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Posted on in Divorce

CA divorce lawyerIs your family’s TV, fridge, microwave, alarm system, or lights controllable by voice or phone? Is your heating and air conditioning system outfitted with a computer? If someone was asked these questions even 10 years ago, the questioner would most likely be met by open-mouthed stares and bewilderment. Yet today, technology can be integrated into everything from ovens to surround sound systems. A fridge can sense when you are low on milk and can order more from the store without you, the homeowner, even pushing a button.

For better or worse, smart home technology is most likely here to stay, and will only become more prevalent in our society as the years tick by. Smart home appliances are taking our country by storm. In fact, annual revenue of smart home appliances is expected to grow at 12.9 percent per year, according to Statista. And, while only 10 percent of homes are currently outfitted with smart appliances in 2018, that number is expected to grow to 28 percent of homes by 2023, just five years away.

The Consequences of Smart Appliances During Divorce

There are a number of downsides to smart appliances, with the obvious being a high cost of maintenance and repair/replacement, the usual malfunctions that technology always seems to have, and the hassle of getting everything linked together or to your phone. Some even worried that the CIA was spying on people with smart microwaves, though that proved to be untrue, as reported in Wired. In general, most people who purchase smart appliances know what they are getting into, and for them, the benefits of convenience and integration outweigh the negatives of smart appliances. However, few realize that a smart appliance can be used to sabotage them during a divorce or break up. An ex that moves out of the house can still access these smart appliances from afar, and turn them on or off, monitor the spouse with an in-home camera and audio surveillance system, and invade their privacy and peace of mind in a myriad of ways. A San Jose divorce attorney can help.

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CA divorce lawyerAfter years of supporting your wealthy spouse with their business or career, by taking care of the children, or by homemaking, by initially paying for their education or providing them the capital necessary to get started, or by doing all of the above and more, it probably seems unjust that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse wants to sever the marriage without so much as a fair alimony agreement.

The new tax law, which erases the ability to deduct alimony payments from taxes, may actually spur wealthy spouses to ask for a divorce very soon, as there are only a few months left before it goes into effect. Under the old and current law, the paying spouse could deduct their alimony payments from their taxes and those who sign alimony agreements before January 1st, 2019 will still be able to take advantage of this annual deduction in the years to come. Those who do not will be stuck with paying alimony without the tax write off. For spouses already considering divorce, this may be the last straw that breaks the marriage’s back. If your husband or wife has filed for divorce, you need to contact a San Jose alimony attorney immediately.

What Is Spousal Support and How Is It Determined?

Spouses, particularly well-off spouses, have an obligation to provide financial support, called spousal support or alimony, in a variety of situations. This money can be in addition to child support payments, which are used to provide for the child. Spousal support is used to benefit the lower-earning spouse with the following:

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Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerThe status of healthcare in America is such that many divorcing couples are actually postponing their divorce plans in order to allow one of the spouses continuing access to the other’s employee group health care plan, as reported by Time. While pre-existing conditions no longer affect a person’s ability to qualify for healthcare (for now at least), the drastically rising costs of healthcare and lifesaving prescription medications mean that divorce may not be an option for some. However, there are actions you can take now to safeguard your future and your finances, all while staying with your partner (legally) so that you or they may continue to be covered. If you have questions regarding an impending divorce and how it would affect the status of your or your spouse’s health insurance, a San Jose divorce attorney is here for answers.

Will Legal Separation Work?

In short, no. Employee health care plans are terminated for the non-employee spouse when a couple gets divorced. And, the same is true when the couple gets legally separated. Many Californians believe that they can get around this issue of health coverage loss by getting legally separated, which used to be the case but is no longer true. In some rare cases, an employer can be ordered by a court order to keep the non-employee spouse on the health care plan. However, the odds of this happening are not in your favor.

Steps to Take to Remain on a Spouse’s Health Care Plan

First of all, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (more commonly referred to as COBRA) allows divorced spouses to continue receiving health insurance through their ex-spouse’s employer for a limited amount of time—usually less than 18 months. The spouse would have to pay up to 102 percent of the plan’s cost, however.

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Posted on in Divorce

CA divorce lawyerIn a recent study, researchers asked participants who they would save if a runaway bus was hurtling out of control towards their dog or another human being, as reported by Psychology Today. The majority of participants chose to save their dog over a “foreign tourist” or a “hometown stranger” both by a wide margin. The participants also chose saving their dog over their “distant cousin,” “best friend,” “grandparent,” and even their “sibling.” We obviously place enormous emotional value in our pets, so why does the court system treat our pets as mere property?

During a divorce, pets are considered either marital or personal property. This means that if one of the spouses owned the pet before marriage, they will get the pet no matter what. If the pet was acquired during marriage, the pet is considered marital property, also called community property here in California. However, this is all about to change thanks to the recent signing of Assembly Bill 2274 by the Governor into law. Starting January 1st, 2019, the court can determine sole or joint custody of pet animals that are community property. If you are going through divorce and have a beloved dog, cat, or other pet and it is vital that your animal ends up with you, it is essential that you contact a San Jose divorce attorney.

What Has This Law Changed?

Under the old law, and currently existing law until the end of this year:

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Posted on in Divorce

CA divorce lawyerRegardless of certain cultural and religious backgrounds, marriages do not always work out, even if a religion forbids or strongly discourages divorce. In these circumstances, having the marriage annulled (essentially erased) may be more desirable than a divorce. The benefits of an annulment include the following:

  • It can appease the demands of certain cultures or religions that say divorce is forbidden;
  • It erases all evidence of the marriage having taken place;
  • It may be less expensive than most divorces; and
  • An annulment is faster than a divorce.

An annulment can be finalized very quickly, compared to a divorce, because of the following:

  • No need to distribute marital assets because there are virtually none;
  • Child custody and child support will likely not be a concern due to the short duration of the marriage;
  • Alimony or spousal support is not relevant; and
  • In California, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period that both partners must have been living in the state, and three in the county, before a divorce can be finalized, under California law. This is another reason to consider an annulment, if at all possible, because there is no mandatory wait time.

However, there must be specific circumstances within the marriage for it to be annulled, and the marriage must have taken place fairly recently. A San Jose annulment attorney can help answer any of your questions surrounding divorce or annulment. Below are some reasons that would legally justify an annulment.

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