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Are you truly considering divorce, or has the divorce process already started for you? In either case, being proactive and accepting full responsibility for your divorce is the greatest way to protect yourself. We’re not talking about “taking responsibility” or implying that the divorce was all your fault. We’re talking about taking a proactive approach and taking control of the situation from here on out.
If you rely on your husband, it’s crucial to understand that it’s common for a woman’s quality of living to plummet after a divorce, often by as much as 30%. As a result, you should concentrate on taking the steps necessary to gradually reverse that trend.
Allowing your emotions to take control of you and walking into your divorce blindly is the worst thing you can do. Start by being organized about your existing and prospective financial circumstances to adopt a smarter strategy. Here are some tips on how to get organized:
• Get a copy of both of your credit reports so you can see which accounts are open and how much money you owe.
• Make a copy of your tax returns from the previous two to three years.
• Make copies of all financial documents, such as mortgages, credit cards, life insurance policies, and auto loans.
Should divorce is unavoidable, consider the following factors to help you protect yourself. If your spouse has already filed divorce papers, do not sign any agreements or other paperwork until you have hired a divorce attorney and had him or her review the proposed documents.
If divorce mediation is not an option, hire your own lawyer rather than your spouse’s. When you employ your own legal counsel, you may level the playing field and avoid being at the mercy of your husband.
Money is the first consideration in a divorce.
If you are affluent or going through a high-net-worth divorce, you should counsel with a licensed financial advisor who regularly handles divorce cases. Even if you have a low salary, you may profit from the services of a financial expert. He or she might be of tremendous assistance by financially preparing you before you file for divorce. They’ll be able to explain how various settlement options may effect your financial future.
Keep these financial factors in mind as you prepare for divorce:
Lower-earning spouses may be eligible for spousal assistance during and after a divorce in California, but it is not guaranteed. The length of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, each spouse’s income and assets, the dependent spouse’s need for support, and the higher-earning spouse’s ability to pay it are all considerations that go into determining whether spousal support will be awarded.
If spousal support is ordered in California, it normally terminates when one of the spouses dies, a court ruling states that it is no longer needed, or the receiving spouse remarries. When spousal support is granted, it is usually for one-half of the duration of the marriage; for example, if a couple has been married for seven years, support may be granted for 3.5 years, but this isn’t always the case.
When it comes to spousal support, family court judges have a lot of leeway, but if the marriage was for a long time, say 10 years or more, it may be awarded without a set expiration date.
That said, this does not mean that assistance will continue perpetually; it only means that the judge may not set a termination date at the outset. In that situation, support may be terminated or adjusted at a later date if the facts of the case warrant it.
Spousal support will no longer be considered taxable income for the receiver, nor will it be tax deductible for the payer, as of January 1, 2019.
In terms of divorce concerns, we’ve only scratched the surface; there’s a lot more we’d like to discuss with you. If you’re considering divorce, please contact one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Spodek Law Group for a free consultation.
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