Can I Make My Spouse Move Out During a Divorce?

If you and your spouse are currently sharing a home and one of you has filed for divorce or is considering filing for divorce in California, you may wonder what will happen next.  For many, the issue of staying in the family home during the divorce and potentially after the divorce  is important. However, you may not want to continue living in the home with your spouse as you work through the divorce process. Can you make your spouse move out of the house or not? Can I Make My Spouse Move Out? In the majority of divorce situations, you cannot…

Portability of the Estate and Gift Tax Exemption

The estate and gift tax imposes a tax on assets an individual owns at death and assets gifted during life in excess of the exemption amount.  Gifts and estates in excess of the exemption amount were subject to a federal tax ranging from 35-45%.  The exemption amount has fluctuated dramatically in the last decade making estate planning difficult as we generally do not know the exemption amount for the year in which death occurs.  Also, the exemption amount was personal meaning it could not be transferred between spouses and was a use it or lose it proposition. Congress passed the…

Transmutation: The Transfer of Property Between Spouses in California

A transmutation is a transfer of property between spouses whereby the characterization of the property changes as a result of the transfer. The Problem:  Either 1) estate planners in pursuit of a significant tax benefit applicable to the transfer of community property to a surviving spouse cross the line by accidentally transmuting separate property to community property upon funding a joint marital revocable living trust or 2) clients who once held a generous intention borne of marital happiness lose or forget that objective at the time of divorce. The Impact:  Separate property is viewed as community property when the couple…

How is Child Support Calculated in California?

Every child is entitled to financial support from both of his or her parents. As such, if two parents are not raising a child together, child support is generally required. Child support is mandated by law and if there is a support order in place, the support must be paid or there are consequences including the potential for jail time.  Child support may also be required even in cases where the paying parent does not have visitation rights with the child. To ensure that every child gets the support he or she needs, California has established a standard formula that is used…

What is the Difference Between Seeking a Legal Separation and a Divorce?

If you are no longer happy living with your spouse, then you may be considering separating your legal partnership.  There are a couple different possible steps that you can take in order to formally split from your spouse. One option is a legal separation. The other option is a divorce. What is the Difference Between a Legal Separation and a Divorce? A legal separation and a divorce are similar in many ways. A legal separation and a legal divorce both can allow you to get a formal contractual agreement in place regarding how custody, assets and money are shared once you are no longer…

Can I Move the Children Out-of-State During or After Divorce?

If you are co-parenting a child but live separately from the child’s other parent, there are a host of complex legal issues you may have to work through when it comes to California child custody and visitation. Often, the most difficult issue that arises is when one parent wants to move to a different location or to a different state. If you move to a different state and take your kids with you, it can make it more difficult for your children to maintain a relationship with their other parent.  The other parent may object to the relocation and you may find yourself wondering whether you…