10 Questions To Ask a Divorce Attorney

Do you specialize in divorces, or are divorces just a part of your practice? Are you a certified family law specialist in California? What is your strategy for my case? How long will it take to resolve my case? How long to you take to return phone calls? How do I get a hold of you if there is an emergency? What do you consider to be an emergency? Will anyone...

What You Should Know About QDROs

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal document that directs the administrator of a pension plan to give a certain amount of an employee’s pension to his/her non-employee ex-spouse after the divorce is final. Here are the top four mistakes people make when it comes to QDROs. Consider this scenario: husband and wife happily sign the divorce...

The Money Trap

How can two nice people — who used to be a nice couple — suddenly turn into two gladiators trying to destroy each other? If you’re just getting started in the divorce process, you’ve probably gotten plenty of free advice from well-meaning friends, families and neighbors. They may have said something like the following: “Hey, sorry...

Taxing Questions: Things you’ll probably need help with

Special facts which you should know and upon which you will need to obtain further advice from your accountant or attorney are: If spousal support is paid to one party by Court order or written agreement, such amounts are taxable income to that party and the amount of such payments are deductible for tax purposes from the income of the paying party. It is...

Keeping Custody of Your Pocketbook

Keeping Custody of Your Pocketbook

Each year, more than one million U.S. marriages end in divorce.  Many people forget to plan for the financial impact of a divorce prior to filing. There are many financial decisions that you must think about during divorce in order to minimize the financial impacts of a divorce, and few people give thought to these decisions prior to starting the divorce...

Drowning in Debt?

If your divorce has left you drowning in debt, credit counseling or even filing for bankruptcy can throw you a lifeline. Here are some strategies for ending your post-divorce credit woes. A long marriage usually creates a firm financial stronghold and system for a couple. When the couple gets divorced, the system suddenly gets shattered: assets and debts must be...

Unreported Income and Hidden Assets

Unreported Income and Hidden Assets

Unreported income and hidden assets are often alleged in divorce proceedings, with the spouse who is not running the business claiming that unreported income should increase both the spousal support award and the valuation of the family business. In civil litigation, it is often a partner or shareholder that is alleging that someone in his business is hiding...

Common Errors in Business Valuations

Common Errors in Business Valuations

Business valuations are prepared by a variety of professionals, including business appraisers, business brokers, financial analysts, certified public accountants and economists. On occasion, the background of the evaluator preparing the valuation may predispose that individual to serious errors in the valuation of the business. This article will explore some of...

Employee Stock Options: Valuation, Apportionment, Tax and Other Strategic Issues

Employee or Executive Stock Options are becoming increasingly more popular forms of compensation in the work place. Understanding how to value and transfer Stock Options are particularly important when dividing marital property. Under California Law, assets acquired during the marriage are community property. Consequently, stock options, to the extent that they...

The “A” Team: Financial Professionals

Divorce is a complex process that affects just about every aspect of your life — from financial to emotional, physical to legal. Unless you’ve been married for only a short time — and have no property, assets, or children — you’ll probably need some professional help to get you on track to a healthy, happy post-divorce future. The...

Keeping Your Head Above Water

Keeping Your Head Above Water

How To Make it Through Your Divorce Without Going Broke.  One of the great myths of separating and divorcing couples is that it is cheaper to live as a single than as a couple. Here’s the fallacy in that thinking: presently, you both contribute to your lifestyle. And if you’re like most couples, you struggle each month to make the paychecks stretch...

Debt and Divorce

If you’re getting a divorce, how will you and your spouse divide your debts? And what happens if your soon-to-be ex can’t pay his or her share? The liabilities and debts you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage should all be assigned, paid, or handled in some manner as part of your divorce settlement. The debts should include all credit...

Innocent Spouse and the IRS

During your marriage you will probably have filed a joint tax return.  Upon your divorce or even years later you may regret having signed a joint tax return when the IRS audits your joint returns. When you filed a joint federal tax return jointly the law says that you are both liable for any taxes due along with any interest or penalties. That means the IRS can...

Divorce is Not the End of Your Relationship

A dissolution of marriage does not end the relationship between you and your former spouse. Rather, it begins a new, and often painful process of restructuring your relationship. working together, you can create a new relationship as friends and Co-parents of your children. This process, however, requires time. You should be aware of the various stages which may...

Making Changes

Divorce is all about change — some negative, and some positive. How you look and feel physically can have a considerable impact on your emotional state; here’s how to use a healthy diet, exercise, and maybe even cosmetic surgery to make a change for the better. Except for the death of a spouse or child, divorce produces more stress than any other...

Discovering Your Single Identity

After a breakup, you have the opportunity and freedom to become who you wish to become. You should use this opportunity, no matter how negative its origins, to resurrect your identity and exercise freedom of choice. Seize the chance to create and learn, and use your experiences as a means of building something new. If you consider it in the most basic of terms,...

Creating a Satisfying Life

Contrary to what you might believe, personal happiness is not dependent on life dealing you a good hand. How you respond to what comes your way will largely determine whether your life is fulfilling or not; here’s how to move from dissatisfaction to real satisfaction. The breakdown of a marriage is one of the most traumatic things that can happen in your...

Divorce as Friends

…and maybe even save your marriage.  Editor’s Note: This article is not geared towards those in abusive relationships; being nicer to your abuser is unlikely to have a positive result. What you can do, however, is to take responsibility for being in the relationship, and for ending it in a way that is safe and works for both you and your kids (if...

Love, Money and the Blended Family

Statistics say that one in two marriages end in divorce. This sociological earthquake has left the old-style nuclear family in ruins — but what effect is it having on the economics of love? I really hate this, but I end up having to sign checks to pay Colin’s ex-wife’s mortgage,” complains Sara. “We make O.K. money — enough...

The Psychological Stages of Divorce

The Psychological Stages of Divorce

A dissolution of marriage does not end the relationship between you and your former spouse.  Rather, it begins a new, and often painful process of restructuring your relationship. working together, you can create a new relationship as friends and Co-parents of your children. This process, however, requires time. You should be aware of the various stages which...

Focus on Families: Divorce and Adults

Although it may be little comfort if you are currently facing divorce, recent estimates indicate that you have lots of company. More than half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce; the majority involve children. Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. This is true regardless of whether you are the person who...

Handling the Holidays

If you’re recently separated or divorced, avoiding the holiday blues can be a challenge. But with a little planning, creativity, and courage, you can cope with — and even enjoy — the holiday season this year. If you’re facing the holiday season alone for the first time, you may be expecting to feel lonely and in pain for the duration....

Stepping Off the Roller Coaster

The divorce roller coaster includes periods of euphoria followed by deep lows. Right now, you may be feeling like an unwilling passenger on a wild ride, but the ride won’t last forever. In the initial stages of divorce, it’s hard to be patient while the world is going about its everyday business as if nothing has happened. Don’t they know...

Healing Practices

Share your story — struggles and successes — with a support group. No one knows better how you feel than those who have been there. Create some kind of divorce ceremony for yourself. For example, try writing a eulogy for your marriage. Place the written document in a box with other symbolic mementos of the marriage, then bury it in the woods. In...

Sex and Divorce

Coping with divorce and the prospect of new sexual relationships can be emotionally challenging, to say the least. Here’s a look at some of the pitfalls and opportunities you’ll encounter as you rebuild your sex life. When it comes to divorce and new relationships, there’s a memorable line from the 1989 Rob Reiner film, When Harry Met Sally....

Co-Parenting Agreement

Co-Parenting Agreement

Cooperative parenting is a process whereby parents living apart agree to act jointly in the best interests of their children, by establishing two homes for them and by consulting with one another concerning the needs of the children and their own needs as co-parents. The following is a co-parenting agreement that you may wish to agree to: CO-Parenting...

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Child custody disputes have become increasingly common. As the frequency of child custody disputes has increased, so has the animosity and antagonism parents bring to these conflicts. Often children are caught in the middle of parental disputes and are enlisted by one parent as an ally against the other parent in a campaign of systematic denigration and...

Parental Alienation

20 Activities for Long- Distance Moms to do with their Children

1. Go to the mall and have a photo of yourself put on a pillow case and then send it to your child. If you have a favorite cologne you might want to put a little bit on the pillowcase to remind your child of you. 2. Purchase or make stickers of your child’s name and stick them over the names of a character in one of their favorite books. You can also get...

20 Activities for Long-Distance Dads to do with their Children

1. Go to the mall and have a photo of yourself put on a pillow case and then send it to your child. If you have a favorite cologne you might want to put a little bit on the pillowcase to remind your child of you. 2. Purchase or make stickers of your child’s name and stick them over the names of a character in one of their favorite books. You can also get...

My Father’s Voice: A Long-Distance Fathering Story

My Father’s Voice: A Long-Distance Fathering Story

With supper finished it was mom’s time for a break from her children. It was our time to be with dad. Cindy, my eight-year old sister, got the book while Tom, my six-year old brother, and I (four-years old) climbed on our gray couch. Book in hand, Cindy joined us on the couch and we all waited for mom to start the old reel-to-reel tape player. Dad was...

Thank God It’s Over: A Child’s Story

One Child’s Tale of Growing up in a Divorced Home By Anonymous When Dr. Shulman first approached me to write this article I was flooded with many different thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Do I really want to relive this terror? How will this help me in the future? What’s in the past is the past! As I started to think about my task, I must admit...

Helping Children Understand Divorce

When parents decide to divorce, they typically have been through a series of events that have led them to this decision. Whether or not children are aware of parents’ decisions depends on many things, including parents’ behaviors and children’s experiences. In some families, husbands and wives may argue frequently in front of the children,...

Children’s Understanding of Divorce by Age Group

Children’s understanding of parental divorce depends on their age. It is important for parents to know what thoughts and feelings children of different ages may be having so that they can modify their own behaviors to help children adjust to the divorce. INFANTS Understandings Infants notice changes in parents’ energy level and emotional...

Activities for Helping Children Deal With Divorce

Going through the process of divorce is a challenging life transition for both parents and children. During their parents’ divorce, children often feel a wide variety of conflicting emotions. It is very important for parents to provide their children with understanding and support. This guide provides ideas for many activities parents can do to support...

Sibling Relationships in Divorced Families

When parents divorce, brothers and sisters may begin to interact differently. While some siblings become closer at this time, others may argue more and become emotionally distant. It is difficult to predict how children will respond in any particular family. The emotional stress that parents feel following divorce may temporarily reduce the amount of attention...

Using Books to Talk to Children About Divorce

Children’s books about divorce can help them work through the issues they face. Reading books can give children a way to express their emotions and discuss issues that they may not otherwise be comfortable talking about. Parents also may benefit from these books by learning common things that children of divorce experience. It’s not your fault, KoKo...

Affairs

Affairs

Affairs are devastating to the trust that is the foundation of your marriage. Some people confront their partners as soon as they have any suspicion of an affair.  But for most, coming to grips with their suspicions is a long struggle. Unfortunately, the possibility of an affair is so frightening to most people that they either suppress their awareness of these...

Domestic Violence Overview and Resources

Domestic Violence Overview and Resources

Between 2 and 4 million women annually are victimized by domestic violence. In 1991, at least 21,000 domestic violence crimes against women were reported to the police every week. Approximately 52% of women visiting hospital emergency rooms report at least one incident of violence during their lifetime. Most children in homes in which domestic violence occurs...

Domestic Violence Statistics

A 1992 national survey by the Family Violence Prevention Fund found that 13% of women surveyed had been physically attacked by their partner. According to the FBI, domestic violence claims the lives of four women each day.1 A Philadelphia study found that 20% of women presenting with injuries at emergency rooms were victims of domestic violence.2 A 1988 study by...

Conflict Resolution with your Spouse

Conflict occurs when two or more people believe that what each wants is incompatible with what the other wants. Conflict is likely to increase in times of change. It is an important human process which can often lead to constructive and creative results. Conflict makes it necessary to search for new approaches. Better ideas are often produced through conflict...

Top 10 Emotional Facts About Divorce

The wife may not be able to keep the house. The husband may need to share his pension. In divvying up household items, you may not be able to keep your favorite painting or casserole dish. You may not have as much money as you want, need, or used to have. You may have to set up a visitation schedule for your family pet. The kids will go to your ex for...

10 Ways to Build Resilience

The following has been reprinted with permission from The Road to Resilience, a brochure put out by The American Psychological Association (APA). Whether going through a divorce, loss of a job, serious illness, or other difficult times, how we respond to these experiences can enable us to more effectively manage these situations. What enables people to deal with...

Infidelity Checklist

Infidelity Checklist

Infidelity does not discriminate! It affects anyone no matter whether you are rich or poor, attractive or not, young or old. Nor, does it recognize your sexual preference. Infidelity has recognizable characteristics. Can you relate to these emotions or actions? Hurt, Denial, Frustration, Isolation, low self-esteem, and embarrassment. They can be but not limited...

Paternity

A Paternity lawsuit is a legal proceeding that allows unmarried parents to resolve issues similar to those dealt with in a dissolution proceeding but is limited to the issues of custody and visitation and child support. Establishing “parentage” means establishing the identity of the child’s parents. A parentage action begins by one party filing...

Annulment & Legal Separation

Do I qualify for an Annulment? In order to obtain an annulment you must prove either that the marriage is void or voidable. A void marriage is an incestuous or bigamous marriage. A marriage may be voided on the grounds of the age of the petitioner (less than 18) upon marriage, prior existing marriage, unsound mind, fraud, force, or physical incapacity. Remember...

Love and the Dotted Line

Love and the Dotted Line

It may not be the most romantic part of your blooming relationship, but a prenuptial agreement can protect your financial future if that bloom fades. Whether you’re Donald and Ivana or John and Jane, here’s what you need to know before walking down the aisle. Most people take marriage seriously, and hold high hopes for their new relationships. Little...

Community Property

General Information Generally, community property and obligations are those acquired during marriage and prior to separation. They could include assets acquired after separation using community funds and obligations incurred after separation to preserve community assets. Generally, they do not include items incurred or acquired after separation or those acquired...

Community vs. Separate Property

California is one of nine states that embrace the law of community property. Community property is a theory of law in which the husband and the wife are treated as co-owners of property in a form similar to a partnership. All of the property owned by married couples in California can be classified as community property, separate property, or quasi-community...

How Your Property And Debts Are Divided

As a general rule, all community property and community debt is split evenly (50-50) between the spouses upon dissolution. This of course does not mean the house or the car will be physically split in half or the spouses will have to share them. Rather, the rule states each item of community property must be evaluated in terms of its market value. Each spouse is...