Major Decision on Date of Separation

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Until this week couples going through divorce could be considered separated even though they continued to live in the same home together.  No More… The California Supreme Court has issued its long awaited decision in the case of In re the Marriage of Davis. Bringing clarity to the often confusing question of when a couple is separated for divorce. Even …

Divorce Disclosures Are Serious Stuff

hl-admin Blog, Community property, Family law procedure, John Harding, Property division Leave a Comment

As part of every California divorce each spouse is compelled to complete and exchange declarations of disclosure that list all property and debt. Some lawyers take shortcuts when preparing the disclosures for their clients.  We don’t at Harding & Associates Family Law! Our clients spend a lot of time with us making sure that there disclosures are done 110%.  Here …

Important Property Characterization Opinion from Cal. Supreme Court

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The long awaited Valli opinion has been issued by the California Supreme Court. In the case husband and wife purchased a life insurance policy insuring husband’s life.  There was no dispute the life insurance policy was purchased during the marriage, and with community property money.  Ordinarily there would be no discussion.  The policy would be characterized as community property.  In …

How One California Court Oddly Dealt With A Home Buy-Out and the Real Estate Crash

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Here is a real head scratcher of a decision out of Los Angeles County.  It is an unpublished opinion so it cannot be cited as precedent.  The big complaint from the court is the inadequacy of the record on appeal.  Had the appellate court been provided with all of the records for the case the opinion might have been published.  …

A Divorce Judgment Is A Money Judgment

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Susan and Lee got divorced.  The 1985 judgment dissolving the marriage found their residence to be community property, and ordered that Susan receive half the proceeds of the sale of the residence, less costs of sale and an existing encumbrance.  Although the judgment directed Susan and Lee to cooperate in listing and selling the residence “forthwith,” Lee continued to live …

Who Gets Disability Benefits

hl-admin Blog, Community property, Property division, Separate property 2 Comments

An unpublished opinion from Ventura County helps us to understand who gets disability benefits at divorce. Robert and Victoria married in 1978.    In 1989 Robert bought a disability policy from Unum Insurance.  The couple separated in 2004.  Simultaneously Robert went on disability.  By the time the case went to trial, the monthly disability benefits payable to Robert from the Unum …

Loan Secured By Separate Real Property Is Separate

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An unpublished opinion out of Marin County gives us a nice refresher on characterization of a second mortgage taken against a spouse’s separate real property. Vincent owned a home in Petaluma.  It was his separate property because he owned it before his marriage to Michelle. During marriage the parties took out a second mortgage with Bank of America, secured by …

It Either Is Or Is Not A Pre-Nup

hl-admin Blog, Community property, General divorce information, Property division 1 Comment

Jeanne and Michael were planning their nuptials.  There was only one problem.  Jeanne had a child (not Michael’s) that was a ward of the State.  Jeanne and Michael were worried that once they were married the State might try to go after Michael’s assets for reimbursement of costs for the child. Michael and Jeanne paid a visit to Jeanne’s brother, …

How The Marital Estate Gets An Interest In a Spouse’s Business

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Jay founded Alacer in 1972.  He married Ymelda in 1988.  Jay transferred all of his Alacer stock into a trust in 2000.  The parties started their divorce in 2001.  Jay died in 2003.  The case has been working its way throught the courts for ten years, and includes many related actions.  Eventually the trustees of the trust were brought into …