Child Custody

A Skilled Equitable Distribution Lawyer Can Protect Your Property Interests

The division of property due to divorce involves some of the most important and far-reaching decisions a person will make in their lifetime. Who will keep the house, the car and other assets that the couple has acquired? If there is a family business, how will it be valued and divided? These decisions can affect an individual’s well-being for years, or even a lifetime. Reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable often requires the counsel of an experienced family law lawyer.

How California Looks At Marital Property

California is one of nine community property states. Community property generally includes personal property, bank accounts, investment accounts, real property, businesses and retirement funds acquired during the marriage. Separate property includes what was owned prior to marriage and property acquired by inheritance or gift.

In general, community property assets are divided equally in all cases. However, properly classifying which assets belong to the community and which are separate property can be very difficult and contentious. Disputes can also arise in determining the value of marital assets. Property division is a complex issue affecting your divorce. It is vital that you work with an experienced family law attorney.

Attorney Kate Rockas works with professional appraisers, accountants and other financial experts to ensure the proper characterization and valuation of the community property. She works diligently with clients to find creative and workable solutions for the division of their assets without compromising their rights. If the parties are unable to agree on a fair and equitable settlement, she will thoroughly and meticulously prepare the matter for court proceedings. She is also able to help in cases of high-asset divorce.

Navigating The Difficult Waters Of Divorce And Debt Responsibility

Divorce and debt responsibility ​can​ ​be​ ​complicated​. It is ​a​ ​sensitive​ ​topic​ with ​far-reaching effects​ ​on each​ ​spouse’s​ credit and long-term ​financial​ ​situation. ​San Rafael attorney Kate Rockas is a family law specialist who can handle all aspects of complicated monetary scenarios. She will begin by determining community and separate debt so that you will not be saddled with your spouse’s legal obligations. Then she will help ​you​ ​divide responsibility​ ​as​ ​fairly​ ​as​ ​possible to manage your financial stability. Ms. Rockas is equipped to handle serious monetary burdens, such as bankruptcy or steep credit card bills.

Determining Community And Separate Debt Is Complex

When you are going through a divorce, determining community and separate debt is a vital step. Community debt is anything that either spouse accrued during the marriage, and it is considered a joint obligation. Even if only one spouse signed the credit card bill or took out the loan, both parties are equally responsible for paying it back. On the other hand, if one spouse owed money before marriage, only that party is responsible for repayment after divorce. Following the date of separation, if either party accrues debt, he or she is solely responsible for repayment.

While this might seem straightforward, determining the date of separation can be more complicated than it sounds. In some cases, it is as simple as identifying the day on which one spouse moved to a different residence. In other cases, the date of separation could be the date that spouses began sleeping in different rooms in the same house. To have a legal separation, at least one party must have the intent to end the marriage. A trial separation, whether in the same or different homes, would not affect financial responsibility.

Smart Tips For Handling Debt

Unfortunately, creditors are not obliged to observe agreement or orders for the division of debt. If your ex-spouse does not repay his or her share, creditors will hold you responsible for paying the bills. If possible, try to have all balances paid off before your divorce is finalized. An attorney can also help you add an indemnity clause on your divorce agreement. This stipulation will enable you to take your ex back to court if he or she reneges on payments. At the same time, it is important to note that your ex’s failure to pay obligations could affect your credit score. If you can, you should try to pay off all bills when they are due, even if you have to take your ex to court later.

Bankruptcy And Divorce

In some cases, filing for bankruptcy can lift both spouses’ financial obligations. Typically, you should jointly file for bankruptcy before the divorce. This will simplify and speed up the process since all debt can be treated together. Plus, bankruptcy can wipe away your balances, making the divorce process easier, as well. The courts will be able to make a more equitable decision regarding support payments, and you can begin with a clean slate as soon as your divorce is finalized.

However, when one spouse files for bankruptcy during a divorce, it can put enormous and unfair financial strain on the other party. Not only will it slow the divorce process, but the divorce court will not be able to award any assets because everything will be tied up with the bankruptcy court.

Effective, Experienced Legal Representation

If your divorce is bogged down by heavy debt, Kate Rockas is the right attorney for you. As a family law specialist, she understands all aspects of property and debt division. Furthermore, she is sensitive to your emotional needs. In addition to walking you through the legal process and all necessary paperwork, she will guide you in making informed decisions for your long-term well-being and financial security. Email Kate Rockas for a consultation.