San Diego Family Law Blog

Gray divorce and the financial future of older divorcees

Divorce will bring significant financial changes for both parties, particularly older adults. Gray divorce, which is divorce between two people age 50 and up, is on the rise, which means more people could be facing an uncertain financial future. Divorce later in life can leave a person with a precarious financial future, but there are ways a person can protect his or her interests.

One of the most critical issues in any gray divorce is the matter of retirement. If you are facing the prospect of ending your marriage while you are also coming upon your golden years, it is in your interests to know how you can still pursue a strong financial future. While your plans may have to change or you may have to adjust expectations, it is still possible to have security and stability long-term.

What should you do if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets?

Divorce is a financially complex process, even when the two parties are completely amicable and committed to resolving divorce disputes out of court. This process can be even more difficult when there is conflict over how to divide marital assets and money. This is a typical occurrence in divorces where there is a lot of money and valuable property on the line.

In high asset divorces, it is possible that one spouse could attempt to hide assets from the other. Sometimes, this is done out of revenge or the desire to keep more assets for himself or herself. Regardless of why this is happening, if you think your spouse is going to try to hide assets or is being dishonest in the divorce proceedings, you can fight back. There are steps you can take to locate assets and secure the information you need for a fair financial order.

Divorce mediation is not always successful

When you and your spouse decided to divorce, you may have had high hopes for a peaceful settlement. More couples are finding that alternative dispute resolution such as mediation leaves them with a more positive outcome since they work out an agreement together. In some cases, disputing couples develop better communication skills during mediation that allow them to interact more effectively after their divorce, especially in matters related to the children.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is also common for negotiations to break down in California, especially if your mediator is poorly trained or inexperienced. If you head into negotiations without knowing what to expect, you may find yourself making little progress, and this can be frustrating.

2019 spousal support tax change

As of January 1, spousal support will no longer be tax deductible

In divorce, spousal support is often a point of contention which takes time to negotiate. However, considering the changes in tax law taking effect the first day of 2019, time is of the essence if you want to use your spousal support payments as a tax deduction.

How the new tax laws will affect you after divorce

Spousal support payments will soon be drastically affected since new laws prohibit their deduction on your tax return. With changes to the law entering into the equation, your divorce may look a little different.

Protecting your relationship with your beloved pet

Although those who are not "pet lovers" may scoff at the idea, many divorces involve the heartbreaking reality of deciding who gets the family dog, cat, or other pet. It is frequently just as painful as dealing with child custody issues but, until now, the Family Court system in California has treated pets as "property". Consequently, if the parties cannot reach an agreement the Judge could only award the pet to one party or the other, without any consideration of the devastating impact it may have on the other person.

Who makes important decisions for a child after divorce?

When parents are facing the prospect of divorce, they often wonder how their decision to move forward with this process will impact their child. As a California parent, you know you have custody rights and are entitled to access to your kid, but it is in your interests to fully understand how child custody works. There are different types of custody that can affect your role in the life of your child.

Legal custody refers to a parent's right to make decisions for his or her child. This is separate from physical custody rights, which pertain to the actual time you will spend with your child. Whether you will fight for custody in court or you believe it is best to negotiate a settlement out of court, it is smart to think about how you should address the issue of legal custody as you pursue a beneficial custody order.

It's not always easy to separate your assets

For most couples, the nature of their marriages is the joining of their lives. Tangibly, this often means commingling their property and finances and providing mutual support for each other's success. You and your spouse may have enjoyed this for at least part of your marriage. Whether you made your fortune together or brought your money into the marriage, you are now left with the unenviable task of dividing it through divorce.

If you and your spouse have substantial assets, you probably already understand how complicated your divorce can get, especially if you have been married long enough for your assets to become intertwined. While you will certainly want the assistance of a skilled attorney who has experience in handling the divorces of wealthy spouses, there are some things you may be able to resolve with your spouse before beginning divorce proceedings.

Is bird nesting the best choice for your kids?

No one knows better than you what your children need to help them adapt to a new lifestyle following your divorce. While you may rely on close family members or friends for advice or recommendations, the bottom line is that you know your children best and are fully equipped to make decisions on their behalves. It would be nice if divorce were so simple that all you would have to do is create the plan you determine is best for your kids then implement it.  

As you already know, however, there's another parent involved, and the California court also has to approve any parenting plan you wish to carry with you into your post-divorce future. If you and your former spouse get along well and are both willing to cooperate and compromise as needed regarding your children's care, you may have options available to you that other parents don't. For instance, you may choose to try a "bird nesting" custody arrangement. If the idea is new to you, there are support resources available to help.  

Can you tell fact from fiction when it comes to divorce?

Perhaps when you decided to divorce, you were fairly confident that you'd have a network of friends available who could help you navigate your emotions and other issues throughout the process. After all, most people know anywhere from three to 10 (or more) people who are divorced, right? The problem is that while close friends can indeed be sources of moral support and encouragement, there is also a lot of misinformation circulating in California and elsewhere that could complicate your situation.

It's crucial that you be able to identify a myth when you hear it regarding various aspects of divorce. For instance, you may have heard it said that those who divorce simply did not try hard enough to save their marriages. That's a myth that can do a lot of emotional harm if you buy into it. Getting your facts straight ahead of time and lining up other sources of support in addition to your friends may be a key to a swift and successful outcome.

When divorce isn't possible, is legal separation a better choice?

There are many reasons why a California couple may choose to end their relationship and still choose to wait to divorce. In many cases, it is not prudent for one party to simply move out, yet living together may no longer be a feasible option. In these cases, it is can be beneficial to understand more about how a legal separation could work.

Legal separation is a formal process for a couple that is currently married but no longer wants to live together. It is not quite a quite a full divorce, but there are many elements of a separation agreement that function much like a divorce. If it is the right choice for you and your spouse, you would benefit from a formally drafted separation agreement in order to protect the interests of both parties.

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