San Jose Personal Injury And Family Law Blog

How gray divorce can affect your finances

Though people are living longer these days, they aren't always happy in their marriages. Earlier generations tended to stay married, but more and more older folks make the choice to divorce. This is often called "gray divorce."

If you are older than 55 and have considered divorce, you are not alone. People age 55 and older have increasing rates of divorce, while most other demographics show a decrease. Divorce at this age presents more potential financial challenges than it does for younger people. Experts have advice for anyone who is considering ending his or her marriage about how gray divorce can affect your finances.

How a postnuptial agreement can help in marriage and divorce

Most people in California understand what a prenuptial agreement is. Signed before getting married, these powerful family law tools can protect individuals and their personal assets should they end up divorcing. However, not everyone is familiar with postnuptial agreements or why these documents may be helpful for new parents.

First, it is important to understand what a postnuptial agreement is. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement in regard to what it covers, but instead of being signed before marriage, it is signed afterwards. There are a number of reasons why a couple might choose to use a prenuptial agreement, including having children.

Research demonstrates link between music and car accidents

Musicians from all walks of life and genres have immortalized the state of California in song. While music is certainly an important part of the state, it could also be making the roads more dangerous. Scientists recently demonstrated that songs with certain BPM levels -- beats per minute -- influence drivers to engage in more risky behaviors while behind the wheel. This means that listening to certain types of music could actually increase the risk of car accidents.

The study was conducted with participants who were asked to drive on a simulated, six-lane road. Researchers had participants either listen to music or drive in silence, then observed their driving behaviors. One of the main points of data the scientists looked at was how often participants changed lanes.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are in serious danger in San Jose

A reader of the San Jose Mercury News had a question for the paper. They’d heard that, in 2018, there were more pedestrian and bicyclist deaths than homicides in the city. Was that true?

Not quite, the paper’s response explained, but the reality wasn’t much better. It was a tie. That year, 27 people died as a result of homicide, and 27 bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in accidents.

Does socioeconomic status predict divorce?

Common knowledge holds that marital satisfaction will start off high, only to dip over the years following the wedding. New research indicates that there may be hidden factors influencing marital satisfaction. This means that being dissatisfied in marriage might not be dependent on socioeconomic status. This status could be an unexpected predictor of satisfaction and the likelihood of divorce.

Researchers that found a link between socioeconomic status and marital status recently published their study in a journal. This analysis largely focused on middle-class couple who were mostly white, and researchers speculated that the results might be different among different groups. They decided to refocus their research on 431 low-income couples living in California.

Young boy killed, others injured in fatal accident

Officials shut down a California freeway for approximately three hours so investigators could work the scene of a deadly accident. Four people were injured in the collision, including the driver accused of causing the wreck. Sadly, a child was killed. A fatal accident such as this can be extremely distressing to injury victims and loved ones who survive the fatally injured.

Police say that the wreck occurred at approximately 1:25 p.m. on a recent Saturday. A 54-year-old father had been driving with his three sons -- two 7-year-old boys and a 16-year-old -- on the freeway when his vehicle suddenly became disabled. He was unable to move his car out of the lane.

Parents should include taxes in custody agreements

When ending a marriage, parents usually have a significant number of things on their minds. From determining child custody to working out both child and spousal support, it is easy for some important matters to slip through the cracks. Since taxes are usually not on people's minds during the fall, California parents may overlook who gets to claim children as dependents on federal tax returns.

Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, child dependency deductions are eliminated through 2025. However, some parents can still see tax benefits from claiming  children as dependents. In the case of a divorced couple, only one parent can claim a child in a given year. In general, the custodial parent -- the parent with whom a child spends the majority of his or her time -- is the one who gets to claim the child.

Pedestrian accidents: Tesla driver runs down couple

California police say that a woman in a rented car caused a recent deadly accident. One person was killed and another was injured in the pedestrian accident, and neither the responsible driver nor another involved motorists suffered any injuries. Pedestrian accidents can be particularly tragic, since victims who are traveling on foot are more vulnerable to fatal injuries than people who are traveling in enclosed motor vehicles.

According to police, the 21-year-old driver had used the Getaround app to rent a Tesla. The app works much like Airbnb, and allows owners to rent out their vehicles. For reasons that are still not clear, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when she drove straight through a red light and hit another vehicle. Both drivers lost control of their vehicles, and the Tesla driver ended up running down two pedestrians. The pair was a couple who were out celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Protecting credit scores during divorce

Credit scores determine much of what a person has access to. From securing an auto loan to finding reasonable housing, credit scores can either help or hinder an individual get to where he or she wants to be. For these reasons, California couples might be worried about filing for divorce. While the divorce process does not affect credit scores, actions taken during and after certainly can.

Joint debt is fairly common in marriages. In general, debt that a couple takes on during marriage is considered marital property, which must be divided between both parties. However, even if one person is tasked with repaying a certain debt while the other is responsible for other obligations, any issues may ultimately come down to the whose name is on the debt. This means that even if an ex is responsible for repaying a loan, a creditor can still come after his or her ex-spouse for nonpayment, which affects credit scores. When possible, refinancing loans in only one person's name can be helpful.

Wrongful death claim can help after the loss of a loved one

An unexpected death is a complicated situation for surviving family members to handle. Families often struggle to cover funeral expenses and adjust to losses in income. These financial damages can make it difficult for families to fully process their loved one's death, and concern over money can even interrupt the grieving process. If a California family has experienced the loss of a loved one, it may be extremely important to pursue just legal recourse through a wrongful death claim.

A person does not have to be criminally charged in order for a family to pursue a wrongful death suit, which is because criminal negligence is different than civil negligence. This means that, while that person might not have acted criminally, his or her behavior may have still been negligent. Demonstrating that negligence is not always easy though and requires identifying a number of elements, including that the surviving family members suffered financial damages as a result of their loved one's death.

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