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Orange County Family Law Blog

If you and your spouse own a business, divorce can be complex

After the end of a marriage, one of the most complex issues both parties need to resolve is property division. California is a community property state, meaning all marital assets are divided between spouses in equal proportions. The same rule of community property applies when one spouse owns a business; that business is also subject to equal division at the time of divorce. In fact, it is a managing spouse's duty to disclose all matters pertaining to the business to his or her spouse.

Many Orange County residents who operate a business know that family-owned businesses enjoy certain tax exemptions. However, after divorce these exemptions are considered income and as a result, become taxable. In order to address such issues, advisors can determine the value of the family-owned business and help evaluate the monthly income generated by it. Determining the income is also important for various other divorce legal issues such as child support and spousal support.

Are California residents aware of the UPMAA?

Divorce creates a unique set of challenges. In most cases, some of the challenges pertain to the various financial aspects of a divorce including property division, child support and alimony. In recent times, people who want to avert issues related to these aspects often sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that details how the aforementioned issues will be addressed in the event of divorce. The laws regulating such agreements in California were discussed in an earlier post.

Although most states have such statutes, the standards for regulating prenuptial or postnuptial agreements vary greatly from state to state. As a result, when divorcing couples move from one state to another, the enforcement of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement from another state is difficult.

How California family law defines supervised visitation

The well-being of their children is extremely important for parents, particularly those in Orange County, California. This is why family law and divorce courts base their decisions on the best interests of the child for all legal issues that concerns the children involved. However, there are certain circumstances that put children at risk, such as domestic violence. In cases like this, the child custody process during a divorce may be affected as well.

Based on the information provided by the California Court system, domestic violence is a big issue for parents dealing with the child custody process. For one, domestic violence or any related situation is one factor that is considered when determining the best interests of the child during a parent's divorce. If either parent has a background or has been proven to exhibit abusive behavior towards the other parent or the child, the chances of that parent winning the custody of the child is slim. Guaranteeing the safety of the child will be the priority when creating a parenting plan.

Art assets can be a lot of work upon California divorce

In most property division cases in California, divorcing couples fight over bank accounts, real properties, vehicles, houses and even the furniture. But what if one spouse is an artist who creates extraordinary pieces of art? Will the artwork created by the spouse during marriage be considered marital property?

Artists have extraordinary minds, which makes their divorce and property division battles a little different than others. According to a recent report, an artist-spouse has a tendency to think that the artwork the person created is the person's sole property. Many of these creations may be stored somewhere in their studio, on display as a decoration in the home or on a consignment to a gallery. While many Californians may think that these creations are separate property, this may not be the case. Usually, family law courts in California view any kind of artwork as a community or marital property, provided that the artwork was created during the marriage. This means that even though the other spouse did not contribute to the creation of that artwork, the person has the right to claim a share over that asset.

Preparing clients for property division scenarios in a divorce

When a California couple gets married, each spouse tends to work hard in order to develop a successful career. Their hard work not only earns a good income but also secures their household's finances and financial stability. However, when the relationship goes downhill and ends in a divorce, everything that the couple worked hard for such as their bank accounts, business assets, furniture and even their marital home can be at stake during property division. This is one of the reasons why property division is among the most complicated tasks in a divorce.

Under such circumstances, many Californians who are not familiar with the legal issues and family law concerns of a divorce may worry about their financial stability. Fortunately, our Orange County-based law firm knows how to deal with these issues, particularly the financial aspects of it. Our team understands how challenging it is for a couple to deal with their failed relationship and still make important financial decisions. However, the guidance we can provide to divorcing spouses may allow them to look at the bigger picture rather than focus on their emotions.

How does a prenup play out for married and unmarried couples?

Nowadays, increasing numbers of people are paying more attention to their careers than to their personal lives, hoping to develop full relationships and perhaps families only after they have achieved some level of financial security. Many of these people often choose to live together first to see if their relationships will work out, perhaps not wanting to be just another statistic noted in the high U.S. divorce rate.

In some sense, though, financial security can be harder to find and maintain when in an extramarital relationship. People who choose to live together often spend considerable amounts of money on furnishings, sometimes accumulating debt in the process. Unlike married couples who do more or less the same, couples who are not married can be financially vulnerable if their relationships end. One or both parties can lose property and whatever they paid out during the relationship. The property division process for married couples, however, allows both spouses to claim half of all marital properties.

Child custody presents big challenges to parenting

For Californians who choose parenthood, raising children can turn out be one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. It can also be incredibly challenging. Taking care of children means providing physical and emotional support as well as effective discipline and anything else they require in order to develop into good human beings. This can be even harder when parents divorce and one parent is given child custody.

The childcustody process begins before the divorce is over and first requires that both parents are clear about their rights and responsibilities in regard to their children. Many judges in California want parents to understand that children often have a hard time adjusting to parental separation, no matter how old the children are. This is why parents are usually well served to develop parenting plans that meet the best interests of their children. An effective parenting plan will help children adapt to their new lives after divorce.

California's Compromise of Arrears Program for child support

Upon divorce, however, a child support order determines the financial obligation of each parent when it comes to school expenses, basic necessities, healthcare and other needs. Although providing child support is usually the primary responsibility of the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent has an obligation as well to financially provide for the child, similar to custody and visitation rights under California family law.

Failure to pay child support arrears may have certain consequences in California. Some programs are available to help parents who fall behind through no fault of their own without imposing the penalties normally incurred for not paying child support.

What should spouses know about the divorce process in California?

Most Californians are loosely familiar with the legal issues involved at the end of a marriage. Some have experienced them firsthand, and others have seen friends or family members experience the range of emotions that comes with the end of this most intimate relationship. However, before divorce papers are filed and a couple is forced to deal with issues such as child custody, spousal support and asset and property division, they might want to look more closely at what the process entails.

By definition, a divorce is the process of dissolving the marriage or, as is now allowed under California law, the domestic partnership of two individuals. Once the divorce is complete, both parties are considered single again and can remarry.

We can help you nullify or create a prenuptial agreement

No matter their income or assets, for California residents at different levels of wealth on the verge of marriage, a prenuptial agreement provides a way to make the important financial decisions about money and other priorities in the relationship before marriage. While having a prenup has certain advantages, not all prenuptial agreements are the same. While prenups are supposed to be created under mutual agreement, they may still result in inequitable power split between the spouses.

For one, there are situations in which prenuptial agreements are made under coercion or duress. A soon-to-be spouse may be coerced into signing a prenup without having full knowledge of the consequences. Some spouses feel they must enter into a prenup to please their soon-to-be husband or wife, or they may sign the prenup before properly reviewing the marital contract.

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