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San Jose Divorce Law Blog

What to do if a spouse takes joint assets

A spouse's unusual or secretive financial activity could indicate that the spouse is considering divorce, or it could simply be an effort to protect a couple's money if the other spouse is irresponsible. In San Jose, if a couple does divorce, it is under community property laws, so moving marital assets to an individual account will usually not affect how property is divided. However, a person whose spouse is using shared marital assets for an individual account may have legal concerns.

For example, one couple was each given about $40,000 when they both lost their jobs. They also sold their home and received around $90,000 from the sale. The man found another job and had his paycheck deposited into the couple's joint account. However, his wife took her money from the job and the $90,000 and placed it into an account in her own name. She moved money from the account each month to cover bills and did not heed her husband's request to either move the money back into their joint account or retitle the account in both their names.

Don't forget these provisions in your child custody agreement

The phrase "a day late and a dollar short" is one that many California parents know too well. That's because, once you ink and sign your child custody agreement, it's difficult to change the terms you've agreed to.

In some situations, though, it's not the terms parents agree to that become the problem. It's the terms they forgot to include that end up biting them where it hurts.

Financial silver linings in divorce cases

Individuals in San Jose who are approaching or going through divorce may fear the financial downsides. The divorce process itself can be expensive, and the loss of a spouse's income can make things more difficult financially. There are, however, potential financial silver linings associated with divorce.

For example, during divorce is one of a few times that a person is allowed to withdraw retirement funds without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. Once a qualified domestic relations order has been entered as part of the divorce process, money can be withdrawn without the usual 10 percent penalty. For people who get divorced at or over the age of 62, there may be Social Security benefits.

The benefits of shared custody

When parents in California consider getting divorced, who will have custody of the children is often a huge concern. Historically, mothers often have been awarded primary physical custody, and fathers get to see their children during weekend visits. However, an increasing number of experts have begun to question whether this arrangement is what's best for the children.

During the last few decades, joint custody arrangements have become more common, although the children may still spend the bulk of their time with one parent. The prevailing wisdom has held that granting one parent primary physical custody can provide a more stable environment for children and help prevent them from being exposed to conflict and friction between their parents.

Garnishing wages and child support

Some people in San Jose may be among the many workers whose wages are being garnished for child support, student loans or consumer debt. According to a study released on Sept. 27 by the ADP Research Institute, 7 percent of people throughout the country have their wages garnished. Usually, garnishments happen as the result of a court order.

Men disproportionately have their wages garnished at 71 percent of garnishments, and this is largely due to child support. The study also found that more than one-quarter of men who are ages 35 to 55 and who work at manufacturing companies in the Midwest have their wages garnished. At 3 percent, child support is also the most common reason for wage garnishment.

Divorce rate for senior couples is increasing

A sad fact of life for many older California couples is that the longer they've been married, the more expensive the divorce might be. There are more assets for them to divide and less time to recoup financially before retirement.

According to statistics, the divorce rate is declining for all age groups except for people 50 years old or older. Some researchers suspect the divorce rate in this rate is growing because of the empty nest syndrome; after children leave home, couples may discover they no longer have anything in common and may decide to split. They then need to do what they can to protect their finances.

Protecting assets during a divorce

Going through a divorce is often a stressful and emotional process for a lot of people in California and elsewhere around the country. It can be difficult for individuals to make sound decisions about splitting assets, but failing to do so can leave them in disastrous financial shape. People who are going through a divorce should pay close attention to all the details and make sure they fully understand the ramifications of their decisions.

One of the ex-spouses may want to keep the family home after a divorce. If both parties contributed to paying the monthly mortgage, the house payment may become too much of a financial burden for one person to handle. On top of the monthly payment, the person that gets the house will also be responsible for additional expenses, such as home maintenance costs and taxes.

Tax changes that happen after a divorce

People in California who are divorcing will find that after the divorce, there are changes in how they must file their taxes. One big change is the switch from filing as married to filing as single or as head of household if there are dependents. The person will also be in a new tax bracket. After an annulment, the couple must also file amended tax returns for the years they filed as married.

Alimony payments must be mentioned in the divorce or separation agreement to be tax deductible. For the recipient, they are taxed as income. Child support payments are considered separate and cannot be taxed or deducted. Only one parent may take the dependent exemption for the couple's children. While this is usually the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent may take it if both agree and the noncustodial parent files Form 8332 with taxes. However, the other parent can file Form 8332 and revoke the noncustodial parent's right to the exemption.

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna reach support agreement

California residents often hear news of celebrity child support disputes, which can become very complex. The dispute over child support between Rob Kardashian and Black Chyna also fits the pattern and after almost a year of conflict, the exes have agreed to terms.

According to reports, Kardashian will share custody of his 1-year-old daughter with Blac Chyna and will make monthly child support payments of $20,000. In return, Blac Chyna will retract abuse allegations she made against Kardashian, while reserving the right to once again go to court for the alleged domestic abuse if Kardashian violates the terms of their agreement, which includes Kardashian keeping his distance from Blac Chyna.

Relationship of work hours and income to divorce rates

Actuaries apparently calculate the chances of their marital success very accurately because people in that profession have the lowest divorce rate. Other people in California who work in careers related to science and mathematics enjoy comparable stability in marriage, according to FlowingData. The organization looked at data from the 2015 American Community Survey and studied the relationship between occupation and divorce rates.

Other occupations with lower than average rates of divorce included software developers and medical professionals. Their higher incomes could play a role in their lower likelihood of ending marriages. The data showed that people with higher incomes had fewer divorces.

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