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What is Legal Separation and How Can It Benefit You?

Did you know that January is the most popular month for spouses to legally separate and/or file for divorce? Many experts believe that the month is so popular because it marks a new beginning. New year resolutions are incredibly popular, and spouses who are unhappy in their marriages may decide to take their lives in a new direction in a new year. Legal separation is, many times, the first step that spouses take when they decide to get a divorce. What is Legal Separation? Simply put, legal separation allows married spouses to live apart and lead separate lives. In order to become legally separated, couples file a petition with a court in a process nearly identical to filing for a … Continued

Four Signs of Divorce

How can you know if your marriage is at risk? What signs tend to indicate that a marriage is in trouble? As experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys, we have helped thousands of clients through an incredibly difficult time in their lives. Our years of experience have allowed us to witness the inner workings of failing marriages and the signs that tend to indicate a divorce may be on the horizon. If you think that your marriage is in trouble it is important to be aware of the top four signs of divorce. Fighting More Than Usual When you first got married you may have enjoyed a honeymoon period where everything was wonderful. You may not have agreed on every decision, … Continued

Understanding the Differences Between Legal & Physical Custody

Funnyman Bill Hader, best known for his time on Saturday Night Live, recently filed for divorce from his wife after 11 years of marriage. Hader and his wife have two children together who will be affected by the split. In order to finalize the divorce, Hader and his wife will have to agree on a custody arrangement for their children. In California, there are actually two distinct types of child custody: legal and physical. Each type of custody refers to a different set of rights a parent will have in regard to their children. According to early reports, it appears as though Hader has requested joint physical and legal custody of the kids. Legal Custody What is legal custody? Legal … Continued

Requesting Psychological Testing in a Los Angeles Child Custody Matter

Do you think that your child’s other parent is emotionally or psychologically unfit to care for your child?  Are you afraid that your child is at risk of harm because of a parent’s mental health condition? Whether you are in the middle of getting a divorce, have never been married, or have been separated for years, you have the right to make sure that your child is safe. In California, you have the right to request psychological testing in your child custody hearing. Considering the Best Interests of a Child Courts are required to determine a child custody arrangement that serves the best interests of the child. In most cases, this will mean awarding joint physical custody and keeping children … Continued

Spouses Will No Longer Be Entitled to Deduction for Alimony Payments

If you are thinking about getting divorced it may be prudent to make a decision in the very near future. A recent change to the tax law will eliminate the deduction for alimony payments for all couples who divorce on or after January 1, 2019. This will not only be a huge financial blow for spouses who are ordered to pay spousal support, but it will also likely drag out divorce contests and increase the costs of litigation. Fortunately, couples who divorce or sign a separation agreement before the new year will be able to enjoy the benefits of the alimony deduction. Current Law: Alimony Paid to a Former Spouse is Deductible Most spouses have significantly different incomes. In some … Continued

Drug Testing in Los Angeles Child Custody Cases

Drug and alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of divorce in Los Angeles. If your spouse’s drug abuse has led you to the important decision to get a divorce it is important to contact a Los Angeles family law attorney. This is especially true if you and your spouse have children who will be affected by the split. As a part of your divorce, you will be required to determine a custody arrangement for your children. When drug and/or alcohol abuse are factors in the divorce you can fight to limit your spouse’s custody and/or visitation rights. Asking the court to order a drug test can help to support your arguments during a child custody dispute. Keeping Los … Continued

False Allegations of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a huge problem in Los Angeles and the state will not hesitate to prosecute you if you have been accused of abusing someone in your home. While an aggressive approach helps to enforce the law and protect victims, this system is easily abused. There are too many times when scorned lovers, upset parents, and estranged spouses make false claims of domestic abuse. These false allegations are also made to gain the upper hand in a divorce or child custody battle. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Los Angeles do not hesitate to contact an attorney. Hiring an attorney to help you fight the false allegations can prevent you from suffering serious and life-changing … Continued

Stars Fishburne and Torres Formally File For Divorce After 15 Years of Marriage

Another heavyweight Hollywood couple is calling it quits. Laurence Fishburne, who stars on the sitcom Blackish, recently filed for a divorce from his estranged wife, Suits star Gina Torres, after 15 years of marriage. The couple, who have been formally separated for over a year, will have to tackle complex divorce issues including a division of assets and agree on a custody arrangement for their 10-year-old daughter. Disposition of Marital Assets It appears as though Fishburne and Torres have been working together over the past year to settle on amicable terms for their split. Reports state that they have entered into a preliminary agreement about how their property should be divided. If all goes as planned, the couple will formally … Continued

The Consequences of a Divorce for Harvey Weinstein

The number of women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct continues to grow. So far, at least 60 women have come forward with their own stories. It is no surprise that Georgina Chapman, Weinstein’s wife, has begun to reconsider her marriage. According to many reports, Chapman has started to shop for a divorce lawyer. Weinstein not only faces possible criminal charges and sexual harassment lawsuits, but also a crumbling marriage. Weinstein’s actions, however, do not only affect him. Weinstein and Chapman have two kids who will have to deal with the divorce, as well. Considering the Best Interests of the Children When Chapman files for a divorce she will likely request sole physical custody of her children. Parents … Continued

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris Delay Divorce Amid Rumors That They Don’t Have a Prenup

Prenuptial agreements are a great way to protect yourself in case your marriage does not work out. This is certainly true if you or your spouse earn a lot of money. Earlier this year, movie stars Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced that they would be separating after eight years of marriage. However, the couple seems to have recently postponed any concrete plans to divorce. Many experts in the entertainment industry believe that this may be because the pair does not have a prenuptial agreement. What Is a Prenuptial Agreement? A prenuptial agreement is a private contract between two people who intend on getting married. California is a community property state. This means that when a couple gets divorced, each … Continued

Can You Sue for Defamation in a Divorce?

Family law controversies can be complicated. Tensions and emotions often run high. It may not be uncommon for one spouse or parent to say or write something negative about the other. Many times, these statements are considered to be a normal part of a divorce, alimony hearing, or child custody battle. Hurtful or untrue statements are just a normal byproduct of a messy legal battle. When do those harmful statements become defamatory? When can a spouse or parent pursue civil damages for what the other has said? If your spouse or co-parent has said or written something defamatory about you, and you may be able to recover compensation through a civil lawsuit. What is Defamation? First, it is important to … Continued

Can You Kidnap Your Own Child?

When parents are in the middle of a contentious child custody battle the situation can be tense. In some cases, a child custody battle can escalate to the point where one parent decides to physically take the child without the permission of the other parent or the court. If this happens, a parent can face criminal charges for parental kidnapping. If you have been accused of kidnapping your own child – whether you are in the midst of a child custody battle or not – it is important to understand the potential criminal consequences you may face. Your actions during a civil child custody battle can most certainly have criminal consequences. Kidnapping is somewhat of a misnomer. There is no … Continued

Jurisdiction in California Divorces

Gone are the days when young couples get married, buy a home, and stay in one place for the duration of their lives together. It seems that now, more than ever, couples are less likely to establish long-term ties to a particular geographic location. It is not uncommon for young couples to move across the country for a new job, a new school, or simply to try something new. While this lifestyle can be a great way to see new places and try new things, it can create difficult circumstances should the couple decide to get a divorce. California Residency Requirements In California, a spouse can petition for a divorce if the residency requirements are met. A California court will … Continued

Child Custody Overview

In Tennessee, there is no set age at which a child may absolutely choose which parent that they will get to live with. However, the judge may be able to consider the child’s preference when making a custody determination or changing custody. What’s the rule? Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-106 sets out the factors that a judge must consider when making a custody determination. These are often called the “best interest factors” because ultimately the judge has to make custody and parenting time decisions that are in the child’s best interest. We can help you identify these. Section 13 of this statute requires the court to consider “the reasonable preference of the child if twelve (12) years of age or … Continued

How do Marriage Annulments Work?

The word “Annulment” refers to Catholic declaration of something as having no legal existence. It is also called ‘declaration of nullity.’ There is no definite process to declare a marriage as null. The decision of declaring a marriage as null requires a church tribunal, also known as Catholic Church Court, to declare that a marriage previously acknowledged as lawful is no longer valid as it falls short of one or two of the elements that are essential for any binding union according to church law. The elements that are required for a catholic marriage to be lawful include: The will of spouses to get married. They are adult enough to give their consent for the marriage. They exchange their consent … Continued

Interstate Divorce Modifications And Move-Aways

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most people move about twelve times in their adult lifetimes. Statistically, most of these moves occur before age 40, so most relocations involve minor children. Even a “local” move can upset the delicate balance that is a family’s weekly schedule, because driving from Upland to Long Beach can feel like traveling from the earth to the moon. Longer-distance moves, such as out-of-county or out-of-state moves, often complicate things even more. Child custody and visitation orders are based on the best interests of the children, and that is not a fixed value, as what is “best” for the children always changes over time. Since many or most relocations also involve job changes, family support obligations … Continued

Understanding Property Classification and Transmutation Agreements

In a California marriage, property may be classified as either community property or separate property. When you decide to get a divorce the classification of property you own is very important. Community property is generally divided between the divorcing spouses 50/50. Separate property, on the other hand, remains the sole property of the spouse to whom it belongs. These classifications are typically assigned based on when the property is acquired. However, spouses can alter the classification of property by executing transmutation agreements. Community Property vs. Separate Property Before we can understand the importance of a transmutation agreement – and altering the classification of property ownership – it is important to understand the difference between community and separate property. Community Property  … Continued

Does California Recognize Common Law Marriages?

California is generally progressive when it comes to recognizing unions between its residents. One may think that California may be one of the few states in the country to recognize common law marriages. However, California actually takes the same view as the majority of states and (generally) does not recognize common law marriage. Common law marriages are those where there is no formal, legal recognition, but rather are based on the length and duration of the relationship and cohabitation. California does not recognize common law marriage itself but will permit divorce proceedings for couples who have a common law marriage recognized by another state. Dividing Assets When a Common Law Marriage Dissolves When an unmarried couple in California splits up … Continued

Getting A Marriage Annulled in California

Sometimes a divorce isn’t the best solution to a marriage that isn’t working out.  If you meet certain qualifications you may be able to petition for an annulment. An annulment is similar to a divorce – in that it terminates the marriage – but is fundamentally different, as well. After a divorce is granted the marriage is still acknowledged by the state. After an annulment is granted, however, the marriage is no longer acknowledged. Rather, it is as if the marriage never happened at all. How to Annul a Marriage in California In California, you are permitted to petition to have a marriage annulled if you meet certain criteria. Marriages that are incestuous or bigamous are never legal. If you … Continued

Understanding California Spousal Support

What is Spousal Support?  Spousal support – often referred to as alimony – is generally a court-mandated requirement for one spouse to pay another spouse a set amount of money each month. Domestic partners may also be responsible for partner support at the end of a California domestic partnership. Spousal support may only be awarded after a spouse files a civil claim in court. Grounds for spousal support claims may include: Divorce; Annulment; Legal separation; or Domestic violence. When Can I Get Spousal Support? Spousal support may be awarded while a claim is on-going and/or after the court makes a final determination. Temporary Spousal Support Orders are granted by a judge while a claim for spousal support is pending. Judges … Continued