Sena Family Law & Mediation Practice

San Francisco Family Law Blog

California requires equal property distribution during divorce

Dissolving a marriage can understandably be challenging from an emotional standpoint, but it can be just as difficult financially. This is especially true if you and your spouse have accumulated a large number of assets or high-value assets over the years.

Unfortunately, property distribution remains one of the biggest sources of conflict during divorce proceedings throughout the United States, including in California. Here is a look at what you can expect with regard to the splitting of shared assets in the Golden State.

What is reasonable visitation, and do you have a say?

When things took a downhill turn in your marriage, you began to think that the road ahead may, at some point, include divorce. Like most good parents, you immediately worried about the impact such circumstances would have on your kids. For instance, would they have to move to a new neighborhood or attend some other school in California or another state, perhaps? The last thing you wanted to do was mess up your kids' lives, but you realized your marriage wasn't going to last a lifetime, as planned.

Things progressed rather quickly from there. You and your spouse made the decision to split, and you broke the news to your kids. Moving forward, your central focus is how to protect your rights because it is likely that you will be the non-custodial parent. There are many issues to resolve, such as custody, visitation and child support; you're especially concerned about the visitation part because you don't quite understand the legal term "reasonable visiting schedule." Just remember that support is available to ensure that you get a fair deal.

Crafting a prenuptial agreement that protects you long-term

No one in California enters a marriage thinking that it will eventually end in divorce. However, divorce is a possibility, and it is smart to protect your interests before you get married. This is possible with a prenuptial agreement. If you are engaged, you would be wise to consider how a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial for you and your future interests.

Upon deciding that you would benefit from a prenuptial agreement, you would be wise to seek the appropriate help to craft an agreement that accurately meets your needs and suits your objectives. Including the appropriate factors as part of your agreement will provide the appropriate protection you need before you get married.

Understand the mediation process before you begin

When a couple decides to end their marriage, it is a decision that will bring many significant changes to the lives of every member of the family. Every couple takes a different approach to their divorce, and for some, they choose to make this process as non-adversarial as possible. One of the ways a couple can do this is through the mediation process.

Mediation is not the right choice for every divorcing couple, but it could be the most beneficial decision for you. This process allows you to keep your divorce out of court, which offers your California family many benefits. Before you make any important decisions regarding your future, you would be wise to learn more about how the mediation process works and could work for your unique situation.

Collaboration: a better way for California couples to divorce

Even in the most amicable of situations, divorce is never easy. In order to mitigate the complications of this process and potentially avoid the stress and cost of litigation, some California couples may look for alternatives to a high-stakes court battle in order to resolve their divorce-related disputes. 

Like mediation, the collaborative divorce process offers couples the opportunity to work through issues outside of the courtroom. When both parties are equally engaged in this process, it can result in a final arrangement that is more sustainable and beneficial for every member of the family. Collaborative divorce is not the best choice for every divorcing couple, but it could be a positive option for you. 

Negotiating a divorce settlement may make your split-up easier

It is natural to feel out of sorts both emotionally and financially when going through the divorce process. However, divorce mediation can help you take back control of planning your own life. By negotiating a divorce settlement, which is an alternative to traditional litigation in the state of California, you can make informed decisions regarding your future when dealing with your child and your finances.

What are the steps in mediation?

Considering divorce mediation

Everyone has heard horror stories about a contested divorce and the unexpected judicial decisions or exorbitant costs. In mediation, both sides have a voice but it's brokered and mutual, focused on resolution instead of issuing an iron decree.

Matters to decide

Moving out of the marital home is often the easiest decision in a divorce. The hard part is agreeing on the division of assets and the child custody arrangement. Other than a checking account, most assets don't have easily divisible lines to be drawn down the center. Instead, there is negotiation: who gets the house, the retirement account, the car, even the dog.

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