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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.

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.

What makes for an airtight cohabitation agreement?

Those who are familiar with the existence of cohabitation agreements often think of them as an unmarried couples' alternative to a prenuptial agreement. Both function similarly. They both emphasize each partner's or spouse's rights and protect their assets.

Why do dads need to establish paternity in California?

Going through any split can be difficult. Weathering one when you and your ex share a child and are unmarried can be particularly hard to cope with, especially if you're a dad who hasn't taken time to establish paternity of your son or daughter.

How do I end a domestic partnership here in California?

Some people who enter into domestic partnerships do so because they expect it to be much easier to walk away from their partner if they decide to split. What they don't realize is that couples in domestic partnerships often have to go through just as many steps in terminating their relationship as married couples who divorce do.

What criteria must I meet to adopt in California?

An individual may have long yearned to be a parent but never found that right person to have a child with. They may have struggled with infertility and want a son or daughter to complete their family. These are just two factors that motivate individuals to look at adoption as a way to complete their families. California lawmakers have instituted guidelines to keep children safe and help ensure that they are in a loving home.

Elements of a good post-divorce parenting plan

Whether you were married for only a few years or for several decades, it's never easy to come to terms with the fact that your marriage isn't going to last a lifetime. Divorce is tough, and when children are involved, it's even tougher. However, getting divorced doesn't make you a bad parent.

How do I prepare myself for a divorce?

A divorce is nothing to take lightly. If you overlook what you can lose in a divorce, you could wind up losing quite a lot. You could also wind up losing out in a child custody battle and in the fight for marital property. Either way, you need to be prepared for what's to come during the divorce proceedings. So, how can you prepare yourself for a divorce?

How to explain custody changes to your children

Entering into a custody agreement with the other parent of your children can be scary for you, the other parent and the children. One of the most important things you can do for your children is to have an open, honest discussion with them about the situation. There will be new living arrangements for everyone to get used to, including swapping weekends and holidays.