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San Jose Family Law Blog

Are debts divided differently from property?

As we discussed earlier, California is a community property state. This means that all property obtained during a marriage is considered jointly owned, with some exceptions. In community property states, the property is divided as close to equally as possible. But what about debt?

FindLaw states that debt division is handled differently than property division. While assets are divided with equality being the focal point, the division of debt is determined by what is more equitable. This means that the debt division itself might not necessarily be an equal split down the middle. Instead, it will be divided based on what the courts deem “fair”.

What is community property division?

In San Jose, divorcing couples like you will have to figure out how you want to divide your property. California is a community property state, meaning almost anything acquired during the duration of the marriage is considered jointly owned by both parties and is therefore subject to division.

According to FindLaw, there are a few exemptions to what can be divided under community property laws. The primary examples are gifts and inheritances. Even if you were still with your spouse at the time of receiving an inheritance, you won't have to share it with them. Likewise, if they bought you gifts during your relationship, you are not required to return or share them.

How to co-parent with a narcissistic spouse

When you are a single parent in California, you try to raise your children with as little conflict as possible between you and their other parent. Sometimes, past partners co-parent seamlessly. Other times there is great tension, especially when one person has a demanding demeanor. How can you successfully co-parent with a former spouse who has a difficult personality?

According to Psychology Today, when your ex is a narcissist, it is best for you to develop certain skills to help you deal with their frustrating behavior. First, recognize that you are not dealing with someone who acts rationally. Therefore, it is important to exercise as much self-restraint as you can. Using mindfulness techniques, try to pick your battles and remain as calm as possible.

When a child support modification can work

Child support ensures that the physical needs of a child are met, even after the child's parents split. However, there are legitimate times when a parent may request an adjustment to the set divorce or child support arrangement.

Not all instances warrant such a change. A few key elements can help to determine if a child support modification request can work.

Am I a good candidate for an uncontested divorce?

Like many other California residents in the same situation, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of your impending divorce. How long will it take? How expensive will my divorce be? What do I stand to lose in our disputes? You may also wonder if there is a better way to end your marriage than to battle it out in court.

FindLaw explains that court litigation is not the only way. You and your spouse may decide to opt for an uncontested divorce option, such as mediation or collaborative law. Uncontested divorce can have numerous advantages over litigation, including the following:

  • Being more cost-effective
  • Taking less time than litigation
  • Being private, instead of a matter of public record
  • Giving you and your spouse the chance to cooperate to reach solutions
  • Teaching you communication and negotiation skills

Dividing investment accounts in a divorce

When California couples get a divorce, they usually have to separate all of their assets. This process may get a little complicated when it comes to separating financial assets, especially when couples have investment accounts. When people divide their investment accounts, there are a few things they should keep in mind. 

When divorcing couples consider their investment accounts, it is important for them to distinguish between their marital and separate accounts. According to, if one spouse opened new investment accounts during the marriage, then a court typically divides these accounts between the couple. This is because the assets people gain during their marriage are generally considered marital property. If one spouse brought investment accounts into the marriage, then these accounts are usually separate property. Most of the time, couples do not have to divide these assets. There may be some situations, though, when separate assets become marital assets, so it is a good idea for people to look over California laws. 

How to ease children through the transition to post-divorce life

Divorce is not easy for anyone in San Jose, but it can be particularly hard on children. At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang, we have observed that children involved in a divorce sometimes fall into unhelpful patterns of thinking, blaming themselves for the divorce or siding with one parent over the other. Fortunately, according to Parents Magazine, there are things that you can do to help your children through the transition. 

Needless to say, your divorce will result in many lifestyle changes for your children. They will likely have to divide their time between their parents' two residences and may have to leave behind a childhood home, school, friends, etc. The best thing that you can do for children of all ages after a divorce is to keep the child's routine as familiar as possible and to stick to it as closely as you can. Where applicable, this includes visitation schedules. It is particularly important to adhere to the co-parenting plan to ensure that children receive quality time with both parents. This will help to allay any feelings of abandonment or separation anxiety that may arise.

How to separate finances

When California residents get a divorce, they may only think about separating their physical belongings when they begin to divide their property. However, it is just as important to divide finances, especially as this may be more complicated.

People usually have to set up their own finances during a divorce. says it is important for couples to close their joint accounts. Divorcing couples may want to go to the bank together so they both know where the money in the account is going and how much there is. Each spouse can typically receive half the money in the account. Before closing the account, it is a good idea to set up individual accounts for each spouse so they can transfer certain financial transactions to a different account without worrying about bounced checks.

Is your spouse hiding assets during your divorce?

Managing marital finances is difficult enough during your marriage. It can be even more treacherous when you divorce. If you are unclear about certain assets and your spouse is being suspicious, you may need to consider whether he or she is hiding assets. 

Some people disguise or devalue assets during a divorce in an attempt to safeguard them from the asset division process. If this happens, you lose out on your fair share of what you deserve. This may also impact alimony and child support. Getting a divorce is tough enough on your finances so you want to make sure you get what you need. Take note of the following red flags and learn what you can do to uncover hidden assets during your divorce.

What does divorce stress do to the body?

Divorcing couples in San Jose may say that they feel sick over the whole process, but that may not necessarily be a figure of speech. Psychology Today cites extensive evidence that the immune system experiences compromise as a result of stress. Your divorce may be the most stressful experience that you ever have in your life. Therefore, it stands to reason that the stress of the divorce could compromise your immune system and put you at greater risk for disease. 

Your divorce may be amicable, mutually agreed-upon or your own choice. These circumstances, however, do not mitigate the stress that is often involved in the process. While you are likely to benefit in the long run, the stress during the process can take its toll on your body, and because divorce proceedings can sometimes last for years, the cumulative effects of prolonged stress can be very damaging. 

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