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Riverside California Family Law And Criminal Defense Blog

The benefits of a prenuptial agreement

When California couples plan for marriage, they may not want to think about divorce at the same time. This is why many avoiding mentioning prenuptial agreements. However, prenups aren't just a method of divorce planning; they are a way to come to agreements about key principles of the practical and legal relationships that accompany marriage. In addition, prenups can be useful for many people of modest or average means to determine the items that are most valuable to them.

It's important to understand that prenups can address various types of assets. For example, a business' value may be considered a marital asset. Therefore, couples may want to come to a specific agreement about how a family business will be handled in case of a divorce. This doesn't mean that the spouse who is not a partner will be cut out entirely. A prenuptial agreement could provide other types of property in case of a split. Because of the risks posed to future business potential, investors may require that co-founders secure a prenup addressing the business before sinking their cash into a startup.

Dealing with divorce's financial consequences

When people in California decide to divorce, they may be particularly concerned about the long-term financial effects of ending their marriages. Even after the emotional and practical issues have been sorted out successfully, the financial aftereffects of divorce can linger for years later. By keeping some tips and strategies in mind, people can help to minimize the associated risk and keep their financial goals in place.

For many, the immediate period after a divorce can be a tempting time to spend. People can look to make themselves feel better or redefine their single identities with a new car, vacations or even new purses, clothes or technology. However, when people are adjusting to life as a single-income household, it can be an important time to be frugal. Small luxuries are likely fine if people can afford them, but this is likely not the best time to invest in a new car or home purchase.

How unmarried fathers can get visitation rights

Biological fathers in California have a legal right to access to their children, but they might need to take some steps to establish that right. First, it may be necessary to establish paternity. While this may simply involve signing an acknowledgement of paternity, in disputed cases, it could involve DNA testing.

Parents will need to negotiate a parenting agreement that spells out when the child will spend time with each of them. This can be done before the legal process is underway. If parents cannot reach an agreement, they may need to go to court and have a judge decide. Even if parents do not have to go to court to make the agreement, the advantage of submitting it to court for approval is that it becomes legally binding. This means that the agreement can be enforced if either parent violates it.

Divorce rates could be influenced by premarital cohabitation

Couples in California who decide to live together before they marry may also be more likely to divorce, according to one study. Researchers found that people who live together before marriage are more likely to face some types of challenges, including those that lead to the end of their marriage. In the first year of marriage, cohabitation is linked with a lower likelihood of divorce. However, researchers found that the risk of divorce rises with each other year. The study analyzed a sample of women aged 44 or younger who were married for the first time between 1970 and 2015 across the country.

Some scholars have said that this effect has declined in later years because living together before marriage has become increasingly common. Others have noted that cultures and societies that frown on divorce are also those that are disapproving of living together before marriage. In other words, the study may not point to happier couples who did not cohabitate but simply to couples with strong beliefs that hinder their willingness to divorce. In surveys of American adults, a majority believe that it is a good idea to live together before marrying.

Why divorce rates could be higher among wealthier couples

The Federal Reserve Board reports that couples who have a wide discrepancy in credit scores are more apt to get a divorce than those whose credit scores are more similar. Furthermore, individuals with higher credit scores are likelier to remain in committed relationships than those with lower ones. However, higher-income California couples might be more likely to divorce than those with lower incomes.

Some couples may have a lot of expenses to go along with their high income and might have little money saved up. Often in high-income couples, one person earns a significant majority of the income, and this disparity can create friction. The marriage could also be strained if the person who is earning the bulk of the income is away working long hours and traveling for work. There could be stresses in wealthy two-income couples as well. Often, couples still fall into traditional gender roles in which the husband handles all the finances, and this could create a strain.

Tips for mothers in contentious shared custody arrangements

Sharing custody with a former spouse after the dissolution of a marriage can be daunting and worrisome for many mothers. You want the best for your children, but that may mean dealing with an ex who is less than cooperative. As you navigate this new territory in your family’s dynamics, consider some strategies to manage this co-parenting relationship.

Every family is unique in how they handle a shared custody arrangement, so you have some flexibility as leeway as you plan for the new element of partnership with a former spouse. For exes who struggle to maintain open dialogue and civility, there are tips and tools available to mitigate these challenges.

Tax changes may be costly for divorced people

The 2017 passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act means that for people in California, how children are claimed on taxes will change as will alimony. Some experts believe that these changes will result in higher costs for couples who divorce.

Dependent and personal exemptions have been eliminated. Divorced parents once had the option of taking turns claiming children as exemptions, but under the new law, the parent who has the child in the home more than 50 percent of the time will be able to claim a substantial head of household exemption. That parent must also be single and pay more than half of all household expenses. In addition, the parent who gets the HOH exemption can claim the child tax credit. This may be tradeable, but the IRS has yet to issue a regulation. Parents can write a divorce agreement that says the credit could be tradeable based on regulations.

New California law changing how pets are treated in divorce

Most pet owners view their pets as far more than property. A beloved pet can be seen as a major part of the family. However, property is what the law has historically treated pets as here in California when it comes to divorces. Because of this, in divorces, courts in the state generally have been limited to the processes and considerations related to dividing property when deciding what to do with pets in a divorce.

However, a new law is changing this, acknowledging that pets raise issues in divorces beyond those typically raised by traditional property.

Mistakes you can make dealing with a CPS investigator

Having a Child Protective Services investigator knock on your door and ask to talk to you is one of the worst nightmares any California parent could face. It is a sign that you could be facing an ugly divorce and a potential conviction for child abuse. The state defines child abuse through intentional physical injuries, willful cruelty, sexual exploitation or parental neglect.

With so much at stake, it can be very easy for a parent to slip up and turn the eventual court case against them. To minimize or avoid criminal charges altogether, it is important to know common missteps that the accused often make in these scenarios to worsen their situations.

Child Protective Services: The process and investigation

Though you do your best as a parent, another adult feels as though you have violated law and put your children in danger. The concerned individual contacted Child Protective Services (CPS), and a case was opened to investigate your household. You worry greatly that you will lose contact with your children due to a misunderstanding.

CPS works to protect children from harmful environments across the United States. Though the CPS process seems daunting, investigators hope to determine whether your children’s living situation proves safe, secure and healthy. If CPS have taken your children after an investigation, it is essential that you contact an attorney committed to helping you earn back your custodial rights to your children.

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Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
6877 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951-335-0510
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