Is Spousal Support Like a Source Of Income In Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIt often happens that during a marriage the wife sacrifices her career to become a homemaker. In some cases, the husband also sacrifices big career choices for the family. But after a divorce such individuals find it hard to get back into the workforce. Spousal support does exist for the partner who is less well-off than the other partner but can it be a source of income?

Spousal support is a type of financial assistance that is provided to a partner as a recognition for his/her contribution to the marriage. Legally married couples are entitled to alimony and the rules vary from state to state. Law courts in California offer financial assistance based on factors like marriage duration, earning capacity of each partner and contribution to the household.

Different types of spousal support

There are different types of spousal support depending upon the spouse’s condition and the amount of monetary help needed by them.

Transitional spousal support provided to individuals who want to pursue training or education necessary for re-entry into the job market. Transitional support is usually awarded in short marriages where an individual may require additional resources to find employment. Compensatory spousal support is awarded to individuals who have made significant financial or educational contributions. The compensatory support is given in only rare cases.

Maintenance spousal support is the most common type of spousal support and is given by one spouse to the other for a specified or indefinite time. Maintenance support is common in long-term marriages where a significant earning gap exists between the two spouses.

Taxes involved

Individuals who receive spousal support are liable for paying taxes.  Spousal support is treated as income and tax is deducted according to the amount received.  However, under the 2017 Federal Tax law that passed in December 2017, spousal support will no longer be tax-deductible for new or modified spousal support orders made after December 31, 2018.

Conclusion

The spousal law varies from state to state and most courts treat it as a necessity for divorced individuals who don’t have a job. Spousal support is treated as an income and is taxed accordingly. There are different types of spousal support depending upon the condition of the spouse receiving the support. Spousal support ranges from short-term payments to long-term payments and covers individual expenses before they find a suitable job for themselves.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Epstein Credits and How They Can Affect Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsEpstein credits come up often in California divorce proceedings and as such it pays to know a bit about it. Spouses often learn about these from their lawyers and it is often a contested issue.

Epstein Credit

The term Epstein credit originated from the Marriage of Epstein case. This 1979 case is a published California case. The Epstein credits initially partially became a part of the California Family Code, section 2626. The code states, “The court has jurisdiction to order reimbursement in cases it deems appropriate for debts paid after separation but before trial.”

So, the Epstein credit is basically a form of reimbursement. It offers reimbursement to the spouse who pays community expenses or debts after separation but before the trial. This applies when the spouse pays such expenses with their post separation money. The reimbursement that they receive is actually the other spouse’s share of that particular debt or expense. As example of the type of expense we are discussing here we can consider payments toward a property mortgage. These credits are not limited only to certain types of payments or assets.

Exception to Epstein Credits

There are several exceptions that need to be kept in mind while considering the Epstein Credits rights. There are certain situations in which the family court may not order the reimbursement: They are as follows:

  • The spouses have a prior agreement that does not allow a reimbursement.
  • The payment was to take care of the paying spouse’s spousal support or child support obligations.
  • The spouse who is seeking the reimbursement will not receive it as the payment was initially intended as a gift.
  • The spouse cannot seek reimbursement for the mortgage payment of an asset that they have been using exclusively.

Each individual case differs from the other when it comes to the use of these credits. Irrespective of that, it cannot be ignored that these credits can come in very handy and be useful in any California divorce proceedings. It can take care of some of the most complicated cases of division of assets and treatment of payments made towards mortgage and debts; an issue that most separated couples face.

It is important to consult a divorce advocate who can provide you counsel on whether or not these credits are applicable in your case and if so, then how you can go about using it in your case.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How Long Before You Can Receive Spousal Support In A California Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County spousal support; California Divorce MediatorsThis is a point that concerns many couples who are facing divorce proceedings in the State of California. The answer to how long you must wait for spousal support depends on understanding the distinction between temporary and permanent spousal support orders.

Extending the divorce petition

The divorce process in California starts with the serving of the petition. The spousal support request can be filed at the same time as the petition. The court generally issues a hearing date between 30 to 90 days of presenting the request. In some of the California counties, the parties presenting the petition can reserve a date in advance. In the rest of the counties, the clerk assigns a date that is available. The wait time until the requesting parties receive the hearing date depends on the family law judge, to whom the case is assigned. If the judge is busy, it might take longer than usual.

Once a hearing date is assigned and is served, the other spouse files and serves a declaration and finally the matter proceeds to the hearing. Spouses have the option of settling the spousal support matters before the hearing and also at the hearing.

Spousal support on temporary basis

This kind of support means the support that is extend by the spouse while the divorce proceedings are on and before it comes to an end. The spousal support request can be presented in the form of request to order, as mentioned earlier in the article. It is a pretty straightforward process and can be carried out along with the divorce proceedings.

Spousal support by judgment (permanent support)

Spousal support by judgment is not as straightforward as the support on temporary basis. It generally is a result of:

  • A settlement
  • A divorce trial

The settlement usually results in a stipulated judgment. If the support is contested and is moved to trial then the judge decides on the amount and the duration for which the spousal support is to be extended. The time taken to reach this judgment depends on:

  • The duration of marriage
  • Disputes regarding the finances of the spouse, or cases such as unemployment of spouse in which case it has to be decided if the other spouse should have their income attributed to the unemployed spouse
  • The standard of living of the couple, during the duration of their marriage
  • Other issues that can cause the divorce to take longer to wind up

In case of fewer disputes or no disputes at all, divorce proceedings can be concluded in less than six months. Otherwise, it may even take more than a year.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Divorce Tips To Follow When Divorce Has Started

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce can be extremely tough even in the most favorable circumstances. Not only does a spouse go through deep emotional anguish, they have to bear the stress of coping with the court proceedings and financial constraints. Apart from these difficulties, you may have to go through even greater troubles unless you do not prepare yourself well Check out a few common difficulties you may encounter in your divorce and how you can cope up with them.

Do not let your emotions make you biased or blur your sense of judgment

Since you may have to go through tremendous stress during your divorce, it is likely that you may not be able to make wise decisions at times. The uncertainty of what lies ahead of you in the future and fury at your former spouse may make you opt for certain decisions that you may not be proud of later on. Hence, the most crucial step you should do at this point of your life is to consciously work towards keeping your emotions in check so that you do not make any rash and impulsive decisions. You can discuss your mental state with those people who you are close to like dear friends or close family members. You can even get in touch with a professional therapist or counselor. It is also recommended to consult your attorney before making an important decision. A good divorce attorney can guide you to arrive at rational decisions instead of making emotional ones.

Stop using social media in an unwise manner

Social networking sites can be a big trap in several ways, especially during such an emotional phase of your life. No matter whether it is you or your estranged spouse who posts comments on social media, it is better to stay off such a platform while your divorce proceedings are on. Alternatively, you can also shut down your account temporarily.

There is no doubt that social media is a great tool to ensure that your friends are updated about your whereabouts. However, it may transform into a medium for venting out your anger and frustration. Now that could be harmful and you may have to face even more problems. The other party may use your posts in the court to make their case stronger. It is also not a good idea to go through the comments of your ex on social media. Such posts can make you angrier and may even hurt you immensely.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Can Separation Save Your Marriage In The Long Run?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen there can be boredom and complacency in a marriage, they may lead to emotions like lack of appreciation and resentment among some couples. If a couple is married for many years, they usually understand each other better. However, being married for long does not necessarily guarantee that it is bound to be a fulfilled marriage. A marriage may survive or get destroyed after a separation based on some of the factors mentioned below:

  • Duration of separation
  • Reasons for legal separation
  • Level of commitment demonstrated by both the parties for saving their marriage
  • Capability of coping up with the absence of one’s spouse

Ways in which a separation may be helpful

It is possible to save a marriage through a temporary separation only when both the spouses are committed in continuing with their union. Are the couples communicating with one another freely or are they guarded? Do they attend all the counseling or therapy sessions religiously? Do they still miss one another when they do not meet one another for whatever reasons? Do they still share camaraderie in each other’s company? Answers to all these questions indicate the value of the separation in a marriage.

When a separation continues beyond a time period of six months, there are a lot of possibilities that it may end up in a divorce. The exception is when there are some contentious matters, which may require more time to resolve. When a separation stretches for a longer duration, the couple may become more comfortable in their own lives. There are new events like new friends, activities, and commitments leading to a greater complacency in cementing the couple’s relationship. It is the ideal time to go on a self-discovery mode since an individual now has plenty of time to aggregate efforts of reconciliation.

While a separation can give you much-needed personal space and time for contemplation, it is important to renew efforts to bridge the gap as soon as possible between you and your spouse.

Merits of a legal separation in salvaging a marriage

  • Spouses get the necessary time and space to understand the obligations and efforts in their institution of marriage.
  • Gives an atmosphere and opportunity to find out new and unexplored aspects of their married life enabling the couples to embark on a new beginning in their relationship or marriage.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How to Handle Anger Dealing With an Uncooperative Co-Parent

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediator; California Divorce MediatorsIt is natural for many people to be furious when the other parent refuses to cooperate and co-parent and poses challenges recurrently. Here are some easy ways and a shift in how they should handle their anger so that they do not take any drastic step.

Concentrate on your kids when you feel that your anger is too much to handle

Do not allow your anger to affect your kids and create a distance between you all. If you get emotionally disturbed due to your arguments with the other parent, there could be a sense of disconnection between you and the kids. On the other hand, if you remain connected with them, your relationship with the kids will be stronger and warmer. It is really a paradox but true that there are many co-parents who lose their cool just because they feel worried about the kids,

You should not forget that the other parent can be distressed too

There are occasions when many people feel that the other parents are purposely being difficult and relish irritating them. But though you may make it a habit to believe this, you could be mistaken.

There are several people who behave improperly as they could be disturbed and are feeling down. When people are contented, calm and hot, they usually behave well with others. Perhaps your former spouse is being difficult since they are going through some sort of a conflict or stress. Plus, they do not know how to handle their emotions. So, thou may try to find out what is making them behave in a hostile manner with you. On the other hand just because you realize that they are distressed does not imply that you should do something different or surrender to their whims. When you are aware of their distress, your response may be better and different.

You should learn to cope up with your anger

Your anger can be an immensely uncomfortable experience. After all, you did not ask for it or want it. When you learn to control your fury, you will get time to ponder over whether you need to take some kind of an action as well as what the most appropriate action should be. Your fury may cause you trouble since you may become illogical and start behaving in an irrational level. The best remedial measure would be to give a space to your anger so that it will be helpful for you to take an effective action, or no action at all.

If you and the other parent want to ensure that your kids grow up in a secure environment, it is imperative for both of you to behave rationally and logically.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Is It Wise To Date Someone Else During Your Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsHave you met someone and wanted to date him or her while you are still getting divorced? If your divorce proceeding is still going on, be cautious about dating. You may feel that it is time for you to enter into a new relationship after proceeding with a divorce or a separation. But it is a sensible decision to be out of the dating scene until the time your divorce comes through for a host of emotional, legal and strategic reasons.

Strategic reasons for not dating prior to divorce

A divorcing couple is quite likely to be not in the best of terms while a divorce is going on. So if you begin to date someone rose, it can aggravate your relationship with the estranged partner even more. Plus, the other spouse can make your life a hell while your divorce proceeding is going on and make resolution of the case more difficult. He or she may even try to take revenge against you.

Although your husband might have had several affairs while you were married, he may not like the fact that you are seeing someone else at this crucial juncture. He is likely to feel that you have wronged him and may try seeking justice through whatever means he can. It is also possible that he might try to get even with you by trying to split the marital property or get the custody of your kids. In case you have kids from the marriage, you should have an amicable relationship with your spouse in the best interest of your kids,

It is likely that you need to have a continuous contact with your spouse even after the divorce comes through due to having children together. If you date during your divorce, it can hamper the spirit of cordiality and cooperation and can even have a negative impact on your life for months to come after the divorce comes through.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Top Financial Challenges Faced By Divorced Mothers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you know the challenges that lie before you as a single mom, it becomes easier to prepare an appropriate action plan so that you can take care of the kids in the best possible manner in your next stage of life. Here are some of the top financial challenges moms face after a divorce gets finalized. 

Ways of paying the bills

One of the top financial concerns for the newly single moms is paying the monthly mortgage or bills. It can be an overwhelming and daunting affair to take care of the household utilities. However, do not despair and give up hopes. You can get through the trying time through many ways. For instance, you can sell off your house and move in with your close friends or family members during this trying time so reduce the financial burden. Alternatively, you can also contemplate refinancing your house to procure a lower rate. 

Providing necessities for the family

It is quite likely that your household income could have been slashed considerably after your divorce. You could be a homemaker while being married. There are other financial concerns after your divorce too such as clothing and school supplies. After all, these can be expensive too. A serious concern for you as a divorced mother is to look out for ways of providing for the entire family. 

Getting the required money to pay for childcare

If you are a newly divorced single mom, you may have a series of financial obligations that may compel you to join work once again or opt for double jobs simultaneously to meet ends. In fact, it can be a big blow as you, not only feel tired and anxious but cannot spend much time with your kids.

When you work full-time, you also need to look out for a reputable childcare facility to take care of your little ones when you are at office. You can take the help of your friends and family members to seek care for the kids when you are away from home until the time you start enjoying financial stability once again. 

Finding a suitable place to live

It is a sad truth that 20 percent of the divorced women fall below the poverty line after their marriages end. Now, that is hardly an encouraging statistic for divorced and single moms who want to offer the finest housing facility and schooling situation to their kids. A serious financial concern after your divorce is where you will live. In case you are incapable of staying in your original house, you should not feel disappointed, you can get help from various assistance programs for housing designed specifically for single moms and families with low incomes, which can come handy during this difficult time.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Things You Should Not Do During Your Legal Separation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhether you should divorce your spouse or try to restore your marriage is a big dilemma because the fate of your marriage is in your hands. If you really desire in having a “peaceful” legal separation that may led to reconciliation or to divorce, check out the following suggestions.

It is recommended not enter into a fresh relationship immediately

You have just gone through your separation period and your emotions are still unstable. Hence, it is not the right time for you to manage a relationship on the rebound effectively. Do you think that you can sustain through the present relationship? You need to give some time to yourself for the healing process. You need to reevaluate and go through self-reflection for understanding your role in the entire separation process. Your spouse could have been wrong but it is also possible that you had your share of faults in your relationship. When you try to get into a new relationship, it can complicate the healing process. Eventually, when you get your emotions in check, you may find that both your old and relationships are lost. After all, there will be hardly any person who would prefer to date somebody carrying a relationship baggage. If your spouse realizes you have lost interest in him or her, they may put an end to efforts for restoring the marriage. While there could be some reconciliable reasons for your separation, when there is an emergence of a relationship on the rebound, things may change leading to irreconcilable differences.

You should not ask for a legal separation without your spouse’s consent

When you leave your spouse in darkness about your decision to legally separate, it becomes a mammoth task to restore marriage. If a separation is handled with the right kind of skills and knowledge, it can lead to stronger marriages. When you spend time away from each other, you get an opportunity to make sensible and logical decisions without your spouse influencing you. How about having a mature discussion with your spouse prior to separation so that there are proper goals, responsibilities, and expectations while the separation period lasts? Such a step will enable both the spouses to have a broader picture of their relationship.

Never be in a hurry to sign the divorce papers

An experienced marriage lawyer is never in a hurry to rush their clients into filing for a divorce since they know that time is crucial to healing painful emotions. You may have a powerful reason to separate from your partner. However, pardoning plays an important role to salvage any difficult marriage. It helps when you take some time away from your spouse to give them a second opportunity. When you rush for a divorce, it may result in bitterness because of regrets.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Issues To Consider In Contemplating Divorce While Pregnant

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

California Family Law Attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIt is needed tragic to go for a divorce irrespective of what the conditions have been in a marriage. It can be even more stressful when you find out that you are expecting a baby or your spouse is pregnant for a host of reasons.

However, if you have been party to a high-conflict or stressful marriage even when you found out for the first time that you are pregnant, it is quite natural to understand why the news can bring in plenty of anxiety and pressure even though you think your baby is a boon for you. The reason for this is kids need a lot of energy, time, affection and love.

Kids are happier in two-parent houses

It is a topic that has been the subject of innumerable debates for many decades. But there are plenty of figures and statistics to suggest that children are happier and more contented in a two-parent home as compared to growing up in a single-parent home. On several occasions it has been noticed that kids of a broken family have a greater chance to experience poverty, have to cope up with more emotional issues and are offspring’s of a teen and single parent. Statistics also hints that a single mother may experience a higher level of mental and physical illnesses and addictions. Thus an important reason why you should rethink divorce while being pregnant is kids do well in a two-parent house.

It is better to avoid making important decisions while you are overwhelmed

When you are expecting a baby, your hormones keep changing. Your emotions can go for a roller coaster ride due to this reason. On the other hand, if it is your partner who is expecting a baby, you need to adjust to their frequent mood swings due to constant hormonal shifts. Your relationship with your spouse can undergo a lot of stress due to these reasons. But that is precisely the reason why you should not consider divorce then. Though there could have been problems and conflicts in your marriage before you were pregnant, it is better to think about it after the baby has arrived since you can make wiser decisions than with a sense of normalcy returning to you.

It can be a trying experience to be pregnant all alone

When a little baby is growing up inside you, it can take a big toll on you both mentally and physically. You need to have someone beside you in your home constantly to make you feel emotionally secure.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation