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San Jose Divorce Law Blog

Finances for post-divorce women

Women in California who get a divorce are likely to experience reduced financial circumstances after the separation. This remains true even though an increasing number of women are advancing in their chosen careers.

The United States Government Accountability Office released a report in 2012 that showed the household income for women dropped by an average of 41 percent after a divorce. For comparison, the loss of income men experience after a divorce is closer to 20 percent.

Divorce mediation demands the right attitude

Mediation can be an efficient and simple way for a couple to handle a San Jose divorce. In many cases, mediation makes sense for the parties involved. In some cases, however, it may not be the best option. It often comes down to how the parties feel about one another as they approach and go through the process. Successful mediation requires that each party consider the other's point of view, for example, and that the parties wish one another well.

If there was violence or infidelity during the relationship, mediation is less likely to be successful. Emotionally or physically abusive partners are often unable to empathize with their counterparts. Additionally, feelings of anger and humiliation on the part of a victim of abuse can hinder his or her ability to participate in the mediation process.

Where does child support money go?

Divorced California parents who receive or pay child support might be unaware that the money can go towards more than just financially supporting a child. In California, the money can also be used for repaying the state for the recipient's state aid.

One typical case involved a mother of five, who works full-time and her ex-husband and father of three of the children, who receives public assistance. The parents share custody of the children, with the children staying with the father three days a week. The mother has to pay $475 in monthly child support. Of that amount, $425 goes to the state as repayment for part of the husband's public assistance and $50 goes to the husband. The mother pays an additional $25 to the state for back payments for aid received by her ex-husband.

Parenting the children during and after a divorce

It is estimated that about 41 percent of all first marriages do not last. Further, nearly a third of all divorces are between parents of young children. For these couples, sharing children means that the two parents may have to deal with each other at least until the children come of age.

Experts say that children benefit the most when both of their parents are actively involved in raising them, unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect. As such, parents should do their best to put the children first when it comes to divorce, though it is noted that this can be difficult. For example, keeping the children's home life as stable as possible during the divorce and custody dispute can help them get through it. This may include continuing to live in the same home and going to the same school as before.

How much does divorce mediation cost?

San Jose spouses who are going through a divorce might try to work through their differences with divorce mediation. Perhaps, for example, you and your spouse are at an impasse in a custody disagreement with your child. It looks like you may need to take the matter to court, but you know that it would be easier of your family if you could reach an out-of-court settlement.

A skilled mediator can help you and spouse negotiate and reach accord. If the mediation fails, then it may be necessary to defend your parental rights in court, but if the mediation works, it will be worth the time and cost.

Home ownership after divorce

Owning a home is very important for many California residents, and the fate of a marital home is one of the most important aspects of any divorce. There are several things that may happen to a home during divorce, and a spouse should keep in mind a few factors that may affect their ability to get a mortgage.

The marital home is often the most important and most valuable asset in a divorce. In most cases, the home will be subject to property division, which will result in one of the following outcomes. A single spouse may be granted the entire property. The value of the property may be split between the spouses, in which case the house is sold and each spouse receives their share of proceeds. If the value of the home is split, then a spouse may attempt to keep the home by buying out the other spouse's share of the value.

What to plan for before getting a divorce

For many California couples, the day that they get married is the happiest of their lives. Conversely, getting a divorce may be among the worst. All 50 states allow for no-fault divorces, which means that there is no need to state a reason such as adultery or domestic violence as the cause of the split.

The first step to get a divorce is file a petition and pay the required fee. An individual must also notify his or her spouse of the intent to divorce. A divorce settlement may be reached outside of court and resolve issues related to how to split property or joint debt. It may also be possible for parents who are getting a divorce to come to a child support and custody arrangement on their own subject to judicial approval.

What a divorce can do for a person

Although many California residents who are going through a divorce have a basic understanding of what to expect, they may not have a full grasp of what a divorce can actually do. For example, some residents may assume that they will get everything they want out of the divorce while others may be afraid that they will be left high and dry. However, going into the process with realistic expectations can reduce fear and anxiety residents may be feeling.

One of the major things a divorce can do is determine how marital property will be split among the former couple. It should be noted that, unless it was commingled, property that one person owned prior to the marriage will not be divided. Further, gifts or inheritance given to one person may also not be split. If a person needs or wants a specific piece of property, such as the family home or car, he or she should work with their attorney to make negotiations when the property division is being completed.

Uncertainty over healthcare may be impacting divorce petitions

California residents are likely aware that healthcare has become a contentious political issue in recent months, and a growing number of analysts say that uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act has prompted some couples to put off seeking a divorce. It was once a common practice for couples with concerns over health insurance to separate rather than divorce, but this now happens rarely as employers generally no longer provide coverage to legally separated spouses.

Research suggests that the uncertainty about the future of healthcare affects wives more than it does husbands. A 2012 study from the University of Michigan revealed that going through a divorce causes about 115,000 American women to lose their health insurance coverage each year. The United States is the only developed country where healthcare is tied to marital status and employment, and a possible ACA repeal without a suitable replacement has many spouses worried according to legal and financial experts.

How a legal separation differs from divorce

Some couples in California may decide to have a legal separation before getting a divorce or in lieu of divorce. While it does not technically end a marriage, a legal separation addresses many of the same issues as a divorce.

For example, support payments and custody agreements would be elements of a legal separation the same as they would be in a divorce. In a separation, however, the latter two are referred to as maintenance to distinguish them from the orders that accompany a divorce. If the separation precedes the divorce, the final decision regarding support may take the maintenance arrangement into account.

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