3 Things To Know About Divorce Finances

Divorce always involves dealing with finances. Whether your concerns lie with property distribution or support for your children, it's important to find a workable resolution.

At the law offices of Kathleen J. Smith, we have more than 20 years of experienced handling divorce cases and are familiar with the financial challenges that come along. Call 707-387-0668 for guidance about your specific situation from a proven family law attorney. We serve clients throughout the region from offices in Santa Rosa and Sonoma.

Here are three important things to take note of when considering divorce finances:

California is a community property state.
This means that any assets you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage are held in joint ownership, subject to a 50-50 split at the time of divorce. This includes residential property bought with marital earnings, mortgages, retirement accounts and wages.

At the same time, there are certain assets not accounted for under community property laws, also known as separate property. Examples include gifts, personal inheritances and any assets attained prior to the marriage. We can help you determine the ownership of your assets and what will be accounted for by the law. Additionally, if you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, either before or during the marriage, you may be able to override community property laws with your agreed terms.

You have a duty to make proper financial disclosures to your ex.
In a California marriage, you have fiduciary duty to your spouse. Part of the divorce process is to make full financial disclosure so that you and your spouse are aware of each other's assets and financial health.

You will need to gather a number of documents and financial statements to prepare for the disclosure, including pay stubs, credit card statements, bank statements and income tax returns. We can walk you through the full checklist of documents to prepare so that you do not get rid of any documents that could be essential to your divorce.

Pay attention to your settlement.
The final settlement should reflect both your and your spouse's financial obligations for your post-marital lives. If you have children, you should make sure that you and your co-parent resolve matters of child support, including your child's education and health care options. This ensures that your child's well-being remains protected in the best possible way.

At the same time, if you or your spouse is entitled to spousal support payments, the settlement should reflect this need so that neither party faces financial hardship in transitioning from marital life. We can help you determine if you are entitled to alimony and help you tailor the payments to your specific financial needs.

Let Us Guide You Through Your Divorce Finances

To learn more about divorce finances and how you can meet your own needs, schedule a confidential consultation with a lawyer. Give us a call or complete our online contact form.