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Are My Assets In Danger If My Spouse Causes a Car Accident?

In the middle of a contested divorce, you learn that your spouse has been involved in a car accident. Your spouse is fine, but the driver in the other vehicle suffered severe injuries and may not be able to work ever again. Now your spouse is being sued. The other driver wants to be compensated for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. What does this accident mean for you? Can be you liable for the damage caused by your soon-to-be ex’s car accident? Community Property Up For Grabs in Personal Injury Lawsuits During a divorce, you’ll be required to disclose and classify all of your assets. Your property will fall into one of two categories: separate … Continued

Who Gets Custody When Parents Aren’t Married?

Parents aren’t always married when they have a child. Sometimes getting pregnant is enough to motivate a couple to tie the knot. Other times, marriage is never in the cards. Discussions about custody can be more challenging when parents aren’t married. This is particularly true when an unmarried couple breaks up and decide to go their different ways. What happens when unmarried parents split up? Do both parents have the right to have custody of their child? Does one parent have more rights than the other? The answers to these questions will ultimately depend on circumstances that are unique to each situation. Fathers May Need to Establish Paternity Generally speaking, mothers and fathers share equal rights when it comes to … Continued

What’s the Difference Between a Contested Divorce and an Uncontested Divorce?

Donald Trump, Jr. was served with divorce papers in early 2018. His wife, Vanessa, had filed for an uncontested divorce in a New York City court, hoping the process would unfold smoothly. Months later, the couple’s divorce proceedings are now classified as contested. This indicates that the couple hit a few bumps in the road as they navigated their divorce. What is an uncontested divorce? What is a contested divorce? Is sone better than the other? Why would an uncontested matter suddenly be classified as contested? These are all important questions if you’re thinking about getting divorced. Our attorneys explain the differences between uncontested and contested divorces in California. Two Types of Divorce Proceedings There are two ways divorce proceedings … Continued

3 Ways the New Tax Law Could Affect Your Divorce

You may recall that a tax bill was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president in late 2017. On January 1, 2019, the provisions of that new tax law became effective. The next time you file a federal income tax return, you’ll notice that things are a bit different. If you’re in the middle of a divorce, or simply thinking about getting a divorce, you’ll need to know how these changes in the tax law may affect you. Our attorneys discuss three major changes that could change how you approach or structure your divorce. Alimony Payments No Longer Tax Deductible When spouses are married, it’s not uncommon for one to earn less than the … Continued

Three Ways to Protect Your Kids During a Divorce

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce more than two years ago. She and Brad Pitt are still trying to finalize the terms of their split. In November, the pair finally found common ground and were able to reach a child custody agreement. However, several reports indicate that the contentious divorce has strained the relationships Jolie and Pitt have with their kids. In fact, Pitt believes that he may “never be able to repair” his relationships with his two oldest sons, Maddox (17) and Pax (15). Children will always be affected when their parents decide to get a divorce. The longer it takes to hash out the terms and finalize the split, the harder it can be for any kids involved. If … Continued

Can Language Fluency Affect Your Child Custody Case?

Should the language you speak have any bearing on your right to have custody of your children? Does your native tongue affect your ability to raise, support, or otherwise take care of your family? Can the fact that you speak your child’s language fluently help to overcome other issues that may otherwise limit your custodial rights? According to a Fourth District Court of Appeals judge, the answer is generally “no.” Father Argues Language Proficiency Makes Him a Fit Parent A San Diego woman recently filed for divorce from her husband, citing a history of physical abuse. In the petition, she sought sole physical custody of the couple’s young son. During a hearing, a judge found that there was sufficient evidence … Continued

What Can I Do If I Think My Spouse is Hiding Assets During a Divorce?

When you get a divorce, you and your spouse will be required to disclose all of your assets and debts. This process helps to ensure that both spouses walk away from the marriage with an equal share of marital property. Failing to honestly and fully disclose your assets is unlawful. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some people from being less than truthful during the financial disclosure process. Do you suspect that your spouse has hidden or fraudulently concealed assets in your divorce? Your concerns may not be without cause. Spouses in a contested divorce can sometimes go out of their way to make the process more difficult than it needs to be. This is often true in high net worth situations. … Continued

Child Custody During the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other winter celebrations will be here before we know it. For many, the holidays are an occasion to relax and spend time with the ones we love most. However, this can be difficult when parents are divorced. If you are getting a divorce – or thinking about getting a divorce – it’s important to dedicate time and energy to designing a custody arrangement that works best for your family. Any child custody plan should address an issue that causes a lot of strife and distress: where children will spend the holidays. How Timeshare Custody Can Affect Your Holiday Plans Timeshare custody refers to the amount of time a child spends … Continued

Divorce Rates Down as Young People Wait Longer to Get Married

Millennials have been accused of killing many things: beer, paper towels, bars of soap, and even popular restaurant chains like Applebee’s. A new study finds that Millenials may also be responsible for the decline of something else – divorce. According to the report, the divorce rate dropped 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. That’s thanks in large part to young people staying in their marriages. Young People Are Getting Married Later in Life One reason that divorces have declined in the United States is because young people waiting until they’ve matured to get married. This is particularly true for women. In the 1950s, the average age of a bride was 20. By 1990, women were 24 when they first got … Continued

Pet Custody Looks a Bit More Like Child Custody Thanks to New CA Law

Pets are like family. When you get divorced, your pets will certainly be affected. However, unlike children, pets don’t really have any rights. This is because pets are classified as property under California state law. As a result, your pet doesn’t have any more rights than your television or bedroom set. When you get divorced, ownership of the pet is a conversation reserved for property division discussions. No weight is really given to what is best for you or your pet. Things are changing in California thanks to a new bill that was signed into law by Governor Brown last month. The law, AB 2274, allows pets to enjoy some newfound rights when their humans get divorced. While pets will … Continued

Liability for Martial Debts and Disputes After Divorce

In 2015 and 2016, singer Mary J. Blige and her then-husband rented a mansion in Beverly Hills. The landlord claims that the singer and her husband abandoned the property, left it in a state of disrepair, and failed to pay rent for at least 4 months. Attorneys for the landlord are currently seeking nearly $60,000 plus the cost of attorney fees from the now-divorced singing sensation. Liability After Divorce After 12 years of marriage, Mary J. Blige filed for divorce from her husband in 2016. Nearly two years later, the couple was able to finalize the terms of their high net-worth split. Even though the couple is now divorced, they are still facing legal issues from when they were together. … Continued

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale Disagree About Custody Two Years After Divorce

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have been divorced for more than two years. However, the parents have begun to argue over their agreed-upon child custody arrangement. Under the current custody order, the musicians’ three sons spend the majority of their time with Stefani. This was primarily due to the fact that Stefani set roots in Los Angeles while Rossdale chose to travel and tour with his band. Staying with Stefani allowed the children to enjoy a sense of stability in their lives after their parents’ divorce. Rossdale, who recently wrapped up his most recent tour, is looking to change up the custodial arrangement. He plans to spend more time in Los Angeles and wants to have more one-on-one time with … Continued

How a Mother Can Get Sole Custody of a Child in Los Angeles

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in the fall of 2016. Nearly two years later, the couple has still not finalized their divorce. Why? One of the primary reasons is that the parents cannot agree on the terms of child custody. For the past few months, Jolie and Pitt have had several public legal fights over custody. Why? Jolie reportedly wants sole physical custody of the kids. Pitt has been fighting her every step of the way. Is it possible for a mother to get full custody of her children? When would a court agree that a mother should be awarded full custody? What arguments should a mother use to support her case? It’s important to understand how … Continued

Temporary Custody Arrangements During Your Divorce

Divorce is never easy. It can be even more difficult when there are young children involved. One important aspect of a divorce is figuring out child custody arrangements. If you are separated from your spouse and living apart, you will have to figure out where the children will live during the divorce process. If you and your spouse can’t agree on temporary custody, a court has the right to step in an make the decision for you. Figuring Out Custody During Your Divorce When you get a divorce, you and your spouse will have to agree on certain terms. These can include property division and spousal support. As a parent getting divorced, you have the responsibility of figuring out a … Continued

What is Palimony?

Many states across the country recognize common law marriage. When you live with someone long enough, you gain the rights of legally-married couples. When married couples get divorced, they are entitled to certain property rights. California is not one of those states. In order to enjoy the benefits of marriage, you must actually get married. However, there is one benefit that the state may extend to long-term partners. If you and your partner are together for long enough, you may be entitled to financial support after a breakup. Palimony in California This financial support is known as palimony and dates back to the 1970s. In 1976, actor Lee Marvin and Michelle Triola decided that their relationship was no longer working. … Continued

Do I Have to Sell the Family Home in a Divorce?

One of the biggest hurdles in finalizing a divorce is figuring out how to divide marital property. California is a community property state and requires that each spouse walk away from the marriage with an equal share of property and debts. Figuring out who gets what can be difficult. This is particularly true when couples share certain large assets. The family home is often at the center of debate and argument. Since couples have to receive an equal share of marital assets (and debts), it can be tricky to figure out what to do with the family home. If you are thinking about getting a divorce it is important to be prepared to discuss the future of your house. You … Continued

What is Timeshare Custody?

Child custody and child support are two separate and distinct ideas. However, child support calculations are often dependent on custody arrangements. While custody is not the only factor that will impact child support calculations, it is one of the most important things to consider. Generally speaking, the parent who spends less physical time with their child will be responsible for paying child support. The less time that parent spends with the child, the higher that child support obligation will be. The amount of time a parent has custody of his or her child is known as “timeshare” or “custody percentage.” Why is Timeshare Important? It’s important to accurately calculate each parent’s custodial timeshare. Why? Timeshare is an important factor in … Continued

What is Imputed Income in California Child Support Orders?

Parents in the throws of a heated divorce can often lose sight of the things that matter. Child support, for example, can be incredibly important to a child’s development, health, and well-being. Unfortunately, some parents tend to resist or dodge child support obligations, forgetting that these payments are for the benefit of their children. One way that a parent may try to dodge or reduce child support obligations is by changing an important factor in the calculation of child support requirements: income. Child support is determined, in part, based on each parent’s income, earnings, and assets. While timeshare custody is also important, income tends to be the most influential factor in child support determinations. Some parents have found that reducing … Continued

What is an Annulment?

You may have heard of an annulment, but do you know what it is? In California, it’s one way that couples can end their marriage. However, unlike divorce, not everyone will qualify for an annulment. The process is reserved for marriages that are inherently void and/or unlawful. Annulment in California When a marriage is annulled, it is as if the union never happened at all. As a result, the formerly-married couples are no longer bound by the laws of marriage or eligible to benefit from the union. This means that former spouses will no longer be prohibited from marrying other people, but they will also lose protections offered to married couples (e.g., tax benefits, property classifications). Grounds for Annulment A … Continued

How Can I Change My First or Last Name in California?

While we are all given a name at birth, that name does not always stay with us for life. Whether you’re getting married, ending a marriage, or trying to protect your family from harm, there are always legitimate reasons to change your name. How can you legally change your name if you live in Los Angeles? The answer will depend on why you want to make the change. Los Angeles divorce lawyer Hossein Berenji explains how to go about this process. Call today if you need more information. Changing Your Last Name For Marriage Getting married is an exciting time in your life. You are getting ready to merge two lives into one and begin a journey with the person … Continued