Top Money Mistakes To Avoid In Your Divorce!

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIn any divorce, each party has to be smart and also realistic in terms of what the new reality of their life will be post-separation and post-divorce.  The money that was spent on a life together is now being split to maintain 2 separate lifestyles.  Before you sign your marital settlement agreement, consider these potential mistakes that you will want to avoid:

  1. Settling for less in the division of property and assets than you are entitled to in order to obtain more child custody or visitation.

These are 2 separate issues and one should not be contingent on the other.

  1. Underestimating your monthly budget and needs.

You must be realistic in what you will need to not only financially survive but live a semblance of what your marital standard of living was.

  1. Trusting your attorney to know or determine what is financially best for you.

Although your attorney can offer you sound legal advice and information, you must also be knowledgeable of your finances and take responsibility for your financial future.

  1. Making money decisions one-at-a-time.

It is best in divorce proceedings to consider the big picture of what the impact of child support, spousal support and division of property will be as they relate to taxes, inflation, and related issues.  You should strive to work out a “global” settlement on all financial issues together whenever possible.

  1. Failing to prepare for future problems.

Although there is generally no legal requirement for life or disability insurance to be required as a guarantee on child and spousal support in the event of death or inability to work.  However, given that term life insurance is generally very affordable nowadays, an agreement that the payor of support will maintain sufficient life insurance to act as a guarantee on the support is reasonable and smart.  Generally, the party paying support wants to make sure that their children (or hopefully spouse too) are protected in such an event.  In the alternative, such a life insurance policy can be maintained at the expense of the supported party (payee) for the same reasons.

  1. Failing to work out how debts and liabilities will be paid off.

In most divorces, it is best for the parties to try to pay off all debts of the marriage from the assets in the divorce so that both parties can start out with a clean slate.  Otherwise, failing to do so can come back to haunt you.  If you have joint debt with your spouse, most creditors are going to come after both of you if such debt is not paid and could care less about what your divorce judgment says.

  1. Not determining how to handle post-divorce financial matters. 

The division of pension and other retirement benefits as well as transfer of accounts and obtaining health insurance after you no longer qualify to be on your spouse’s coverage are several issues that need to be addressed in your divorce judgment, so that there is no doubt about how they will be handled.  Avoiding vagueness and ambiguity regarding such issues will save you a lot of headache after your divorce is completed.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, please call (949) 553-0304 or visit www.maggiolawfirm.com.  The Maggio Law Firm is an experienced divorce and family law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, prenuptial agreements, divorce mediation, and other family law issues.

The First Steps in Filing for Divorce in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmWhen you are in an unhappy relationship and all you want to do is get out, then divorce may be a viable option for you. There is one thing you need to consider, however, and that is whether or not you are willing to take the matter to court. Many people want to settle the matter outside of court in a peaceful manner.

Especially for a couple having kids, divorce can become a messy affair. Therefore, it is far better to sit and converse, rather than to waste your valuable time and resources fighting in court. There are numerous ways in which you can avoid going to court, but still file for divorce.

Getting the Right Attorney

The first thing you need you need to do is to hire the right attorney for the job. This means that you should try to get a competent lawyer, who has the expertise to settle the matter outside court. Then you need to communicate with your spouse, and try to find the same footing on the ground. This way both of you will be on the same page, and your attorney will be able to draw a divorce settlement contract for you.  Your attorney will handle all the matters related to the division of assets, property, support and children.

Remembering That The Goal Is To Reach A Settlement Agreement

It is very important that you draw a settlement agreement by agreeing with your spouse. This agreement falls under the uncontested divorce in California.  Sometimes, cooperating with your spouse regarding this matter can be difficult, but you just need to keep your head down and stay patient. In Orange County, divorce is a matter which many people try to solve through the settlement agreement.

This is mainly because people want to avoid causing any more problems. They want to settle the matter quickly, and in an amicable, friendly manner.

The benefits you can gain through this agreement are so many that most of the attorneys will always advise you for it. Divorce in California can become a daunting process when it goes through the court. This means, that when you are looking for a quick escape, it is best to stay out of court. A speedy divorce requires you to put in more effort and ensure that your spouse is on board with everything.

Understanding That Compromise Is Necessary

When you are trying to settle things peacefully, you will have to compromise at one point or another. Working together with your spouse, towards one goal, i.e. getting divorce without a fight, will make filing for divorce much easier. This means that you might have to give more than you want. However, the benefits gained later on, will make you for all that you have lost.

Make sure to consult your attorney on the right course of action, and let the attorney handle the rest. Then all that remains is for you and your spouse to sign the settlement contract. This will help you from a lot of problems that are faced by divorcing couples in court.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, please call (949) 553-0304 or visit www.maggiolawfirm.com.  The Maggio Law Firm is an experienced divorce and family law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, prenuptial agreements, divorce mediation, and other family law issues.

How to Protect A Family Business From Divorce With Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmSmall businesses in America account for a substantial amount of the workforce and businesses in the U.S. economy.  Many small businesses are family-owned, with many owned together by married spouses with other family members.

When the primary owners of a family business go through a divorce, the implications can be tremendous.  Therefore, with so much at stake with a family business, couples who co-own a business should consider a prenuptial agreement (premarital agreement).  Such an agreement can identify which property should be considered a spouse’s separate property and which should be counted as marital property, or it can deem that the other spouse will have no interest in the family business under any circumstance.

Furthermore, if one or both spouses have an ownership interest in a larger family business that would be viewed as marital property subject to division in divorce, a prenuptial agreement – and thus subject to property division in a divorce – a prenuptial agreement can give guidance on how it should be divided in the event of divorce, when it can be sold or one spouse bought out, and under what circumstances.

In other words, a prenuptial agreement can help protect the interests of the family business which can become caught in the middle of divorce proceedings, so that the family business does not experience negative ramifications simply because of a pending divorce, such as a rushed sale of the business or, worse, the closing of the business.

Divorce is a complicated and emotional process, and when a family business is involved, the process is substantially more emotional and complicated.  Use of prenuptial agreements is one tool to help avoid future pain and problems that might occur in the event of a future divorce. A family law attorney can help you in that regard, for the sake of you, your family and your family business.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, please call (949) 553-0304 or visit www.maggiolawfirm.com.  The Maggio Law Firm is an experienced divorce and family law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, prenuptial agreements, divorce mediation, and other family law issues.

Don’t EVER Consider A Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Unless You Have No Other Options!

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmFor most people, the decision to file for divorce is itself one of the most stressful and gut-wrenching ones in their lives, and is often made after many months or years of going back-and-forth deciding what to do.

The next step after deciding to file for divorce is whether to retain a divorce attorney or not. California family law courts do allow you to present yourself “in pro per” in family law proceedings.  However, is that the right way to handle your divorce case?  NO!

Although that answer is coming from a divorce attorney, it is an honest answer based on years of experience handling divorce and family law cases.  Even if your divorce is uncontested, there are very few assets of the marriage, and perhaps there are no children involved, you should still at least have legal counsel for guidance and to make sure your case is resolved properly.

There is a reason why the saying goes “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”  

I once handled an Orange County family law case for an ex-husband where the parties had both settled their case by themselves and seemingly he thought he had gotten a good resolution of his case.  However, he had thought that he had gotten a waiver of spousal support from his wife in the divorce judgment, but the wording in the divorce judgment was clearly not drafted by an attorney.  Ultimately, having handled his divorce himself came back to bite him, because the spousal support waiver was not worded properly and did not hold up. I assisted him in working out his case at that point but in reality he spent more money than he would have had to pay if he had retained a divorce attorney in the beginning to do the job right.

Most divorce cases are never “easy.”

Even when you think your divorce is “easy,” the divorce process, the steps involved and, most importantly, the potential pitfalls that may arise in resolving your case are all more complicated than you may realize.  You are better to retain competent legal counsel to represent your best interests in your divorce case and get it done right, thereby avoiding vagueness and potential loopholes and pitfalls in your divorce judgment that could come back to haunt you later.

Moreover, the divorce process itself can be very confusing and overwhelming, and I have had many clients who originally tried to handle their case themselves, only to realize that it was a task that they could not really take on and handle adequately themselves.  Moreover, with all of the issues generally involved in a divorce case, including division of assets and debts, custody, child support, spousal support, division of retirement accounts, etc., the resolution of those issues fairly and properly by yourself can be daunting when emotions are already high.

If you have to go to court because you cannot resolve all issues with your spouse, appearing in court in front of a judge by yourself is incredibly nerve-whacking, and unless you have a legal background, you do not possess the knowledge and skills to represent your own best interests and get the best possible outcome.

If your spouse has a divorce attorney, YOU need a divorce attorney.

I have sometimes been asked if a potential client should retain a divorce attorney because the other party has legal counsel who says he can “handle everything” for both parties.  My answer generally is “yes.”  Even though that other attorney may appear to have the best intentions, the fact of the matter is that the attorney is representing your spouse, not you.  At a minimum, you need a divorce attorney to review the divorce paperwork and any proposed divorce judgment in your case to advise you of your rights and to make suggestions.  I generally tell someone whose spouse has legal counsel that they also need legal counsel, because there is always a possibility that without one, you will get taken advantage of.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, please call (949) 553-0304 or visit www.maggiolawfirm.com.  The Maggio Law Firm is an experienced divorce and family law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, spousal support, child support and child custody issues.

Top 3 Considerations For Avoiding Tax Problems In Your Divorce Settlement

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmNo one wants any problems with the IRS as a result of their divorce!  In any divorce case, there are tax issues both during and after divorce that need to be considered and addressed.  Divorce is anguishing enough, and dealing with a tax problem thereafter is even worse.  Here is some information and tips on what to consider as part of your divorce in relation to taxes:

  1. Division of Property

Generally, for property transfer between divorcing parties as part of a divorce settlement, there is no tax implication.  That can include transfer of ownership of real property.

However, there can be tax implications when an asset like a retirement account is split.  For example, to divide a 401(k) plan, you cannot simply withdraw funds from the plan without penalties and taxes.  Therefore, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is often required to divide such plans by a rollover IRA to the other spouse to avoid taxes.

  1. Income Tax Filing Status

If a couple is separated and going through a divorce but have not finalized the divorce, they can generally file as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” However, if one of the parties is not willing to file jointly under these circumstances, that party cannot be forced to do so.  Only a tax professional can truly determine what filing status makes the most sense for the parties.

The timing of entry of the divorce judgment also determines how a divorcing couple can file their taxes.  If the divorce judgment is filed and entered prior to the end of the year, that judgment terminates marital status and that means the parties cannot file jointly or “married filing separately.”  So it sometimes makes sense to wait to file the divorce judgment until after January 1st if the parties wish to file jointly.

After the divorce judgment has been filed, generally the divorced parties will each file as “single” or “head of household” filing status.  It is important to know that pursuant to the IRS Code, a parent that has over 50% physical custody of a child is entitled to file as “head of household” and the other parent cannot.  Even if the other parent has 49.9% physical custody, they are not entitled to file as “head of household.”  The parent with over 50% custody is generally also entitled to claim the child as a tax exemption too.

  1. Child and Spousal Support

There are 2 simple rules regarding the deductibility of child and spousal support payments are as follows:

  • Child support is not tax-deductible to the person paying the support, and does not have to be claimed as “income” by the receiving party.
  • Spousal support (a.k.a. “alimony”) is tax-deductible to the person paying the support, much like mortgage interest.  For the divorced party receiving spousal support, that party has to claim such spousal support payments on their income tax returns and will be taxed on those payments, so that party should pay accordingly and adjust their tax payments during the year pursuant to the recommendations of their tax professional.

The tax issues related to divorce can be complex, and it is highly advisable that divorcing parties consult with an experienced tax professional both during their divorce and when working towards a final divorce judgment that will include a division of property, support orders, and so on.  The more information available to parties enables for a more carefully-negotiated divorce settlement that avoids tax pitfalls.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio of The Maggio Law Firm, please call (949) 553-0304 or visit www.maggiolawfirm.com.  The Maggio Law Firm is an experienced divorce and family law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, spousal support, child support and child custody issues.

What Happens in My Orange County Divorce Case After The Divorce Paperwork is Filed and My Spouse Is Served?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThere are several procedures that occur in an Orange County divorce case after the initial divorce paperwork has been filed and the other spouse has been served.  There are the three main ones

1.     Temporary Orders

After the initial divorce paperwork has been filed with the court, either spouse may file for a “Request for Order” (RFO) hearing with the court requesting a hearing to decide temporary orders for child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and other orders while the divorce is pending. Other orders can involve temporary use of marital property, restraining orders and orders that one party pay the other party’s attorney fees and costs.

Whenever a Request for Order (RFO) hearing addressing temporary child custody and visitation issues are filed, the Court will order that the parties attend mediation at no cost through the court’s mediation department prior to the Request for Order hearing date. Although the law requires that the parents participate in mediation, there is no requirement that they reach an agreement.

2.     Disclosure of The Spouses’ Financial Assets, Debts, Incomes and Expenses

The next step after service of the Summons and Petition for Marital Dissolution and the Response thereto is for both parties to complete and exchange their own “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.”

Both parties in a California divorce are required to disclose detailed, accurate information to the other about their respective incomes, expenses, property (both marital and separate property), and all debts and obligations. These mutual disclosures are called the parties “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. These formal disclosures are signed under penalty of perjury. A Final Declaration of Disclosure can be completed at approximately the time of trial or settlement in the case, unless the parties mutually agree in writing to waive such final disclosure.

These Declarations of Disclosure consist of special forms required by the court, and except for proof that the parties served each other with such forms, these forms are otherwise not filed with the court. The 4 forms that generally comprise the Declaration of Disclosure are:

  • Declaration of Disclosure (Form #FL-140)
  • Income & Expense Declaration (Form #Fl-150)
  • Schedule of Assets & Debts (Form #FL-142)
  • Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (Form #FL-141)

The purpose of such financial disclosures is to make settlement negotiations easier to proceed because of the generally clear picture of the parties’ financial situation given by such formal disclosure. Moreover, it protects the parties in the event that either spouse failed to disclose all assets.

California law requires that the disclosure documents be completed and served twice, once at the beginning of the divorce (i.e. Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure) and then again near the end of the case immediately prior to trial or Judgment (i.e. Final Declaration of Disclosure). However, the parties can agree to waive service of the Final Declaration of Disclosure, as long as such waiver is in writing on the appropriate legal paperwork.

3.     Legal Discovery

In divorces that require determinations of the fair market value of marital assets, community businesses, debts, and self-employment incomes for support purposes, “discovery” requests served on one or both spouses may be necessary. Such discovery requests can require responses to general and specific questions, production of documentation and other tangible items, and depositions of the parties or third parties.

Completion of the discovery process is generally necessary before a divorce case can be set for trial and can slow down the divorce process. However, such discovery is necessary to protect the parties’ rights and ensure a fair and reasonable division of the parties’ assets and debts.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio at The Maggio Law Firm, by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com.

How Do California Family Courts Determine Child Support?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

California has a child support formula that is used in all cases to determine the proper amount of “guideline” child support. Generally, the courts and all attorneys in California use one of 2 recognized computer programs based on the child support guideline formula:  either “Dissomaster” or “X-spouse.”

The factors considered in making child support orders are primarily the gross income of the parties and the amount of time each parent spends with the minor child. However, other factors that can be considered include any itemized deductions the parties can claim on their taxes, medical insurance premiums paid each month, and any mandatory retirement payments and union dues for individuals whose employment requires them to be part of a union and to contribute to a deferred compensation retirement plan (i.e. a pension).

In addition to the basic monthly child support, the court will generally also order that the parents equally share the costs of childcare expenses necessary for the custodial parent or both parents to work, as well as any medical, dental, and vision expenses for the minor child not covered or reimbursed by medical/dental/vision insurance.

Child support can also include expenses for the special needs of a child, such as tutors or other services, as well as the transportation costs for visitation of a parent.

Finally, the Court generally orders that both parents keep their child medically insured with medical insurance if it is available at no cost or at reasonable cost to both parents.

Child Support is generally paid until the minor child reaches the age of 18, or age 19 if they are still a full-time high school student at age 18, unless the minor child dies or becomes emanicipated prior to becoming an adult.

Child Support orders can be modified if there is:

  • A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income;
  • A change in custody or the amount of time the child spends with each parent; or
  • Any other change that would affect the child support guideline calculations.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact The Maggio Law Firm at (949) 553-0304 or at www.maggiolawfirm.com.

What Is a “Legal Separation” and Should I File for It Instead of Divorce? What About An Annulment?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

what is legal separation, orange county divorce attorney, maggio family lawLegal separation is much like filing for divorce, in that you can obtain many of the same orders regarding custody, division of property, and support.  However, there is one key difference:  at the end of a legal separation case, you are still legally married to your spouse.

In situations where a party wants to obtain orders for child custody, visitation, and/or other issues but has not lived in the same county for the past 3 months or in California for the past 6 months to meet the time requirements for filing for divorce, that party can file for Legal Separation and amend his or her Petition to a divorce after 6 months have passed.

Legal Separation is also appropriate for some parties for religious and/or insurance coverage issues. Medical insurance companies who had previously insured a spouse under the other spouse’s medical insurance during the marriage generally terminate such coverage options when a divorce is finalized. Therefore, for spouses who would have difficulty in obtaining their own medical insurance coverage after termination of their marriage due to pre-existing medical conditions, a legal separation can make sense because it enables such medical insurance coverage to continue. The Court can make orders relating to child custody, visitation, child and spousal support and divide property in a legal separation case, but the parties otherwise remain married to each other.

Unless your circumstances fit one of those circumstances above, you should consider divorce instead of legal separation because you will still be married at the end of a legal separation case and if you later decide to divorce, you will have to file a new case for divorce.

What About An Annulment?  In order to qualify for an annulment instead of obtaining a divorce, the party seeking an annulment must be able to prove that the parties’ marriage was “void” (i.e. an incestuous marriage or where one of the parties was still legally married to another individual at the same time) or “voidable (where the party seeking annulment was under 18 years of age at the time of marriage or that the marriage was entered into based upon fraudulent representations, force, or mental and/or physical incapacity). It is generally substantially more difficult to obtain an annulment than a divorce.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact The Maggio Law Firm at 949-553-0304 and at www.maggiolawfirm.com.

How To Choose The Best Divorce Attorney Based On Your Needs

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm

One of the biggest and toughest decisions in your life can be filing for divorce, something generally most people do not want to do except as a last resort.  The next biggest issue is choosing a divorce attorney to represent you in your case.

So, how does one go about choosing a divorce lawyer exactly?  It can be a daunting task and ultimately a subjective decision that only you can make.

First, doing your research is always a good idea.  The internet allows you to search divorce attorneys online, look at their websites, and get a feel for the attorneys out there in your area.

Speaking of divorce attorneys in your area, you should generally try to choose an attorney in your city or county, depending on where you are.  For example, if you live in Orange County and your case is in Orange County, you generally should find and retain an Orange County divorce attorney.  Why?  There are 3 reasons:  (1) your attorney will have to travel less time to get to court, which in turn will save you in legal fees, (2) a local divorce attorney will know how the court in your county works (i.e. the little “ins and outs” of the court system) which is invaluable, and (3) a local divorce attorney will be known by the other attorney in your case and, even more important, the judge will likely know that attorney.  All those factors can have an effect on your case in terms of legal fees, the duration of the litigation in your case, and in how your case might be resolved.

Chances are you know someone, i.e. a friend, family member, or someone you work with, that has gone through a divorce.  If they are willing to talk about it, ask for an attorney referral because that person has gone through the process whereas you likely have not.  That person can give you a lot of helpful information and assist you in choosing a divorce attorney that fits your needs.

Much like asking someone you know about their divorce attorney, checking out and reading the client reviews of divorce attorneys is also a good way to narrow the attorneys you will want to set up consultations with.  Such reviews can be helpful in getting a sense of what those attorneys are like.  Some of those reviews are posted on attorney websites, but there are independent websites like Avvo.com that has helpful information about attorneys including client reviews.

It is always advisable to meet with more than one divorce attorney once you have narrowed your choices.  Set up consultations with each.  Some will offer free 60 minute consultations, some will offer a free 30 minute consultation, and some will require a charge for their time, often at the attorney’s hourly rate.  Do not let the issue of free vs. paid consultation be the determining factor in choosing an attorney.  Instead, in meeting each attorney, ask questions about the attorney, about how they handle their cases, about how available they are by phone/email/in person when needed, etc.  Make an informed decision about the divorce attorney you pick after doing all of this.  You want to pick an attorney that you feel comfortable with, is accessible and who actually listens to you.

A word of warning:  if a divorce lawyer that you meet promises or guarantees an outcome in your case, run out of their office.  NO divorce attorney should EVER promise or guarantee an outcome, because there are many factors involved if your case goes to trial that may affect the final outcome.   Don’t ever choose an attorney that says only what you want to hear, but one that also tells you what you need to hear.

In the end, there is no such thing as “the best attorney.”  There are many qualified divorce lawyers out there.  Rather, the issue is choosing the best attorney for you.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Gerald Maggio, please call our Orange County office at (949) 553-0304 or go to maggiolawfirm.com.

Top 20 Financial & Legal Steps To Take After Your Divorce Is Done

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

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In most divorce cases in most states, you cannot charge estate plans, life insurance beneficiaries, etc., until after your divorce case has been resolved and your divorce judgment has been entered by the court.  However, once your divorce is final, you need to take immediate financial and legal steps to reflect your new reality.  The following is a checklist of the actions that you need to take:

  1. Change your name on all of your financial documents, bank accounts, etc.
  2. Close and/or change the names on all joint accounts.
  3. Make sure that all credit card bills and loans are paid promptly and closed by you (or your spouse if such bills or loans were designed as their responsibility in the divorce).
  4. Open a checking and savings account in your name.
  5. Open a credit card in your name to establish your own credit history.
  6. Set up and start depositing money into an emergency bank account to cover 6 months of living expenses and don’t ever dip into it.
  7. Check all of your investment accounts to make sure that the stated ownership of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and retirement accounts are correctly listed.
  8. Change your name with the Social Security department.
  9. Change your name on your driver’s license.
  10. Change the title on your automobile(s) into your name if necessary.
  11. Change your automobile insurance coverage into your name alone.
  12. Have your spouse’s name take off of the mortgage (or lease).  This may be difficult to do without a refinance of the mortgage.
  13. Make sure that you transfer ownership of all deeds for your real estate and record with your county recorder’s office if not accomplished in the divorce case.
  14. Change your beneficiaries on all life insurance policies.
  15. Change beneficiaries on all retirement and pension plans.
  16. Revise your health insurance coverage, dependent on the terms of your divorce judgment.
  17. Make sure any Qualified Domestic Relations Orders that need to be done to divide retirement benefits per your divorce judgment get done.
  18. Contact an estate planning attorney and have a new estate plan done.  Be sure to update your medical and financial powers of attorney.
  19. Speak with a financial advisor if you did not do so prior to concluding your divorce case and determine a financial roadmap for you post-divorce.
  20. Review your tax withholding allowances and taxes with your CPA, particularly if you are receiving or paying spousal support (alimony), and make any necessary adjustments with your payroll department.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Orange County family law firm of The Maggio Law Firm at (949) 553-0304 or at www.maggiolawfirm.com.