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Divorce: Fighting for the marital home? 5 things to consider

Recently I represented Buyers in a transaction where a Seller wrote us the following in an email:  “I purchased this home after I filed for divorce…  I had no choice because I wanted to provide my daughter a comfortable home”.  I felt very sad for the Seller as somehow she managed to convince herself that she had “no choice”  but to spend $1.9M to make her daughter comfortable.  She sold that home 5 years later to my Client for $1.645M and paid $80,000 in real estate commissions to boot. I’m thinking her now 20 year old daughter is wondering why her mom felt she needed to live in such a large home.  Did the Seller have a financial planner or did she choose not to listen?  I’ll never know.  But I do know I never want a Client of mine to be there.  Knee-jerk reactions to divorce that include buying and selling homes should always be carefully and thoughtfully planned with the advice of professionals. Thought you might enjoy this article: Divorce: Fighting for the marital home? 5 things to consider April 15, 2013 by Hannah Foxley 5 things to think about if you fight for the marital home The upheaval and emotional turmoil of divorce means that decisions are often made in an emotional state rather than with a logical mind. Many women battle to hang on to the marital home because they feel that they don’t want further upheaval to themselves or their children but at what cost? I know of many horror stories of women who have held onto the marital home for dear life to their detriment. They have found that they are unable to afford to run the marital home on their own and then due to the economic situation have been unable to sell it for what it was valued at on divorce. Here are 5 things to consider when deciding whether or not to fight for the marital home in the divorce settlement. 1.  Can you afford to take on the mortgage? A mortgage is a huge financial burden and having to pay it on your own without a second income can be too much of a financial strain. It may be that you are unable to get a mortgage due to your income being insufficient. If you are not earning enough to take on the mortgage and are receiving maintenance payments, this can be tricky to navigate.  Some lenders will take account of the maintenance payments, some will not, some will want to see it being paid for three months, some for six months. Can you genuinely afford to take on such a huge burden? Your emotions may be telling you that...

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Ten Steps for Anyone to Consider Before Filing for Divorce

Start with a good marriage counselor. If not marriage counseling, go at least for yourself. A divorce should be a last step, rather than a first step. There are three reasons to go into counseling. The first reason is to see if the marriage can be saved. The second reason is to build a support system for yourself. The third reason is to make sure you know everything you can about yourself, so that you will not make the same mistake and marry the same type of person again and again. Whether you are a husband or wife, it is important to know as much as possible about family finances. Obtain copies of tax returns, investment accounts, bank statements, checking accounts, and credit card statements. Know what your mortgage balance is. Remember, the more you know about your family finances, including trying to list assets and liabilities, the better off you are in the event that a divorce occurs. If you have children, consider what arrangement makes most sense with regard to custody. Is this a case where there should be shared or joint custody? Keep track of how much time you spend with your children, and how much time your spouse spends with the children. More and more cases end up with shared or joint custody, as well as with fathers having primary physical custody. These are important things to consider. It is also important to look at the situation realistically. Do not go in with an attitude of trying to punish your spouse, but look at what is in the best interests of your children going forward in the event of a divorce. What are your financial needs for the future? What are the family finances? Prepare a budget. Remember that after a divorce, the family is divided in two and each party will have to figure out how to move forward economically. How secure is your job? Does your spouse work? Do you need to finish a degree? These are things that you should think about before filing for divorce. Talk to an attorney. Make sure the attorney is someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in family law. Make sure this is a person you can relate to, and feel comfortable with. Explore the costs of a divorce with the attorney. Think about what you want to do about the home. Will you want to keep it? Have your spouse keep it? Or perhaps sell it? Remember, in these tough economic times, in more and more cases, we are dealing not with a division of the assets, but how the debts are allocated. These are important things to consider in filing for a divorce. Keep a...

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Family Law and Divorce

California recognizes no fault-divorce whereby the majority of divorces in California are granted based on irreconcilable differences. Some cases may proceed to trial while others can be resolved through settlement. Procedurally, divorce involves a variety of issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be daunting. Our team of seasoned attorneys will walk you through the process, keep you informed, and protect your interests. From the initial interview to the resolution of your case, we will be with you every step of the way. When a person seeks counsel in a family law matter, it is important that they not just seek legal advice but that they seek advice from a law firm that specializes in family law and matters collateral to family law. You need to find an attorney who understands your rights and is dedicated to protecting and preserving those rights. Rights that arise before, during and following a marriage include: Premarital Agreements Termination of the Marital Relationship Property Settlements Business Valuation Child Custody Child Support Child Visitation Spousal Support Marital Standard of Living DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW IN CALIFORNIA These questions and answers are not intended to be legal advice to any person.  The information is general in nature and an answer given may or may not be applicable to a particular situation.  Family Law issues are extremely complex and competent legal advice should be sought from a licensed attorney.  1. How much does a divorce cost? The filing fee for a petition or a response is currently $435.00.  A fee for a subsequent Request for Order (formerly called a Motion or an Order to Show Cause) is $60.00 and additional $25.00 if it is for child custody or visitation. Attorney fees are billed hourly therefore are related to the complexity of a particular case. 2. How long will this take? There is no specific time.  The target is for all cases to be finished within a year but this is not always the case.  A dissolution of marriage cannot occur until 6 months after the Respondent has been served with a Summons and Petition. 3. What if my spouse or I do not respond to the divorce petition that has been served? A default judgment may be taken without further notice to the party who has not filed a Response. 4. How does the process work? After the Summons and Petition have been filed and served, financial and property disclosures must be exchanged.  When the parties are satisfied with the disclosures, negotiations for settlement should occur.  If a case is not settled by a written agreement, the case goes to trial for the Judge...

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Knee Pain Management and Prevention

It is likely that at some point in our lives we will all experience knee pain. For many of us, knee issues were brought on by an acute injury from vigorous sports play. For others, knee pain comes in the form of an unwelcome mid life surprise, a squeaky wheel we ignore until it becomes a chronic injury we have to deal with. The structural complexity of the knee and the fact that it is an active weight-bearing joint make it one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body. Regaining knee health without surgery will be a long road, but it is achievable in many cases. More and more, people are taking preventative measures to avoid invasive procedures that often require eventual knee joint replacement. Be warned, patience as well as persistent rehabilitative attention are required and well worth the effort! The symptoms of knee pain can tell a lot about the cause of the pain. For example, pain on the sides of the knees below the knee cap may indicate that the hamstring muscles in back of the thigh are strained. If this issue is not addressed, the knee joint will destabilize, becoming misaligned and causing a variety of other issues that compound the problem. Tight hamstrings are common in many cultures like ours where sitting is the primary position. Regular movement out of the seated position, daily stretching and myofascial release techniques can alleviate chronic tension of the hamstrings. Knee swelling is fairly common with knee pain, and can indicate a need for rest due to overuse or misuse. If swelling from an acute injury does not subside with 3 days rest, consult a physician or physical therapist. Gently stretching and rolling the muscles around the knee can bring much needed relief. A trainer that is certified in myo-fascial release like Trigger Point Therapy can help you learn how to relieve acute or chronic joint pain with minimal equipment and effort. If you work out on your own, whether its a long walk, tennis game or weight training, make time for a solid warm up as well as extended stretching and rolling at the end of your workout. This measure alone is a huge part of injury prevention. Consider it a part of your workout… not an added bonus! Added weight is one of the most common reasons for Osteoarthritis of the knee. For every pound of unneeded weight we lose, we take 4 pounds of pressure off our knees. Dropping that extra weight with a combination of exercise and a nutrient rich diet will definitely have a positive effect on knee health. Acid producing foods such as processed sugar, heavily processed wheat products,...

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How Can I Make Sure My Kids are Getting Enough Calcium Without Milk?

Q:  “My kids aren’t fans of milk and I don’t push it.  Are they missing out on calcium or other nutrients to build strong bones and teeth?  We do drink some almond milk and occasionally coconut milk, but in the back of my mind, I wonder if we should be supplementing with something additional.” A:  “This may surprise you, but your kids can get all the calcium and other nutrients they need for strong bones and teeth without ever drinking a drop of cow’s milk.  Humans like all other mammals were not designed to ingest breast milk after the first few years of life.  After weaning, most of the enzymes needed to adequately digest the milk sugars (lactose) and milk proteins (casein and whey) decline in the human body since these substances are not in the other foods we traditionally hunt and gather.  This is why so many people have digestive issues, true allergies and sensitivities to milk and other dairy products. Kids can get the 800-1300mg of calcium recommended daily by eating a variety of other whole, unprocessed foods including spinach, kale, okra, collards, Chinese cabbage, soy beans (edamame), tofu, broccoli, beans, salmon, and sardines.  Calcium is also found in fortified foods like breakfast cereals, orange juice, and most nut, rice, soy and coconut milks. More importantly, kids need to get enough vitamin D, magnesium, manganese and vitamin K to help the body absorb calcium into its more than 200 bones and teeth.  Without adequate calcium absorption, studies have shown that their bodies can be plagued later in life with osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and kidney stones. Here are a few whole food sources of calcium absorption-aiding nutrients. Magnesium – spinach, swiss chard, cocoa powder, pumpkin, squash, sesame seeds, tahini, molasses, dry roasted soy beans (edamame), almonds, cashews, whole grain oats, wheat, Manganese – spinach, wheat germ, rice bran, oat bran, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, tahini, sunflower seeds, dry roasted edamame, chili powder, cocoa power, chili powder Vitamin K – dried herbs including basil, sage and thyme; deeply colored leafy greens like kale, collards, cress, spinach, turnip Greens, mustard greens, beet greens, swiss chard; broccoli, spring onions (scallions), brussels sprouts, asparagus, pickled cucumber and prunes Vitamin D –. Vitamin D is in very few whole foods in very small amounts-fatty fish (like tuna, mackerel, and salmon), beef liver, and egg yolks. Your body also makes vitamin D with exposure to sunlight, but that process is hindered with sunscreen and because kids are spending more time in doors.   Therefore some foods have been fortified with vitamin D like dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.  Doctors are...

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