Family Law Blog

Does My Spouse Have to Pay For a Child's College?

Friday, December 21, 2018

When it comes to child support, a non-primary custody parent only has the obligation to pay child support until the child reaches the age of majority, otherwise known as 18 years old. There is an exception that states they will continue to pay until the child graduates high school if that comes later as well. However, most parents care for their child, and at this age, they want them to go to college. Both parents may even want to help pay for it, even if divorced. However, if your spouse doesn't, do they still need to contribute to a college education?

In most cases, if two parents agree to pay for college during a divorce, specific language will be added to the final papers to make it legally binding. As it can be many years before a child reaches college age, this can be an important step. However, there will be certain exceptions made if the paying spouse suddenly has a change in financial circumstances.

If you and your spouse can both agree that you both want to contribute to a child's college education, it should be written down in the divorce agreement. Furthermore, the language should also be flexible to make sure one parent can still contribute even if they make less later. It is important to talk over how to do this with your divorce lawyer so that it is in the child's best interests. College can be particularly expensive, so help from your ex-spouse should be welcomed. However, it is best to also make sure it is legally binding.

If you are going through a divorce and want to make sure a spouse will actually pay when it comes time to send your children to college, contact us today. We can help craft divorce papers to make sure it is included.

Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Is a prenup the right thing for you? 


We get it.

Talking to your future spouse about creating and signing a prenuptial agreement is not romantic in the least. However, the lack of romance doesn't make the idea any less important when it comes to protecting your legal and financial rights. 

Prenuptial Agreement=Divorce Insurance

Just as you don't want to think about your loving relationship ending in divorce, you don't want to think about your life ending in a terrible accident or illness that leaves your spouse and kids without the resources necessary to carry on. That's why you buy life insurance. In that vein, a prenuptial agreement is protection against something going wrong. Like life insurance, you hope you never need it but can have peace-of-mind knowing it's there. 

What Can a Prenup Do? 

A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can: 

  • Protect your property, including property acquired during the course of your marriage
  • Prevent future court costs
  • Protect you from taking on legal responsibility for a spouse's debt
  • Provide an opportunity to resolve potential issues now before they arise

What a Prenup Can't Do

Not all family law issues can be resolved within the language of a prenuptial agreement. For example, a prenup cannot decide child custody issues or settle disputes about how to raise them. 

If a prenuptial agreement sounds like something you could benefit from, speaking to an experienced family law attorney is the next step in the process. Contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.

When Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of a Child?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

When parents cannot properly raise a child, for whatever reason, grandparents often take over the responsibility. This is often done without a court's intervention but legal custody requires a judge's order. This poses difficulties if one or both parents refuse to relinquish custody. Learn what events can convince the court to give the legal responsibility of a child to a grandparent.

You must have a compelling reason for seeking custody of a child as courts are reluctant to take children away from parents. Judges are most likely to rule in your favor when you can prove a serious issue threatens the physical, mental and/or emotional health of the child. These include cases where a parent abuses drugs or alcohol, is physically abusive or neglectful or has a serious mental illness that impairs her ability to care for the child.

A judge's obligation is to always consider what is in the best interest of the child. So, if you are a grandparent seeking custody of your grandchild, you must prove the child will fare better with you than anyone else. So, you must provide a healthy, safe environment that the child does not have with his parents (or other legal guardians). Show the court you have a stable home and can provide the child with such things as proper nutrition, a bedroom, peaceful environment, toys and an appropriate education.

A judge is more likely to give you custody in cases where you are already a prime caregiver for the child. If you can prove you regularly take care of the child in your home, then the court knows the child is familiar and comfortable with the environment you provide. In general, judges prefer to place children with family members rather than foster or adoptive homes so this is something in your favor.

You can gain custody of your grandchild in certain circumstances. If you believe the child is in danger or his welfare is in jeopardy by remaining with his parents, you can petition the court for custody. Bring evidence such as pictures, letters and digital messages and affidavits from witnesses to prove the child needs relief  from his current environment. Also, show the court proof of your ability to provide a home and the best care for your grandchild.

Contact us for more information regarding legal custody of children.

The Big Step of Emancipation

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Emancipation is when a minor is considered an adult by the court. It releases your parents from all legal authority and control over you. Though many teenagers dream of living on their own, emancipation is not for everyone. It can be hard to grow up and learn to take responsibility for yourself, especially if you have pushed your parents away by going through court.

Before you ask for emancipation, you need to make sure that you can take care of yourself financially. You will need to find a place to live, learn to take care of your own health, and make your own meals. You will need a job to support yourself. You are considered an adult and are legally responsible for any contracts that you sign. You are also financially liable for anything that happens.

Though most teenagers want their freedom, emancipation is rarely the way to go. However, there are some situations where you might have to consider it. If your parents are abusive or negligent, you may be better off. You may object to the way that your parents live and think you would do better on your own. Some teenagers become emancipated in order to get married without their parents’ blessing.

Emancipation is a big step so it is important to make sure that you take time to really think about your actions. Most of the time, your parents will get hurt throughout the process so you might end up losing their support for a long time. You need to make sure that you really think you will be better off without them before you take this step.

Though it is possible to get emancipated without going through the courts, it can be very helpful to consult with a lawyer to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your legal needs.

Obama Administration Family Law Changes Affect Child Support

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Many divorced parents who have child support obligations may have found themselves facing difficulties making their payments. As a result, they may have fallen behind on their support and ended up incarcerated as an outcome. This type of family law situation is not uncommon, and it can often lead to a vicious cycle.

When many parents are in jail, they lack the ability to effectively make their payments, which only leads to their falling further behind. In turn, after their releases, they may return home only to find themselves potentially on their way to being locked up again due to having been unable to make their support payments regularly while incarcerated.

According to recent reports, in order to address this issue, President Obama's administration has made changes to child support rules that may help parents in such a predicament. These rules would supersede state law and require that states examine the true circumstances of each case when it comes to potentially allowing for support modifications. In many cases, incarceration is considered "voluntary unemployment," and this classification makes it nearly impossible for individuals to pursue more manageable support amounts while in jail. 

By having incarceration not deemed voluntary unemployment, individuals may be able to seek a lower support payments. As a result, they may be better able to make their payments while in jail or at least have the opportunity to not fall as far behind.

These child support rule changes could affect many California parents who have found themselves facing such predicaments. Individuals who are interested in how these rules could potentially affect their circumstances or who would like more information on child support modifications in general may wish to consult with experienced Beverly Hills family law attorney

Child Custody: What Are The Best Interests Of The Child?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

One of the most heated and intense moments in your life can happen when child custody becomes the topic. For years, people have made their claims on why they should obtain custody of the children when a marriage or relationship ends. 

This is why it is so important to have the help of an experienced child custody attorney who can help protect the rights you have as a parent. You are fighting for your children, and you deserve to get the best results for the children you love so much.

Many people think that child custody cases are always ruled in favor of the mother. However, this is no longer the case. Many states across the United States will view both sides of the situation and determine the best situation for the child.

The child's best interest should always be number one. Several factors will determine where the child will live and who gets to make the important decisions in the child's life. 

If you do not understand how child custody battles work and you need someone to fight on your behalf, an experienced family law attorney will explain everything you need to know so that you can move forward with getting the results your child needs.

Some of the factors that are taken into consideration during a child custody case include the following:

  • Where the child wants to reside(if he or she is old enough to determine what he or she wants)
  • What the parents want
  • How well the child adjusts to the current environment
  • The mother/child and father/child relationship
  • The type of home life each parent can provide

This is only a small list of the things that will be considered when you are in the middle of a child custody battle. It is important to remember that the best interest of the child is what the judge will consider. 

If you need to be advised on what your chances may be in obtaining custody of your child, Contact a California child custody attorney today.

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Family Law Case

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Divorce is never easy. It takes a toll on you emotionally and physically. You end up going through a range of emotion trying to sort everything out and figure out how you are going to make it on your own. For some, they never seen the divorce coming. This causes them to be hit harder than the party who filed for divorce in the first place. To make sure you get through your family law case without getting shorted on the settlement, here are three mistakes you want to avoid.

Not showing up for court.

One of the worst things you can do is not show up for court. Regardless of whether you think it is important or not, you need to make sure you are there when the proceedings are going on. If you don't show up, the other party can simply ask for whatever they want and you won't be there to say anything about it. The judge could end up listening to the other person and you end up losing out.

Not knowing the value of an asset.

When the assets are split up between the parties, you want to make sure you get your fair share. It isn't going to do you any good to get the house if there is still a large amount owing on it while the other party walks away with vehicles, firearms, furs, jewelry and so on that they can sell for money and come out ahead of the game. Make sure you get an equal share of the property.

Not having a lawyer look everything over for you.

Never sign anything that your lawyer hasn't looked over for you. Don't sit there and assume everything is fine. You never know what might be hidden in those papers. It is crucial that you understand what you are signing and that you agree to the terms before you sign anything.

By avoiding the three mistakes above, you can get through your case with ease. While it might not take the sting out of the divorce, it can help make sure you don't lose out on more than what you should. If you are ever in doubt about what is going on or what you need to do, make sure to ask your attorney what you need to do. Contact us for additional information about how to deal with your case.

Study: More Guests at a Wedding Indicates Higher Chances of Marital Success

Monday, April 20, 2015

The higher the number of guests at your wedding, the greater are your chances of marital success. At least, those are the results of a new study that was conducted by the National Marriage Project.

According to the Project, people who have more number of guests at their wedding are much more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with their marriage, than those who have fewer guests or a smaller party at the wedding. The study was based on an analysis of more than 1,000 unmarried Americans between the age of 18 and 34. Over the course of the next five years, the researchers followed these persons, and found that 418 of the individuals in the original study had gotten married. The study’s findings were based on these couples.

The study outlined a number of other different reasons that could also affect the quality of a couple’s marriage. For instance, those persons who made decisions before embarking on a major transition in their relationship, like choosing to live together before marriage, were much more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with their relationship, compared to those who simply slid into such changes. For instance, those who intentionally made the decision were much more likely to have a successful marriage later, compared to those who simply found themselves cohabiting without much thought.

The quality and number of relationships the couple had before the marriage had an effect on the chances of a successful marriage. Previous relationship experiences, including whether a person had children before the marriage, also affected the quality of the marriage. Men and women, who had children from another person, were less likely to report high levels of satisfaction with the marriage.

Restraining Orders Take a Financial Toll on Women

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

When a woman gets a restraining order on a partner, it can result in negative financial consequences for her, including lower earnings.

Those interesting findings came from a study conducted by researchers at the University Of Pittsburgh. The researchers went through the earnings of close to 4,000 women in Pennsylvania, and found that those women who sought a restraining order against an abusive partner, lost between $312 and $1018 in earnings in the year following.

Additionally, the researchers found that the women were not able to make up these financial losses later. This could be because sometimes abusers spouse sabotage the woman's workplace and job, making it impossible for her to continue at the workplace. In other cases, they run up bills or confiscate the spouse’s paycheck. All of these could be possible reasons why women suffer a drop in financial earnings in the year after the restraining order.

These findings also prove that it's important to offer a woman more than just legal support at a time like this. Women need other types of support, including financial support during this time. Many women simply won’t walk away from an abusive marriage, unless they have some kind of financial support in place. But no one denies that taking out a restraining order against an abusive partner, could possibly save your life.

If you are currently in an abusive relationship, there are steps that you can take to help protect your safety and the safety of your children. Don't wait until the abuse becomes serious enough to threaten your life or your children's lives. Speak to a family lawyer in Los Angeles about taking out a restraining order against your abusive spouse.

Tips for Better Co-parenting with a Difficult Ex-Spouse

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When you share custody of your children, you are required to work with each other with one goal in mind-the best interests of your children. That means that you understand right at the outset that you may be required compromise your own desires to ensure that your children have a healthy childhood.

But that isn't always easy to accomplish, especially if you are required to co-parent with an ex-spouse who is belligerent. In such cases, you may have no other choice but to accept that there are some things that you simply cannot control. You can co-parent better if you focus on your own parenting abilities and on changing the things that you can within your own self. Realize there are some things about your ex-spouse’s parenting that you cannot change.

Avoid letting the negativity over your ex-spouse consume your life. Don't allow those negative thoughts to intrude your space, when you are with your children. Be present in the moment when you are with your children, and avoid complaining about the other parent in front of your children all the time.

If the other parent cannot be relied on to provide a calm, stress-free environment, make up for it. Make sure that you have a calming environment at home for your children. Don't let things fall apart in your home, because things are chaotic at the other home.

Focus on all the good that co-parenting is doing for your children. If your children are growing up to be stable, emotionally mature individuals, in spite of the fact, that they have been through a major upheaval in their lives, then you have much to be grateful for.

For help creating a visitation plan, or protecting your rights to child custody during a divorce, speak to a Los Angeles family lawyer.