Sacramento Divorce Attorneys
Without the necessary guidance and support provided by compassionate and experienced legal counsel, a divorce can be a taxing and difficult situation for people to deal with on their own. Involved parties often experience a number of different emotions ranging from guilt and anger to relief and gratification. Amidst these feelings, choices must be made concerning how assets are divided or shared as well as emotional decisions regarding children, pets, assets, alimony, and visitation rights. If you are lucky, you will find you and your spouse agree on some issues. Inevitably, however, there will be areas where you disagree. Compromise may seem unlikely at times. To ensure that your divorce is not an unpleasant and burdensome experience get into contact with one of our Boyd Law Sacramento, CA divorce lawyers who will make sure your divorce is priority number one, two, and three for them until the desired outcome is reached.
A divorce can become more confusing and difficult to handle on your own if one or both of the parties involved fit into one or more of the following categories: High net worth, celebrity, military, or executive. If you are facing a divorce and fit into any of these titles, qualified legal support is critical. The stakes are higher in these situations, making it that much more important that you have expert legal advice and counsel to help guide you successfully through the divorce process.
Age at marriage for those who divorce in America
Source: Divorce Statistics
The life of a high-level executive is stressful and never ending. This can take a toll on the individual and the marriage. If an executive lifestyle has led to divorce papers, your case is especially sensitive.
Executive divorce affects the individual, his or her family, and the corporation for which he or she works. The individual and the company will want to avoid bad publicity at all costs. The high visibility of an executive makes him or her a newsworthy target. Intimate details of the professional’s life can go public, causing additional pain and embarrassment for the individual and the family. But the damage can be far-reaching and affect the company’s reputation, sales, and stock prices. Court orders can limit business owners on what they can spend on their companies until the divorce is finalized.
For this reason, businesses are taking the once private matter of divorce into consideration. Companies are acting to protect their employees and the business’ reputation. For example, some corporations create contracts asking spouses to waive their interests in a partner’s operations. Others are changing policies that hold stock dividends and similar compensations until after a divorce is final.
With more and more women entering the corporate arena and working their way to the top, there have been some changes in what is traditionally decided in divorce cases. A female executive, for example, cannot assume a court will grant her custody of any children involved. In cases where the husband is the main caregiver, he may be given primary custody and alimony. Do not take anything for granted. Do your research as early as possible, and partner with the right Sacramento, CA divorce lawyer.
In a divorce, an executive will have no more rights or authority than his or her spouse. In most cases, a court will see the corporate tasks equal to those of house cleaning, cooking, and diaper changing. This can be shocking to a commercial leader who prides him or herself on accomplishments, but the court views financial and physical support equally.
For many executives, a prenuptial agreement is the best way to safeguard against the financial damage caused by divorce. However, prenuptials widely remain unused. Even if this document is drafted and signed, there are situations in which they can be nullified. For example, this can occur when a prenuptial is presented right before a wedding, giving the other person little time to decide whether to sign or cancel the ceremony. This could also occur if a prenuptial was presented without the signee knowing the other person’s true net worth.
Divorce is more complicated if one of the spouses is in the military. This is due to additional state laws, federal laws, and military codes you must take into account. Federal and military laws decide how to divide pensions (Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA)), health insurance, properties, and pay, while state laws determine issues like child custody, debt, and child support.
Once papers are served in standard divorce proceedings, the other party has a limited amount of time to respond. If the spouse is active duty, the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) states that the amount of time to respond as well as scheduled court hearings may be delayed up to 90 days. A longer extension may also be requested.
Military personnel and their family members have access to free legal services, but it is sometimes recommended that you hire a civilian lawyer; military lawyers are typically not familiar with state divorce laws. If you decide to hire a civilian divorce lawyer, ensure he or she has experience with military divorce laws as well.
The USFSPA states that the state in which the military member lives has the authority to divide a military pension. If you decide to file for a divorce in a state other than where your military spouse lives, it is important to understand how this will affect the pension’s distribution.
It is often believed that a military pension cannot be shared unless the couple has been married for 10 years, but this is not true. This misconception comes from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s (DFAS) 10-10 test, where the couple has been married for 10 years and the military spouse has served for 10 years. If this applies to you, the amount you receive from the pension may change, but the court can divide a pension however it sees fit regardless of how long a couple has been married. Your divorce lawyer in Sacramento, CA can help you with the additional paperwork required if the 10-10 test applies to your divorce.
Child support is determined by the state in which the divorce is filed and is not influenced by any military laws. However, you can seek military assistance before the court has made any decisions. Each branch (except the Air Force) has guidelines regarding how much child support a service member should pay.
Although the final decision is up to the state, it is important that the courts understand the structure of the service member’s salary. They should understand that pay might change based on deployment for active duty and base changes. This is one of the many reasons why working with an experienced divorce law attorney is so important.
Once child support is established, a wage garnishment order is submitted. This should be sent to the military pay center immediately. According to the DFAS, this order must adhere to certain guidelines.
The non-military spouse will also have access to health care after a divorce. He or she has two options. If the couple has been married for 20 years and during those 20 years, the service member has been in active duty, the spouse is eligible for health care at no cost through TRICARE. If the spouse has access to other health care, TRICARE would be the secondary coverage. Coverage will be forfeited if the spouse remarries before age 55.
If the spouse is not eligible for TRICARE, he or she may buy conversion health insurance called Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). If the military member leaves the service after the spouse has purchased CHCBP, he or she is covered for 36 months after the leave occurs. His or her spouse may be eligible past this time frame if he or she meets special circumstances.
High Net Worth Divorce
High net worth divorces are more difficult to settle due to the increased complexity of financial assets. There are also more property division and assets to divide. These and other factors often extend the time it takes to settle a divorce. Thus, it is important to hire an experienced Sacramento, CA divorce attorney in these cases. The increased complexity and duration of the divorce opens the door for more mistakes to be made. A Boyd Law Sacramento family attorney can help you react logically and intelligently and anticipate issues that may arise so you will end up with a fair outcome.
Furthermore, increased emotions can cause people to do things they normally would not. In high net worth divorces, it is not uncommon for one party to try to hide assets from the other in hopes that he or she will not lose what he or she feels was worked so hard for or deserved. The guilty party may transfer his or her assets to a friend or other family member or simply fail to mention items the spouse is unaware of.
These transactions are illegal, but they are easily tracked. Once discovered, the dishonest party will face legal consequences and have difficulty gaining any traction in court during future negotiations. Do not take your spouse’s word that a financial affidavit is filled out accurately and honestly. You and your Sacramento divorce law attorney should do a thorough investigation to ensure all assets are listed.
Tax implications due to the divorce is another area each party will need to study. It is important to have both your Sacramento divorce lawyer and accountant work together to determine what you will gain once taxes have been taken out of distributions, such as alimony.
If you are seeking divorce and you or your spouse is of celebrity status, being prepared is the best thing you can do. Seeking legal advice and getting your financials in order before making a desire for divorce known is the often the wisest decision. If you have not already been served papers, get ready as quickly as possible. Meet with a divorce lawyer in Sacramento, CA and gather all your information before taking any action.
Next, make an action plan. Determine what is most important to you and what steps need to occur to make it happen. Share your priorities with your legal counsel for his or her expertise on the subject. These main concerns may include child custody, asset protection, and maintaining positive publicity.
Furthermore, many celebrities split their time living in different states. If this is your situation, research which state you must file the case in. Laws vary in every state, so you may have a much better chance of getting what is most important to you (like child custody or visitation rights) depending on where you file.
If possible, complete divorce proceedings before moving on with another love interest. In general, avoid similar choices that could lead to bad publicity. Watch your actions with close friends of the opposite sex. The press loves to create a story even where there is none. Bad publicity can create drama in a divorce case even when there is no truth to it. An already hurt spouse can become vengeful and drag out proceedings longer than necessary and refuse to agree to terms regardless of how fair they are.
Marital Settlement Agreements
A marital settlement agreement (also known as a divorce or property settlement agreement) is a crucial part of your divorce case that is written by your divorce attorney. Its purpose is to sanctify all agreements reached between the two parties, which often includes spousal support, child custody, child support, and property allocation.
In most situations, the goal is to have a marital settlement agreement created and mutually agreed on before going to court. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary attorney fees and keep the divorce private and less stressful. When this is not possible, the case must be presented in front of a judge. He or she will make the final decisions for your case.
Never sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if you are not comfortable with its content. You do, however, need to respond to the proposal in a set timeframe. You and your spouse must work together to come up with compromises you can both accept. If not, one may back out of the negotiations completely, stalling the divorce indefinitely and leading to extensive legal fees.
Family law is a unique subset in the legal space that focuses on what matters most in life: the people we love. At Boyd Law, our Sacramento family lawyers handle every aspect of this practice, from prenuptial agreements to the modification of child support cases. We are with our clients at each step of every case, offering compassionate support and tireless legal assistance.
Our clients include people from all walks of life. We work with families, divorcees, high net worth individuals, and people in the LGBTQ community, and our goal is to provide every client a sense of comfort and trust. When you face a family matter that requires legal advice, our Sacramento divorce attorneys and family lawyers have the California legal expertise needed to reach a successful resolution.
Sacramento Family Attorneys You Can Trust
Family law cases range from amicable settlements between spouses to complex property division and child custody cases. Every situation and case is different. Hence, there is no formulaic approach to a divorce settlement or child custody concerns. We look at the people in each case, what is important to them, and how we can make their lives a little easier.
We help families work through:
- Legal separation and divorce
- Child support, custody, and visitation
- Spousal support
- Same sex marriage and domestic partner matters
- Complex property division
- Stepparent adoption
- Unique family legal matters
To succeed in family law, we have developed the soft skills of negotiation and mediation along with skills in investigation and litigation. Our team believes in finding creative answers for some of the hardest family law questions, and we offer compassionate support and effective legal counsel.
Any good family law attorney in Sacrament, CA knows when to bring an expert’s opinion into a case, and the team at Boyd Law in Sacramento has access to a network of some of the country’s most respected industry professionals. We routinely reach out to financial advisers, psychologists, CPAs, forensic accountants, educators, medical experts, and social works to build strong cases for our clients.
We offer legal services throughout Sacramento County
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Divorce Law Attorneys in Sacramento, CA
If you are uncomfortable with your spouse’s proposed divorce settlement agreement, do not sign it without a divorce lawyer reviewing it. There may be areas where you are entitled to more than the contract states, or there may be missing compensation that should be added.
Divorce in any of these special circumstances can be incredibly time consuming and emotionally taxing. Your emotional and financial well-being deserves to remain intact through these proceeding. Get in touch with the team of attorneys at Boyd Law for more information. We have extensive experience in complicated, high-risk divorce cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.