When you have a decree in place, the judge will sign it and your divorce will officially be accepted. However, sometimes things are not this easy. What if, when you are going through the divorce process, your spouse passed away? Now you believe that you are stuck in a situation where your case will officially be in limbo. Luckily, there are options in your case.
When a Spouse Passes Away
You are going through the unfortunate truth that your spouse passed away before the divorce was completed, which can be a highly emotional time in your life. In many states, there is no longer a need for a divorce decree because the marriage officially ends when your spouse passes away. However, if you were already starting the divorce process, the judge in your case still has the right to help divide marital assets and debts when it comes to what is fair for you and your family. In California, the law states that divorce courts actually lose jurisdiction over marital estate when one spouse dies. This means that you could unfortunately be dealing with probate, which can open many other issues.
What happens if your spouse created a trust? You might be able to avoid probate, which could save you time, energy, and a lot of financial strain after your spouse has passed away. Hopefully, your spouse has written information up that tells exactly where assets should be distributed after they pass away. This will help the process go by smoothly. If not, probate laws will determine which assets you get until your divorce is final and you understand what is owed to you.
When it comes to divorce, you truly want to be prepared for anything, because you know that anything could happen. This is why it is important to have a divorce attorney on your side every step of the way. Call us today to find out how we can assist you during your time of need.