Monday, October 8, 2018

Family Financial Disputes

By Allison Harvey, Attorney, A. L. Harvey Law

Arguing over money is complicated, stressful, and at times saddening. However, family financial disputes do happen whether or not it is under your control. Below, we discuss the top reasons families may have a dispute over finances and when an attorney's assistance or intervention is necessary.
Divorce & Spousal Support - When a couple divorces, one of the top concerns is how their assets will be divided and if spousal support will be awarded. It is possible that divorce proceedings will be prolonged due to parties arguing about what he/ she brought into the marriage financially and what is communal property. It can also turn into a major dispute if the parties disagree on the spousal support payment amount and what standard of living they maintained during the marriage. If parties can agree they can create a marital settlement agreement and resolve their disputes outside of court.
Child Support - If you're a parent, you're legally obligated to support your child financially, whether you're married, separated or divorced from the child's other parent. The custodial parent is required to pay for the child's needs directly, and the noncustodial parent is required to make child support payments. Even though it this is the law, this does not stop some individuals in disputing child support payments.  If a couple is unable to agree on a fair child support payment outside of court, then a family law attorney's assistance is necessary, whether just for mediation or to the extreme of family court.
Death in the Family & Inheritances - When there is a death in the family, it is an emotionally tolling time, but it is also an opportunity for a family financial dispute to arise if there were no financial, life-planning decisions made prior to the death. If one dies without a will or trust, money and property will be distributed according to California law. This is why we recommend that all individuals create a very detailed estate plan, a document that designates who will receive your assets upon your death, so there can be no dispute between family members, such as who will inherit the assets or how they will be divided.
Incapacitated Family Member - When a family member is unable to make financial decisions for himself/ herself due to being incapacitated, financial disputes among other family members can easily arise. We recommend estate planning, specifically creating a Power of Attorney document to provide an authorized individual with the power to manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated and can't do it yourself. This leaves little room for family financial disputes to arise given sickness, injury or disability.
This article is made available by both the lawyer or law firm is for educational purposes and only to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using article you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the lawyer or law firm. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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