When people walk down the aisle, they do not think they’ll one day be divorced. In the beginning of their marriage they think, “We will never get divorced,” but then something happens.
Whether it’s a year-long affair, alcoholism, domestic violence, a gambling addiction, or realizing that one has little in common with their spouse, the reality sets in and divorce becomes a favorable alternative to a life of unhappiness.
If you are “contemplating” divorce, we humbly suggest that you do a little research and learn some of the basics of a California divorce. You are in unchartered territory, and you want to avoid as many surprises as possible. That being said, here are seven realities of divorce to become acquainted with.
1. There are benefits to filing first.
There are advantages to filing for divorce first. For one, it gives you ample time to copy all the financial documents, before they mysteriously go missing. Filing first puts you in control, and allows you to strategize your moves, and you are not on the defensive.
2. You are entitled to 50% of the community property.
California is a community property state, which means you are entitled to 50% of all of the assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of who earned them or whose name is on the title or account. Exceptions would include an inheritance or a personal injury award in your spouse’s name.
3. Adultery does not impact spousal support or child custody (usually).
California is a no-fault divorce state, thus your spouse’s cheating would not affect spousal support. Adultery does not usually affect child custody unless the affair somehow impacted the children in a negative way.
4. Spousal support is a tax deduction, child support is not.
Spousal support is tax deductible for the paying spouse and taxable as income for the recipient spouse. Child support however, is not deductible, nor is it taxable.
5. You should not move-away with the children without approval.
If you want to move-away with your children and your ex disputes the move, you should not move without obtaining the court’s approval first. Otherwise, the move could backfire.
6. Child custody and support can be modified.
The courts recognize that people’s lives change, especially after a divorce. If you experience a major change, you are entitled to ask the court to modify a child custody, child support, or spousal support order.
7. You cannot hide assets from your spouse.
During a divorce, you cannot hide assets from your spouse. Not only will the courts find out about it, you’ll lose credibility with the judge and you can be penalized.
Need a Los Angeles divorce lawyer? Reach out to Claery & Hammond, LLPto schedule a free, confidential case evaluation! We are here to guide you every step of the way.