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The Benefits of Getting a Prenuptial Agreement

Monday, October 12, 2020

If you and your partner are planning on getting married, the last thing that you likely want to think about is the possibility that you will get divorced someday. However, the fact is that divorce rates are still extremely high, which is why it is important that couples plan ahead by getting a prenuptial agreement before the big day.

While prenuptial agreements (also known as prenups) are often thought of as something only the rich and famous need, the fact is that prenups can help protect couples from a variety of backgrounds in the event of divorce. If you are getting married soon, here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider getting a prenup. 

It Forces You to Look at Your Finances

One of the greatest advantages of a prenuptial agreement is that it forces couples to take a look at their finances. One of the most common reasons for problems in a marriage is that couples often go into marriage with different ideas and expectations about money, leading to fights down-the-road. However, during the process of creating a prenup, couples are forced to look at their finances, and this often facilitates discussions about money, which can actually help to prevent future marital problems. 

You Both Have Debt

Many people believe that they do not need a prenup if they do not have a lot of money; however, a prenup can be equally important if one or both spouses have debt. These days it is not uncommon for couples to enter a marriage with both parties having credit card debt, auto loans, and student debt. Getting a prenup can actually protect you from each other's debt, as the prenuptial agreement can outline who is responsible for what financial obligations in the event of a divorce.  

One of You Owns a Business

It is particularly critical that you get a prenup if one of you is a business owner. Oftentimes when a couple gets divorced and they own a business, this can leave the business in jeopardy of being torn apart. A prenup can then help to protect this premarital asset by outlining how much of the business each spouse is entitled to in the event of divorce.

Conclusion

Contact us to learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can protect you upon entering marriage. 

3 Unexpected Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements

Monday, October 05, 2020

If you've reached the point where you and your partner are considering marriage, it's important to take a step back and really look at the life you want to build together. While the goal of marriage might be to last the rest of one's life, that's not always how things work out. While divorce law can be messy and expensive (not to mention personally draining and stressful), a prenuptial agreement can nip proceedings in the bud.

However, there are additional benefits to a prenuptial agreement beyond the obvious.

1. A Prenuptial Agreement Helps You Test Serious Waters

It's hard talking about serious subjects, even with someone you love. A prenuptial agreement is one of those adult conversations, and how you and your partner react to it can say a lot about how you'll handle other issues in your relationship down the road. Acknowledging that you need to be ready for potentially negative circumstances, from serious injury and job loss to end-of-life planning, is important in a long-term relationship, and a prenuptial agreement is often an indication of how well your relationship handles that stress.

2. It Reduces Overall Stress

Even good relationships can only handle so much stress, and though it might seem counterintuitive, prenuptial agreements actually reduce the overall stress on a relationship. As Davidson Fraese points out, nailing down specifics eliminates that "what if?" feeling, and provides concrete answers for many of the questions about your future. Emergencies are much less scary when you already have a plan, and you know what's going to happen in the event that particular emergency happens.

3. It Keeps Business Ownership Separate (As Well As Finances)

When most people think of prenuptial agreements, they tend to think in terms of cash, and maybe property like cars, houses, etc. However, if you own controlling portions of stock, or partial interests in businesses, then your spouse may end up with some of that in a traditional divorce proceeding. So in this case a prenuptial agreement helps keep your business partners and employees clear of potential blow back from a future divorce, as Go Banking Rates points out.

Conclusion

For more information about marriage and divorce, simply contact us today!

Stepparent Adoption: Terminating Parental Rights When the Biological Parent Doesn't Consent

Friday, September 25, 2020

While there are a number of benefits to a stepparent adopting their stepchildren, the process is not an easy one. A crucial step in the process before it can be made official is for the biological parent to consent to the adoption by surrendering their parental rights. Yet, too often the biological parent does not consent. If that is the case, can the adoption proceed?

If the biological parent does not consent to a stepparent adoption of their child and refuses to surrender their parental rights, you must seek to terminate those rights. This can be done by exploring three key avenues.

Abandonment

If you have an uninvolved biological parent, their rights can be easily terminated. If the parent has not communicated or financially supported the child for over a year, they qualify as having abandoned the child and will lose their rights.

Unfit as a Parent

If you choose to try to terminate parental rights through proving they are an unfit parent, the courts will hold a fitness hearing. They will examine various factors that go into this where in you can present evidence to support their unfit nature as a parent. In order to terminate parental rights this way, you must prove that they are abusive, neglectful, mentally unfit, addicted to substances, or have failed to visit for a certain amount of time. If the biological parent is incarcerated and will be for a long length of time, this can also qualify.

Proven Lack of Paternity

Specific to fathers of children, if the mother can prove that the child is not really the child of their supposed biological father, then that person will no longer have their innate parental rights. This can be quickly done by a quick paternity test.

Learn More About Stepparent Adoption

If you are attempting to adopt your stepchild or are having any other family law issues, contact us today. The Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can help you navigate these difficult waters.

Who Pays for a Child's Health Insurance?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Affordable Care Act states that all children under the age of 18 must be covered by health insurance. However, that is not always as simple as it sounds, especially for divorcing parents. In many cases, the child will also be covered by the health insurance that a parent may get through their work. Even if the parents are divorced, the children will still be covered by the health insurance of choice or if the non-custody holding parent only has health insurance. Unfortunately, if neither parent has health insurance through their work, the coverage becomes a little more complex.

A Judge Decides

If neither parent can cover health insurance for a child post-divorce from their job, they will have to buy health insurance for their child. Unfortunately, this can be costly – as much as $1,000 per month. Who covers this cost? While mediation can negotiate splitting costs or help decide the paying party, if you take it to court, a judge will make the decision simple.

Healthcare for the child, under the eyes of the judge, is necessary for the support of the child. As such, it will typically be factored into child support payments. This means that the custody-holding parent will likely be responsible for finding health insurance for their child, but the support-paying parent will be paying for it with their monthly support payments.

This is not an ideal situation for the support-paying parent. Health insurance is expensive and the support payer may not be convinced that their huge support payment is really going to solid health insurance. However, if it is discovered that the custody-holding parent is not being aboveboard, they can be taken to court for it.

Learn More About Children's Health Insurance

Are you going through a divorce or have any other family law issue? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results.

Can Child Support Agreements Be Made Outside of Court?

Friday, September 11, 2020

For many, the costs of divorce and separation are prohibitive. No one wants to go to court, and no one really wants to pays the court their fees for their service or for legal representation in the courtroom. However, much of divorce and child support negotiation can be done outside of the courtroom to keep things affordable.

In a Courtroom

There is no requirement that says child support and parenting plans need to be figured out in the courtroom in front of a judge. Often, you will want your lawyer to help suggest what is fair in terms of child support, but much of everything else can be figured out between the two parents outside of the courtroom.

Unfortunately, when it comes to child support agreements, you can't escape the need for a judge. Once a parenting plan and child support agreement has been figured out between two parents, it will need to be presented to a judge for their approval. When it comes to child support, the first priority of the judge is the well-being of your child. As such, they will make sure the agreement looks fair and it good interest to the child. They will then approve or reject it appropriately.

This is a necessary step, but while it may be an extra cost to you, it is to your benefit. Having a judge approve your support agreement will make it legally binding. If your ex-spouse violates it, then you can take legal action against them. This is why you want to make sure as many bases as possible are covered in the agreement.

Learn More About Making Child Support Agreements Outside of Court

Are you preparing to go through a divorce or have some other family law issue? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get the best possible results.

A Breach of Fiduciary Duty in California Spousal Support Requirements

Friday, September 04, 2020

Divorces happen and the process is rarely comfortable or easy, especially when alimony is concerned. Alimony was created to lessen the negative effects of a dramatic transition on a person who doesn't have the immediate means to fulfill their needs after a divorce. Unfortunately, much like any other program created to assist people, it can be abused.

What do you do if you suspect that your former partner has somehow dishonored a spousal support agreement? What course of action can you take?

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Each spouse has a responsibility to the other when it comes to any and all finances and debts acquired during the relationship. It doesn't matter if the assets and debts were acquired together or alone. California takes fiduciary responsibility very seriously and all assets must be disclosed during the process of a divorce or the person hiding relevant information can be punished. 

breach of fiduciary duty refers to the act of hiding assets and manipulating income levels that are reported to the court system in the case of divorce. It is illegal to withhold any information and is considered a breach of contract and a breach of trust. 

What Do You Do?

If you suspect that your former partner may be hiding assets or somehow manipulating financial information, address any and all concerns to your divorce attorneys and allow them to investigate your claims. It is a lawyer's job to investigate all contentious issues in a divorce. If they can find a breach, you may be entitled to what your former partner is hiding. 

If you are accused of breaching a fiduciary trust, you need to contact your divorce lawyer immediately to clear up any misconceptions. Your attorney's job is to protect you and your interests and direct honesty goes a long way.

What you DO NOT DO is conduct outside investigations on your own. Evidence obtained illegally or nefariously can damage any arguments that you have and make you look bad in the eyes of the court. 

No matter what, it is essential to begin the process of your separation with a trusted and qualified attorney with a proven success record to back you up in every situation.  

Call Us With Your Questions

The experienced and supportive attorneys at Jamra & Jamra are here to ensure you get the fairest deal possible when it comes to your family. Contact us at 310-278-9001 to schedule your free consultation, and we can get started on your case.

Do You Need to Pay Child Support If You Are on Unemployment?

Friday, August 28, 2020

Hard times have hit everyone after the pandemic-caused economic dip. While things are slowly recovering, there are many who are still on unemployment and filing for it after businesses fail to recover from their loss in business. This can be a difficult time but is made even more so if you have child support payments to consider.

Unemployment Benefits

If you are on unemployment benefits, you will still be expected to pay your child support. Failure to do so can result in a court action that will often result in you paying even more punitively. The good news is that if your unemployment benefits prove significantly lower than your previous income, the courts will consider this. They may lower your expected payment until you can resume work. Once that is done, your current pay will be examined, and the payments will be readjusted again.

Child Support Payments

If you have lost your job and are ineligible for unemployment, your child support payments may be temporarily stopped, but that doesn't mean you won't pay. What happens is that the court will want you to document your ongoing job search to prove you are looking. Once you have found a new job, your child support payments will resume. They will also likely be higher as you make up for the missed payment from your period of unemployment. This is why if you have some savings during an unemployed period, it may be better just to continue payments. Especially if you expect your job search to be a short one.

Learn More About Paying Child Support If You Are Unemployed

Do you have child support payments and a difficult financial situation? Are you getting ready to go through a divorce? We can help. Contact us today to let the professionals at the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra help you with all your complex family law issues so you can get the best possible results.

Can a Pandemic Force Modification of Your Parenting Plan?

Friday, August 21, 2020

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the world, and that extends into the sphere of family issues and family law. While you likely prioritized the safety of your child over any plans put in place by the court during the pandemic, with the loosening of the restrictions, you may find push back when it comes to adhering to what was set in place.

Contemption 

One of the biggest issues that some families will face now is having one party willfully neglecting the previously stated parenting plan. In many cases, parents put aside their differences and agreed to suspend the previous agreement to keep their children healthy. However, now that the world is getting back to normal, some will find that the other parent is not willing to go back. What do you even do then?

If there is no quarantine in place, neglecting the set parenting plan is contempt. You can then take your ex-spouse to court where the judge will weigh in on their willful contempt of a court-set parenting plan. The judge will examine the circumstances that have been going on. For example, if your ex-spouse was exhibiting signs of COVID-19 and refused to be tested, you will not be held in contempt for not following the parenting plan. You were prioritizing the health of your child just as the judge would have ordered. However, if they found that they were tested, and it was negative, yet you were still not complying, then the judge may order sanctions, make up time, and attorney fees to be paid.

Learn More About How the Pandemic Changes Your Parenting Plan

Do you have an ex-spouse that you feel is violating your parenting plan? We can help. Contact us today to see what Jamra & Jamra can do to help you get your family back to normal and make sure all your family law problems are handled safely and professionally.

More Tips for Same Sex Marriages Ending in Divorce

Monday, August 17, 2020

When it became legal to marry someone of the same sex, many rushed to the alter because they finally could. However, others decided that they were fine the way that things were.  They decided not to change anything about their lives. 

However, once married, same-sex couples can also get divorced. It can be messy and complicated. Here are some more things to consider when getting a divorce.

Think About Your Children

If you have adopted children during your marriage, you have to consider their needs. You are going to have to come up with a good custody arrangement that works for everyone. If needed, you should pay child support so that your children can continue the life that they have been living.

Find a Way to Co-Parent Together

If you have children together, you are going to be in each other's lives for the rest of your lives. The sooner that you can get along, the better off you will be. It will also be much easier on your children if you are able to spend holidays and special occasions together.

Get the Help That You Need

If you are really struggling, you may want to talk to a therapist. He or she will help you find ways to cope with your divorce and all of the feelings that you are having. It can really make a difference in healing after a divorce.

Don't Give Up

Just because you are getting divorced doesn't mean that you are a failure. You are going to find someone again that makes you happy and ready to settle down again. You may even decide to marry again. In fact, many people are much happier in their second divorce because they really know what they want and need from their partner.

Find More More Tips for Same Sex Marriages Ending in Divorce 

If you have children, you need to consider them during your divorce. They need both of you in their lives so it is important to learn to work together so that they still have a good life. Then, if you are struggling, you need to get some help. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone as you adjust to this new time in your life. 

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be glad to help you get through this difficult time. 

Tips for Same Sex Marriages Ending in Divorce

Monday, August 10, 2020

Now that it is legal, same-sex couples can get married. While many same-sex couples rushed to get married because they finally could, others didn't feel the need to change the way that they have been living for several years. Many already felt married by that point, so they didn't. They have continued to live the way that they always have.

However, once married, same-sex couples can also get divorced. It can be messy and complicated. Here are some things to consider when getting a divorce.

Time Is Going to Be a Factor

The length of time that a couple is married can really affect a divorce. Unfortunately, many same-sex couples lived together for many years before being allowed to be legally married. Some judges will count the year that you were legally married, though some will count the time that you lived together to determine the rest of the divorce proceedings.

Dividing Property

When dividing up property and assets, the state starts at the property that you owned together since 2013. Even if you lived together for ten years at that point, they will only count the property and assets that you got from that point on.

Hire a Lawyer

Don't forget to hire a lawyer.You should never go through a divorce alone. You need an experienced lawyer on your side to make sure that you are protected and can find a divorce settlement that works for you.

Meditation

Consider using mediation. Since the courts have their own way of dealing with your property and assets, many same-sex couples go through mediation. It allows you to end the marriage on better terms and divide up your assets the way that you want to.

Conclusion

Getting divorced is never easy. If you are in a same-sex marriage, it can be even harder. Legally, you could have acted married for years before you ever did get married. This can really change your divorce proceedings. For this reason, many same-sex couples try to go through mediation and settle everything outside of the court system. If you can work together to come up with a settlement, it is going to be much better for everyone.

Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will be glad to help you get through this difficult time.