Overcome These Common Divorce Hurdles in San Diego

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Today I'm joined by a special guest: Samuel Godkin with Godkin Law. He and I are going to discuss common hurdles clients come across during a divorce. 

First, you need to have a plan. If you file papers or find out that the other party has filed for divorce and you have to scramble, you're already behind. Have your documents lined up and ready to go. 

If you don't have a plan, you might not be able to find the documents you need. Maybe you purchased a home 20 years ago or have separate assets. Bank records only go back seven years, so you are out of luck. Don't depend on your spouse to remember and tell the truth.

The other party won't want to tell the truth when there are hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake. They "won't recall" how you purchased your $2 million home when they were just waiting tables. They can say you made the down payment together after three months of marriage. You need paperwork to back up your claims. Tangible evidence is crucial if you want to win certain assets in the divorce.

Another major hurdle is dealing with a difficult ex-spouse. For example, let's say one party doesn't want to get divorced but the other party does. The person who doesn't want the divorce will make the proceedings incredibly difficult. They will do everything they can to keep you in court because they are not ready for the marriage to be over.

When one party is especially difficult, it is incredibly unproductive. Opposing sides who spar over everything will drive up the cost of the divorce, especially when real estate is involved. Let's say you have $300,000 in equity, but one party keeps fighting and prolonging the divorce. When everything's done, you'll be lucky if there's $50,000 left to divide, because the rest of the money will go to your lawyers.

Even though it's difficult, you need to put aside your emotions and pick your battles. You know what you can and can't prove. You know what the law says. Get your emotions out of the way in order for the process to go smoothly.

If you have any questions for Samuel, give him a call at (619) 544-6000. Samuel has been practicing law for over 20 years here in San Diego, and he can certainly help you out. If you have any questions for me, give me a call or send me an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Does Spousal Support Affect San Diego Real Estate?

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Today, I’m here with a special guest, Meredith Lewis, a great attorney with her own practice. We’re going to discuss spousal support and how spousal support is determined.

In California, there are two types of spousal support. In the initial part of a divorce case, you can get temporary spousal support. If you’re in mediation, negotiation, or going to court, the parties or the judge will look at a program called Dissomaster. There, you enter information about the party’s income and certain deductions, like property tax and mortgage insurance. The purpose of temporary support is essentially to get the parties through the divorce case.


Permanent spousal support is determined in a completely different way. There is a family code that sets forth different factors, which include anything from the length of the marriage to the age and health of the parties. There’s about  fifteen different factors for the parties or court to examine in mediation.

In some instances, spousal support can be allocated as income for a certain period of time. When that happens, that income can qualify you for a mortgage. If you’re trying to refinance or purchase a home, that income can be very helpful. Talk to your attorney or a certified divorce real estate professional.

If you have any questions for Meredith, you can contact her at lwsfamilylaw.com or  (858)-260-5228. As always, if you have any divorce real estate questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Our Advice for Dealing with Divorce Real Estate

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Today I am back with divorce attorney Samuel Godkin, who is going to answer a question that we have recently received about divorce in real estate. The question is "How often do you have clients that need to divide real estate assets in a divorce?"

For Samuel, this happens in about 80% of his cases, because real estate is one of the biggest assets that a couple has. He recognizes the need for real estate professionals when it comes to dividing up assets because of a case he had about 12 years ago.

This particular couple was going through a divorce, but one of the spouses was very much attached to the home, because he built it. He did whatever he could to get his spouse out of the home so he could stay in it, against Samuel's advice.

By the time the divorce was finalized, the home was worth 30-50% less, and he ultimately lost it to foreclosure. A real estate expert could have really helped in this particular case. If the economy is taking a downturn or there are trends taking over the marketplace, an expert would know this and take the information to account when giving the couple advice. Nobody has a crystal ball, but a real estate expert can give sellers the best option for them whether it's selling or renting. 

I am a certified divorce real estate professional, and it's my job to remain neutral throughout the process in order to find a solution that is best for both divorcing parties. We want to make sure that if one of the spouses wants to stay in the house, we do whatever we can to help. 

If you have any questions for Samuel, give him a call at (619)-544-6000. If you have any other questions about divorce real estate, give us a call or shoot us a quick email. We are here for you anytime. 

Click here for Samuel Godkin's contact information.
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