Family Law: Post-Divorce Filing Financial Entitlements
When you file for divorce in California, understanding how your finances, including salary, compensation, lottery winnings, and contract earnings, will be treated during the period between filing and finalization is crucial. This guide outlines the potential entitlements of a soon-to-be ex-spouse during this interim period.
I. Salary and Compensation
- Income Earned Post-Filing: Generally, income earned after the date of separation (which can be the date of filing for divorce) is considered separate property. However, there are exceptions.
- Example: John files for divorce on June 1. His salary earned after this date is typically considered his separate property.
- Exceptions: If there are pre-existing agreements, like employment contracts signed during the marriage, earnings from such contracts might still be considered community property.
- Example: If John had a bonus structure in place before filing for divorce, this could be subject to division.
II. Lottery Winnings
- Timing of Purchase vs. Winning: Lottery winnings are categorized based on when the ticket was purchased. If purchased after the date of separation, winnings are generally the separate property of the purchasing spouse.
- Example: If John buys a lottery ticket post-separation and wins, the winnings are likely his separate property.
III. Contracts and Business Deals
- Agreements Made After Separation: Money earned from contracts or business deals made after the date of separation is typically considered separate property.
- Example: John signs a new business deal after filing for divorce. The income from this deal would usually be his separate property.
- Continuing Business Operations: If a business was operational during the marriage and continues to generate income post-separation, this area can be complex. Profits may be considered community property, depending on various factors like the spouse’s role in the business.
- Example: If John’s business, started during the marriage, continues making profits, these might still be considered community property.
IV. Protecting Your Assets
- Financial Transparency: Be transparent about your finances. Hiding assets or income can lead to legal complications.
- Legal Agreements: Consider drafting a post-separation agreement that clearly outlines how finances will be handled during the divorce process.
V. Seeking Legal Advice
- Consult with an Attorney: Since financial matters during divorce can be complex, consulting with a family law attorney is advisable to understand your specific situation better.
While income and assets acquired after filing for divorce are typically considered separate property, there are exceptions based on the nature of the earnings and pre-existing agreements. Understanding these nuances is crucial to ensuring a fair and lawful division of assets during a divorce.
Disclaimer: This information is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For advice on your specific situation, please consult The Mines Law Firm or another qualified attorney.