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A California law changes the fate of pets during a divorce

A new law having to do with how pets are handled in a divorce went into effect in California on Jan. 1. Judges are now allowed to consider what's in the best interest of a pet and to approve shared custody plans for them if it's deemed appropriate. Prior to the law going into effect, domestic animals were seen as marital property that needed to be divided up just like a house, car or any assets when a couple divorced.

Why do spouses need to pay alimony?

There are a variety of reasons why spouses need to pay alimony. For one, it could be the law that you or your spouse must pay alimony in your divorce case -- particularly if you've been married for an extended period of time and one spouse's capacity to earn an income is particularly less than the other's. Beyond the law, however, there's an important logic behind alimony laws.

Debts and your divorce: What you need to know

Imagine your husband or wife has a shopping addiction and last year he or she put an incredible $40,000 of debt on a personal credit card. The problem is, you're now getting a divorce and realizing that even though the card was in your spouse's name, that debt will likely be considered a part of the marital estate. As such, you could be shouldering some of that debt burden after the divorce has finalized.

Was your divorce caused by jealousy?

Whether you're the jealous spouse or the victim of a jealous spouse, you probably don't feel entirely in control of the situation. Jealousy tends to be a knee-jerk, automatic and uncontrollable reaction. The first time a loved one erupts in a jealous fit of rage, it might be flattering to think that someone loves you so much. However, when it becomes a repeated and regular pattern, the spouse on the other end of the jealousy could eventually decide to call it quits.

What alimony documents should alimony payers keep?

Whether you're the payer or the receiver of alimony, it's important to keep your documents organized and readily available in case an issue ever develops. Perhaps, for example, your spouse stops paying you alimony or doesn't pay the full amount you're owed -- your documents will help to prove that this has occurred. Alternatively, maybe you've been paying your alimony each month but the receiving spouse accuses you of not fulfilling your monthly obligations. Here, your documents will offer the proof to show you've adhered to your court orders.

Was infidelity the cause of your divorce?

When two people agree to get married, the general understanding is that they will remain faithful to one another in mind, body and emotions. This means, in very simple terms, no extramarital "affairs." The term "affairs" here is put in quotation marks because, although it generally refers to the concept of infidelity and adultery in a marriage, to some people, being unfaithful means very different things.

Parents: You’re not the only ones suffering in your divorce

Some parents view their divorces like they're experiencing a "train wreck," and they're the conductors at the center of it all. The stress and emotional mayhem that ensues when parents don't find their emotional centers during their marital breakups can be difficult to manage. It can also cause them to forget that other people -- namely, their children –- are suffering as a result of the divorce just as much, if not more. However, they don't have the most articulate ways of expressing their emotions.

Track down your spouse's hidden money during your divorce

Imagine your spouse has been acting strange and shifty the last several months while complaining about not having enough money to pay the bills. Then, your spouse surprises you by filing for divorce. As devastated as you were by the news, you have accepted it as the only way to resolve your marital differences.