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Our Law Blog and Articles is an online publication that covers our latest news, hot cases, emerging trends and big personalities in law. It’s brought to you by Attorney Matt J. Rudy.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_traveling-children.jpgFamily law cases can often be emotionally straining. Sometimes, one parent is given primary custody at the objection of the other parent. The non-custodial parent may attempt to become the primary custodian by removing the child from the state or country, making it more difficult for the other parent to find him or her and to enforce the order.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_disobey-court-order.jpgI'm sure we can all agree that people do foolish things. One of the most foolish is to disobey a court order, particularly in a domestic relations court where matters of custody and family support are concerned. And compounding the foolishness are the attempts of attorneys who try to rationalize their clients' disobedience.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_good-provider.jpgThe belief seems to be that by providing money one will have met his responsibilities and deserve to be acclaimed an accomplished parent and spouse. But that's not how it works.

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Divorce in itself is difficult to navigate, but after all is said and done, there are still some things to be considered regarding finances.
It is easy to think that if you do not have many assets to divide it is not necessary to have to rebuild and reconfigure financial vehicles. Estate planning that includes wills, living wills, life insurance, healthcare, and retirement accounts apply to people of all levels of financial standing. Specific financial issues such as mortgages, credit card debt, and car notes could still be a problem unless they are handled by a competent divorce lawyer.

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Trying to spy on your spouse should never be done. With the changes made to Florida law including cyber stalking, spying is against the law. This type of action can be considered criminal. Refer to the Florida Statues 784.048.
If your spouse has posted information on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, that's different. The information is no longer considered private. Because these are public forums, the otherwise personal information has been put on display for any member of the public.

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Posted by on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_pregnancy-divorce.jpgPregnancy can be a time of great joy for couples, but it can also be a time of tremendous stress. What happens if a couple gets a divorce (or is in the process of divorcing) while the wife is pregnant? There are many unique legal issues raised under these precarious circumstances.

 

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Posted by on in Domestic Violence

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Becoming a witness of domestic violence and growing up in a volatile and disturbing family environment can have a dreadful impact on the psychological development of a child. Hence, the issue of child custody in situations that involve domestic violence is one of great important.

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Posted by on in Child Support

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 Federal law requires all child support payments be made by wage assignment and health insurance by Health Insurance Orders. Child support collection statistics reflect that only 20% of noncustodial parents pay their court ordered child support monthly, As a result, numerous additional enforcement laws have been implemented in order to force compliance.

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Posted by on in Divorce

                Divorce can be a trying, frustrating and expensive process for anyone. Just how expensive a divorce is may depend on the assets being divided. Here are the 20 largest divorce settlements:

20. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving: $100 million

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Posted by on in Divorce

The month of October marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday season. Halloween is the first of these holidays and is one that might easily be overlooked in a custody or visitation schedule because of its relative importance in contrast to Thanksgiving or Christmas. Many parents and children, however, view Halloween as an important holiday. If you are a newly divorced parent, the next 120 days are going to test your patience and communication skills with your ex-spouse. Halloween is an opportunity for a parent who is recently divorced or going through the divorce process to work to improve his or her relationship with both the other parent and their children.

Communication Is Key

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Posted by on in Divorce

In California, there is a legal action known as a summary dissolution. This is the dissolution of a marriage that has only been legal for five years or less. A joint petition for summary dissolution can be filed when either spouse meets the standard residency requirements and irreconcilable differences the marriage render the marriage irretrievably broken. A summary dissolution can also be filed when the marriage does not involve any children and the wife is not pregnant (Wikipedia).

Who Can File for Summary Dissolution?

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Posted by on in Divorce

Divorce is a situation that few people ever plan, budget or save for. It is also a significant disruption to everyday life. Housing, finances, family relations and friendships can be seriously affected by a divorce, however amicable. Deciding on the best way to handle the divorce goes along with the decision to pursue divorce at all.

Even people who would prefer not to divorce often come to believe they have no choice but to go through the process. Many people wish to avoid the expense and hassles of traditional divorce litigation but do not know how. Couples who think they agree on how to divide property and how to cooperate in the care of children may also think that they can save time and money with a low-cost "do-it-yourself" (DIY) divorce, with no lawyer involved.

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Posted by on in Child Support

Collecting unpaid child support is an on-going problem for many custodial parents. High unemployment and the national economic situation leads to more people than ever unable to meet their financial obligations including child support payments.

There are a growing number of individuals who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and cannot find work. Bankruptcy, while offering relief from a variety of consumer and medical debts, does not offer relief for a former spouse who is behind in support payments.

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Posted by on in Child Support

Establishing paternity, or determining a parent child relationship, is legally necessary in order to collect child support. If a child’s parents were not married to each other when the child was born, the law does not recognize the father unless paternity is legally established by a court order. Establishing paternity will give your child the same rights and benefits as children born to married parents. Unmarried parents can establish paternity by signing the voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This can be done in the hospital after the child is born. A Declaration of Paternity may also be signed by parents either before or after they leave the hospital (Wikipedia). The federal government provides a payment to the hospital for each Declaration of Paternity signed. The signed Declaration of Paternity has the effect of a legally binding Judgment of Paternity.

An acknowledged father is a biological father of a child born to unmarried parents, for whom paternity has been established by either the admission of the father or the agreement of the parents. An acknowledged father must pay child support. An unmarried man who impregnates a woman is often referred to as an alleged father until there has been a finding of paternity. An alleged or unwed father will be required to pay child support if a court determines or he acknowledges that he is the father; in addition, an alleged or unwed father has the right to visitation with his child and may seek custody (Babycenter.com).

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Posted by on in Spousal Support

Many people believe that if a couple lives together for a period of years and holds themselves out to the world as a married couple, then the couple will be considered to be “legally married.” While this may be true in certain states, California abolished these common law marriages over a hundred years ago. A common law marriage can never be created in California; however it will recognize common law marriages that were created in states which do recognize them.

Even though California does not allow for common law marriages, couples who live together may still have rights to financial support and property division as if they had been legally married, but only under strict circumstances. In these cases, if one or both persons in the relationship had a reasonable and good faith belief that they had entered into a valid marriage, but it turned out the marriage was void, then that person can be considered a “putative spouse.” To be given the status of a putative spouse, it is not enough to say that you simply believed you had a common law marriage. Instead, the couple must have actually gone through the motions to get married, yet had something go wrong when trying to comply with the legal requirements for marriage (often this happens when one person was in a prior marriage and mistakenly thought that he or she was legally divorced). Not only that, but this good faith belief that you are married must continue throughout the marriage, if you find out that the marriage is invalid, then you lose putative status. Recently, it was also established that these same principles can be applied to couples who were in an unregistered domestic partnership. A person with putative spouse status will be entitled to share in property acquired during the invalid marriage or domestic partnership under our community property laws, and to any spousal support that is required once the relationship is terminated. A putative spouse may also have marital-type rights in other situations as well, such as workers compensation or retirement benefits (Wikipedia). The spouse who knew or should have known that the marriage was not valid will typically not be able to benefit from these provisions.

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Divorce can cause a range of emotions from anger to sadness to relief. Divorces can be both mentally draining and time consuming. As such, sometimes finances can be an afterthought. As things get hectic, it is a mistake to forget about your credit situation. Before we start going through the tips, here’s a bonus tip: pull your credit report. You will be using it a lot to prepare for your divorce

Below are some ways to protect your credit during a divorce as well as a brief analysis of California Family Code Section 2040 and the automatic restraining orders that take place to help protect your finances:

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Posted by on in Divorce

In late June, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, and that the benefits available to legally married heterosexual couples should be available to legally married gay couples. The 1996 federal law had defined the institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thus denying federal benefits for gay couples whose marriages were recognized at the state level—like joint tax returns, Social Security, health insurance, pension protection, benefits for military couples, and immigration protections for couples from different countries.

The court invalidated DOMA in a 5-4 ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who delivered the decisive vote along with the court’s four liberal justices, wrote the majority opinion stating that DOMA “violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government.”

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Relationships In America

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Often, after a separation or divorce, a parent decides to move because he or she can no longer to afford to live in the same city, for a new job opportunity, or so that he or she can be closer to extended family for financial or emotional support. Whatever the reason, when a parent wants to move, difficult decisions have to be made regarding where the children will live and how the other parent will maintain a relationship with them.

Sometimes, divorced or separated parents can agree on where their children should reside and what the visitation arrangements will be. Many times, however, these situations are emotionally and logistically difficult, and parents cannot agree. It will then be up to a court to decide.

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Posted by on in Divorce

One of the most frequently cited family law statistics is that 50% of marriages end in divorce. No one gets married with the expectation of getting divorced. However, changes, including in the nature of the relationship between spouses, are inevitable and one or both spouses may ultimately come to the conclusion that a divorce is in the best interests of all involved. Below are some common signs of a failing marriage:

1. Decision making has become a dictatorship. There used to be a time when you and your partner would discuss the upcoming weekend plans, what to eat for dinner, the handling of work-related issues, etc. Now, you are making decisions without consideration from the other.

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