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Menlo Park
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San Ramon
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Bay Area Family Law Blog

If you have a complex divorce case, get the right help

When you're working on dividing your marital property, the best thing you can do is think of the situation like a business deal. California requires a 50-50 split of marital assets, but that doesn't mean that you and your spouse can't negotiate and come up with different terms.

When you have complex property concerns, you both may want to hire your own attorneys and make sure you're in touch with them as you work on negotiating a settlement. Your property and debts have to be divided and settled before your divorce can be finalized, so doing this as soon as possible helps you move your divorce along quickly.

How will your divorce affect plans for your kids' college?

While you certainly want to obtain your fair share of marital assets from your divorce, if you are parents, your primary concern is how your children will fare through the breakup of your marriage. In fact, it is likely that most of the decisions and compromises you make are directly related to the welfare of the kids. Even though it may be years down the road, it is important to include college planning in your divorce settlement.

Sending your kids off to college may have been a given during your marriage. Perhaps you and your spouse even started a savings plan in anticipation of rising tuition costs. However, now that divorce is imminent, you may have to take your plans to the next level and include as many contingencies as possible in your divorce agreement.

Get help with your high-asset divorce to protect yourself

Prior to getting involved with your current spouse, you'd set up your own business. They came to work for you as your employee, and later on, many events led to you both getting married.

Today, your spouse is an important part of your business, but with a divorce on the horizon, you're scared that you're going to lose the business that you once put so much time and effort into starting. What should you do?

Your recreational pot use can affect custody

If you are in the middle of a contested custody battle with your ex, you should expect that they may decide to play dirty. While that can mean all sorts of different things, here in California where recreational marijuana use is now legal, the bud you smoke could become a legal sticking point.

How is that, you may be wondering, when you can go right to a dispensary and legally purchase it?

The way you act and appear in court matters

In a family law courtroom, one of the most important things for you to do is to dress and act the part of a parent who is responsible and caring. If you are responsible and want to protect your children, you may think that the way you appear will have little impact based on the evidence involved in the case, but the reality is that first impressions matter.

When you come to court, it's extremely important that you dress in a conservative, appropriate way. Doing so is following the rules of courtroom etiquette. It also shows that you can follow rules and be respectful of the court's wishes.

Misconceptions about co-parenting can hurt your child

Co-parenting has long been a reality for many divorcing couples. Did you know that there are many misconceptions about co-parenting? Would you like some tips to make it easier?

There are some misconceptions to address first. For example, most people think that co-parenting has to mean that you always agree on how to raise your child. That's not true because even happy couples won't always agree on how they want to raise their children.

What does it take to show the court you're the better parent?

Like other parents in Menlo Park and San Ramon, you want what is best for your children. Now that you are either contemplating divorce or have already filed, you anticipate fighting for what you believe are the right choices for your children.

If you aren't able to work well with the other parent to figure out what that means for your family, you will need to rely on the court to make these decisions for you. However, that does not mean that you will not have the opportunity to plead your case and prove that you are the better person to serve as the primary custodial parent.

What is the discovery process?

If you are going through a high-asset divorce, there are some things that you can do to make it easier for yourself. The first is to make sure that you exchange information about your assets and debts honestly with your spouse. The second is to make sure they do the same thing for you.

Divorce discovery is a process where you learn about the extent of what you own, your debts, your income and other aspects pertaining to the overall value of your case. It's important to review the information related to divorce discovery early in the case. That way, you will be able to note if there are any assets or accounts that you believe are missing or that were not disclosed by your spouse.

Artwork has value: Remember it during divorce

In any high-asset divorce, one asset that you should remember to have appraised is artwork. Artwork won't always be worth thousands or millions of dollars, but a few pieces worth several hundred dollars will add up.

Artwork is one of those assets that may not have a particular value, though. You will need to seek an appraisal, and the appraiser you hire may not agree with the appraiser that your spouse works with. As it's been said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that's certainly true in the art world.

Is there a right way to talk to children about divorce?

When you have children, it can be complicated to explain that you want to divorce your spouse. You and your spouse may already have spoken about getting a divorce and believe it's for the best, but you're not sure how to address it with your children.

Before you speak with your children about divorce, you should consider the way you want to bring up the subject. It's normally best for both parents to sit down together as a team when discussing the divorce and what it means for their children. However, if you need to do so separately, that's okay too.