Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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What will invalidate my California prenuptial agreement?

If you ask most Americans, they'll tell you that they don't feel that they're rich enough to necessitate having a prenuptial agreement. We live in an era in which so many marriages end in divorce though. It's more important than ever for spouses to protect anything that they do have. It's important that your prenup is properly executed if you expect a family law judge in Orange to uphold it as valid in the future.

Believe it or not, one of the most common reasons that prenups end up not being enforceable is because they're never written down. Oral agreements do not suffice in California or virtually anywhere else in the United States. For a prenup to be considered valid, it must be written and properly signed by both prospective spouses.

Summer plans are best made early

Thinking about your summer plans is fun. For some parents, however, the realization that the kids will be out of school might cut that fun moment a bit short. If your children will be spending time with you this summer, you should take the time to line up child care now. There are a few different ways that you can handle this.

You and your ex might discuss the matter and use the same person or center throughout the summer. If this is the case, discuss how the payments will be made. Will each parent pay during the time the child is with them? Will the total expense for the summer be shared evenly? Having this plan now can help you to be prepared for the summer.

Unmarried couples must think about estate planning

Long-term relationships that involve two committed individuals who are not married are growing more common. In some cases, people have religious reasons to avoid marriage. Others just don't want the hassle and feel like their relationship is just as secure as a marriage, no matter what you call it or what labels you put on it.

That may be true, but you have to remember that unmarried couples do not have all of the same legal rights as married couples. Whether you think of yourselves as a family or not, the law does not see you as anything more than two people who know one another. You're not legally connected.

Start talking about a prenup long before the wedding

A prenuptial agreement is one that you enter into before you get married. It is meant to protect both spouses in the event the marriage doesn't work out. All of the terms of the agreement need to take both parties into consideration because it can't favor one person over the other. It is possible for the court to throw a prenup out if it does overly favor one person.

When you are getting the prenup terms hashed out, make sure that you have a your own counsel. You can't use the same one because there is a conflict of interest in doing that. Even though you and your future spouse are working as a team on the wedding and your future, this is one area where there has to be a division.

How does the family court interpret children's best interests?

You might know some formerly married couples in California who have found themselves in child custody disputes. In some cases, each parent tries frequently to convince the children that he or she is desirable over the other parent. Some do this by trying to buy their children's love. The parents may think that all they have to do to be number one in their kids' eyes is to take them to Disney World once a year and buy them whatever the latest, greatest gadget on the market happens to be.

The court, on the other hand, often has a different view of what is in the best interests of the children. If your goal is to create a workable parenting plan that is the best it can possibly be for all parties involved, it's important to understand how courts typically interpret what is best for children.

When can I request a modification of an alimony award?

Once a judge has signed off on a settlement in a divorce case, they often need to have a good reason to open it back up and make post-judgment modifications to it. The grounds on which a judge may decide to honor a former spouse's request for a change in alimony award are numerous.

A paying spouse, or payor, who experiences a financial emergency such as a loss of a job or high medical bills may request to pay less in spousal support. They may also do so if they have a mental or physical disability.

Tips for minimizing costs and conflict in divorce

You're not alone if you've hesitated to file for divorce because you're worried about how it might affect your finances. It's true there are numerous costs and fees associated with the process of ending a marriage in court.

However, there are some practical tips for minimizing costs and conflict in the divorce process.

Rules for joint events with the kids should be set

There are many different aspects of child custody that might come throughout the course of your child's life. One of these is going to be how to handle joint events like birthdays or school concerts. This can be difficult to think about, but parents should remember that children usually want both of their parents at these events. We know that there have to be guidelines set in the parenting plan to help make these events possible.

When you think about events that will include you and your ex, you should remember that the focus isn't on the adults. Instead, this is time for you to show your kids that they are important enough for you and your ex to put your differences aside to support them.

Academic success of wealthy kids is impacted when parents divorce

Researchers have long been aware of how a parents' separation can adversely impact a child's academic success. Earlier this month, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) published a study describing the kids that divorce affects the most. They determined that divorce seems to impact children from more stable, wealthier families than it does those who were previously struggling.

The sociology and statistics professor that led this study found that whenever parents divorce, it only automatically lowers the academic attainment level of those kids for which the parental separation was unlikely.

Gray divorce issues: should you be concerned

You were married for decades. You raised your kids, who are now grown and on their own. You've been planning your retirement and looking forward to traveling, taking up a hobby or simply having more time to enjoy your grandkids, friends or even time to yourself. You might never have imagined that another item on your post-55 agenda would be getting divorced.

It's definitely not uncommon. In fact, so many people in your age group are doing the same that analysts have dubbed the phenomenon "gray divorce." The rate of older couples filing for divorce has more than doubled in the past 20 years. You might not have to worry about things like child custody; however, there are several pertinent issues that could cause quite a few complications as you work toward a fair and amicable settlement.