Dividing Inherited Assets in a Divorce

If you inherited property, money, stocks or other assets either before your marriage or during it, the inheritance, whether cash, real estate, family heirloom, or anything at all, is your separate property. If you kept the asset separate, for example, put the inherited money in a separate bank account belonging only to you, it remains your…

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Divorce and The Family Business

When a divorcing couple owns a family business, it complicates the parties’ financial settlement. Generally, the business will be awarded to one of the spouses and how it is valued and divided depends on the type of business that is involved. When One Spouse is a Licensed Professional and Owner of the Business When one…

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Double Dipping and Breach of Attorney Standard of Care

In the practice of Family Law, it is the attorney’s duty to inform clients of all reasonably evident legal issues or problems and to surpass his scope of representation when necessary, including recommending consultations with other professionals, such as Forensic Accountants. Falling within this sphere of responsibility includes advising clients concerning the potential of double…

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Earning Capacity and Unemployment/Underemployment

The California Supreme Court defines earning capacity as “the income the spouse is reasonably capable of earning based upon the spouse’s age, health, education, marketable skills, employment history and the availability of employment opportunities.” Marriageof Simpson, (1992) C.4th 225, 14 Cal. Rptr. 2d 411. Due in part to the current economy, there exists a notable…

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Epstein Credits: An Overview

In 1979, the landmark California Supreme Court case, “In Re Marriage of Epstein,” established guidelines for reimbursements of separate property payments (normally from post-separation earnings) on community property debt. As a customary rule, courts may reimburse a spouse if that spouse used post-separation earnings or other separate funds subsequent to separation to pay for pre-existing…

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