Family Law Blog

Divorce or Legal Separation? What's Best For You?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Going through a divorce or separation is tough for all parties involved. There are times, however, where legal separation is more beneficial for both people. Do you know which is best for your circumstances?

In this post, we'll cover some basic questions and answers about which route is best for you: divorce or legal separation.

First, do you know what the grounds are for divorce? According to The State of California, there are two reasons for dissolution:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Incurable insanity

In both cases, your spouse must have lived in California for six months and in your county for at least three months prior to filing. On the other hand, legal separation has no residency requirement.

Second, it is possible to apply for a legal separation or annulment instead of a divorce. For additional information on the particulars of your case, click here to read more about both.

Third, to file for divorce, you must gather the proper paperwork. Do this by purchasing dissolution paperwork from the county clerk, or by clicking here and reading more from the California Courts homepage.

Then, once you have all of the necessary paperwork, your attorney will prepare a Petition and a Summons.

Last, remember that California is a "no fault" divorce state. A no fault divorce state means that:

[T]he spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong.

No matter what decision you choose, remember that you should never go through a divorce or legal separation without a family divorce attorney.

We can help you through your tough times. Please contact us today for more information.

Jamra & Jamra are Beverly Hills family law attorneys focused exclusively on family law. Our law firm also firmly believes that legal representation should be customized for each case.

The Steps Involving Filing a California Domestic Partnership Disillusion

Friday, February 05, 2016

Though incredibly similar to divorce according to the California Family Code Section 297-297.5, domestic partnership dissolution comes with a host of variations and differences unique to each case.

From the California Family Code Section 297-297.5:

[D]omestic partnership couples are afforded, "the same rights, protections, benefits, responsibilities, obligations, and duties," as marriages.

Further, California Registered Domestic Partnerships are only recognized in California and aren't even acknowledged by the federal government. Because of the law, California Registered Domestic Partnership disillusions carry the same weight as a divorce. Thus, a Superior Court must be involved when a seperation is pending.

The steps involved in filing a California Registered Domestic Partnership are as follows:

  • File with a Superior Court to start the case.
  • Complete a full disclosure form, which details each partner's assets and debts.
  • Resolve any partner's support issues.
  • Resolve any property division issues.
  • Resolve child custody and any child support issues.
  • Honor these aforementioned resolutions in a Domestic Partnership Dissolution Settlement Agreement, which has been filed with the court.

The steps for filing follow most procedural court processes. However, what comes after can sometimes be a messy and confusing venture wrought with disagreements and arguments.

Aspects related to rightful inclusion, healthcare, parental legal recognition of children, intestate succession, wills and trusts, and community property rights are just a few of the hurdles that those must face when dealing with a California Registered Domestic Partnership disillusion.

We highly recommend working with an experienced attorney when dealing with your California Registered Domestic Partnership disillusion. The costs related to your disillusion might seem high, but if you skip out on hiring an attorney, they will likely get even higher.

For additional information on California Domestic Partnership disillusion, including particular details involving your case, click here.

If you require legal counsel, or you need advice on what steps to take towards filing your disillusion paperwork, please contact us today for a consultation.

From wherever you are in Los Angeles, call our Beverly Hills family law attorneys at 310-278-9001 for a free and confidential consultation with family law attorneys who understand the importance of listening closely to their clients.

The Answers to These Two Questions can Predict Divorce Risks

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In an interesting study, researchers at the University Of Virginia focused on how couples answer two different questions about their happiness after divorce. The first question asked each individual person how happy they believed they would be if they were to separate or divorce, while in the next question they were asked how happy they believed that their partner would be in the event of a separation or divorce.

How the individuals answered these questions and the differences in the perception of each other’s happiness, proved to be significant predictors of their divorce risks.

The individuals were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 their potential happiness after divorce, as well as their partner's potential happiness after divorce. The researchers found that over six years, 7% of the couples ended up getting divorced. Couples, in which both the spouses admitted that they would be worse off if they were divorced or separated, had a lower divorce rate than the study's average. The divorce rate in the study was 4.8%. Couples who admitted that they would be happier if they got divorced were much more likely to end up getting divorced over the course of the study.

However, when it came to the questions about their partners’ happiness, the results got more interesting. Couples, who incorrectly perceived that their partner would be less happy in the event of a divorce were found to be actually more likely to get divorced. The spouses who had extremely incorrect perceptions about their partner’s reaction to the divorce ended up having a much higher divorce risk. The divorce rate for such couples was approximately 12%, much higher than the average for the study.

That seems to conclude that incorrect perceptions of your partner’s happiness in your marriage are a fairly reliable indicator of your divorce risk.

Speak to a Los Angeles divorce lawyer about securing your rights and interests during a divorce.

What Is a Co-Parenting Agreement?

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Parents, who have decided to get divorced or separated, and have decided to live in two separate homes can sign a co-parenting agreement that allows effective co-parenting.

A co-parenting agreement, as the name suggests, spells out clearly all the roles, obligations and responsibilities of each parent in the agreement. What does a co-parenting agreement contain? You may decide have a co-parenting agreement in which you agree to share all information about the child with each other. That includes medical information, the child's extracurricular activities, and information other child's school activities.

You will share with your other child's other parent, information about the child's vaccination records, and emergency medical procedures. In a co-parenting agreement, it's very important that parents work closely together to make sure that the child attends all of the extracurricular activities that he is signed up for without any problem. Each parent must have access to information about the activities the child participates in, the venue, people conducting the activity and so on. All school-related information should equally be shared between the parents. That data includes school progress cards, homework, extracurricular activities, school cultural events and programs, and parent-teacher conferences. As part of a co-parenting agreement, you will also agree to mutually make major decisions about the child jointly.

You may think that all of this is a given, and that you don't need an agreement to spell it out. However, you would be surprised at how quickly matters can sour when two parents are living apart, but taking care of their children together. You may encounter misunderstandings, especially when the two of you begin dating other people, and other potential step-parents, begin to enter the picture. It's best to have everything clearly defined in a co-parenting agreement that you have both signed.

Divorce Risk Is Higher When Wife Gets Sick

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Many married couples probably do not take those vows to stick with your spouse in sickness and in health very seriously. Severe illness can put a strain on any marriage. However, when that illness involves the wife, the strain is much greater, increasing the risk of divorce.

According to a study that was conducted by researchers at the University Of Michigan, the risk of separation is much higher when it is the wife who falls sick during the marriage. The study was based on an analysis of 2700 couples. The researchers found that 31% of the marriages, in which one person fell sick, ended in divorce. However, the risk of divorce was much higher in those cases in which the wife, and not the husband, fell sick. The threat of divorce when the wife falls sick can be even higher, when the marriage involves senior couples.

The researchers analyzed couples in which one of the partners was at least 50 years of age, and analyzed for the presence of a number of diseases, including cancer, lung disease, heart disease and stroke.

They found that that 31% of the marriages ended in divorce, when one person was sick. Husbands were much more likely than wives to fall sick, and divorce was much more likely when the wife fell sick.

However, in all these cases, it may not be an unfeeling or callous husband who may be to blame. Very often, it is the woman who initiates proceedings for divorce. It is quite likely that women often feel like that they are not getting adequate support from their husbands, and therefore, rely on their family and friends for support during their illness. It’s also possible that men are simply not that comfortable in a caretaking role.

Are You Twitting Your Way to Divorce?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Persons who can't resist twitting their opinions regularly could be jeopardizing their marital relationship. A new study at the University of Missouri specifically focused on the risks to relationships from overuse of Twitter, and found that there was an association between relationship strain and Twitter use.

The association between Facebook and divorce has been investigated quite extensively. In fact, divorce lawyers have found an association between higher use of Facebook, and strain on a marriage, even ultimately leading to a divorce. In many cases, the result of such social media overuse is cheating on a spouse. In other cases, the relationship is strained because of the amount of time that one spouse may spend on the site.

Similar concerns also seem to exist in the case of Twitter. The results of the study published recently in the Journal Cyber Psychology, Behavioral and Social Networking found that excessive Twitter use leads to conflict between partners which can actually strain the relationship. There are a number of negative outcomes that were pointed out to in the study, including infidelity, breaking up, separation and divorce.

The researchers focused on 581 users of Twitter, who were questioned about their Twitter use, their relationship status, and the existence of any conflicts related to their use of the social networking site. All of the respondents were between the age of 18 and 67. The researchers found that subjects who admitted to being much more active on the site were much more likely to report relationship conflict, which ultimately often resulted in a bad outcome for the relationship. Persons admitted to cheating or fighting frequently with their partners over Twitter use.

As with any social networking site, Twitter use needs to be minimized especially since the platform works on bite- sized 140-character messages that can be exchanged between parties, increasing the risk of excessive use of the site.

Domestic Violence Rates Higher in Police Families

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The rates of domestic violence, murder and suicide are higher among the families of those people who are entrusted with the responsibility of preventing such crimes in the general population. According to an analysis of data by researchers at the University of Utah, the rates of these offences, including domestic violence, were much higher among police families.

According to the researchers, over the past decade, they have been researching murder-suicide trends, and in the course of their research, they have analyzed as many as 730 murder-suicides across the country. In their analysis, the researchers found evidence of something called” suicide contagion,” in which a person who is considering suicide, believes that his family will be devastated by his suicide, and therefore, goes ahead and murders his other family members.

Many of these cases, according to the researchers, have family issues, like entangled or disturbed relationships, at the core of the issue. Usually, there is a spousal estrangement, divorce, separation or evidence or some other family law-related matter that is to be found at the root of such incidents. The researchers say that the number of incidents that their data analysis has thrown up does not even constitute the tip of the iceberg, and that there is much more data to be analyzed from around the country. They plan to continue their studies into such domestic violence and homicide risks in the police force across the country.

The researchers also believe that domestic violence rates are higher in police families, because officers very often do not know who to ask for help with a family-related problem, or believe that asking for help could be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. Society very often expects police officers to be robotic, in control of their emotions all the time and always on duty. People seem to forget that officers are human beings, and could be going through family issues at home that could affect their psychological state of mind.

Increase in Divorce Filings in January

Friday, November 22, 2013

Over the holiday season, while many people will be enjoying time with families, there will be quite a few people who will be forcing themselves through one more holiday with their spouse. Unfortunately, the fact is that many people, who are planning to separate from their spouses, have already made up their mind, but do not want to make the announcement just before the holiday season for the sake of the children. However, come January, none of those concerns matter anymore, leading to an increase in divorce filings.

Any Los Angeles divorce lawyer will tell you that the month of January is a hectic and busy one. Divorce filings increase after January 1, as persons who have been waiting for the holiday season to file the papers finally make a decision, and make the move.

There are several reasons why people don't file for divorce during the holidays. Usually, plans for divorce are postponed till after the holidays, and very often, it has to do with the children. No one wants to ruin the holidays for the children by announcing a separation.

Other times, it is financial concerns that can put off divorce plans. During the end of the year, many employees are eligible for holiday bonuses, or year-end bonuses, and these can make the financial pangs of a divorce much easier to bear. Separation can become financially stressful, as you have to move out and start bearing all household expenses on your own. In other cases, people simply wait to see whether the marriage has a chance of working out over the holidays. It’s natural to want to wait for a little bit of the holiday magic to be sprinkled over your relationship.

In many cases, waiting out the holiday season is just a formality, and people typically do end up filing for divorce as soon as the new year rolls around.