Things Considered to Be a Family Law Case
Criminal law specifically refers to when you’re facing criminal charges or at risk of being charged. Intellectual property law involves patents, copyrights and ownership of various ideas. Bankruptcy law obviously deals with bankruptcy, though they’ll help someone who wants to negotiate a debt settlement. Business or corporate law can include IP disputes, employment contracts and business contracts. But what types of cases does a Corona, California family law office take?
Marriage and Divorce
The stereotypical case before a family law attorney is a divorce. Perhaps the person is seeking advice before filing for divorce. Or they’re arguing over the division of property during the divorce. In some cases, the attorney is listening to someone outline the ways their ex has violated the divorce agreement. Perhaps they aren’t paying promised expenses or they drained an account earmarked for the kids.
However, family law attorneys may consult with someone before marriage. For example, they can draft a prenuptial agreement that will spell out the division of property if you were to get a divorce. This is important, given that California is a community property state. While you can in theory sign a post-nuptial agreement, this is not recommended.
Children and Child Custody
Family law cases often center around children. Adoption is commonly handled by family law practices. This could be anything from a closed adoption to adopting your step-child. Disputes over child custody and visitation are handled by family law attorneys, as well. Note that family visitation disputes are not limited to biological parents. In some cases, grandparents can seek legal counsel to get visitation with their grandchildren.
Guardianship can refer to appointing someone as a decision maker for a special needs adult, whether their parents can no longer take care of them or an aging grandparent can no longer make their own decisions. Guardianship must be done the right way if you want to protect the person who cannot make decisions for themselves without having others seek a vote in every decision you might make on their behalf.
Guardianship can also be set up for minors. For example, take a single parent who is going to be unavailable for a period of time. It doesn’t matter if they’re going to go through chemotherapy or be sent overseas for a year. Appointing someone as a legal guardian protects the parent, the caregiver and the child. Guardianship documentation gives the caregiver the authority to take your child to the hospital or visit their teachers at school. We recommend that any parent who will be handing custody to a family member, whether on a long business trip or going to rehab, set up a guardianship agreement. We always recommend kinship care over the foster care system.
Estates, Wills and Disability Planning
Estate planning is sometimes its own legal specialty. However, family law attorneys can often provide advice. For example, they can provide guidance on writing a will that passes on property to your children while establishing guardianship for them and the assets. A family law lawyer can help you draft both a medical power of attorney that goes into effect when you’re incapacitated and a will that goes into effect when you die. Someone in their office may be able to help you set up a trust.
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How a Divorce in California Affects Your Taxes
A California divorce will affect your taxes in a variety of ways. We’ll cover the most important issues here, but you should consult with a Corona, California divorce attorney to understand how a divorce affects your particular situation.
If you’re currently separated or divorced, you can file jointly. However, both parties must agree to do so. If you’ve had custody of a minor child at least half of the time, you might be able to file as a head of household. This can qualify you for a much lower tax rate. If you can’t qualify as a head of household or agree to file jointly, you’re forced to file as married, filing separately. This is a higher tax rate for many filers. Because California is a community property state, you’ll be forced to claim at least a portion of your soon-to-be-ex’s income. Work with a good tax advisor.
After the divorce is finalized, you can file your taxes as single or head of household, depending on whether or not dependents are living with you. Your divorce agreement may spell out who can claim the dependent. For example, parents can agree to split the dependency deduction. Or they may say they claim the child in alternate tax years.
Tax law changes passed under the Trump administration altered the tax treatment of alimony / spousal support. Spousal support is no longer taxable to the payee and tax deductible to the payor. (When you’re filing taxes jointly, then this point is moot.) This means that divorces finalized after the end of 2018 no longer give a high income earning spouse an incentive to offer a large alimony amount.
Tax Consequences for Asset Transfers
One’s retirement plan is often a significant asset. If you’ve contributed to the retirement plan while married, your spouse has a stake in the contributions and their growth. However, it isn’t easy to split a 401K or IRA. In order to avoid a hefty tax bill, a divorce must include a qualified domestic relations order. A QDRO is not required to divide a retirement or non-retirement account, but it is the best way to roll over the funds from one spouse’s account to another while avoiding an income tax bill.
If you’re splitting the house, know that you’re also obligated to split the debt. Never sign a quit claim deed that gives up your right to the home while being on the hook for the mortgage. You can negotiate how you’ll handle the mortgage and home equity deductions.
You need to know how much the business is worth in order to determine how much each spouse will receive. Some businesses are evaluated based on their cash flow, while others are evaluated based on the current asset value. In general, it is better to divide other property than give a former spouse an equity stake in your business. You may need to set up an agreement to buy them out by giving them a percentage of the profits over time.
Child Custody In Jurupa Valley
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Issues You May Not Know are Affected by Child Custody Agreements
Child custody disputes tend to focus on where the child lives and when. This affects everything from child support to day to day living. However, there are many daily decisions that are affected by child custody agreements. And one parent having primary custody may or may not alter the other parent’s right to say no to these decisions.
A growing proportion of marriages are interfaith marriages. When parents split, some may reject their faith or increase engagement in their faith. And this can be a source of conflict. The courts have found that the non-custodial parent has an equal say in issues from circumcision to enrollment in religious schools. You should consider being considerate when the religious parent asks to have the child stay with them over the religious holiday. It is just as rude to refuse this as it is to say no, the kids can’t be with Dad for Father’s Day.
Sports / Extracurricular Activities
The other parent should have a say in whether or not you sign up the kids for extracurricular activities. After all, your decision may force the kid to choose between a recital or football game and their Friday visit with the other parent. Then there’s the financial aspect. Don’t sign kids up for expensive extracurricular activities and then demand more money in child support to pay for it. It is also wrong to over-spend on extracurricular activities when the money is intended to pay for essentials like room and board. Furthermore, the other parent has a right to criticize high risk activities. It isn’t unreasonable for a parent to say no, don’t put the six year old in football, no, don’t push them in a sport where they’ve already been severely injured.
You’re morally and legally obligated to inform the other parent of any and all healthcare issues regarding your child. The other parent typically has the right to make healthcare decisions regarding the child. This is not limit to major decisions like chemotherapy versus surgery. They have the right to say no, the child should not see that counselor, use this one instead. They should have the option to give their opinion on medical treatments from braces to acne medication. Talk to a Corona, California family law office if your ex is making decisions without informing you.
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Child Support In CA
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Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make With Child Support
If you fall behind in your child support payments, there are many penalties that could hit you. Losing your professional licenses is among the worst, because it could cost you your ability to catch up on child support or pay your own living expenses. Back child support can land you in prison, but it will cost you everything from your tax refunds to your hunting license, first. This is why you can’t afford to make a mistake with regard to your child support. Here are a few of the worst you want to avoid.
Waiting When You Can’t Pay
Child support orders remain in effect unless and until you change it. If you are struggling to pay your child support payments, contact a California family law office and ask for an adjustment. The child support order won’t change unless the courts approve such a change. And these changes are never retroactive, so don’t wait until you’re behind to ask for an adjustment.
Bankruptcy will not end your child support obligation, but it can result in a restructuring of the debt payments so that the payments are more manageable.
Paying the Child Instead of the Parent
Arrears refer to a cumulative debt. When it comes to child support, you may end up owing back child support, interest and collection fees that slowly compound over time. This debt is still owed even after your child turns 18. You cannot legally write a check to your now adult child to offset that debt. The money has to go to the ex-spouse. Pay them in a legally traceable manner so that you can prove to the courts the payments were made. And know that paying for your child’s college does not negate outstanding child support obligations.
If your child is a special needs adult, you may be able to pay the bills to the doctor or healthcare facility directly. Talk to an attorney to set up these payments so that you don’t get penalized for taking care of your child without using your ex-partner as a financial intermediary.
Not Tracking Income or Expenses
Child support payments are set using an equation that will factor in both parents’ incomes and expenses. If your income has dropped, you must formally petition the courts to request a reduction in child support payments. If your income increases, the other partner could request that the child support level be increased. If you’re paying other costs related to the child such as private school tuition, ongoing medical bills, or health insurance, work with your attorney to document this and demonstrate it to the court. You don’t want to end up obligated to pay child support and additional expenses.
Not Acting When the Child Is Of Age
Child support payments do not automatically stop. You must formally request that child support payments end. And you can get into trouble if you don’t pay the child support due, even if your child turns 18. In some cases, child support may be required after the age of majority. This is common if the child is considered to be special needs. In some cases, post-secondary support is mandated. Then you may be asked by the courts to pay child support until the child is 21 or even 23.
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Mediation Law In California
Mediation Service – Pursuing A Peaceful Divorce With A Mediation Attorney
In California, some divorce processes require mediation before parties can proceed to litigation or court, if that’s possible given the circumstances. Mediation allows both parties to pursue a peaceful non-aggressive resolution that offers a compromise based on what each party is seeking.
Mediation allows each party to be heard from their side of the story via a third party who is unbiased and capable of guiding a resolution. If mediation doesn’t work, divorce is inevitable.
In California, mediation is a must if there is a dispute in regard to child custody. Spouses can also use the process to pursue an amicable end to the conflict or for reaching a compromised solution.
Child custody disputes can result in serious conflict. As a result, California requires parents seeking custody that are yet to come to an agreement to go through mandatory mediation. Divorce proceedings can go through typical procedures or go through mediation as well to ensure a peaceful and/or more composed resolution without battles over children and other matters.
Mandatory mediation gives each spouse the opportunity to decide their best possible compromise based on factors like care, time, and location.
Pros of mandatory mediation
A. Avoid litigation.
Mediation helps parties avoid litigation. It offers an informal platform that makes it possible to compromise and have meaningful communication free of argument. While litigation also produces results, it should be a path of last resort. It is better to discuss custody matters peacefully and calmly on all matters from primary custody to visitation than go through a court process for obvious reasons ranging from cost implication to saving time and effort.
Mediators are impartial persons who hear both sides of the issue completely and offer neutral guidelines. The mediator supplies relevant laws that directly concern the spouses then guides a workable conclusion with long-lasting results achievable using a court order when necessary.
C. Binding if need be.
While the process may seem informal (compared to litigation), mandatory mediation can be binding, although it doesn’t need to be. Parties can seek alternative processes i.e., a courtroom case to end situations surrounding binding judgments. However, for matters involving custody, meditation should be the first process before other processes are pursued.
Custody & Mandatory Mediation
When parents can’t agree on the primary custody of their children, a custody battle is inevitable. The emotional outbursts, fights, and psychological damage suffered by children complicate custody matters triggering the need for mandatory mediation.
California courts don’t preside over custody matters until parents go through mandatory meditation with a court-appointed mediator. Courts get involved after an agreement is reached. The involvement entails sharing mediation session information.
The mandatory mediation process
The process begins with introductions and highlighting the existing issues before each side is given an opportunity to tell their story. The mediation process can involve multiple appointments set together or separately. Counselors (mediators) progress better with more information. A successful mediation usually results in an agreement, after which the information is shared with the court and a conclusion provided.
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Men’s Rights In CA
Legal Services – Explaining All About Men’s Rights In CA
In California, both parents have a right to pursue custody and visitation rights. The same applies to child support. The law treats both parents equally, and their rights stand regardless of their present relationship. It’s also worth noting that California judges consider the child’s best interests ahead of any other interests when making custody-related decisions.
Under this premise, it’s in the best interest of the child for both parents to be involved unless there are underlying issues i.e., involvement will be a threat to a child’s wellbeing. Judges evaluate each parent equally to ascertain their ability to provide/care for their children. They also consider the children’s relationship with individual parents before making a final decision.
Although courts in California and nationwide have for decades favored mothers in custody rulings, modern rulings have seen more fathers enjoy equal rights.
Fathers rights and child support
In California, one parent can be named as the primary custodian while the other becomes a non-custodian. In such an instance, the primary custodian decides where the child will live and gains custody most of the time. The non-custodian is awarded visitation, which may include unsupervised visits, weekend visits, or supervised visits, depending on the nature of the case.
In California, fathers who win custody battles have the right to receive child support. A father can become the primary custodian. In such a case, he has the right to ask for child support which is usually paid by the non-custodial to a custodial parent to cover the financial responsibilities of raising a child. Child support covers education costs, medical costs, and living expenses like food and clothing.
Besides having equal rights to pursue child support, California fathers can also seek legal action against mothers who fail to pay child support. A father’s rights are the same as those of a mother on all matters regarding child support.
Seeking legal help to enforce a fathers rights in California
Fathers who have reason to believe their rights to a relationship with their children have been compromised should seek the services of a fathers rights attorney. Legal help is important for ensuring infringed rights are honored and the necessary arrangements made to rectify infringement i.e., receive additional time with their child to compensate for lost time.
You need an experienced father’s rights lawyer to get an accurate picture of the father-child relationship. A seasoned fathers rights attorney can handle a variety of scenarios leading to infringement of a father’s rights i.e., divorce, parenting plans, custody case, paternity dispute, etc. He/she understands father’s rights in California and what they should do to recover the time or support deserved.
Every father has a critical role in the life of their child. Presence and support determines a child’s success to a great extent. An experienced California father’s rights lawyer is the best-suited professional to ensure a dad’s rights and privileges aren’t denied or impeded simply because a relationship or consensus is missing between the father and mother.
California custody and visitation guidelines treat both parents equally. Hire an attorney and enforce fathers rights.
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Modification Law In California
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Why You Must Request a Modification As Soon as You Believe It Is Necessary
Far too many people get into trouble operating under old court orders despite the fact that their circumstances have changed. They may be afraid of their request being rejected or think things may change. Here are a few reasons why you must request a modification as soon as you believe it is necessary.
You Don’t Want to Be Charged with Contempt of Court
If you fall too far behind on child support or spousal support, you can be jailed for contempt of court. While society demonizes “deadbeat dads”, many of these people were simply penalized for failing to file for a child support modification after they lost their jobs. A few tragic cases involve men sent to prison for failure to pay child support though this only happened because they were in prison for something else. Work with an attorney to get your child support order adjusted down to reflect your current income or lack thereof.
You Can’t Afford the Potential Consequences of Falling Behind
Jail is the worst outcome for those who fall behind on their child support. There are many consequences that slowly multiply until it is almost impossible to not end up in prison. Losing your hunting license is an understandable punishment for failing to pay your obligations. Losing your commercial and professional licenses is counterproductive, since it could prevent you from earning the “potential income” level on which the child support order is based. One of the last resort punishments is suspension of your driver’s license. For many, this would leave them unable to get to or from work.
Request a modification as soon as possible so that you don’t fall behind. And know that modified child support orders and spousal support orders are not retroactive. This means the 500 dollars a month you couldn’t pay is still owed, and interest will accrue on the arrears.
If you haven’t kept up with your child support or spousal support payments, you may be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees and court costs, too. Talk to a California family law attorney as soon as you face the prospect of being unable to pay your future support payments.
It Can Wrecks Your Finances
Child support and alimony cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Falling behind will result in a debt you must pay. However, there are a number of enforcement mechanisms in place. For example, there is a federal system to intercept any federal, state and local tax refunds and apply it to back child support debt. The same system will apply your tax rebate to unpaid federally backed student loan debt. This created massive headaches for those who had fallen behind on child support and then failed to receive their coronavirus economic impact payment. If the debtor was married, it was a complex process for them to ask for their half of the economic impact payment back. The rest of the time, this system means that you don’t get the tax refund you were counting on and may get less than expected if you qualify for the earned income tax credit. The federal network crosses state lines, too, so your California state income tax refund could be confiscated to pay the back child support for your children living in another state.
Furthermore, every budget is adversely impacted by an unexpected wage garnishment. Note that your unemployment and worker’s compensation checks can be garnished to pay child support, as well. Liens can be placed on property to cover payment, too, though that is less common. They’ll take it out of your bank account first, since the custodial parent needs the money now to take care of the child, not in six months when your motorbike or house is sold.
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Common Mistakes with Premarital Agreements
Around ten percent of couples get a premarital agreement or prenuptial agreement made before they tie the knot. However, many of these premarital agreements are invalidated in part or in full when the couples file for divorce. Let’s learn more about some of the common mistakes with premarital agreements so you don’t waste your time drafting a legal document that doesn’t stand up in court.
Not Getting One Done in Time
A premarital agreement is a kind of contract, though it is a very personal one. Like other types of contracts, it isn’t valid if the person didn’t have enough time to consider the ramifications of signing it. This is why someone isn’t legally obligated to abide by a contract when they didn’t have time to read it. In the case of prenuptial agreements, personal pressure can invalidate it. For example, presenting someone with a prenup only a few days before the wedding is considered undue pressure. How are they supposed to plan for a wedding and find an attorney to review a critical legal document at the same time? In order to avoid the prenup from being declared void for this reason, have the prenup done at least two weeks before the marriage. And the earlier, the better.
Not Getting a Prenup Done at All
A premarital agreement is only valid if it is done well ahead of the wedding. If you don’t have a prenup in place, California’s divorce laws will apply when you get a divorce. California has streamlined a divorce process for those who are getting married within a year or two of getting married, as long as you don’t have children or significant assets. But this process could be nearly bypassed altogether if you had a good prenup in place.
Don’t assume that a post-marital agreement will stand up in court. It is less likely to be endorsed by the courts than a prenup. For example, the post-marital agreement prompted by a sudden windfall from your work at a startup or an inheritance could be tossed out because it asks someone to give up their claim to this massive part of the community property.
Including Unenforceable Terms
It is illegal to enforce a contract that has terms and conditions that are in violation of the law. For example, you cannot legally sell yourself into slavery. Nor can you go to court to penalize your soon to be ex for not having sex on the agreed upon schedule or not maintaining their appearance. Too many such unenforceable terms and conditions in the premarital agreement will result in it being declared null and void.
However, there are mundane prenups that may be tossed because they try to dictate things that the courts will not let you decide in advance. The two main issues are child custody and child support. Your partner can waive their right to alimony, especially if you give them significant assets in return. However, you cannot dictate child custody via prenup. Nor can you dictate child support. Child custody must be hammered out during mediation, and child support levels will be set by the court. You’re welcome to give more money than the court-ordered minimum payment, and this can be spelled out in the prenup. You can avoid problems by not addressing child custody or child support in the prenup.
Not Having a Fair Division of Assets
A prenup is one way to get around California’s community property laws. For example, your partner can give up their rights to your inheritance or your stake in your business. However, the division of assets must be roughly fair in order for the premarital agreement to be accepted by the divorce court. If your ex doesn’t get a stake in your business despite helping you run it for ten years, you better offset this with a large cash settlement or unilateral rights to the family home. Your prenup may be thrown out if the other person sacrificed their career for your career or family. For example, asking someone to get almost nothing after being a stay-at-home parent for twenty years or working while you went to law school could invalidate the prenup.
Consider a provision that increases how much money they get based on how long they stay home with the kids. If they choose to work, then they get less because they contributed more to the household income and family net worth. You could even incentivize someone staying home by increasing the settlement for every year they do, but you cannot order them to quit their job.
A much more reasonable provision is stating that the other person will be reimbursed if they use personal property from before the marriage to pay off the newly married couple’s debts. If they pay off your student loans, then agree to reimburse them that 40K plus interest if you split later on. You could also compensate them for the years they worked to help pay off car loans and credit card debt in your name.
A Lack of Unbiased Legal Representation
A prenup isn’t valid if one side had an attorney and the other one didn’t. A premarital agreement isn’t valid if the same attorney represents both sides. A prenup can be challenged if a friend of the bride represented the groom. You can avoid these problems by having each person bring their own attorney to the table.
Excessive Pressure to Sign It
We’ve already said that a premarital agreement can be thrown out if you surprise the bride or groom a few days before the wedding with a contract to sign. However, that isn’t the only situation where the prenup may be tossed for this reason.
Your prenup can be thrown out if there is undue pressure despite the presence of attorneys. If your parents or their parents are present and pushing them to sign it before their attorney has even reviewed it, the whole process may be considered tainted. If there implicit or explicit threats of violence to force them to sign it, it is invalid.
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Visitation Rights in California
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Main Types Of Visitation
Visitation can be supervised or unsupervised. When there is court-ordered supervised visitation, it means that the parent in question is not allowed to be with the child alone.
This could be due to:
- Physical abuse
- Parental alienation
- Sexual abuse or allegations thereof
- Emotional abuse
- Mental illness that could put the child at risk
- Addiction problems
- A potentially dangerous home environment
Supervised visitation could occur at visitation centers hosted by nonprofits or government agencies. Or it may occur at neutral locations like parks or libraries with the witness present. In theory, supervised visitation could occur at the person’s home with a friend or family member present. Supervised visitation is more likely if the parent abandoned the child long enough for the child to be reluctant to meet with the parent. In these cases, the other parent may supervise the meeting. This is especially true if it is a young child meeting their father for the first time or seeing a parent coming out of prison that they no longer remember.
It is also possible for a parent’s rights to be terminated by the courts. This is more likely if there has been serious domestic violence against the other parent and/or children.
When May a Father Be Denied Visitation?
Parents of either sex may be denied visitation if they severely physically and/or emotionally abused the child. And it could result in termination of parental rights by California courts. That kills one’s visitation rights even as it opens up the possibility the child will be adopted. Sexual abuse will result in supervised visitation at best, termination of parental rights at worst. This is overwhelmingly done by men, though it is rare. Note that sexual abuse is far more likely to be committed by a step-parent than a parent and by Mom’s boyfriend rather than the man who chose to marry her.
The law makes it somewhat easy for single mothers to deny visitation to the father by default. When a married woman has a child, the husband is the legal father of the child unless he challenges it. If the husband is named the father of a child born of adultery, then the biological father has no legal rights to the child. On the other hand, a single mother who refuses to name the father can deny him parental rights because he doesn’t know he’s a parent. If a man suspects he is the father of a child, he can go to court to force paternity testing. Once he’s identified as the father, he can be named the legal father. He’ll also be obligated to pay child support.
How Can Someone Gain Parental Rights?
Birth mothers automatically gain parental rights. The mother’s husband is by default the child’s legal father. If she isn’t married, she can ask the father to sign an affidavit of paternity to become the child’s legal father. Someone can gain parental rights such as visitation rights when they adopt the child. If the biological father is unknown or had his rights terminated, the mother’s new partner could adopt the child. When the parents put the child up for adoption, the adoptive parents gain full legal rights to the child.
Under California law, a same sex partner who is legally married to the child’s biological parent has the same legal rights as parents of a child born in a heterosexual marriage. In informal partnerships, the other parent may be able to adopt the child. For example, a lesbian who uses donor sperm to become pregnant is the only legal parent of the child if not married to her partner. But her partner could legally adopt the child if desired.
Other Relatives & Visitation Rights
In most cases, the answer is that they do not have visitation rights. If the parents are married, they by definition have shared custody. If they don’t want grandparents or aunts and uncles to visit, those individuals are not allowed to visit. If the parents are divorced, one parent can arrange visitation with relatives over the objections of the other as long as there isn’t a compelling reason to do so. For example, a parent cannot take the child over to a former child molester’s home even if it is a relative, since this puts the child’s safety at risk.
Grandparents may be able to get court-ordered visitation if their biological child is dead. This may be permitted if the courts believe the deceased parent would have maintained the relationship if they were alive.
What Rights Does Someone Have if the Courts Have Given Someone Sole Custody?
Sole legal custody means that one parent has the right to make all major decisions regarding the child. This includes health, education and welfare. Then they don’t have to get the other parent’s input, though they may still be required to share information such as the child’s report cards and notify them of when the child was injured. If a parent has sole custody of the child, they typically cannot deny visitation of the other parent without approval by the courts.
Can Visitation Be Flexible?
In many cases, a visitation schedule is drawn up in mediation and approved by the judge. If the two parents cannot come to agreement, the judge will probably use a template to create one. However, custody orders may include verbiage like “visitation is by agreement between the parties”. In these cases, the parents can come to agreement about when the non-custodial parent can visit. This has a number of benefits. If the child makes plans and the other parent wants to visit, you don’t necessarily have to cancel those plans. But if you are often refusing to let the other parent visit, they can file a contempt action against you. And if you’re constantly interfering in their visitation such as scheduling activities in the middle of their time with the child, you could lose primary custody.
When Can You Deny Visitation?
It is possible to deny visitation, but it needs to be for obvious reasons. For example, you can refuse to let your ex drive off with the kid if they are visibly drunk. Document events, so that you don’t get charged with contempt of court.
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How to Ensure that Your Premarital Agreement Stands Up in Court
Premarital agreements, also known as prenups, are legal contracts regarding rights and responsibilities in the marriage. They simply differ from other types of contracts by applying to marriages and the division of property if the marriage ends in divorce. However, the prenup can be rendered invalid if you include too many personal preferences that are not legally enforceable. And there can be situations and issues that make the prenup invalid. Let’s learn how to ensure that your premarital agreement stands up in court.
Putting It in Writing
A premarital agreement is a contract. While there are implied contracts and verbal contracts, the only premarital agreement that stands up in court is a written one. It must be signed and witnessed, too. If you need to make changes to the prenup, have a new one drafted assuming there is time.
Meet to Negotiate the Prenup At Least a Month Before the Wedding
Prenups like other contracts are not legally valid if the person was under duress or coerced into signing them. Presenting a prenup right before the wedding has historically be considered a form of coercion, since you’re holding the wedding hostage to their signature on a piece of paper they don’t have adequate time to review. You can ensure that the prenup is valid by having a formal meeting to discuss and draft the prenup at least a month before the wedding.
Ensure Adequate Legal Representation for Each Party
While it is possible to have a prenup signed by someone without their own attorney be legally valid in the state of California, that is a mistake. It is also hard to pull off, since you have to present them with a specific waiver that says they understand what they’re giving up. The prenup would only be valid if the person didn’t say they didn’t understand the waiver to an attorney or the contract. If they’re not a native English speaker, everything must be written in their native language. It isn’t enough to have a legal translator present, though their attorney could also be a translator.
You can improve the validity of the prenup if the document is the result of negotiation rather than one side presenting it and the other signing it.
Don’t Have an Audience
Don’t have family members and future in-laws present during the negotiation, unless they are acting as their loved one’s attorney. You don’t want your family members pressuring the other side to agree to something. If the other party wants another set of eyes to review it, let them take it home or to another attorney’s office for a second opinion.
Be Honest, Transparent and Thorough
A prenup can always be thrown out if there was fraud involved. If you don’t disclose all of your assets, then you’re committing fraud because they don’t realize you’re asking them to agree to getting less than your full net worth. You could be guilty of fraud if you’re hiding debt, too, and asking them to agree to pay if off upon your marriage. Undervaluing assets while asking someone to waive their rights to them is considered fraud, as well. If one party can prove the other side didn’t fully disclose their income, their assets or likely inheritance, the entire prenup can be thrown out. Then the laws of the state where you’re getting a divorce will apply. (That’s why you can consider California state law to be your prenup if you don’t have one drafted.)
The solution is to have a detailed accounting of all of your assets, liabilities, income sources and potential windfalls spelled out. You can’t guarantee that you’ll inherit a million dollars from Mom, since an extended stay in a nursing home or unforeseen events could wipe that out. But talk about it.
Don’t make promises and then fail to put it in writing. That can undermine trust in you even as you’re entering your marriage. Don’t present someone with a post-nup unless you agreed on the need for one when you were drafting a pre-nup. For example, you may have a premarital agreement that waives one party’s rights to personal property and agrees it will pass to the original owner’s children. This could be followed up with a post-nup that confirms this if there are changes to the property itself such as waiving the rights to the money you got when the business was sold. Or you could follow up a pre-nup giving up rights to someone’s inheritance with a post-nup that reiterates this. We suggest that you can change the division of property to be fairer now that you know how much the inherited property is worth once you’ve received it. In this case, you’re building on the prenup, and the post-nup is fine-tuning the agreement to be more fair in case you end up in divorce court.
Do not enter marriage without a prenup and then surprise your spouse with a post-nup. This is seen as a violation of trust. If it is done to protect your rights to an inheritance or windfall you didn’t tell them about, the entire agreement could be dismissed as fraudulent. Why? Because you entered the marriage without fully disclosing these matters.
Don’t Include Unenforceable Provisions
Prenups could be rejected in part or in full. For example, California state law will not recognize provisions in a prenup related to child support or child custody. If you agree to pay 15K a year in child support in the prenup, California courts will ignore it altogether and use the formulas spelled out in California statutes to set child support levels instead.
Prenups could say that someone agrees to maintain a certain appearance or lifestyle, but the courts won’t enforce it. You can divorce someone for starting to eat meat, voting a certain way or changing religions, but you can’t use the prenup to punish them for doing so. If the prenup includes too many unenforceable provisions, the entire thing will be thrown out.
The solution is to only include enforceable provisions. The list of allowable provisions includes property division (assuming it is relatively fair), agreeing that debt or assets remain separate property, and decision-making mechanisms. You could agree to require approval of both spouses to spend more than a given amount or agree to give them more money upon separation if they put their career on the side-burner to raise kids or help run your business.
Prenup Lawyer – Helping You Protect Your Assets
The City Of Jurupa Valley in CA
The Jurupa Valley is one of the most aesthetically pleasing beauty spots of Riverside county. It is also conveniently located right on the outskirts of the combined Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Statistical area, which is one of the most populous cities in Southern California. Yet, despite its proximity to such a large, bustling city, it has managed to preserve a sense of remoteness and localised community, as well as a distinctly rural identity, which sets it apart from some of the neighbouring cities. So, if you’re looking for some remote-based peace and serenity, without totally missing out on all the action and events of a big city, then this could be the perfect spot for you.
The Jurupa hills are one of the most imposing natural landmarks for miles around. There are lots of nice walking trails and hikes for you to get your adventure on and catch some terrific views of the valley below. There is really no excuse for being bored if you live in the Jurupa valley. As well as natural beauty, it is home to a myriad of sports teams and clubs, as well as bars, restaurants, shopping outlets and a well-funded public library system.
One of the best features of this community is its local transport links. It is served by the Riverside Transit Agency, which runs a frequent tram service, as well as numerous bus routes, to the nearby metropolitan areas. If you have a car the highway will also get you straight to the city with a minimum of fuss. It is thought that public transport options will be further expanded in the future, which can only serve to make Jurupa valley better.
This is one of the hottest localities in Southern California, as evidenced by the rising populations. The town is now home to well over 100,000 people, and that number just keeps growing.