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Murrieta Legal Blog

Student loan debt in a California divorce

Student loan debt is a major concern for many people in California. The cost of attending university in the United States has grown significantly over the years. As a result, many people face student loan burdens that may total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. When people decide to divorce, the division of their largest assets may be some of the most contentious issues that arise. The financial effects of the end of a marriage can linger for years into the future. The same holds true for the division of large marital liabilities such as student loan debt.

People who obtained their student loan debt before marriage will, in most cases, leave the marriage with their obligation to pay off their loans intact. Most premarital property is generally considered to remain separate property. However, as California is a community property state, dividing student loan debt can be more confusing when the obligation was acquired after the marriage began. In some cases, the student loan debt can be considered a marital liability to be divided with other assets and debts between the partners.

The truth about what it means to be a noncustodial parent

There are many misconceptions that people may have about noncustodial parents in California and throughout America. For instance, they may believe that a noncustodial parent gave up his or her rights voluntarily. However, the truth is that a custody ruling is based on what is best for the children, and in some cases, parents realize that what is best for their children is to live elsewhere.

Therefore, it can actually be a good thing for a parent to volunteer to give up physical or legal custody. Another common myth is that noncustodial parents don't pay child support or have an active role in their children's lives. The truth is that most parents pay some or all the support that they owe. Furthermore, they generally have visitation rights to a child and play an active role in raising their sons and daughters.

What is the difference between community and separate property?

As you and your spouse divorce you must separate your belongings. If you or your spouse have begun living separately, you may have informally divided your belongings already. If this division works well or if you and your spouse come to another agreement about property division, you must be sure to have the agreement formally signed off by a judge. If you and your spouse cannot agree about who should take what, a judge may decide these issues for you.

Regardless of who ends up deciding on the property division, it is important to understand the difference between community property and separate property. This knowledge can help you advocate to receive your fair share of the belongings.

Parents may have to enter support agreements to receive benefits

When parents split up, as many California couples know, one main concern is how to provide for the children. With 37 percent of children who live in single-parent homes living under the poverty line, it is important to work towards providing the best support for them. The USDA's new recommendations for states regarding SNAP benefits seeks to do just that.

The USDA is recommending that states institute child support cooperation agreements as requirements for either of the parents to receive SNAP benefits. While critics worry that this might put children and custodial parents at risk for violence and abuse from reluctant non-custodial parents, supporters believe this is an important step towards closing the gap between what children and custodial parents nationwide are owed in child support payments and what they are actually receiving. Additionally, the recommendations include exceptions as each case should be closely monitored to ensure that forcing a child support agreement is in the best interest of the child.

Virtual visitation can help military parents stay in touch

Serving as an active duty member of the military is a demanding job. In addition to the physical and mental rigors involved with active service, there's the social pressure from being away from your family for an extended amount of time. Many married couples find it hard for their marriage to survive the distance and strain of active duty deployment.

It can be even harder to deal with active-duty service during and after a divorce. You may have a hard time staying in touch with your children because of your job, and that difficulty may result in a more imbalanced visitation and parenting schedule at first.

Financial documents women need as they prepare for a split

Preparing for a divorce includes gathering information about the past few years of life to be able to plan for the future. As many California women know, finances can often provide surprises during this process, particularly if a spouse was not actively involved in handling these during marriage. To prepare for a stable, financial future, experts recommend gathering three types of documents.

As soon as divorce becomes a possibility, women should gather the last three years of their tax returns with any supporting documents, such as W2s or 1099s. If access to the returns is not readily available, women can get copies of these by filing IRS Form 406 or by contacting their tax preparer. Women who have ownership in a privately held businesses might find it more challenging to get this financial information, but it is important to have access to it so that it can be included in future planning.

Student loans can push couples to divorce

Couples in California and around the country could be more likely to divorce if they have student loan debt, according to a study conducted by Student Loan Hero. Other studies have found that general money problems are a top source of marital discord, but this study discovered that unpaid student loans are especially toxic for marriages. Specifically, researchers found that one-third of divorced couples blamed general money disagreements for their divorce and one in eight said that student loan debt was the particular cause.

It's understandable that student loan debts cause marital stress because they are often large. In fact, the average U.S. student loan balance is now $34,000, which represents a 62% increase over the last 10 years. Meanwhile, the number of borrowers with student loan debts above $50,000 has increased 300% over the past decade.

Determining child and spousal support during divorce

Divorce in California can come with significant financial changes, some of which linger on long after the other emotional and practical issues have been sorted out. The type of financial changes can vary depending on the length of the marriage, the respective incomes of the two partners and the presence of children. When children are involved and one parent serves as the primary caregiver, it is particularly likely that child support payments will be ordered in the divorce. In some cases, alimony or spousal support payments may be ordered as well, but they may be shorter-lived than the payments to support the children.

There are a number of factors that family court judges consider when determining the amount of child support or alimony to be paid after divorce. In general, the court considers compensation, earned income and passive income when establishing a support amount. This includes both income from a job as well as investment income. Factors calculated can include performance bonuses and corporate contributions to retirement in addition to salary.

Divorce and life and health insurance

When people decide to divorce in California, they may find themselves facing complex financial decisions. Disentangling the relationships formed in marriage can be complex and difficult, especially because people may be connected through a wide range of accounts, funds, beneficiary designations and other official ties. While people may pay more attention to other aspects of property division, there are several insurance issues that may be particularly important to address quickly after the divorce is final, especially in relation to life and health insurance.

In many cases, one person provides health insurance for his or her spouse through his or her workplace. After a divorce, the person who provided the coverage will need to report the change in status to the insurance company. This will leave his or her spouse without insurance, so it is urgent that that individual acts to find coverage. Under COBRA, a person can access his or her ex-spouse's employer policy for up to three years after a divorce. However, the costs can be substantial. Under the Affordable Care Act, divorce is a qualifying life event for people to enroll in new insurance. Better options may be available through a person's employer or on the government exchanges.

California woman's ex ordered to pay child support after 49 years

When there is no statute of limitations on a law, that means there is no time limit to enforce it. Not a year, not five years, not even 49 years.

That is how long it took a California woman to get her back child support paid by her former husband. A judge recently ordered the ex-husband to pay her $150,000 in unpaid support and interest.

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  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization
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