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Is Social Media the Future of Serving Divorce Papers?

A Time Magazine article published in 2015 made a bold claim. Titled “You Can Now Serve Divorce Papers on Facebook,” the article discusses a New York divorce case where a wife used Facebook to serve divorce papers on her soon-to-be ex-husband. Anyone who catches a glimpse of this title may be intrigued by what the title seems to promise. Yes, the Manhattan Supreme Court held that the wife could use the social media platform to serve divorce papers on her husband. But does this mean that social media platforms can be a petitioner’s choice for service of process of a divorce summons? A review of the case and California law helps to provide our best assessment. Serving Divorce Papers in … Continued

How to Get a Summary Dissolution of Marriage in California

Summary dissolution offers some California couples an alternative to divorce. If both spouses or partners are in complete agreement about how the marriage or domestic partnership will end, summary dissolution can be a great tool. However, if there are any disputes over property or any desire to collect spousal support, summary dissolution may not be the proper way to end the union. Requirements for Summary Dissolution in California There are certain qualifications couples must meet before a California court will grant a summary dissolution of a marriage or domestic partnership. Some qualifications apply to each spouse individually, while others apply to the couple as a whole. A couple may successfully petition the court for a summary dissolution in California if … Continued

Does Child Support Cover Private School Tuition?

Child support often required by California courts to ensure divorced or separated parents properly and adequately provide for their children. Court-ordered financial support is intended to cover the basic costs to care for and raise a child. Costs that are typically associated with child support include housing, food, and clothing. However, other costs that are relevant and necessary to a child’s upbringing may also be required to be covered – at least partially – by child support payments. This is especially true if a child of divorce was accustomed to certain privileges before the separation. Many payors of child support often wonder if certain expenses, such as the cost of attending private school, are legitimate and necessary. The answer is … Continued

California Affords Custody Protections to Military Parents

Each year, thousands of men and women in the military are deployed to serve the country. These deployments can be hard enough without the added stresses of custody and divorce battles. Unfortunately, these are realities many of our servicemen and servicewomen face. Special Federal and California state laws provide legal protections for military parents and provide safeguards to protect their parental rights while serving. Military members with shared custody of a child who have received notice of deployment or mobilization should contact an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer to discuss their rights as military parents. Federal and California State Protections Federal law institutes a mandatory stay on legal action involving active duty military servicemen and servicewomen for the first 90 … Continued

What To Include In A Prenuptial Agreement

Most often, couples enter into prenuptial agreements to designate and divide assets in the event the marriage ends. Overall, prenuptial agreements address financial issues going into marriage. When properly prepared, they prove useful in sorting out conflicts before they arise and potentially saving time and money bypassing court property division decisions in divorce or probate actions. Prenuptial agreements commonly set out the pre-marital financial agreements of the couple contemplating marriage. They describe the assignment of property rights, debts, inheritances, businesses, and retirement distributions, among other subjects. Personal wishes, such as who does what chores around the house, generally fall outside the parameters of a prenuptial agreement. What should be included in prenuptial agreements Property: In California, a prenuptial agreement most … Continued

Alternatives To Divorce Litigation

If your considering a divorce but are concerned with going to court, then there are two alternatives you should consider: (1) Mediation, or (2) Collaborative Law. Mediation Mediaton is a negotiation between you, your spouse, and a neutral third party (known as the mediator). The mediator does not make a decision, but rather helps the parties come to a mutual agreement. What to Expect in Mediation Typically, the parties divide the cost proportionally between themselves. Prior to the session, which normally takes place in an office setting, the mediators review the pleadings from both sides to familiarize themselves with the cases. After each side makes brief opening statements, the parties retire to different rooms to mull over settlement offers and … Continued

Divorce And PAS

According to one prominent observer, the child custody fight brewing in the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie divorce indicates the beginnings of parental alienation syndrome. By most accounts, Ms. Jolie filed her divorce petition with little warning. Mr. Pitt may have been taken aback by the filing, because several weeks elapsed before he filed a formal response. The swift nature of the proceeding is not in and of itself a “red flag,” because of sudden marital trauma, such as abuse or infidelity, occasions many divorces in California. However, some events in the wake of the filing tell a different story. Ms. Jolie immediately asked a judge to basically cut off contact between Mr. Pitt and the couple’s children, a rather extreme measure … Continued

What Happens First In Divorce Cases?

When it comes to criminal investigations, police often say that the first 48 hours are critical. After that time, memories fade, evidence is lost, suspects go into hiding, and the chance for a successful resolution basically plummets. Things do not happen quite that quickly in California divorce cases and the early results are only preliminary, but the first 480 hours (20 days) are arguably the most critical ticks of a clock in these matters. Absentee spouse cases, a phrase that is explored below, are sometimes almost completely resolved in the first twenty days. The divorces cannot be finalized until the waiting period expires, but in many cases, absentee spouse petitioners are simply waiting for the clock to wind down at … Continued

Trailblazing Divorce Laws From California

Modern divorce and family laws in the Golden State and elsewhere in the Union largely came about from the personal experiences of two California men. 27-year-old Ronald Reagan met 21-year-old Jane Wyman on the set of “Brother Rat,” a nondescript B-movie, and the couple married in 1940. By all accounts, Mr. Reagan was quite happy, and according to some sources, he went to great lengths to preserve the relationship, even when he and Ms. Wyman, who had already been divorced twice, started to drift apart in the late 1940s. When she later filed for divorce on the grounds of cruel treatment, the allegations may have stung Mr. Reagan, even though the accusations may have essentially been pro forma. That experience … Continued

Tony Award Winner Married to Two Women for 36 Years

For most of us, marriage is a very special occasion. Two people unite and promise love, trust, and respect for the rest of their lives. There are a few rotten apples, however, who abuse the sacred vows of a marriage. On rare occasions, these rotten apples go out and marry, or attempt to marry, another person during the course of their existing marriage. If they succeed in doing so, this results in a “bigamous marriage.” Bigamous marriages are not always intentional. Sometimes, a bigamous marriage may result from an error in attempting to file for a previous divorce. Just recently, it was discovered that Ben Vereen, Tony Award winner, was illegally married to two women for a whopping 36 years! … Continued

Same Sex Marriages

As you may know, many people are opposed to same sex marriage. Their argument primarily rests on the traditional definition of a “marriage” as the union between one man and one woman; that is all. This narrow traditional definition, therefore, does not provide for gay and lesbian couples. However, times have changed. We now accept that same sex couples should be afforded the same rights and the responsibilities as opposite sex couples. For this reason, some states, as well as California, now allow for same sex marriages. If you are interested in being married in such a fashion and need help, or if you have any questions about same sex marriage, it is important to seek the assistance and advice … Continued

Brangelina Split Highlights Divorce Complexity and Trends

Any couple faces the challenges of marriage, but Hollywood couples are in the spotlight with an enhanced focus on the details of their private life. With this comes added complexity, particularly if the marriage ends and children are involved. Fans of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie expressed their shock in the hours immediately after the news broke that Hollywood’s pre-eminent golden couple was calling it quits. Their divorce demonstrates several common trends among not just celebrity divorces but those across the U.S. Read on to learn more about these concerns and why it’s so important to hire the right divorce lawyer to help you. Less Hope for “Golden Couples” Part of the reason the Pitt/Jolie divorce is making so many headlines … Continued

Emancipation in Los Angeles

If you are below the age of majority (18 years of age), you are under the control and responsibility of your parents. Hence, your parents must provide you with the essentials: food, water, shelter, et cetera. In addition, your parents are able to pick where you live and where you go to school. All of this, however, is not the case if you, the minor child, are emancipated. In sum, emancipation frees a minor child from the control and responsibility previously held by his or her parents. Emancipation, in other words, gives the minor child the rights and responsibilities of an adult. So, emancipation allows minor children to technically become adults before they are 18. Note that emancipation laws differ … Continued

How Gambling Affects Your Los Angeles Family Court Case

With Las Vegas and Reno only a few hours away from Los Angeles, and with a number of popular casinos beckoning here in California, many Californians go to gambling establishments for an evening of fun and recreation. However, there are a small portion of adults who are adversely affected by gambling. Approximately 2-3% of adults suffer from addictive gambling disorders. Those who cannot control these disorders can see serious impacts on their own lives and on the lives of their loved ones. Even those who do not have serious gambling addictions can get themselves into financial troubles that could affect a family court proceeding. How Can Gambling Affect a Family? Like any type of addiction, gambling can lead to the … Continued

Grandparents’ Rights for Custody and Visitation in California

Are you a grandparent? Do you wish to have visitation rights with your grandchild or grandchildren? This may be a possibility here in California. However, and as discussed in detail below, certain requirements must be met before you, the grandparent, can be granted such visitation rights. This process can be convoluted. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney to guide you through this complex process. The family law lawyers of Berenji & Associates are here for you. Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation. Grandparents’ Visitation Rights in California Per California law, if you are a grandparent, you may request the court for reasonable visitation with your grandchild. However, certain requirements must be met before you … Continued

Alimony in California

While the facts of any separation or divorce can vary greatly, generally one thing that remains constant is the that one spouse will get some form of spousal support, whether it be long-term or temporary, to allow him or her to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. Every state has unique laws for the awarding and calculation of spousal support, and California is no exception. The legal issues behind spousal support can be complex and can affect how you pay your taxes and how you save for retirement. An attorney who has experience ensuring a court’s spousal support agreement is fair can be a big help in alimony cases. Two Different Kinds of California Spousal Support Depending on the … Continued

California’s Community Property Law

California is a community property state and one of only nine community property states in the United States. The others include Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Most of the states follow an equitable distribution theory. In California, as well as in the other community property states, when two individuals marry, they become one; they become one legal community. By forming this one legal community, any property they acquire during the marriage is community property. All property in the community property estate is subject to distribution upon divorce. Distributing property in such a manner is often difficult, time-consuming and emotionally draining. If you are going through a divorce and need assistance, call attorney Hossein Berenji at … Continued

Top 7 Things to Consider When Hiring a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Hiring a divorce attorney in Los Angeles can be a daunting task. Given the amount of attorneys to choose from, it can be hard to know if you’re making the right decision. With that in mind, we put together a list of things you should consider when hiring a divorce lawyer.    1. How long have they been practicing law?   This one is simple. The longer they’ve been practicing, the more experience they have. If you want to find out how long an attorney has been licensed to practice law, go to the California State Bar page and look them up here:  http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/membersearch/quicksearch.    However, how long they have been an attorney should be balanced against the next question.   … Continued

Top 5 Things to Consider When Seeking a Divorce in Los Angeles

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce and live in the Los Angeles area, we put together the top 5 things you should consider before proceeding.   1. Where to file in Los Angeles   There are 12 family law court locations throughout Los Angeles County, with the downtown courthouse located at: Stanley Mosk Courthouse 111 North Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90012   To find the location nearest you, go to the L.A. courthouse website: http://www.lacourt.org/courthouse/mode/division/familylaw   2. Contested or uncontested?   If you have an amicable divorce, then you may be able to resolve the matter with the help of the family law facilitator. However, if things are not so smooth, you may need a divorce lawyer assist you.   … Continued

Pet Custody After a Divorce in Los Angeles

We often consider pets to be part of the family. While divorcing couples often consider arrangements when it comes to changes in child custody and other family matters, many families often do not consider family pets and how ownership of these pets may change during a divorce. Pet custody disputes are on the rise according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2014. More and more individuals are fighting over pets as part of their family disputes. How Do California Courts Deal With Pet Custody Cases? California leads the nation in the development of animal welfare laws. The state as a whole is concerned with protecting animal welfare and animal rights. However, an area in … Continued