For many Americans, starting a family is a big goal and accomplishment. A family can bring lots of joy and happiness when everything is going well especially if the family is working together to reach a common goal. However, families do not always stick together and more often than not we find that families are torn apart when parents are in an abusive relationship or fail to live up to their parental obligations. The family law addresses many of the issues that arise in a family household. A family lawyer may be able to help you address issues that arise after a divorce such as child support, child custody, alimony, and the division of property, assets, and debts. In addition, a family lawyer can help individuals that experience domestic violence, that want to adopt, or who want to establish guardianship over a child.
The family law aims to establish regulations that guide who will pay alimony, who will keep the children, and who will have to pay child support or alimony. These issues can be handled in court, but you should work out these problems before entering a courtroom. When individuals are not able to work together they will have to enter a court proceeding. If you are entering a family law courtroom you should contact a family law lawyer for representation and guidance. An attorney can assist with the several aspects of family law including:
- Father Rights
- Minor Emancipation
- Child Abuse
- Foster Care
- Parental Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Domestic Partnerships
- Child Custody
- Child Support
There are a variety of issues that arise in a family household that can be addressed by a family law lawyer. If you find yourself dealing with one of the issues mentioned above, and you are in the Del Mar, CA area, you should speak with a local attorney. Family laws are different in every state so it is crucial to work with a local law professional. To speak with an attorney about any family related issue, you can contact a Del Mar Family Law Attorney at 619-610-7425. When relationships become sour we are here to help.
When individuals enter a domestic relationship or a marriage, the last thing they want to think about is separation or divorce. After a divorce, if you are in a community property state, you will have to split all of your assets and estates with your spouse. Couples that want to get married, but that do not want to split their assets after a divorce, are advised to speak with a lawyer about prenuptial agreements. If you are located in the Del Mar, CA area, you will have to split your community property after a divorce. California is one of the nine 50/50 states which means that after a divorce, the couple will have to split all properties and debts in a 50/50 manner. A marriage is a beautiful affair that sometimes does not end how we all hope. If you are an individual with assets such as a home, car, or another estate, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement before you get married.
A prenuptial agreement is one of the very few reasons you will want to discuss your case with an attorney before you get married. A prenuptial agreement establishes what will be kept under your name after a divorce and what will be considered community property. A prenuptial agreement can be very useful if you have certain assets that you do not want to split after a divorce. Individuals that engage with a prenuptial agreement are usually high earning individuals that want to protect their family business, retirement funds, and other assets. Prenuptial agreements that include provisions on the child or spousal support may not be honored later in court so make sure that you discuss your case with an attorney about the matters that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement should always be considered before a marriage or domestic partnership especially if you have assets that you want to protect in the event of a divorce or separation.
If you missed your chance to establish a prenuptial agreement, you have another shot at keeping your property through a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement (a.k.a a post marital agreement) is a legal document that works very much in the same manner as a prenuptial agreement. Married individuals that engage with a postnuptial agreement may choose to divide their property and assets in the event of a divorce or legal separation. As mentioned above, if you reside in one of the nine community property states (California, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin), you will have to split your properties and debts in a 50/50 manner. To avoid future asset and debt division problems that often come to light during a divorce, you should speak with a family law lawyer about a postnuptial agreement.
Like with prenuptial agreements, you will want to work with an attorney to establish a lawful agreement. Certain things cannot be included in the agreement such as child support, child custody, anything illegal, and matters pertaining to alimony. If you fail to understand the legal matters that cannot be addressed in a post or prenuptial agreement, you may find that your postnuptial agreement is set aside. A postnuptial agreement must be lawful so make sure that it is reviewed by a law professional. In addition, in a post or prenuptial agreement, both parties will want to have their attorneys by their side. Attorneys can serve as witnesses during the signing and can help enforce the agreement later in court.
If you are a couple that is considering a marital agreement and you cannot decide on a prenuptial agreement or a post-marital agreement, you are advised to discuss your intentions with an attorney before signing legally binding documents. Individuals are especially advised to work with a family law expert whenever there is a disagreement about property and debt. The best thing about a prenuptial agreement is that if you do not agree with your spouse on an issue, you may choose to postpone the marriage until both parties come to common terms. On the other hand, if you are already married, both individuals must agree to the marital agreement. Postnuptial agreements are sometimes more difficult to establish when a married couple is unable to come to an agreement.
Divorce is more common than you may think. According to the American Psychological Association, between forty to fifty percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. The rates that individuals filed for divorce increased drastically after the introduction of the ‘no-fault’ divorce which was enacted in all fifty states after August 2010. However, California in 1970 was the first state to pass no-fault divorce laws and since then, other states hopped on board. A no-fault divorce facilitated the divorce procedure allowing more individuals to divorce without having to prove fault. In a no-fault divorce, a couple may choose to simply end their marriage or domestic partnership if they do not get along. Before 1970, if you wanted to get a divorce honored in the United States, you would have to prove that your spouse was at fault for the divorce. In no-fault divorce either spouse has the ability to end the marriage or partnership and there is nothing that can be done to prevent the marriage. The benefits of a no-fault divorce are that it is usually cheaper than a fault-based divorce and it does not require the couple to enter a courtroom to establish fault.
On the contrary, a fault-based divorce is right for individuals that have been abused or have experienced some form of cruelty such as emotional or physical pain. Individuals that have experienced an abusive relationship may want to proceed with a fault-based divorce which may allow them to claim more property and/or more alimony. In a fault-based divorce, either spouse will need to prove that the other was at fault for the divorce. A spouse may prove that the other was at fault (ex. if they have been in prison for a long period of time, if the other committed adultery, if the other inflicted emotional or physical pain, or if the other is unable to engage in sexual intercourse). If you are the spouse that is being blamed for the divorce, you have a couple of ways to defend yourself against a fault-based divorce. If you are found to be at fault for your divorce you may have to pay more in alimony and you may lose more of your property after the divorce. In many cases, you may want to speak with a family law lawyer who is capable of challenging a fault-based divorce.
One of the biggest issues handled in family courts includes child support and child custody. After a divorce, couples will need to discuss how much the non-custodial parent will pay in child support. In addition, the parents will need to come to an agreement about who gets to keep the children. Child support is an obligation that can result in a misdemeanor or felony when the non-custodial parent fails to keep up with payments. For instance, under the U.S Federal Law on Child Support Enforcement, a parent can face a misdemeanor if he or she fails to pay child support for more than a year or if he or she owes more than five thousand dollars in child support. Furthermore, a parent may face felony charges if he or she fails to pay child support for more than two years or owes more than ten thousand dollars in child support. In most cases, you will need to consult with a local attorney if you are past due on child support. Very rarely does the federal court engage with domestic family law issues.
When calculating how much needs to be paid in child support, the family court will need to have a clear understanding of the child's financial needs including insurance, medical care, education, or other special needs. In addition, the court will also base the child support obligations on the non-custodial parents earning potentials. The court will consider the living conditions of the child before the divorce and more often than not, the non-custodial parent may have to satisfy the same standard of living after a divorce. Furthermore, the family court will also consider any mandatory expenses such as other existing child support obligations or tax obligations. Individuals that are obligated to pay child support may want to have their case analyzed by an attorney. Non-custodial parents that have mandatory expenses may be able to reduce the amount they owe in child support. To learn more about child support and ways that you may modify your payment obligations, you are advised to speak with a local family law lawyer.
Child custody is best handled before entering a courtroom. If you and your spouse are on talking terms, you are advised to sit down and talk about the logistics of the child custody. You and your ex-spouse may come into an agreement on who will live with the children for the greater portion of time, the number of times that a parent can visit a child through the week, and the amount of time that a parent can keep the children. In most amicable cases, both parents may choose to have accesses to children whenever they want. However, if you and your spouse cannot get along, or either parent believes that they should have more custody than the other, you may want to work with an attorney to establish a child custody agreement. Individuals that cannot work together on a child custody agreement will want to exhaust all other possible methods before entering a courtroom. A family law courtroom will take into consideration all of the factors in the divorce to determine the child's best interest. In a courtroom, the judge will give custody to the parent that usually cooks the meals, baths, and grooms the child, takes the child to school, and spends the most time with the child. The court needs to establish the best interest of the child which can be a complicated task when both parents are presenting information against the other. In most cases, you should to work through mediation or other dispute resolution alternatives.
If you cannot work out a custody agreement with your ex-spouse you may want to work with an attorney who can help mediate the dispute. Furthermore, you may want work with an attorney if you find that your spouse is not sticking to the custodial agreements. A spouse that keeps the children more than they are allowed to or who is constantly visiting when they know they should not, are breaking legal agreements and there are certain steps you can take to address the matter. Child custody can become a complicated affair when a spouse fails to stick to the agreement or fails to work with the other to establish a child custody agreement. Individuals in the Del Mar area are advised to discuss their situation with a local family law lawyer.
Spousal support otherwise known as alimony is a monthly monetary obligation from one spouse to another. After a divorce, the providing spouse will usually have to provide financial assistance to the non-earning spouse for a certain number of years. In order to claim alimony, the couple must have been married for a number of years. In addition, the amount and the duration will depend on the non-earning spouses ability to get back on their feet after a divorce. For instance, a non-earning spouse who does not have an education or work experience may receive alimony for a longer period of time than those that have the ability to provide for themselves. Overall, the court will take into account the age of the person claiming alimony, the standard of living before the divorce, the duration of the marriage, and the ability of the other spouse to get a job or other forms of income. To learn more about alimony laws in your state, you may want to reach out to a family law expert.
The family law addresses so much more than the issues mentioned above which is why you may want to consult with a family law professional about the specifics of your situation Families that are able to resolve their issues without the help of an attorney are encouraged to do so before entering a courtroom. However, everyone experiences a different type of family problem and it is not always possible to deal with the issue on our own. If you are experiencing a family problem and you want to discuss the issue with an attorney, you can contact our San Diego Family Law Attorney at 619-610-7425. We are ready to help mediate your issue before entering a courtroom. However, if you must enter a courtroom we are ready to provide legal representation and guidance.