• Divorce Settlement Strategies

Divorce Settlement Strategies in California

Negotiating a divorce settlement is overly complicated at times. Couples tend to let emotions cloud their judgment and often end up unhappy with the results. Below are divorce settlement strategies you should consider using during negotiations with your spouse. Read on to learn more.

Divorce Settlement Strategies For Spousal Support

Negotiating spousal support is not always easy during a divorce. Furthermore, most divorcing spouses in need of support often do not realize that spousal support is not paid forever. A party seeking spousal support should recognize that it is rare for a judge to order the payment of spousal support beyond ten years. Furthermore, spousal support is considered taxable income for a person receiving the support payments. Unfortunately, most spouses who are going through divorce and addressing the issue of spousal support and division of assets and debts only think about immediate compensation and not their long term investment portfolio . A spouse seeking support should always look beyond the immediate circumstances and focus on the big picture.

“My spouse and I were arguing over who was going to get the house in our divorce. I was stuck on getting it. I did not want the divorce and was very angry. Unfortunately I also wasn’t looking at the big picture” L. Welch
“When putting together a proposal, A People’s Choice pointed out that our house was underwater and I owed $200,000 more than it was worth. It really was not the valuable asset I was thinking it was!” L. Welch

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Looking at the Big Picture in Divorce Negotiations

Kym Stevens did not want to sell her family home worth $250,000. Her lawyers told her that if the case were decided by the judge, the house would be sold and each party would receive half of the proceeds (125,000 each minus realtor fees and associated costs). Her lawyer further informed her that her husband would just use the money from the home to pay the spousal support. Her husband was close to retirement and would not likely have to pay spousal support upon retiring per state law. Kym decided to keep the house and forego spousal support because she would receive more compensation from the sale of the home than in spousal support over the course of a 8 year period.

Kym looked at the big picture. She knew her husband would be retiring soon and could no longer receive support. A key divorce settlement strategy for spousal support is to look at the big picture and consider agreeing to be awarded other community property, such as a home, in exchange for receiving spousal support.

Divorce Settlement Strategies For Child Support

For family law cases involving children, an important issue for parents is child support. Most cases fall into the category of straight guideline support. High earning parents often seek to negotiate additional child support conditions. When negotiating child support, parents should talk about activities instead of dollar amounts. Parents should also be realistic about their child’s expenses. Cheerleading, baseball, and football extracurricular activities are great to develop a child’s social skills and health. Parents should look at the overall picture of costs when negotiating support to make sure their child’s basic needs are covered.

Divorce Settlement Strategies For Child Custody and Visitation

Parents need to be flexible when negotiating child custody and visitation. What is in the best interest of their child may change after a few years. Parents need to put their child first and their needs second.

Divorce Settlement Strategies For Division of Assets and Debts

Dividing assets and debts should not be a tedious task. In California, community property is divided 50/50 between spouses. Upon dividing assets and debts, each spouse is to receive an equalized share of community property. For example, if one spouse receives a car valued at $30,000, and the other receives a house valued at $130,000, the later spouse is required to produce an equalized payment of $100,000 to the first spouse. Parties should divide property with this in mind.

Often reasonable spouses can work out a settlement between themselves that both are happy with. However if spouses get “stuck” and cannot agree, they may want to meet with a mediator to help them reach an agreement. This option is less costly than hiring an attorney and going to court to litigate the issue. A mediator can help the spouses reach an agreement.  

Divorce Settlement Strategies For Division of Retirement

When dividing retirement assets, a spouse may become outraged over the notion that he/she has to share their hard earned pension or retirement account. A spouse may want to consider paying more spousal support over a specified period instead of sharing his/her retirement. Consider negotiating the exchange of marital assets instead of receiving any payments from a retirement account.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information about divorce settlement strategies. We can offer you tools to help reach an agreement with your spouse and prepare all of the required documents to complete your divorce settlement without hiring an expensive attorney. Call us at 800-747-2780 today!

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By | 2018-01-18T15:46:38+00:00 September 30th, 2016|Family Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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