Family Law Blog

More Senior American Couples Head to Divorce Court

Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby boomers are breaking records for divorce rates. According to data, American seniors above the age of 50 are now twice as likely to get divorced, compared to people of the same age barely 2 decades ago. Los Angeles divorce lawyers are increasingly coming across divorce cases involving seniors, who have been married for two or three decades or even more, who decide to end their marriage.

The reasons for divorce in the golden years can be quite different from those involved when the divorcing couple is in the 30s or 40s. In the case of a senior couple, it's not always financial reasons, or adultery that is the main cause of the end of the marriage. In fact, in the case of seniors, it's very often a parting of ways that usually begins to manifest itself when the children have grown up and left the home. Many seniors suffer from the “empty nest syndrome”, and may not be able to handle that their biggest accomplishment as a couple over the years - raising their children - is no longer the glue that holds them together. In the absence of joint interests or passions - which may not have mattered much when they were younger - an older couple may find that they have nothing in common anymore.

Additionally, compared to a young woman in her 30s or 40s, a senior woman above the age of 50 maybe well-established in her career. Financial independence does play a factor in an older woman's decision to file for divorce.

Back in 1990, according to experts, the rate of persons above the age of 50 getting divorced was less than one in 10. Currently, as many as one in four people consulting a divorce lawyer are above the age of 50.

As US Economy Improves, Divorce Rates Spike

Friday, February 21, 2014

As the US economy begins to improve, divorce rates that had been plummeting over the past few years, have begun to show an upward trend again. According to new data, as the employment situation improves and businesses report greater revenues, the number of couples who make that call to a divorce lawyer has also begun to increase.

This is a trend that California divorce lawyers have been expecting ever since the economy showed small signs of recovery last year. Just a few years ago, the economy was in a bad shape, and a poor financial condition prevented many couples from filing for divorce. Divorce can be a financially risky proposition, and there can be major differences to your overall financial health after a divorce. For example, assets are divided during the normal process of a divorce, and many people may not be in the frame of mind to make risky financial choices in a bad economy. Many people do not feel comfortable about making major financial changes to their lifestyle when there are fewer employment opportunities, and businesses are struggling.

However, it is a markedly different picture when the economy begins to improve. In such cases, many of those financial question that prevented couples from moving towards a divorce earlier do not seem so important anymore. In 2012, the number of Americans getting a divorce increased to 2.4 million after several years of increases.

Economists also believe that more divorces are a good sign for the economy, and boost economic growth. That's because when households split, new households are created, and that means a boom in house construction. Apartment rentals also go up, when fathers move out of the home, and rent apartments close to their former home to stay close to their children.

Court Rules Kansas Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Kansas court has ruled that a man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple qualifies as the father of the baby, even though he signed off his paternal rights to the child. The court has ruled that he must make child support payments.

The case seemed uncomplicated enough until the baby was born. However, after the baby was born, the lesbian couple broke up, and one of them suffered an injury that resulted in her losing her job. She now does not work, and is reliant on public assistance. The woman was asked to name the father of the child in her application for assistance, and it was at that point, that the sperm donor’s name came up. The Kansas Department of Children and Families decided to take the donor to court, claiming more than $6,000 in past child support and expenses as well as future child support payments.

The court has ruled in favor of the state agency. The decision seems to have been based on a legal technicality. When the man answered the Craigslist ad for a sperm donor, he signed off paternal rights to the child, as part of the agreement with the lesbian couple. However, the artificial insemination was conducted without the presence of a registered artificial insemination expert or doctor. Under Kansas law, child support requirements are subjected to all fathers, except those who donate their sperm in an artificial insemination procedure that involves the presence of a doctor. Since this case involved artificial insemination in the absence of a doctor, the court ruled that the man did qualify as a father, and could not avoid his child support obligations.

What has made this case even more complicated is that the state of Kansas does not recognize gay marriage, and therefore, the woman who wanted to apply for state welfare, was not able to seek child support payments from her partner when they broke up. She was instead forced to look to the donor for payments instead.

Cohabitation Likely to Lead to Long-Term Relationships

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

According to a surprising study, cohabitation increases the chances that the relationship will continue into the long term. Those are surprising findings because there is a vast body of research which confirms that people who choose to live together without getting married, are much more likely to terminate their relationships, compared to married couples.

The new study was based on a nationwide sample of relationships that lasted 8, 12, and 24 years. The researchers found that cohabitation had a strong influence on the number of relationships that lasted for at least eight years.

However, persons who are in a cohabitation relationship need to look beyond the statistics to understand the reasons for these findings. According to the researchers, it could simply be that there are a large number of cohabiting couples in society, and therefore, there are enough of them whose relationships have crossed the eight-year stage for them to contribute significantly to the data. In other words, cohabiting is fairly common in US society, and the large number of cohabiting couples is probably the reason for these findings.

Many couples, who choose to live together before getting married, use this period of time as a trial period of sorts, to test the waters before they take the final plunge. For many of them, cohabitation does lead to a successful marital union, although studies also seem to suggest that cohabitation doesn't necessarily predict a successful and happy marriage.

Nevertheless, if you are in a cohabiting relationship, it's very important that you and your partner sign a cohabitation agreement that clearly defines your rights as well as obligations in the event of the termination of your relationship. A Los Angeles divorce lawyer can help you define the kind of details that must feature in your cohabitation agreement to protect your rights.