in California and elsewhere may have concerns about how the outcome of the process will affect their lives. While divorce will inherently have an impact on a person's future, there could be certain steps a person can take that may help him or her better prepare to pursue the most favorable outcome possible. When it comes to preparing for divorce, experts suggest that becoming better organized could prove imperative.

According to experts, one of the first steps to take to become better organized prior to entering divorce proceedings is to gain awareness of all marital assets. In many cases, this process may involve obtaining documentation of assets such as joint banking and credit accounts, as well as investment accounts and real estate properties. However, one might not want to overlook assets such as insurance policies and estate plans, as these could have an influence on the outcome of the situation.

Things to remember when adopting your stepchild

You and your wife married when your stepdaughter was four years old. As she has grown, you have treated her like your own child, showing up to practices, taking her to dance recitals and escorting her to daddy-daughter dances.

She is now 12, and you and your wife have spoken about you legally adopting her. This is a step you want to take to bond the two of you together should anything happen to her mother. Before starting the adoption process, you may want to take some time to familiarize yourself with how the process may go.

Taking steps to limit the stress involved with divorce

Going through the end of a marriage can be stressful and intimidating, and the outcome of the process could have a significant impact on the lives of everyone involved. With a great deal at stake, individuals in California who are facing a divorce may wish to take measures to protect their financial futures. However, they may also wish to safeguard their mental health throughout the process by finding ways to reduce the stress involved with dissolving a marriage.

Since divorce is a major decision that could affect one's future substantially, studies indicate that a person may benefit from taking the time to ensure that it is the healthiest path. In some cases, there may be other factors that are influencing a person's decision, and making choices based on outside influence could lead to feelings of regret. By taking time to make informed decisions about the future, a person may be able to limit the amount of stress experienced in the process.

Understanding how to co-parent the kids after a divorce

The end of a marriage will inevitably bring about change in the lives of everyone. When children are involved, parents in California may wish to take steps to reduce the impact divorce will have on their kids, but they might need advice on how to achieve this goal. One factor that could have a substantial impact on how children handle this change in life may pertain to how their parents approach the process, and learning how to co-parent the kids in an effective manner could prove imperative.

Following divorce, it might not be uncommon for a former couple to disagree on various aspects of raising the kids. However, finding a way to reach common ground on important matters could prove essential to protecting the well-being of the children. One thing that may help parents reach an understanding is taking on the mindset that this is for the benefit of the kids, and by putting personal feelings aside, parents may become more capable of seeing to their needs.

Scenarios that may increase the chances a couple will divorce

Deciding to dissolve a marriage can be stressful, but in some cases, it might also be the healthiest choice a couple in California can make. However, reaching the point where each person can be honest about what is best for the future can still be a challenging endeavor. While there are a variety of scenarios that could lead a couple to consider divorce, some tend to be more prevalent than others.

Studies suggest that one of the most common sources of conflict in a marriage pertains to a lack of commitment. While this may seem to go against the very concept of marriage, those who cannot commit to the relationship may be more likely to seek an exit. Other common concerns involve rushing into the partnership or marrying at an early age, both of which could also contribute to issues with commitment.

Divorce: The impact financial stress can have on a marriage

High levels of stress can have a substantial impact on a person's life, and one of the most common sources of stress is financial strain. Similar forms of stress may not only affect a person's physical and mental health, but it can also disrupt one's relationships. Financial stress is one of the leading causes of conflict in a marriage, and such issues have left many couples in California wondering if divorce is the healthiest option.

Whether stemming from a sudden loss of income, or worries pertaining to maintaining a healthy credit score, financial stress can take a significant toll on a person. These concerns can bring about struggles with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Financial stress can also impact one's physical well-being, as it can lead to eating or sleeping disorders and in some cases, may increase the risk of high blood pressure or heart problems.

Signs your spouse is hiding assets from you

One of the most challenging parts of divorce is splitting marital property. Contention can arise over who gets what and how much. To protect assets, your spouse may try to hide them. He or she may try to do so during the divorce process, or she or he may have already done so long before divorce was a consideration.

It is important to know what signs to look for, especially if you have not been too involved in your family's finances or do not trust your spouse. Whether you suspect dishonest (and illegal) behavior, it may be beneficial to have a forensic accountant ensure all assets are on the table and have a valuator provide accurate estimations of their worth.

Seeking modifications to a child support order

There are a variety of scenarios in which a person in California or elsewhere may experience a change in financial stability. For some, this process may involve little more than a need to cut back on expenses and form a strict budget. However, for parents with an existing child support agreement in place, the challenges of experiencing a change in circumstances can be substantial, and these changes could prompt a need to revisit the original arrangement.

Those who encounter a similar situation could benefit from understanding the circumstances in which they might be able to pursue changes to a child support order. For instance, the loss of a job or a decrease in income could make it difficult for a person to meet the required monetary obligations. A sudden medical emergency could also disrupt one's finances and make it difficult for him or her to keep up with child support payments.

Seeking guidance on the changes to tax rules in divorce

The new year is underway, and with its start comes changes to how spousal support payments are taxed. Under this new law, alimony payments will no longer be eligible as a tax deductible and they will no longer be considered taxable income for recipients. These changes could have a substantial impact on the decisions one makes during divorce, and they may leave many individuals in California in search of advice in understanding all their available options.

With the changes to alimony tax rules, spousal support payments will no longer be any different than payments for the division of property. As such, similar concerns may play a more significant role during negotiations, as the parties involved may wish to consider all their available options. For instance, couples may have the option of reaching an agreement to forgo alimony and instead implement payments over time through the division of property.

Making informed choices re the family home during a divorce

Individuals in California and elsewhere may face a variety of difficult choices upon choosing to end a marriage. With their financial futures on the line, one of the most pressing concerns for many couples pertains to how to handle real estate properties, such as the family home. Knowing the potential advantages and disadvantages of each option concerning the home could help a person better prepare to make informed choices during negotiations.

In many cases, one person may wish to remain in the family home once the divorce is finalized. However, prior to making such a decision, it may be helpful to gain an understanding of the financial ramifications of keeping the home. The costs of maintaining the property and keeping up with mortgage payments could prove challenging, especially for one who has recently transitioned to a single-person income.

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Langlois Family Law, APC
23632 Calabasas Rd, Suite 104
Calabasas, CA 91302

Phone: 818-225-9900
Fax: 818-225-9929
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