I’ve presented these articles which I have written because I feel they offer good information for my clients. Reading them at your leisure will help you better understand your situation. If you have any questions regarding what you’ve read here, especially how it may relate to your own family law issue, please feel free to contact my office. We will be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss all your questions.
A self-employed party to a family law matter can present a unique set of challenges for a family law attorney when it comes to determining income available for support, as well as other financial issues. Regardless of the particular profession that the self-employed individual may have — gardener, mechanic, lawyer or movie producer — if that person is not keeping accurate records of their income and cash flow, seemingly simple family law issues may become increasingly more complex and expensive, too.
One of the most common questions family law attorneys get from their clients is “How long is this going to take?” Or, “When will this end?” While family law attorneys may not be able to provide a definitive date, or estimate, as to when the case may be over, by assessing various factors in the case, we can provide our clients a better understanding of how long, or short, their case may last.
Many people say a prenuptial agreement is an “anti-love” document; it’s “not romantic.” This may be true. Just Google the words “romantic” and “love” and you will find out that neither of these words alone defines a healthy, good or successful marriage. Now Google what makes a healthy, happy and successful marriage. You will find that while spouses may act romantic toward each other and love each other (which are admittedly important factors), these states of being are not enough to make a healthy marriage. There is much more involved, including building togetherness ̶ a partnership. This requires communication.
You are in shock. You finished dinner, put the kids to bed and just as you are falling asleep, your spouse comes to the bedroom and says, “I am not happy; I want a divorce.” You spend hours talking about this pronouncement– trying to figure out what went wrong and if your marriage can be fixed – only to realize, it’s over. Now what? Here are three things to do now (besides seeking legal advice immediately):
There are many questions that one should ask a divorce lawyer, but a business owner (or his or her spouse) has an issue that is not present in every divorce: the business itself. While both spouses have a financial interest in the business, it is not uncommon for one spouse to operate the business. It is the operating spouse who is earning his or her living from the business; who has invested his or her heart and soul into the business; and worries (likely on a daily basis) about the success or failure of the business – the feeling that it is all on his or her shoulders.
Those involved in the divorce process often painstakingly comb through financial documents to map out the source of funds used to purchase property in an effort to develop and prepare the necessary evidence to characterize property as either community or separate property. Thus, the focus tends to be on property that has been acquired during the marriage; i.e. property that has been brought into the marriage. But, what about community property that has been gifted or disposed of, during the marriage, i.e. community property that’s been given away during the marriage?
An often heard plea from my clients is, “But I am offering a reasonable settlement that is not being accepted; and now we have to prepare for trial?” My response is, “Yes, because we are on that tightrope where if settlement of each and every detail is not agreed upon, we fall off the tightrope and fall through space with quicker and quicker speed toward trial. We need to be prepared.”
You’re in your late 20s or early 30s, and you’re hit with a milestone you never wanted to achieve: you’re getting divorced. Whether you made a mistake in marrying your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or realized marriage is just not a right fit for you, you are now embarking on a slight detour in the road you once thought led to “happily ever after.”
A young, soon-to-be divorcée may encounter some of the following experiences during their divorce:
“My Social Security retirement is mine; but your pension is ours.” Essentially, what’s mine is mine; what’s yours is ours. This is true when it comes to Social Security retirement and a private pension plan upon divorce.
Federal Versus State
It is a common understanding, as well as a legal presumption in family law, that all property, real or personal, acquired during the marriage is community property and subject to an equal division during a divorce. While the definition of community property encompasses all property acquired during the marriage, one particular piece of property is excluded: Social Security benefits. This is because federal law mandates that Social Security benefits earned during the marriage are, and remain, the separate property of the spouse who earned them while employed.
When you’re in the midst of a divorce, the New Year becomes an even greater symbol of a new beginning and of starting over. Perhaps, the New Year’s Eve song “Auld Lang Syne” means even more to you now during your divorce when you sing the lyrics, “should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”
Though you can’t totally forget your ex-spouse during a divorce, you can resolve to become a stronger advocate for yourself, as you partner with your divorce attorney to bring both your marriage, and the accompanying litigation, to an end. The following are five New Year’s Resolutions that anyone soon-to-be divorced should follow to make the New Year, and the divorce, a more streamlined and, hopefully, an easier process:
Marlo says...“A great way to help alleviate your concerns is to learn more about the process. Reviewing this information could also help you develop questions you hadn’t thought of before.”