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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

Redwood City, California Family Law Blog

What to do if you suspect your spouse will file for a divorce

If your marriage is going through a difficult period and you believe that your spouse may file for a divorce, you must take this very seriously. If you do not take action to prepare for a potential divorce, you may be in a position where your spouse has the upper hand when they file.

While you might still want to try to make your marriage work, you also learn more about the divorce process at the same time. If you see that divorce could be a possibility in the coming months, you should consider the following so that you are as prepared as possible.

Understanding debt division in California divorces

California is one of the few states that recognizes community property. This means that when a couple files for divorce in California, their marital assets are divided equally, regardless of the circumstances. This is in contrast to equitable distribution states, which determine the division of marital assets based on the circumstances of the divorce and the contributions that each spouse made to the marriage.

While the outcome of asset division can, therefore, not be impacted by spouses at divorce in California, it is important to note that debts will not necessarily be divided in the same way as assets. The following is an overview of how marital debts are divided in California.

How to tell your spouse that you are filing for divorce

Sitting down with your spouse and telling them that you want a divorce may be one of the most difficult things that you will ever have to do. It may be obvious to both of you that your marriage is not working, or it may only be you who feels unsatisfied in the marriage. Whatever the situation, your spouse will need to find out eventually that you are planning to divorce them.

It's important to note that if you worry that your spouse will become angry or aggressive when hearing this, you should not have the conversation in person. Always prioritize your safety. If you are comfortable having the conversation in person, following are some tips to follow.

Is self-care important when going through a divorce?

These days, self-care is a great way to combat stress, anxiety and the overall pressures of life. When you go through a particularly trying time, like divorce, it is important that you remember to take care of yourself. It is easy to let difficulties overwhelm you, but if this happens, the ordeal may only become worse.

The goal for most California residents who are ending their marriages is to get through the process as quickly as possible. If you let your well-being fall to the wayside by throwing yourself into the divorce proceedings, it may not prove as beneficial as you had hoped.

What are the emotional stages of a divorce?

The emotional stages of divorce usually begin long before one person actually files for divorce. Tensions and distance may have been accumulating in your marriage for many months or years, and when these are not successfully resolved, divorce can result.

If you are struggling emotionally as a result of your impending divorce, it is a good idea to understand the various emotional stages that you will likely go through. By seeing that each stage is temporary and that you will eventually come out of the other side, you may feel more empowered to persevere.

How to gain the child support payments that you're owed

According to a U.S. Census Bureau's report in 2018, only 43.5% of children who are owed child support payments receive full payments. During difficult financial periods, this number can go even lower. If you are a custodial parent and you have not been receiving the child support that you are owed from the other parent, you will likely be concerned about how you can gain these payments.

Child support can be a sensitive subject. If your child has a good relationship with their other parent, you may be hesitant to rock the boat by bringing up missed child support payments, especially if you are aware that the other parent is currently struggling financially. However, child support payments are calculated based on what the non-custodial parent earns, so you have a right to take action to get the payments that you are owed. The following are some ways in which missed child support payments can be enforced.

How alimony is determined in California

If you are going through a divorce in California, make sure that you think about your future financial situation. A divorce can have the potential to negatively impact a person's finances. This is because divorce itself is costly, and because the person will no longer have their former spouse's income to depend on.

This is why alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, is often awarded. Alimony orders direct one spouse to pay the other spouse an income for a certain amount of time. If you want to gain alimony, take the time to understand how California laws apply to your individual situation.

What considerations need to be made in high asset divorces?

Typically, the most complex divorces are those that involve a high amount of assets. When there are more assets to divide, the stakes are higher, and establishing ownership can be more difficult.

If you are going through a high asset divorce, you should make sure that you have a good understanding of what the key challenges are. The following are some considerations you should make.

Handling joint finances in a divorce

When people decide to divorce, they often think about the emotional and social implications. They may have sad or angry feelings about the ending of their marriage. They may mourn for the time they'll miss with their children or worry that people will judge them. One of the last things people may think of is how it will affect their finances.

Unfortunately, divorce has the potential to significantly and negatively impact anyone's finances. California spouses have to determine exactly how to split their assets, which may lead to serious disagreements. Many with accounts once jointly owned may now need to separate them, which can be daunting. Fortunately, experts have advice if you find yourself wondering about this very matter.

How to cope with your emotions during a divorce

Going through a divorce will almost certainly ignite negative emotions within you. This is because divorce was probably never what you imagined that you would go through in life, and it may be that you are in a state of shock or feel that you have failed in some way.

While divorce might be what you believe is the best way forward in this situation, you may also feel guilty about how the divorce is impacting your children and worry about how they are dealing with these changes. The following are some things that you can do to help cope with your emotions in a divorce.