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February 2018 Archives

Divorce: How is property divided in California?

California is a community property state. This means that in the event of a divorce or the death of one spouse, assets will be equally divided -- unless otherwise stipulated in a prenuptial agreement. All the property that a couple acquires during their marriage will be community property that will belong to both parties.

Divorce: What does a seat belt and a prenup have in common?

A prenuptial agreement is like a seat belt. Some California people may automatically put on their seat belts when they get in a vehicle because it will protect them in the event of an accident. A prenup protects both parties in the event of a divorce. It allows couples to determine how their assets and debts must be split in a divorce rather than relying on a judge and the state's divorce laws.

Is your prenuptial agreement really valid?

For many high-net worth individuals or couples, a prenuptial agreement is an obvious and important part of planning for a marriage. Like an emergency parachute, the property division aspects of a prenuptial agreement are protections that many couples hope they never have to use, but are very glad to have if divorce comes knocking.

Do you need an attorney to navigate an uncontested divorce?

Many California couples who find themselves at the end of a marriage manage to focus on the future rather than the past as they proceed through this challenging process. Regardless of how amicable a divorce is, it will always be tough. However, agreeing to file an uncontested divorce can limit the trauma for both parties and any children they may have.

Divorce: Couples in any circumstances can benefit from a prenup

California people who are considering marriage may have the misconception that prenuptial agreements are only required for those with considerable wealth. However, a person who is expecting a significant inheritance will not stand to lose it in a divorce; if it is not commingled with community property, it will be automatically protected. Compare that situation to a person with little or no assets who builds a successful business, a married couple that relocates to a different state with different laws or a person committing to a second marriage. For them, prenups could be invaluable.

Are you making the right decision about the marital home?

The marital home is a source of pride for many married couples. If a couple decides to get a divorce, that same home might become a huge source of contention. If you are heading toward divorce or getting ready to go to a property mediation session, you should think very carefully before you decide that you are going to fight for the marital home.

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