Many people consider divorce one of the most stressful life events. But not all divorces carry the same levels of stress. Some couples agree on any significant issues, which makes the resolution of their case fairly simple. Other soon-to-be-ex-spouses have a more difficult path because of one or more of the following issues that complicate divorce.
Spouse-Related Concerns Can Be Problematic
The issues you had with your husband or wife don’t stop when you file for divorce. Some may directly impact how your divorce proceeds.
Adultery. You do not need grounds for divorce in California. So, your final order or settlement might not be affected except for one thing: misuse of community funds. When one spouse uses marital property on a new love interest, courts might reimburse the innocent spouse in the form of a larger portion of the remaining marital funds.
Revenge. Some people complicate divorce by trying to take revenge because their spouse deeply hurt them. Vengeful feelings can delay settlement negotiations.
Pregnancy. This issue can complicate divorce because of questions about paternity. If the husband doubts the child is his, he might ask for paternity tests so the court can determine whether child support is appropriate.
Spousal Support. It is not easy to work out how much spousal support is due and how long it will be paid.
Married couples without children avoid some of the concerns that parents face.
Children Typically Complicate Divorce
It’s great when both parents love their children and want to care for them. But all that love can get lost in the shuffle of divorce papers.
Custody and Visitation. Before a judge can issue the final order, parents have to come up with a parenting plan. Custody can be contentious as couples navigate the four types of custody: sole physical, sole legal, joint physical, joint legal. They might use standard visitation schedules or personalize them to fit their child’s needs. However, working out children’s arrangements adds an extra layer of stress.
Child Support. Parents who do not have physical custody often pay monthly child support to the parent who does. Calculating the amount of support definitely can complicate divorce proceedings.
Fortunately, family court judges always try to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children.
Finances Are Often a Contested Issue
Money matters to most people. Whether a divorce is amicable or contentious, spouses generally want to get what they deserve from the marital estate. Unfortunately, some issues complicate divorce to the point that settlement might be several years down the road.
Muddled Property Classification. Couples might have separate property, which they retain, or community property (which is split between the parties). However, it is not always easy to decide whether property is separate or community. For example, disagreements arise when one party brings substantial assets into the marriage but fails to keep them separate. Sometimes property is partially separate and partially community. It might take experts to untangle complications like these.
High-Net-Worth. Having more property means there’s more property to classify and divide. Again, the parties might need a financial expert’s careful analysis.
BusinessAssets. Some property is easier to appraise than others. Determining the value of a business is typically difficult and can quickly complicate divorce.
Divorce can be difficult, but you don’t have to go it alone.
When Issues Complicate Divorce, You Need Experienced Legal Counsel
Talk to a qualified California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Diego, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.
Adultery often leads to divorce. Whether you were the straying or non-straying partner, infidelity may still affect your divorce in ways you did not intend.
The No-Fault Divorce.
For years, someone who was stuck in an unhappy marriage had to state grounds for getting a divorce. Abuse, desertion, and adultery were commonly cited by a party when filing divorce papers. The divorce petitioner may have had to provide proof to back up their reasons for ending the marriage.
Now, no-fault divorce is available in California. A petitioner filing for a no-fault divorce doesn’t have to say who was at fault or what happened. You just have to say you want to end the marriage.
It’s Not Illegal, but There May Be Consequences.
Adultery is not against the law, so you won’t be arrested for having an affair. However, straying from the marriage can make things difficult for the adulterous spouse:
Alimony and Spousal Support. A court may consider a party’s adultery while determining alimony and spousal support. The amount of support ordered won’t be based on morality, but instead on how the adultery may have affected the innocent spouse’s financial wellbeing.
Custody. Adultery typically has more of an immediate effect on a person’s relationship with their spouse than their relationship with their children. Still, the strain on the marital relationship will cause discomfort for everyone involved. However, courts typically only consider the infidelity’s effect if children are being put in danger by the affair.
Property Distribution. California is a community property state and community property is typically split 50-50. However, if one spouse uses community funds to pay for his or her infidelity, the other spouse may be entitled to restitution from the offending spouse’s share of the marital estate.
Negotiations. The adulterous spouse may feel ashamed or guilty. The injured spouse may feel angry and want revenge. Emotions can add an extra level of stress to delicate negotiations.
Learn More About the Effect of Adultery on Your Divorce.
Whether you’re the cheater or the person being cheated on, infidelity will affect your divorce. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are highly experienced with all divorce issues. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), Roseville, and surrounding communities.
California led the way in no-fault divorce laws, where a spouse can get a divorce without showing any fault of the other spouse. Nonetheless, showing fault may help one spouse win custody of the children, greater alimony, and a greater share of the marital property. This is why you need to discuss any potential areas of fault with your attorney, whether you wish to raise the issue or defend against it.
One traditional area of fault that could affect the outcome of a divorce case is adultery. The degree of importance placed on adultery varies from state to state, judge to judge, and from case to case. Some states tend to hold a more traditional view of marriage and give greater weight to adultery, while others place less importance on fidelity within the marriage.
In California, adultery does not necessarily amount to a game-changer unless the adulterous relationship irreparably affected certain aspects of the marriage. For instance, if a wandering husband used marital assets to support his mistress, then the wife may be able to win a greater share of the marital property. Likewise, if the husband openly cavorted with his mistress in front of the children, that fact may weigh substantially on the court’s award of custody and visitation to the wife.
Perhaps the most delicate subject in a case where adultery has occurred is a claim that an unfaithful spouse brought a sexually transmitted disease into the marriage. Such a claim can give the victim spouse a substantial advantage, but proving the issue in court may be more than the victim bargained for.
If adultery is likely to be a factor in your divorce case, seek the help of an experienced divorce lawyer as early as possible. A good attorney will help you build the foundation and strategy you need to raise or defend an adultery claim at trial, and achieve the best possible outcome for you.
The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can assist you in proving or defending an adultery claim in your divorce proceedings in California. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas. If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help you. Call (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.