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Redwood City Family Law Blog

Don't forget these 3 assets during your divorce

You're divorcing, and it's something you've known was going to happen for quite a while. Now, all you want to do is to make sure you get the most out of your divorce.

In California, you're meant to divide your marital assets 50-50, but to do that, you need to find them all. There are a few different kinds of assets that people tend to forget when they're working on a property division agreement. If you want to get as much financial support as you can, don't miss these.

Can you ask for a portion of hidden assets?

Asking for a modification of your divorce decree isn't necessarily unusual, depending on the reasoning. Many parents ask for modifications to adjust child custody, for example. Others may ask for modifications of alimony when they're getting remarried or have a change in their circumstances.

Another time when you may want to seek a modification is if you find out that your spouse hid assets during your divorce. Your ex-spouse may have argued that assets no longer existed or that they were lost, but if you find out that they had just transferred those assets to another party or created a false debt to make it seem like the asset was depleted, then you may have a strong case to seek a modification.

Is divorce right for you? It might be, but think it through

You've been struggling with the idea of getting a divorce from your spouse. They haven't been around as much as you'd like, and you're getting tired of waiting for them to spend time with you. You know that life is busy, but even when you make your best effort to be there, you don't feel they're doing the same for you.

After getting stood up at a restaurant for the third time, you decided that enough was enough and started to look into a divorce. You're not sure if this is the right choice, though. What should you do?

Will you be able to adopt your spouse's children?

Adoption is a beautiful way to grow your California family, but depending on the circumstances, it can also be a complex process. This is especially true if you wish to adopt your spouse's biological children. Before you proceed with the stepparent adoption process, it may be beneficial to first learn more about the legal options available to you.

Like any other significant family law decisions, you will want to have the guidance and support of an experienced legal ally. This can help you and your spouse understand how to proceed and what you need in order to accomplish your goals. Regardless of how you, your spouse and your stepchildren feel about adoption, there are specific requirements you'll have to meet before you proceed.

Is your ex-spouse asking for more support?

Your ex-spouse has always been good with your kids. You have both been working together to raise them, and all has gone pretty well, considering the situation. You buy them items outside the child support you already supply. You're thankful to be in a position where you can do so.

What you're starting to worry about, though, is that the support you want to go to your children doesn't seem to be enough. Your ex keeps asking for more money, and she said she'll have to seek a modification if you won't pay. Nothing about her situation, or yours, has changed (that you're aware of). What should you do?

Dividing real estate can be tough, but good support helps

You and your spouse have been together for around 10 years. During that time, you focused on buying homes and turning them into rental properties. Today, you have seven homes in your real estate portfolio. You earn a few thousand dollars each month from the renters who live there.

When your spouse decided that she wanted to get a divorce, one of the first things you thought about was how difficult it would be to divide your real estate. Every property has great, long-standing tenants. You've been very fortunate and would hate to ask anyone to leave.

A post-divorce modification could help you modify your decree

When you seek a post-judgment modification, you're asking the court to modify the final judgment previously made. For instance, if you have a child custody arrangement in place that doesn't work any longer, you may ask the court to modify that arrangement. If you have a property division settlement agreement that you want to have altered, you can ask for that as well.

You can seek an appeal to ask for a modification of the judge's decision after your divorce is finalized. Usually, settlement agreements cannot be appealed, unless there was a significant problem with how that settlement was reached or there is a problem with enforceability.

Do you have to follow community property rules?

California is a community property state. What that means is that the court expects both parties to leave the marriage with half of their marital assets (or half the value of those assets). The idea behind community property laws is that those who are married should be sharing their marital assets if they divorce. No person should be above the other, and splitting the assets collected during marriage keeps things fair.

Not everyone agrees with this, especially because debts can be a part of that equation. Imagine if your spouse puts thousands of dollars on credit cards that you didn't know about. Then, when it's time to go through your divorce, it's discovered that she owes $25,000 to various companies. You could end up being on the hook for those bills, too, especially if they were on shared credit cards or accounts.

Custody of a pet? A judge will choose if you can't

Since 2019, the laws surrounding pets involved in divorce in California have changed. Today, pets are supposed to receive some rights, because unlike your sofa or TV, they have feelings and are living, breathing creatures.

Today, judges can look at your case and have the power to decide on the best interests of the pet involved in the divorce. Does one person provide better care to the pet? Does one walk the pet every day while the other ignores it? All of these kinds of factors are now considered, so that the pet goes to the right home.

Does divorce have you concerned about real estate and retirement?

The decision to divorce was likely not one you came to lightly. You may not have even made the decision yourself but learned that your spouse wanted to end the marriage. Whatever the case, your mind has likely been reeling as you think about how this major change could affect your future.

You will certainly see many changes in the coming weeks and months as your case proceeds, and the outcomes of your case could affect you for years to come. In particular, you may worry about how the divorce will affect your finances and other assets.


The Law Offices of Oliver R. Gutierrez
600 Allerton St., Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-399-0962
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