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Divorce Before 30? How to Move Forward

A divorce before 30 is often a sensitive topic — but it doesn’t have to be. There are many advantages to “divorcing young.” If you’re going through a divorce (or have recently gone through one), then you already know that you weren’t with the right partner for you. In that situation, it’s better to get it over with early.

The Benefits of Divorcing Before 30

When moving forward, it’s often beneficial to look at the positives. While everything may seem negative, divorcing before 30 means:

  • You still have time to develop your career and your education. Divorcing later in life doesn’t mean you don’t have that time, but divorcing younger does mean you’ll have more time and energy to figure out what you want.
  • You’ll find it easier to get back into the dating pool. For many, the dating pool can seem more alien the longer that you’re out of it. Give yourself some time and then jump back in.
  • You’re less likely to have significant assets. One of the big problems when divorcing is dividing assets such as houses and businesses fairly.
  • You’re less likely to have children. Custody issues can cause a divorce to go on for a long time, as well as cause persistent problems in the future.

Realistically, if you’re with the wrong person, you want to divorce as soon as possible. If that’s before 30, so be it.

Moving Forward with Your Divorce

Naturally, it’s not all sunshine and roses, and it would be disingenuous to pretend that it’s such. When you divorce before 30, you are less likely to have significant support structures. You will likely have less wealth or a lower-paying career — so you may want to reach out to your friends and family. You will also want to have a professional to defend you during the divorce to ensure that you get what you’re owed.

If you do have children and you’re divorcing, it’s likely that your children are young or at least still in school. You may want to preemptively reach out to resources to ensure that you have adequate childcare, that your children will be well-provided for, and (if you’re moving out of your marital home) that they are going to have a comfortable space to live.

At the end of the day, divorce is something that has to happen for you to move on with your life. There are very seldom benefits gained by waiting, as your lives will only become more complex and enmeshed. If you’re thinking about a divorce, the time for consultation is now. Contact Erica Bloom Law today!

How Cohabitation Affects Alimony in California

In California, cohabitation can make the topic of alimony quite complex. If you’re pursuing a divorce and wondering how cohabitation will impact your alimony, read on.

What is “Cohabitation” Legally?

Cohabitation means more than just living together. Largely, cohabitation indicates a deeper relationship than simply sharing a home with someone — a deeper relationship than simply being “roommate and roommate.” Essentially, cohabitation implies that you are still living as spouse-and-spouse even though you are getting a divorce or are already divorced. (And, arguably, even a roommate relationship can be a gray area.)

It’s important to define cohabitation in this way because alimony is intended to upkeep a person’s quality of life. The implication under “cohabitation” is that your partner’s quality of life has not changed because you are still cohabitating — you’re still financially and practically enmeshed with their lives to the extent that they may not need the same amount of support.

What Does “Cohabitation” Mean for Alimony?

If your ex-spouse is cohabitating with you, and you’re paying them alimony, you may be able to request a modification of your alimony agreement. This is done on the basis that you’re already effectively helping your ex-spouse financially because they are living with you. But that doesn’t mean the modification will be automatically granted. Your ex-spouse can provide a rebuttal if your ex-spouse believes that their quality of life has still significantly hanged.

There are a lot of factors that go into alimony, such as the length of the marriage. But if two people are cohabitating, alimony is going to be even more complex. The courts will need to determine how much each person has truly been impacted by the divorce in this situation, and calculate the amount of the alimony.

Can Cohabitation Lead to Alimony Getting Taken Away?

It’s possible that alimony can be taken away or reduced due to cohabitation. Whether you’re the one receiving alimony or you’re the one sending it, documentation is important.

If you’re looking for alimony modification, you will need documents to show the expenses that you’re currently paying for your ex-partner. If you’re trying to avoid an alimony modification, you will need documents to show that your ex-partner is not contributing to your lifestyle any longer.

Either way, having a lawyer can help. A lawyer will be able to go over your personal financial situation and advise you on what the courts are likely to recommend.

Cohabitating with a former spouse is difficult, both on a practical level and a legal one. Legally, it’s usually best to stop cohabitating with a partner that you’re leaving — but that’s not always feasible for everyone. Be prepared for alimony to be impacted by cohabitation, regardless of which side of the alimony you’re on.

Need more information about cohabitation and alimony? We’re here to help. Contact Erica Bloom Law today to find out more about our services and what we can do for you.

Business Valuations in Divorce

What happens when you divorce your spouse and need to split up a business? Commonly, one spouse will buy out the other spouse — one person will retain the business while the other will get cash for its value. But it can be hard to value a business, especially a small-to-midsized business. How do you determine business valuations in a divorce?

Asset Approach

The asset approach is by far the simplest. What are the tangible assets of the company? This includes cash accounts, the depreciated value of equipment, furniture, and more. This can also be the case if the business is going to be liquidated. If the business is already suffering, liquidating the business and splitting the assets fairly can be the best and most expedient approach.

Market Approach

What would the company sell for if it was on the market? This can be a little harder to evaluate, but a third-party appraiser can help. Sometimes couples decide to sell the business rather than liquidate it and split the proceeds, especially if they needed to work together to keep the business running. The market approach can be a very fair approach, but may not help either recoup what they’ve put into the business.

Income Approach

The income approach takes a look at how much the business actually makes or is projected to make. This can be better for those who are more or less interested in how much they are potentially losing in the future. A business might only have $20,000 of assets but be making $100,000 a year — a valuation based on asses wouldn’t be fair. At the same time, an income-only approach can be faulty because past performance isn’t a guarantee of future performance.

Sometimes, multiple factors might be considered to determine a company’s true valuation. There are professionals whose job it is to fairly value a business — and while it does cost some money to engage them, it’s often for the best long-term. And, of course, there are other things that could impact how much someone gains from a business. If the business predates the marriage, for instance, this will influence the percentage of the business that is split. Further, if one partner contributed significantly more in assets to the business, this could also be considered.

Importantly, a business valuation — as with any other aspect of a divorce — is made easier through a meeting of minds. If both parties during a divorce agree upon a valuation, then that valuation can be considered valid, irrelevant of assets, market, or income. A critical part of resolving divorce is ensuring that both parties are pleased with the outcomes.

Erica Bloom Law

If you’re in the middle of a divorce in California, you need legal representation from a family lawyer who has extensive experience with these cases. At Erica Bloom Law, we can provide you with the legal guidance you need throughout every step of your divorce and/or custody dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Impact of a Child’s Preference in Custody Awards

Are you going through a custody dispute in the state of California? If so, then you may be curious as to what legal weight (if any) your child’s parental preference has on the outcome of your case. By having a better understanding of California law in regard to child preference, you can better advocate for yourself moving forward. And of course, having an experienced legal team on your side can make all the difference, too.

What Weight Does a Child’s Preference Carry?

In the state of California, there are specific laws regarding how much weight a child’s preference carries when determining which parents will receive primary or even full custody of a minor. Specifically, the child must be at least 14 years of age in order for his or her preference to be taken into significant consideration. In children younger than 14, the court considers the child too young and thus not yet mature enough to express a preference one way or the other. In these instances, the child’s preference may still be weighed as a factor, but with far less significance.

Still, in children 14 and older, a stated preference carries a great deal of weight on a judge’s custody decision.

Other Factors Determining the Outcome of a Custody Dispute

While having a child report to a judge that he or she prefers to live with one parent is a big deal in court, this does not constitute an automatic granting of custodial rights to that parent. Instead, other factors must also be taken into consideration by the judge.

Some of the other factors that the judge will weigh include the health and safety of the child, the parent’s criminal history (especially in regard to domestic abuse), and any history of drug or alcohol abuse by the parent.

In general, so long as there are no concerns about the child’s wellbeing, the child’s parental preference will be granted as long as the child is at least 14 years of age. If the child is younger than 14 and expresses a preference, this will still be taken into account, but not as strongly from a legal perspective.

Why You Need Legal Representation

There’s a lot that a judge must consider when ruling on a child custody dispute in the state of California. From the child’s preference to other matters, the most important thing at the end of the day is that everybody is looking out for the best interests of the child.

If you’re in the middle of a custody dispute in California, you need legal representation from a family lawyer who has extensive experience with these cases. At Erica Bloom Law, we can provide you with the legal guidance you need throughout every step of your divorce and custody dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

image of signing preliminary financial disclosure

Preliminary Financial Disclosures & How They Affect Divorce

If you’re going through the process of getting divorced (or plan to in the near future), one thing you’ll want to be aware of is the importance of completing a preliminary financial disclosure. This disclosure should be filled out by both you and your soon-to-be ex spouse, as these disclosures play an important role in how marital assets and finances will be divided once the divorce is granted by a judge.

By having a better understanding of what a preliminary financial disclosure entails and how these forms can affect your divorce, you’ll be better prepared moving forward.

What is a Preliminary Financial Disclosure?

Specifically, a preliminary financial disclosure refers to a series of documents that is filled out by each party in the divorce process. These documents outline, in detail, a list of debts and assets from each party in the divorce. This may include outstanding debts on a mortgage or car, assets in the form of property, and just about every other financial detail in between.

In general, when filing for divorce, each spouse will be required to fill out a form known as a Declaration of Disclosure. This form includes details about assets and debts; once completed, it is formally served to the other spouse. In some cases, additional forms may also be required, though this can vary based on the state’s specific divorce laws.

How Does a Preliminary Financial Disclosure Affect Divorce?

Being as transparent, accurate, and honest as possible while filling out a preliminary financial disclosure is a must. This is because in divorce court, all assets and debts will typically be considered as community property. This means that everything will be divided 50/50 by default. With this in mind, it is imperative that each party in the divorce accurately reports his or her debts and/or assets so that a fair decision can be reached.

If one spouse is found to be dishonest or inaccurate in reporting on a preliminary financial disclosure, the other spouse may return to court to request a revision of the asset division. This can lead to more time in court and more headaches for both parties. With this in mind, it’s best to be up-front and accurate when filling out these forms the first time around.

When to Seek Help From a Divorce Lawyer

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s always a good idea to retain the services of an experienced divorce lawyer. He or she will be able to walk you through the process of filling out your disclosure and represent you through every step of the process.

Looking for a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer? Our team at Erica Bloom Law is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and find out more about what we can do for you during this difficult time!