Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Divorce Attorney Can Help You to Sort Through Your Finances

An attorney can help you to untangle your finances when getting a divorce. That is exactly what divorce is – an untangling of two lives and everything that is part of life.  This applies to large obvious things like a house to small things like a safety deposit box.  Anything that you own has to be sorted through with decisions made as to how it will be divided or who will keep what. This can be extremely tedious, especially for people that have been married a long time. 

It is wise to start by creating an inventory of every item that you own, every financial account, and every debt.  We can provide you with worksheets to take notes on.  Once this is done each item should be assigned a value, unless it is purely sentimental.  This way when everything is divided and it is easy to tell how fair the split is.  
The challenge is that most people cannot handle dividing everything up with their ex-spouse.  Tensions can be high, and each item represents a story or memory which can make emotions heightened.  Having an attorney help you to sort through everything is often the best way to go about it.  Most people are less inclined to be as emotional or passionate with a third party in the room so it can help to keep things calm.  If you and your ex each have an attorney, you can do this by having everyone sit down in a room for an hour or two.  Otherwise you can use the same attorney as a moderator.  This is typically only possible if you are getting along very well. 
When dividing larger assets it is common for the debt to stay with it.  For example, if you are keeping your home, the mortgage would also be your responsibility.  If they are keeping the truck, they will have the debt and payments associated with it.  For this reason some people choose not to have an equitable division of assets because they don’t want to make the debt payments.  If no one wants the asset or debt, a plan needs to be created for how to sell or liquidate it.  

Splitting up financial accounts can also be challenging.  Savings accounts are often split down the middle but retirement accounts can be a touchy issue. An attorney can help you to negotiate a compromise for these things when possible.  If one cannot be reached a judge will decide when the case goes to trial.  Reaching a compromise as quickly as possible is actually in your best interests.  It will make it possible for you to begin using the funds instead of having them frozen pending trial.  This can help you to pay for living expenses, etc.  It is okay if you can only reach an agreement on some of your assets and accounts.  Once an agreement is reached it can be signed and those items will not need to be addressed at trial which will shorten the process and remove unnecessary complications.  

To learn more about how an attorney can help you, call Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A San Diego Lawyer Can Help You to Get a Restraining Order Against Your Ex

Divorce can get ugly and a lawyer can help you to navigate through the process.  There are times before or during the divorce one spouse can become violent, threatening, or volatile.  It is normal for people to get upset and worked up. The question is how upset are they getting and have they calmed down?  If your spouse or ex-spouse is threatening you and you are scared that you may become a victim of violence, a restraining order may be in order.  You can also obtain one if you believe they are stalking you.

A restraining order is a legal decree that prohibits them from coming within a certain distance of you.  If they violate the order you can call the police and have them arrested.  The major difference is that without a restraining order they would need to act violently or start threatening you before you can really call the police.  A restraining order gives you the right to do so before the situation escalates. 

It is important to have an experienced lawyer help you through the process. You have to prove that a restraining order is necessary, which can be difficult to do without help. Your ex-spouse may appear completely cool and calm in court which will give off the impression that they aren’t posing a threat to you.  Once outside of court, the behavior is likely to continue.  An attorney can help to present the facts so that the judge understands the severity of the issue and the need for you to be protected. 

There are two main types of restraining orders that you can get in California – personal conduct and stay-away orders.  

Personal Conduct Orders
This type of restraining order prevents the other party from contacting you via the phone, messages, and email.  They cannot harass you, stalk you, strike you, destroy your property or sexually harass you in any way. 

Stay-Away Orders
This is the type of restraining order that most people think of because it prevents them from coming within either fifty or 100 yards of you.  It applies to your physical person.  For example, if they were to see you in a grocery store they could not come within fifty or 100 yards.  It also applies to where you live and work, where your kids go to school, your car, and other important places you include on the list like church or a relative’s home.  
Stay-away orders can become complicated when you are sharing custody with an ex-spouse.  You will want the assistance of a lawyer to navigate through these challenges.  For example, in a normal stay-away order the other party cannot be too close to your kid’s school.  If it is their child too, this becomes impractical so a creative solution will need to be implemented.  The same holds true for custody exchanges.  A solution will have to be worked out to where you can trade custody without the order being violated, unless of course the child is also protected as part of the order.  

To learn more about restraining orders and how a lawyer can help, call Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law today.