In California, it is often more complicated and difficult to achieve divorce than in other states. In part, this owes to our relatively uncommon use of community property guidelines, but we also maintain separate statutes that determine other aspects of divorce related to property division, like spousal support.
In California, we are subject to community property division, which can make divorce even more complicated than it already is, necessitating very careful divisions of assets. Under community property guidelines, divorcing spouses must divide property equally rather than equitably, which does not give either spouse as much flexibility to give and take during divorce negotiations.
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.
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.
Spousal support is certainly less commonly used in divorce than it used to be, but it is still a concern for many divorcing spouses, especially those with significant assets. While spousal support may take many forms, it is rarely desirable for the paying spouse to remain tethered to a person he or she divorced, regardless of the circumstances.
When two parents choose to separate or divorce, determining who gets primary custody of a child is often a large conflict. Parents do not generally get to dictate child custody terms to a court, but a court may willingly implement an agreed-upon custody plan if both parents present it together and the terms are fair.
When you and your child's other parent decide to separate or divorce, you face numerous decisions about how you will share the responsibilities and privileges of parenthood. For many parents, negotiating these arrangements is complicated and frustrating. Unfortunately, the emotional weight of dividing up parenting responsibilities often causes some parents to overlook important aspects of these agreements, leaving them unprepared for unpleasant surprises later on.
Nobody wants to pay alimony, and not all spouses want to receive it. However, if the legal conditions are ripe for an alimony payment -- and the less-moneyed spouse wants to pursue it -- then spousal maintenance payments could be an issue in a divorce.
Divorce is often harmful for both parents and their children. If divorcing parents do not take great care to protect their children, those children may carry deep emotional wounds for many years, and the parents’ relationships with them may never fully recover. Most likely, you know individuals who still struggle with the emotional baggage of their parents’ divorce, or you may struggle with these things yourself.
When you're headed toward a divorce, the necessity of that process may be the only thing you and your spouse can agree on. You may both have different expectations for the asset division process and different desires for the parenting or custody arrangements for your children. If you're both seeking primary physical custody, the courts will end up making key decisions about parenting.