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Santa Rosa California Legal Blog

Bankruptcy: Using a personal loan to pay off debts

Many families in California and across the nation have experienced the hardships of dealing with substantial amounts of debt. Similar concerns can have a disastrous impact on one's life and may leave a person scrambling through options for relief. While many could be eligible to pursue relief through outlets such as bankruptcy, studies indicate that some may instead choose to seek aid through personal loans.

Recent studies suggest that many individuals have taken to applying for personal loans for assistance in paying down on other high-risk debts. According to studies, more than 60 percent of loan applicants over recent years intend to use this line of credit to pay down on other forms of debt. Studies also indicate that the average balance for those who take out a loan for relief comes in at just over $14,000.

Knowing the issues that may lead to divorce later in life

There are a multitude of issues that could leave older couples in California or elsewhere wondering if parting ways is the healthiest path. Some of the concerns these couples encounter may be unique to this particular age group. Although studies indicate that the overall divorce rate across the nation is on the decline, experts assert that the divorce rate among couples over the age of 50 is constantly on the rise.

Although perhaps the case in previous years, studies suggest that the social stigma associated with divorce may now have less of an impact on one's decisions. In addition, longer life expectancies and easier access to health care could also have a substantial influence on a person's outlook on the prospect of taking separate paths later in life. As such, many individuals may feel less apprehensive about considering divorce as an option.

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order helps you avoid fines

After a divorce, you may need to liquidate certain assets to support yourself. This is normal, and many people have to do so. For example, if you were given a share of retirement assets, you may be able to access the money from the fund before it reaches maturity.

Many people do what they can to avoid taking money from retirement funds until after they reach age 59. Why? They think that they'll be charged 10 percent by the Internal Revenue Service. In many cases, that is true, especially if the individuals don't qualify for relief from the fine.

When it comes to divorce, organization is key

Being prepared for certain life changes can be challenging, especially the ones that could have a substantial impact on a person's future. Individuals in California who are going through the end of a marriage may wish to seek guidance on what to expect from the process and how best to prepare for what comes next. When it comes to divorce, becoming organized may be an essential part of preparing for the process, but it can also be somewhat challenging at times.

Experts indicate that one of the first steps to take to become organized prior to entering negotiations is to take inventory of assets. This can include making a list of all banking and investment accounts, including joint credit accounts and other forms of marital debt. Those who are facing a similar circumstance may also find it helpful to factor in life insurance policies and estate planning documents when preparing for negotiations, as these could play a substantial role in the outcome of the process.

Is spousal support standardized?

When you're going through a divorce and know that you will have to pay spousal support, the one thing you want to know is how much you'll pay over time. You may find guidelines online or factors that influence spousal support, but finding a simple answer won't happen. Why? No two situations are alike.

Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to how much you'll pay in spousal support or how long you'll pay it. In some ways, that's bad, since you can't prepare for what you'll be expected to pay. In other ways, it's great, because it means you can negotiate down the amount you'll pay out over time.

Finding ways to reduce stress during a divorce in California

When individuals in California think about dissolving a marriage, they may associate the process with a certain level of strife. However, while divorce can be a stressful experience, it doesn't necessarily have to involve high levels of conflict. Those who wish to protect their physical and emotional well-being throughout this process could benefit from seeking advice on how to limit the amount of stress they experience during divorce.

One tip to help cut down on conflict and reduce stress could pertain to taking a moment to carefully consider whether divorce is the best path. Dissolving a marriage is a major life decision and allowing ample time to ensure it is the healthiest option could prove beneficial in a variety of ways. Those who take the time to consider their options could also reach a certain sense of clarity in the process, which could help them move past feelings of anger.

Drunk driving: Bill would lower legal limit to drive if approved

Upon being accused of operating a vehicle while impaired, the average person may lack the necessary legal experience to know how best to approach the subsequent process. Even those who are somewhat familiar with such allegations may also find it difficult to stay up to date on any possible changes to the law. A new bill has been introduced which would reportedly lower the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in California, and if it is passed into law, the number of those who face drunk driving charges may increase substantially.

Like many other states, the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in California currently sits at a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. If the new bill is approved, the legal limit would be lowered to .05. However, while some feel that the change is necessary and could help cut down on dangerous drunk driving accidents, others reportedly feel that it might not have as much of an impact as intended.

Knowing the true value of a business during divorce

Business owners in California may face a variety of difficult decisions upon making the decision to end a marriage. Many owners may worry about how the outcome of a divorce will affect the future of their companies, and they may wish to know more about their options and how best to approach the process. When facing divorce, business owners may find that obtaining the correct value of the company could prove vital to preparing for subsequent negotiations.

Obtaining the value of all marital assets is one of the first steps to take when preparing a strategy for property division negotiations. This may be no different for a business, as even if the company was founded prior to the marriage, there are a variety of scenarios in which it could become commingled in the marital estate. Should even a portion of the business be deemed community property, the company will likely play a significant part in the process.

How can you divide your home during divorce?

There are times when people have only one or two major assets. To resolve a divorce and come to a settlement agreement, that asset has to be valued. Once it's valued, the couple has to agree on how to divide that item's value.

In the case of the marital home, California's laws are straightforward. The state is a community property state, which means that both parties hold an equal share in marital property. This means that if you have to distribute the property after divorce, each of you should be given approximately half the value of the home in one way or another.

Seeking advice on how to co-parent effectively after divorce

Many parents in California and across the nation consider safeguarding the well-being of their children to be one of the most important aspects of life. This could lead to differences of opinion on how to raise the children, especially among parents who have made the decision to divorce. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that parents who part ways can't find common ground when it comes to co-parenting the kids, and there may be certain things to keep in mind that may help smooth out the process.

When co-parenting the children, parents may benefit from putting personal feelings aside and becoming unified in their approach to their new situation. While they might not agree on everything, taking a unified stance on the vital aspects of raising the kids could prove exceedingly beneficial. Taking on the mindset that this is for the benefit of the children may also help parents accept their new roles and help them prepare for what comes next

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