When it comes to the division of marital property during divorce, some things are easy. He gets the TV, she gets the antique furniture. But deciding who gets to keep the beloved family pets isn't always so simple.
A young California couple that decides to divorce before they have children and significant assets may experience a very different divorce process from a couple that divorces with kids, a home and shared investments. Further, a couple that has been married for a significant period of time may go through an even more distinct divorce process when they choose to end their marriage.
Previous posts on this Stockton family law blog have discussed the process that a couple must follow in order to legally end a marriage through divorce. Generally, after deciding to initiate divorce, one or both of the parties to the marriage will file paperwork with the California courts that will involve the judiciary in the termination of their union. If a couple chooses not to file this paperwork then they remain legally married.
The complex process of untying one's life from that of another can be made more difficult if the parties have not clearly maintained separation between their individual assets and those assets that they share as married persons. In California a person may maintain his own separate property after his or her divorce, though there are a host of reasons that one's apparently separate assets may be considered marital at the time that the marriage ends.
Johnny Depp is a popular actor who, as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, has entertained California residents for a number of years. Just last year he married Amber Heard, a fellow actor, but their union was not to last. Heard recently filed for divorce from Depp and alleged that he had subjected her to physical abuse.
Though it is by no means a hard and fast rule, couples generally accumulate more wealth the longer they stay married. Whether this is because they advance in their careers over time and earn more money, are able to lessen their expenditures as their children age, or improve their investments and account balances with good choices, older couples often have more money and possessions than their younger counterparts. While this can mean that a California couple will have a comfortable estate to pass on to their friends and family, it can also mean that they have a major task to work through should their union end in divorce.
Prior to their marriage, a California resident may receive an inheritance from a family member or friend. A person may also receive an inheritance during their marriage that is distributed solely to them and not to their spouse. When a person receives an inheritance and later decides to divorce, it can be confusing for them to understand whether the inherited assets should be subjected to the property distribution of the divorce.
Insurance is often seen as an infuriating expense to those who must pay its premiums. For example, a California resident may have to pay hundreds of dollars every year in order to maintain mandatory insurance for his vehicle. That money may seem like it could be put to better use, but if that individual is ever involved in a car accident, his insurance may save him from being personally liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Americans are living longer than they have in the past, due in large part to medical advances and better information about personal care and safety. It is not uncommon for Stockton residents to know individuals who have been married for thirty, forty, or even fifty years; as individuals live longer, marriages endure for longer periods of time, too. However, as adults see their birthdays reach into their seventies, eighties, and nineties, they witness more of the events that occur in the lives of their relatives.
When California residents secure employment and begin to earn wages, they may choose to have some form of retirement account. A retirement account is generally some type of investment or set of investments that are intended to be held for a long duration of time so that workers may have some funds available at the time they chose to stop working. However, when a person with a retirement account goes through a divorce, it can be challenging to know how the retirement accounts will be divided in the property settlement.