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Stockton CA Divorce Law Blog

Seeking a just division of property

When you and your spouse choose to dissolve your marriage, a California judge will attempt to divide your shared property as equitably as possible. A 50-50 split between the two of you may seem like the most fair arrangement, but what is fair is not necessarily just. At Dianne Drew Butler & Associates, we have seen cases in which one spouse attempted to deceive the other by hiding assets by retitling or misappropriation. If you are the victimized spouse in a case such as this, the court may decide to award you a larger share of community assets. 

If your spouse is self-employed or owns a business, he or she has multiple avenues available to disguise the unauthorized transfer of community property. A salaried worker has fewer such opportunities, although that does not mean that he or she will not attempt it. There are many reasons why one spouse may misappropriate assets: an illicit affair, a costly addiction or a desire to line his or her own pockets in the event of a likely divorce. Regardless of the reasons for it, this behavior amounts to marital misconduct, and the court may penalize your spouse by reducing his or her share of the property.

Child custody mediation benefits and tips

In California, child custody mediation is a precursor to going before the judge to receive the final custody order. Mediation has many benefits, and one of the main ones is the positive effect it has on children. According to the American Bar Association, parents who cooperate through mediation rather than pursue a lawsuit reduce the stress of conflict that children typically feel during a divorce. Outcomes are generally much more beneficial for children, too, as parents are usually able to work out a schedule that allows each of them to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with their child. 

A parent may worry, though, that compromise will result in a less favorable parenting plan. FindLaw offers these tips to help a parent get the most out of the mediation process.

Why you need to know about the different types of child custody

California parents understand how difficult it is to deal with matters pertaining to child custody during divorce. Even two parents who resolve to work amicably and respectfully together on a joint custody plan may find these issues complex and sensitive. It is helpful for parents facing divorce to understand the different types of child custody.

When it comes to your relationship with your children and your parental rights, it can be beneficial to understand as much as possible about how custody works. Custody arrangements differ on a case-by-case basis. The right type of custody plan for your family depends on the needs of your children and other factors.

Tips for estate planning in domestic partnerships

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. However, just because it is legal, doesn’t mean that all long-time couples in California get married. At Dianne Drew Butler & Associates, Inc., we know this makes it crucial to ensure you take time for estate planning.

Domestic partnership protections can vary by municipality and may be created by using private documentation or by signing a state registry. Unfortunately, even a formalized relationship lacks many of the benefits of marriage. If you are in a domestic partnership, you can take steps to ensure your partner and family are taken care of when you die.

Can you combat stress during divorce with positive habits?

You knew that making the decision to divorce your spouse in California would take its toll from an emotional perspective. You were fully prepared to begin making important decisions about your future relating to your financial situation, living situation and child care situation. However, you never considered how significant amounts of stress could begin to alter your ability to stay focused, be effective in your job and continue to build and maintain solid relationships. Fortunately, there are healthy ways of combating the stress related to your divorce.

One of the most important things for you to remember as you begin the process of separating from your partner is to not forget about yourself and your own needs. It can be easy to get caught up in completing paperwork, organizing financial statements, coordinating a child custody arrangement and negotiating alimony requirements. Before you know it, you have completely forgotten about yourself and are beginning to be buried in a sea of stress and depression. 

California's community property laws

Dividing property in California as the result of a legal separation or divorce can be complicated and costly. Understanding how the court systems view debt and community property before the process begins can save time and prevent unpleasant surprises.

The California court system defines property as anything that can be bought and sold or has monetary value. Examples are as follows:

  • Bank accounts/cash
  • Car
  • House
  • Stocks
  • 401(k)/Pension plan
  • Life insurance with a cash value

Is there a spousal support formula in California?

How is spousal support calculated in California divorces? Is it just a matter of plugging numbers into a formula? The answer, like many things about alimony in California, is somewhat complicated.

For one, it depends on whether you are talking about temporary or final spousal support orders.

3 options for avoiding contention during a divorce

Ending a marriage is not easy, whether a divorce stems from the marriage running its course or more specific issues like infidelity. No matter what the circumstances leading up to the divorce are, however, many people prefer an amicable divorce to a contentious one. This is especially true when there are children involved.

If you are among those hoping to avoid the most bitter and divisive elements of a divorce, there are some steps you can take to do this.

Informal negotiations may make divorce less painful

The thought of going through divorce is no doubt tough both emotionally and financially. This is especially true if your divorce involves high-value assets. However, you do not necessarily have to go to traditional divorce trial to resolve issues such as property division.

Informal negotiations can be an effective way of tackling divorce issues such as property distribution and alimony. Here is a look at what divorce negotiations involve in California.  

Can child support orders be changed?

Sometimes, after a child support order is formed, circumstances occur that cause a parent to feel this order is no longer a good fit.

Here in California, there are ways parents can seek to get child support orders changed.

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Each time I met with Dianne she was concerned for my well being, and was sincerely empathetic about my situation. She made a horrible chapter in my life bearable.

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Dianne Drew Butler & Associates, Inc.
3031 West March Lane
Suite 224
Stockton, CA 95219

Phone: 209-390-8829
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