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Splitting an IRA account in a gray divorce

The number of divorces in California and around the country involving spouses over the age of 50 has increased significantly in recent years even though the overall divorce rate has remained fairly consistent. IRA and 401(k) accounts are usually among the most significant assets divided in a gray divorce, and dealing with them is often difficult because of strict regulations and complex tax laws that were drafted to deter individuals from plundering their retirement savings.

Individuals who take money from their IRA accounts before reaching the age of 59 1/2 pay a 10% penalty as well as income tax on the withdrawn funds. Exceptions are made if retirement savings are used to purchase a first home, pay medical bills or cover educational expenses like college tuition. Individuals can also avoid the 10% penalty if they choose to retire early. These are known as 72(t) distributions. However, the 10% penalty is applied retroactively and a late interest penalty is also assessed if early retirement withdrawals are not made on a regular basis for at least five years.

Creating a postnuptial agreement

Many couples in California get married without creating a prenuptial agreement. Even if a couple has no prenup in place, a postnuptial agreement can be created during a marriage. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenup in that it's an agreement about who owns what and what will happen to property in the event of a divorce.

A postnuptial agreement might be set up for a number of different reasons. One spouse might be bad at handling money, for example, and a postnuptial agreement could be used to establish new financial boundaries. If a couple started a new business during their marriage, a postnuptial agreement might be written to protect the business in the event of divorce. Another trigger for a postnuptial agreement could be an inheritance or sudden windfall that one spouse is expecting to receive.

How to use information from a calendar in divorce

During a divorce in California, one of the difficult tasks for parents may be trying to reconstruct a schedule and list of expenses for their children. This is necessary in order to determine child support, but under the stress of divorce, parents may struggle to remember all the facts they need for this process. A calendar from the past year can help.

In addition to helping prod a parent's memory regarding child-related expenses, the calendar can also provide useful information for determining parenting time and spousal support. Child and spousal support payments are supposed to help a child and an ex-spouse maintain a lifestyle similar to the one before the divorce. A calendar can help parents remember out-of-town trips for children who play sports and the costs associated with them, gifts purchased for birthday parties children attended, any appointments with doctors and therapists, and other expenses. It can also confirm which parent spent the most time with the children.

The start of a new year could spark a rise in divorce filings

Throughout the year, many Californians decide their marriage is no longer working and choose to move forward with a divorce. While the time of year might not seem relevant in ending a marriage, statistics indicate that there are certain months in which more people divorce. One of those months is January. With the new year beckoning, this should be considered in the context of family law and divorce.

Statistics, research and attorneys suggest that divorce happens more often at that start of a new year. Social media outlets and search engines track user behavior. Google Trends states that there was a crescendo of searches for divorce in early January. Pinterest had a 21 percent spike of searches related to divorce parties from December 2018 to January 2019 and the two previous years. Other studies, such as one from 2016 conducted by the University of Washington, show that 2001 to 2015 had a rise in filings in that state in January. This scenario was evident in other states across the nation.

Can your ex just leave California and take your children?

Whether you have gone through a divorce and now share custody with your ex or were never married to the other parent of your children, you may worry about whether the decisions of your ex will influence your parental rights and access to the children. It is common to wonder about what will happen if your ex wants to move out of California with your children.

One parent moving with the children could certainly restrict or diminish the parental relationship of the other parent unless they choose to relocate as well. The good news is that as long as you have a parenting plan from a divorce or have established your parental role legally, the courts can protect you from your ex leaving the state unexpectedly.

Ensuring that a prenup is fair to both parties

Prenuptial agreements can protect people financially in case of a divorce, but it is best if they are created with the interests of both individuals in mind. One woman who was asked by her boyfriend to sign a cohabitation agreement before they moved in together was shocked by some of its provisions. The agreement stated that if they married, she would not be eligible to any spousal support in case of divorce. It also said that she would not get any financial compensation for the home the man had purchased with the help of his mother even if she contributed significantly to the mortgage.

It is possible that this was simply the boilerplate document the man's attorney presented to him in an attempt to protect the man. However, it is best if both people discuss their needs and preferences when creating a prenup. Both should also have access to legal counsel.

Tips for financial planning during a divorce

Making a financial plan during a divorce in California can be particularly important for anyone who has not been involved in the family finances. A certified divorce financial planner is a financial professional who has been specially trained to deal with financial issues around divorce and may be helpful at this stage. This can be important in ensuring that an individual gets a fair share of the assets.

The first financial step for a person getting a divorce is to make a complete list of all assets. This includes bank accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts. People should also get documentation relating to all of these things, including titles to property. They should gather credit card and bank account statements and tax returns. Next, they should work on putting together a post-divorce budget. They will need to think about where they will live after the divorce and what the cost will be. Some people may need child care because they are returning to work. Some may need to get new health insurance.

International custody disputes and parental abduction

In California and across the country, most kidnappings of children involve not hardened criminals or ransom demands but instead one parent keeping the other from child custody or visitation. When a non-custodial parent takes a child without permission inside the United States, the situation can already be complex and volatile. This may be compounded if an international relationship is involved. In an increasingly global world, many people have partners who have multiple nationalities or primary citizenship outside the United States. People may even enter a relationship or have children while living away from home on a work assignment or educational program.

The end of a relationship with children can lead to serious disputes over child custody. These disputes can be even more complex when international laws and multiple jurisdictions are involved. In some cases, these international custody issues can cause serious problems, particularly when one parent takes the child from his or her country of residence to another country, often the parent's home country. This may be an attempt to avoid a custody decision in the other country or exercise control over the child's future. In some cases, the parent may primarily seek to avoid being stuck in a foreign country after their divorce or separation.

The biggest challenge women face after divorce involves money

When couples in California go through a divorce, they will face a variety of challenges. Women tend to experience challenges in a different way than men, especially when it comes to finances. In fact, money issues are ranked in first place when it comes to women's concerns after divorce, which is even higher than concerns related to their children.

A study found that if a woman worked before, during or after her marriage, she was likely to experience a 20% decline in her income after her divorce. Men, on the other hand, are likely increase their income by an average of 30% after divorce. Poverty rates for men and women after divorce are drastically different as well: About 27% of women who end their marriage will experience poverty, which is almost triple the number compared to men.

An uncontested divorce is a better choice for busy professionals

A successful career is not always easy to maintain. You often have to put a lot of thought into your everyday choices to make your success your top priority. Sadly, for some people, the responsibility of maintaining a career can affect their ability to maintain a healthy and happy marriage.

Even if your divorce has no relation to your professional success or ambitions, you still need to consider whether the divorce will impact your career or your job. Quite a few people don't stop to worry about these considerations until it is too late.

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  • OCBA | Orange Country Bar Associations
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit
  • State Bar Of California
  • Federal Bar Association
  • AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2014
  • AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2018
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization
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