When one or both spouses in a divorce have ownership in a professional practice, things can become complicated. Spouses who are partners, shareholders, or sole owners of a professional practice have likely invested a great deal of time meeting with attorneys and accountants to limit personal liability and taxes that arise from their practice. In these discussions, the possibility of divorce may have been contemplated and a prenuptial agreement or other pre-divorce plan was put into place to protect their business. Many, however, do not have any pre-divorce safeguards, which can put their professional practice at risk during a divorce.
In any divorce where children are involved, child support is a very serious issue. Whether you are the parent paying or receiving child support, you want to ensure that your child will be provided for and receive all the support and benefits necessary for them to live a healthy and happy life. While the paying parent may feel like they get the raw end of the deal, it's important to remember that this money is not for the benefit of your ex-spouse; it's wholly for the benefit of your children.
While the best way to protect your investments in divorce starts long before the divorce ever becomes an issue, i.e., through a prenuptial agreement, trust, estate planning, or other pre-divorce strategy; many people do not have such plans in place. In the absence of a pre-divorce plan, the burden is on you to prove that your investments are separate property not subject to division.
Depending on the state you live in, there are generally two basic methods of dividing assets in a divorce: equitable distribution and community property. California is a community property state, which means the court will divide the couple's community assets equally. Any asset obtained or income earned during the course of the marriage is considered community property unless other agreements have been made, such as a prenuptial agreement, or some particular exception to that characterization exists in the law.
Here's a nightmare scenario. Imagine divorcing from a spouse and then being diagnosed as HIV positive. Such a scenario would be a nightmare because of both the disease and the fact that it was transmitted by someone you loved and someone with whom you might have believed yourself to be in a monogamous relationship. Fortunately, should this kind of event occur, there is something you can do about it. Legally, you can seek restitution against your partner by filing a claim known as a domestic tort.
In the thick of a divorce, tensions often run high. Each spouse may wish nothing but pain and misery for the other. Such feelings, though unfortunate, may be unavoidable. Even the most agreeable people can become petty and mean in the midst of divorce.
A child whose parents are divorcing may feel as if he needs his own lawyer-someone to articulate his feelings of confusion and sadness, someone to make his parents aware of what he needs to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. While minor's counsel may be appropriate in certain situations, their job is to represent the children's best interests to the court, not the best interests of the parents. Therefore, parents must take it upon themselves to understand their children's fears and wishes and then be prepared to address them in a compassionate and child-focused manner.
One key to being a successful parent after divorce is to clearly and directly follow the law. It is never a good idea to sneak around or do anything that a court would consider illegal. Sneaky, underhanded actions can result in penalties for the parent, ranging from fines to losing custody. In an effort to understand how to act transparently, consider a post-divorce scenario where the court order (typically the Judgment) provides that the son will live with mom. He is, however, actually living with his father, even though father does not have court-ordered custody. In this case, the father is technically in violation of the divorce judgment; the new arrangement is, after all, not what the judge ordered. Even if Mom approves of the child living with Dad, the situation still lacks a judicial "stamp of approval."
Life insurance can be a key component of a divorce settlement. This type of insurance is often used to ensure that there will be enough money to support the children if the parent paying child support dies. It is a means of supporting one's children that even death cannot stop. But in order for life insurance to work one parent must have a life insurance policy. If neither parent has life insurance, there may not be a fund from which such support can be paid.
Adultery is usually seen as reason to get a divorce. Spouses who have been cheated on typically feel angry and believe that continuing their marriage to their partner no longer makes sense. Still, some spouses choose to remain married even after discovering their partner's infidelity.