Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP
Menlo Park
San Ramon

Bay Area Family Law Blog

Don't leave your marriage with an unfair debt burden

Divorce is a complex process that will require you to make financial adjustments and changes in various areas of your life. You understand the importance of secure a fair property division order, which is why you are fighting for your fair share of all marital assets. During this process, you would be wise not to overlook the important issue of credit card debt.

Most Americans have credit cards. In fact, most people use cards for everything from weekly grocery purchases to emergency medical expenses. Because of the dependence on credit cards, most people also have credit card debt as well. Who will have to pay this debt if you and your spouse divorce? It is critical that you take steps to ensure you do not emerge from the divorce process with an unfair debt burden.

Your high-asset divorce could cause conflict

High-asset divorces tend to be complex. Dividing property is complex as well, and it is in these divorces that people are most likely to end up in a conflict.

There are many assets that have to be considered and split up during divorce. Business owners may have to split a portion of their businesses or compensate their spouses through other means. People who have multiple properties have to divide them in a way that is fair (in California, that means dividing them by equal value). Even stocks and retirement accounts have to be divided in a way that is agreeable to both parties.

How do you divide property equally?

High-asset divorces can be complex and frustrating, but they don't have to be. Even if you have many assets to your name, it's possible to resolve your divorce peacefully and to move forward with the best opportunities in front of you.

With high-asset divorces, there is a likelihood that there will be at least one business involved. In some instances, property has been collected over time, and some are assessed with a high value. Regardless of the situation, it is important for you and your spouse to discuss how you'd like to divide those assets.

Psychological frustration and divorce: Normal for kids

One problem some parents have with their children after divorce is that their children may act out. Some become abusive while others are aggressive or angry. This is common, and there are some reasons for the behavior.

You must remember that a child going through a divorce with their parents has gone through a major life change. They may not know what to expect and have difficulty understanding how to express their emotions. If your child is a toddler or in elementary school, they may not yet fully grasp the best ways to explain their worries or to express themselves. Frustration, anger and aggression can result.

Take time to prepare for a custody battle

If you have children and are going through a struggle to determine your custody arrangements, you may fear that you'll end up in court. A custody battle can be long and drawn out. It can be harmful to your children, and it can be stressful for you.

If a custody battle is really what has to happen, you have to take a firm defense of what you want for your children. You want to protect their best interests and your right to have them in your life. Even if you aren't the parent who is making this challenging, you need to make a firm decision on how to address this problem. If you go to trial, you need to be ready to fight for your children.

Don't give up more than you have to during divorce in California

The main thing to know about marital property division in California is that it falls under the laws of community property. Community property essentially means that any assets gained during your marriage are shared equally between you and your spouse regardless of the person who first received them.

In some cases, this can be complicated. People may not have contributed equally to the marriage, yet the law requires the couple, if they go to court, divide their assets as equally as possible.

Postnuptial agreements can protect your marriage

You may have read that the rate of divorce is on the decline. Analysts point to several reasons why this might be true, but one may be that more couples are using prenuptial agreements to address potential conflicts. However, not every couple is emotionally ready for such a contract prior to marriage.

A newer trend in family law is the postnuptial agreement, which you and your spouse sign after you are married, even years later. While a postnuptial contract can have the same purpose as a prenup, there are other important elements that may benefit you if you have discovered issues of conflict in your marriage.

Don't make these mistakes while creating a parenting plan

Custody can be a disputed issue even after an order is in place, but how can you avoid putting your child in a difficult position? There are some divorce mistakes that you can avoid making, which will help you do your best as a parent and avoid hurting your child.

One thing both parents need to do is to effectively manage any anger they have toward the other parent. You should not take this anger out on your child and shouldn't bother to take it out on your ex-spouse, either. Managing anger is more about how you allow events to affect you; by finding ways to relieve that stress in a healthy manner, you'll be a better parent. Your child will learn from you, too, so they can also have better coping skills.

Equitable or equal distribution? It's your preference

High-asset divorces are common, especially among older couples. As you grow in a marriage together, you collect assets. Some of those assets may become quite valuable over time, making it important for you to seek them out if you're going through a divorce.

Whether you have only two retirement accounts and a single home or you have multiple properties and income streams, it's important for you and your spouse to divide those assets in a fair manner. California's laws require community property to be divided equally unless you and your spouse agree on different terms.

How can you support young children during divorce?

Divorce is hard for children, especially when they're too young to fully express themselves. As a parent who wants to do your best to help them with this transition, it's easy to get frustrated when they can't tell you what they need or want.

Young children have a particularly difficult time expressing themselves because they haven't yet learned the techniques to do so. As a result, they may become more tearful, angry or aggressive than usual when confronted with things they don't want to do.