Can An Orange County Divorce Destroy Your Retirement?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce, it is likely that you may not think too much about how it can have an impact on your retirement. However, it is an extremely valid matter to think about. Insured Retirement Institute conducted a study which observed that about 24 percent of the divorced couples who are born after World War II felt their condition will deteriorate after retirement because of the divorce. About 23 percent of the respondents mentioned that they must work for longer years to combat the hardship. Thus, it signifies that you need to take certain measures for protecting your retirement plans. Additionally, it is better to do so as quickly as possible. After all, the financial impact of a divorce can actually last for many decades. Check out some ways to ensure that your retirement dreams are on a proper track irrespective of your divorce.

Retirement and divorce

Although your divorce could be taking place many decades before your retirement date, it is likely that your retirement savings may be badly affected. First of all, a divorce would typically mean that your retirement funds could be split between your former spouse and you. As a result, you may find a substantial reduction in your retirement savings. Secondly, a divorce also signifies that soon it will be a single income household albeit temporarily. Thus, it is possible what you would be able to save quite less for your post-retirement years as compared to what you had initially anticipated or planned.

Divorce and your retirement savings

Local as well as state laws ascertain the manner in which your retirement savings will be split between your former spouse and you. In case you are residing in one of the community property states, any assets acquired by your spouse or you during the course of your marriage are regarded as joint property irrespective of who saved the money. California is also an example of a community property state along with other States like Washington, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Mexico.

The most certain technique to ensure that your retirement savings are protected is to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which specifies which party will get the exact percentage of the saving in the accounts in the event of a marriage breakup. In case, you have not set up a prenup, you should negotiate with your former spouse and come up with an agreement that will benefit you both. You can hire one of the reputable Orange County divorce mediators at California Divorce Mediators to help you in the process.

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

4 Tips for Protecting Your Money during Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsOne of the most important things to focus on during your divorce should be how you can protect your money. Money is one such issue that one should start preparing and protecting long before filing a divorce. Do you suspect that your spouse could be hiding money? When you feel that your divorce will be full of conflicts and not a harmonious one, it makes sense to take certain precautionary measures with respect to your financial matters prior to filing for your divorce.

If you are a stay-at-home mother, whatever money your partner earns to run the family is “your money”. So, even if you end up getting divorced, you should not feel that just because you do not give your own income it means that you do not have any bucks to protect. After all, your kids and you should feel financially secure until the time you can start working. Now, this also means that you do not have any issues with respect to protecting the portion of your husband’s income that is required for you to be financially stable after your divorce is finalized. Check out some of these easy tips for protecting your money during your divorce.

Immediately close all such joint credit accounts that you hold with your spouse

You need to put an end to all the joint credit accounts that are held by your spouse and you together r pay them off. For instance, a home mortgage will come under this category and should either be paid off quickly if possible. Alternatively, it should be put only in the name of your spouse. In case you are unable to settle the payment of such credit accounts, get in touch with your creditors and try to figure out the steps that should be taken so that your name gets removed from these accounts.

Open a new personal account in your name

It is possible that you did not have a bank account in your individual name before. Now is the time for you to open a new savings as well as a checking account. Once you open it, do keep your spouse informed about it and let them know the amount of money that you plan to deposit in your account. Your spouse should know about these accounts so that there would be no allegations of trying to hide funds. When you separate from your spouse and file for the divorce, you will require money to meet the fees of your attorney, court fees as well as a new house to live.

Do not incur fresh debts

Your priority should be to save the maximum amount of money prior to filing for a divorce. When you run charges on your credit card, you are not saving money but accumulating new debts.

Protect your precious items

When your spouse has been abusing you for some time now, or you have a gut feeling that he or she will hide or destroy expensive possessions, you should hide them. However, you should note that if there is any valuable that were bought with the marital funds, it needs to be valued and then divided during your divorce process.

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

Out-of-State Properties Held by a Couple in a California Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsProperty division is an important part of a divorce and many people are cautious about what happens to their properties after a divorce. Properties can be many types and are usually seen as separate or marital. Properties can include stocks, loans, shares and intangible materials. In recent years, the number of out-of-state marriages has risen and this includes individuals who belong to a different nationality. Now, these ‘other’ nationality individuals have properties which are not present in the U.S. soil. How are such properties treated once the couple gets divorced?

A divorce comes with many complications and most of them involve dividing properties and other finances. Even with an experienced lawyer, it can be tough for some to accept the final outcome of the divorce proceeding.

How are out-of-state properties treated in a California divorce?

California state laws allow family law judges to have jurisdiction over properties that are located outside the state of California, which are considered “quasi-community property.” They are  entitled to make decisions that directly involve out-of-state properties.

Properties that are acquired during a marriage are regarded as marital community property by the California law and must be divided equally after a divorce. Properties purchased during the marriage outside of California are generally treated  as quasi-community property and are liable for equal distribution.

Dealing with out-of-state properties can become complex and confusing. During such property divisions, the family law judge plays a vital role and much of the outcome depends on the judge. It is advisable for individuals going through divorce mediation to hire an Orange County divorce mediator lawyer who has experience in out-of-state property dealings and division.

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

Tips for Single Divorced Moms

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAre you a single divorced mom? There is a high possibility of dealing with the process of healing your pain as a result of your murky divorce. Moreover, you also had to take up the added responsibility of taking care of your children mostly not only that, you need to arrange for meals for your family, deal with your former husband who could be irrational at times and have a roof over the head of your family. At the same time, it is natural that you want to move on with life and want to date a new man and gave a fulfilling future. Life is full of new challenges for you and you need to face then to put back your traumatic past and lead a rewarding and rich new life. Follow some of the tips mentioned below to do so.

Make conscious efforts to eliminate the trauma related to your divorce

As they say, time is the biggest healer. While you may have gone through a lot, do not keep thinking about your past. Look out for exciting activities that can keep you engaged. Instead of being stuck with old pain, start dating and going out with friends with whom you share common interests.

Do not depend solely on alimony and child support for your financial needs

You should stop thinking of alimony or child support as your income. After all, the money that is coming to you in the form of child support is only temporary.  In a majority of cases, even alimony too is a temporary inflow of cash. You need to establish your financial position so that there is no difficulty in your survival when these today checks do not come to you anymore. It is crucial that you make a proper investment in yourself to get a sound return in the future. It may be possible that you possess a degree but are not employed. You can call up a local university or college and inquire about classes, which will enable you to refresh some of the skills or get certified so that your marketability in the job market goes up. You can get in touch with the financial aid office and procure student loans to pay for these courses when you attend them.  Be confident about your talents and skills that you believe are marketable and contemplate starting your own business.

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

Issues When Dealing With Commingled Funds In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsPrior to getting married, the property owned by you is regarded by the court as your “separate property”. This dignified that such a property is owned only by you and not by your spouse. For example, if you have $15,000 in your bank account and own a property while getting married, you are bringing your separate property in the marriage. Such a property remains your separate property if it is not “commingled” with your spouse’s separate property brought into your married life. For instance, in case you get married and both of you stay in the same house that is owned by you prior to the marriage. However, if the incomes of both you and your spouse are being contributed toward paying the mortgage, such a house is automatically counted as a marital property. In other words, it becomes a property your spouse may be interested in,provided both of you decide to divorce in the future.

The job of splitting property as well as other marital assets could be a tough one and full of conflicts especially for those couples where there has been a commingling of funds in the course of the marriage.

While negotiations continue for divorce settlement, determining which property should go to whom while depend on the degree of the occurrence of commingling of funds during that marriage as well as the complexity of transactions like home or automobile purchases, a big and crucial role is played by commingled funds during a divorce.

In case you fail to keep a thorough accounting of what is being done with your assets and properties during your marriage, it is not easy to prove that the purchase of that property was not done with commingled funds. The following are some of the tips for all those spouses who do not want to commingle during their marriage.

Enter into a prenuptial agreement

It makes sense to have your prenuptial agreement in place, which will clearly state, which properties will be counted as marital properties and which will be not in the event of a divorce.

Avoid paying off marital debt using your separate property

You should not use your separate property for paying off any marital debt. For instance, if you receive a hefty amount of money from your parents as a gift, the money should be used towards paying off a credit card debt or your home debt. You need to note that when funds benefit a marriage, they become marital property.

You should have separate bank accounts

Funds should only be deposited in a joint account when you want to count it as marital funds. When you deposit funds in your separate and individual bank account, it is regarded as your separate property.

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

How to Determine Your Financial Needs After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsYou may think that estimating your expenses after the divorce is an easy task but in reality it may not be true. In fact many people are unable to name a proper estimate of their current lifestyle expenses. Majority of the people are practically clueless about where their money is going. Even if they have a tough idea, they are unable to articulate it properly when queried about it. When someone prompts them about what their expenses and requirements could be at present, they may agree to that.

What could be a big mistake?

Usually, your attorney may request you to prepare a budget based on their expenses. You may not down the obvious expense heads such as phone bills, Internet bills, cable TV/ satellite TV charges, cat insurance, loan payment for car, utilities, rent and mortgage. However, you may still feel that something is still amiss. Since you are well e not certain, you do not hand your budget to the attorney. Although your attorney may be constantly after you, you cannot be specific though your time could be running out.

In fact may find that the process has a strong likelihood with done or being asked the sand question repeatedly in a torture like situation.

While you may not have a sure shot answer to their question, you may eventually give your attorney something so that they do not pester you again. You should remember the figures you hand them over will be used for ascertaining some major monetary issues in your divorce case.

A financial consultant specialized in divorce cases suggests their clients that in case they want spousal support but do not know what their exact requirements are and what they should ask for, there are high chances of not getting it. On the other hand, when you are supposed to provide for spousal support but are ignorant on what are your needs. It is a tough job to hang to it. Plus it may not be there if you require it.

Merits of consulting a good divorce financial professional

When you work closely with a reputable divorce financial professional, the financial aspects of a divorce can be smoother. Additionally, it will also be more financially sound. Remember that it is the most crucial financial decision in anyone’s life. A divorce financial expert is well-equipped with the knowledge of a detailed list of all possible costs that could either be applicable to you or may help in reminding you to add it to your expense list. A well-prepared statement of expenses as well as a proper understanding on how up use your money can be the foundation of your financially secure future.

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

What Are The 3 Most Prominent Divorce Expenses?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsWhile getting married can be one of the most wonderful experiences in one’s life, a divorce can change all that. Your world can turn upside down in such trying times as you have to go through several types of divorce expenses apart from feeling emotionally and physically drained out. You can get set for all those big expenses through different ways and should be prepared to deal with them before they eventually arrive. But the most crucial way to be ready for your divorce is by being knowledgeable about all those impending expenses and what they will actually cost you in the coming days, months and years.

Mediation or divorce litigation expenses

Though litigation is a common phenomenon in many divorces, mediation can be a more effective and cheaper way of handling a situation. The at tenets of both sides are paid for conducting the negotiations during a litigation and the case may even go on trial to defend each party’s personal belongings that they believe are rightfully theirs. But in the case of a mediation, a neutral and unbiased third party functions by discussing with the couple for arriving at an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

Divorce expenses with respect to travel and work

With the increasing popularity of self-employment and telecommuting, you just cannot afford to overlook this expense. While you may not commute physically to the office daily, your job may entail travel at times. Previously when you were married, you could do that since your spouse could keep an eye on the kids when you were away or you had the necessary financial support their jobs provided for making your job easy although there were travel expenses.

Expenses related to child care

While this expense may not apply to all couples who are getting divorced, it is a big expense head for couples with kids during their divorce proceeding as well as after it gets completed, When you and the other parent opt for a joint custody, you need to decide if you really want to bring them up single-handedly or would not like to take date of them., divorce expenses after the case is over and while it is going on may mount up for you. For example, in a joint custody, you need to pick up your kid from your former spouse’s house no matter where they stay post the divorce. Moreover, you have to take of them for six months in a year entirely on your own. If you are a telecommuting or self-employed individual, it could be an irritating thing since their work area can become a play area now. Likewise, if you are a working parent, you need to keep your kids in a good day care for which you may have to pay hundreds of bucks every month.

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

Does Your Divorce Affect Your Vehicle Insurance?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation lawyers; California Divorce MediatorsAny couple that files for their divorce has to also deal with the proper distribution of their marital assets. But, there is something that many people do not consider. They often overlook the impact of the divorce on their car insurance. Divorce can affect various aspects of the couples’ car insurance including changes in rates to buy a new insurance policy.

Relationship between premium and marital status

The premium for your car insurance policy is the amount that should be paid by you to insure your car against damages including caused due to accidents. However, it is important to note that the premium rate is not same for everybody. In other words, there could be different rates for different people, state to state and even city to city. Insurers will take into account various factors to determine the premiums for the policyholders. But, it is true that your marital status may affect the rate of premiums directly as well as indirectly.

Single versus married

As per a study made by the Insurance Quotes, married people usually need to pay lower premiums as compared to their single counterparts. For instance, a married man who is thirty-five years old may have to pay as much as 3 percent less in some States for their auto insurance as compared to a single man, who is of the same age. On the other hand, a 35-year-old single woman has to pay 2.75 percent more than her married counterpart of the same age. The reason for this is it is statistically proved that married people’s involvement in auto accidents are fewer than in married people.

Indirect effects of divorce on car insurance

The car insurance premiums can be indirectly affected by a divorce too. For instance, in many States, men have to pay higher rates of premiums as compared to women. So when a woman is single once again after her divorce, her premium may lower after the divorce comes through.

The place where you start living after your divorce got finalized may also alter your premium. Premium rates for car insurance are more for all those people who live in urban areas as compared to the suburbs. Moreover, premium rates may not be same for two different suburbs.

There could be also an increase in premium rates since the multi-driver discounts or discounts for purchasing more than one policies will no longer be available to you after your divorce. Such policies include both homeowners’ policies and car insurance policies.

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

Understanding Divorce & Innocent Joint Tax Filer Relief

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsBoth you and your registered domestic partner or spouse assume tax paying responsibility when you file California joint tax return. Responsibility is also assumed for applicable interest and penalties. If you meet a few specific legal requirements, you could qualify for relief from payment of part or all of tax liability.

Traditional Innocent Joint Filer Relief

It is possible to qualify for relief from the assessed additional tax, interest and penalties when you satisfy the following conditions like filing joint tax return. You can enjoy additional relief also when your RDP or spouse’s error is caused by additional tax. Tax breaks can also be had if at the time of signing joint tax return, information was not available to you or you were unaware of those items which resulted in an additional tax. Money can be saved also if all circumstances and facts are taken into account and it would be not fair to hold you totally liable for tax liability. Other conditions of tax breaks include that you have submitted a completed “Request for Innocent Joint Filer Relief” or FTB 705, to the government earlier than two years post date of starting involuntary collection activities from you.

Relief through Separate Allocation of Liability

It is determined, under this kind of relief, which RDP or spouse is going to be liable for assessed additional interest, penalties and tax. In case you meet all the requirements, we assign the liability for the additional tax to liable RDP/spouse. This is treated as if taxpayers had filed two separate tax returns. This kind of relief can be had if the couple files joint tax return. It is important that both the spouses must meet all conditions. These include the case if you divorced and also legally separated from your RDP or spouse or terminated the registered domestic partnership. This is also applicable if the couple lived apart from each other for a period of 12 months before making the relief request.

Relief can also be had when additional tax assessed can be attributed in full or part to the RDP or spouse. It can also be enjoyed if the couple has no information of items which created this tax liability at the time you signed the joint tax return. Other causes include submitting the competed “Request for Innocent Joint Filer Relief” to the authorities earlier than two years post date of starting involuntary collection activities from you.

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

How to Save Money After Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation orange county; California Divorce MediatorsWhile you are still trying to come out of the ramifications of your divorce, having a proper strategy for saving and budgeting may not be a top priority for you. However, the truth is that henceforth you alone will be responsible for protecting your future as far as the financial matters are concerned. Additionally, when you have some savings, you can enjoy a safety net for any type of unexpected expenses, which may come up frequently.

Start saving money once you are single again

The way marriage brings a big transformation in your life, there is a similar impact after your marriage is dissolved as well. It will take some time and adjustments on your part to start staying alone after living together as a couple for many years. The way you start managing your savings and finances after your divorce will have a big role in the coming months resulting in either financial security or days of struggle and poverty. If you act sensibly, you will not be short of funds, else you may experience a shortage of funds in the future years. Check out these easy tips that can help you to get started.

You should pay yourself at the earliest

While it is not as easy as it appears, it is crucial to develop a saving habit as soon as possible. It is tough to save when one has limited resources but not an impossible thing to do. Try to put aside a fixed sum of money in your savings account every time you receive your payment. It can create a safety cushion, which you can use in times of emergency.

Think and execute a saving strategy

It is not mandatory for you to be a financial expert in order to develop your saving strategy so that you can build up a nest egg for yourself.  However, you need to understand and know the fundamentals. Check with your human resource department what kind of retirement plans are provided by your company to make sure that you do not miss out on a great chance to save for your retirement.

Self-education is of prime importance

It has been often observed that in a majority of households, cutting across geographical boundaries, one spouse has got a greater sense of managing finances for the family like bill paying and budgeting. Were you that person who was taking care of the finance part while being married? In case the answer is affirmative, you may already have a strong grip over how to run the household. But, in case, you were not that person, you need to now focus on how to develop as well as follow the budget.

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