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Orange County Family Law Blog

Prenuptial agreement myths in California

People usually make excuses when they are hesitating to do something that might have a good or bad effect on their lives. This procrastination rings true when it comes to considering a prenuptial agreement. California couples should assume a positive mindset about creating a prenuptial agreement because it will help smooth the way to an easier divorce, if one should occur.

A prenuptial agreement is considered a back-up plan or a marital contract that secures the financial stability of a person in the event of separation or divorce. However, most people today believe different superstitions about this contract. Some say that drafting a prenuptial agreement is like a bad omen that divorce is expected. Some say that a prenuptial agreement indicates that couple does not trust or love one another enough.

Helping grandparents assert their child visitation rights

Children who have grandparents in their lives typically love spending time with them whenever they can and especially during family gatherings and holidays. The close relationship between a grandparent and grandchild spans the generations and usually helps hold a family together. When a child's parents decide to part ways, however, the bond between grandparent and grandchild can be disrupted. The separation can become even greater as the court focuses on child custody and the noncustodial parent's visitation rights.

In many divorce cases in California, grandparents' rights are rarely discussed or addressed by divorcing parties. They are usually busy dealing with property division, child support and child custody. That does not have to be the case, however. All grandparents can secure their rights to see or visit their grandchildren despite the divorce of the children's parents. As explained on our family law page, every family law decision concerning children should ensure that the best interests of the children are considered first and foremost.

Facing California divorce problems head-on

Every divorce case in California is unique. Although divorcing couples may deal with child custody, property division, child support and many other issues, no divorce case is entirely the same as another. Individuals going through divorce are prone to making mistakes, which could lead to consequences post-divorce. However, there are ways that divorcing spouses can make the process go smoothly.

According to the source, both spouses should provide accurate financial information in the event of a divorce. Finances plays a significant part in the process and, if they want things to go smoothly, both parties should be honest in disclosing all marital assets, property and other sources of income. If children are involved, the divorcing parents should prioritize their kids first. No matter how much is at stake in the divorce, parents should put the best interests of the child or children first to save them from the potentially negative side effects of divorce.

How do children of service members obtain child support?

In serving their country, members of the military face unique challenges that most civilians never face. When it comes to raising families, the challenges are often compounded by long deployments, lower pay than what service members might earn as civilian workers and less time to spend with spouses and children. This is just as true for the Marine sergeant in North Carolina as it is for the Navy petty officer in California.

Among the biggest issues facing military parents are divorce, separation and child support. Most parents in the service know the importance of providing for their children's needs by paying child support. So does the Pentagon. For this reason, since 1975 members of all branches of the military have been able to turn to the Child Support Program -- or IV-D Program -- for help in obtaining regular child-support payments. The military's child-support program is regulated by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and works in cooperation with child-support agencies in every state.

Termination of parental rights an overlooked family law issue

In California, family law concerns involve more than divorce, child custody, child support and spousal support. Other family law matters can bring considerable conflicts to families. One of those is the termination of parental rights. Every state, including California, has statutes that govern the termination of parents' rights to raise their children, and these form the basis of any court decision.

Termination of parental rights is usually involved with adoption or paternity. When a parent's legal relationship with a child is terminated, the child is legally eligible to be placed for adoption. A termination can be voluntary or involuntary. For example, birth parents can voluntarily give up their rights in order to place their children for adoption.

What do restraining orders do for Californians?

In California, like elsewhere, domestic violence is a crime. It is one family law concern that threatens the safety of families - especially spouses or cohabitating partners - in every community. Domestic abuse ranges from emotional abuse to stalking to physical assault. Fortunately, family law provisions under California's statutes provide an important instrument for protecting victims by the issuance of restraining orders.

Usually called a protective order, a restraining order is issued by a court with the intention of protecting an individual from being sexually or physically abused by a specific individual. It can safeguard someone from threats, stalking and any form of harassment. How much restraining orders can actually do depends on the protected person's living situation and personal circumstances.

How can a prenuptial agreement be invalidated?

Postnuptial agreements and prenuptial agreements have the ultimate power to protect California spouses in the event of a divorce. Drafting a prenup may protect an individual from the financial implications of a divorce, and ensure that that spouse would not be liable for any debt incurred by the other party. However, the protection that prenups can provide would be ineffective if the document is considered invalid.

Generally, a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between soon-to-be spouses that is signed before they are married. A prenup formalizes their understanding and wishes on which of their assets will be protected and will be considered as separate property, as well as which assets will become marital property. The prenup can also include financial provisions in the event of a divorce.

Helping you deal with your emotions during divorce

For many Californians, meeting someone, falling in love, having children and spending their life with that one person offers the ideal life. In reality, not everyone is able to achieve this. Marriages fail for a variety of reasons, and too often people are left with the emotional and sometimes financial wreckage that is divorce.

Most people facing the end of their marriage are emotional. Frequently the emotional upheaval makes one or both spouses unable to deal rationally with another. Our firm understands how hard it is to accept that the marriage has failed even though one or both parties tried to make it work.

A California child and the role of paternity to unmarried parents

For children in Orange County, California that were conceived during marriage, parental roles and responsibilities for the child are established. Even if the parents eventually divorce, the court has a clear-cut way to determine financial divorce issues, such as child support. It is a different story when a child is born to unmarried parents because the child's legal relationship is only established with the mother. For these kinds of cases, fathers are most likely the parent who would be paying child support; so establishing paternity is an important step.

Although paternity is defined as the process to determine the legal father of a child, it is also a big factor in the lives of many children with unmarried parents. Distinguishing the legal relationship of a man to a child leads to establishing parental rights and responsibilities of a father.

What are your rights as a domestic partner in California?

Californians, particularly lesbian and gay couples, are probably familiar with domestic partnerships. Domestic partnership allows non-married couples to legally recognize their relationship. Many people usually assume that a domestic partnership is similar to marriage because it provides domestic partners the same or similar benefits given to married couples. Like any family law issue, an individual who is a registered domestic partner has rights.

According to the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, also known as Assembly Bill 205, a registered domestic partner is entitled to the same benefits, protections, and rights as married couples. This means that even when a couple does not marry, registering their relationship as a domestic partnership may subject them to the same obligations, duties, and responsibilities as a married couple in the state.

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