Dividing Pension Plans in Divorce and Legal Separation Cases in California

In the State of California, retirement benefits are considered a form of employment compensation. Thus, the community estate owns the pension rights that pertain to employment during the marriage. This holds true regardless whether the pension benefits have vested or matured. The division of pension benefits between the separate and community estates must be “reasonable…

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Protect Your Client from Being Encumbered with His/Her Spouse’s Tax Debt

In case you are not aware, during July 2011, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2011-70, which made a significant change to stipulations for individuals looking for spousal relief under IRC 6015(f).  This notice may help you protect your clients from liability for either underpayment or nonpayment of taxes caused by dishonesty by their spouses. …

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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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