Property Division

A Property Division Overview

Most states are equitable-division jurisdictions, which means that family law judges equitably divide marital property, and “equitable” may not be the same thing as “equal.” But California is a community property state, so the judge divides most marital property on an equal basis, since the spouses are presumed to be equal owners. Sometimes, property division in a marriage dissolution is relatively straightforward, but in nearly all cases, it is quite complicated and affected by a number of factors. If you are going through a divorce or separation, speak to an attorney in your jurisdiction for assistance.

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Child Custody

A Child Custody Overview

In 1965, American family law judges only granted divorces based on:

Cruel treatment,
Adultery, or
Other marital fault
Most fathers had almost no contact with their children after the divorce. Fifteen years later, California led the way with the no-fault divorce law and joint custody law.

Marriage dissolution laws have changed a lot in the last fifty years, but the underlying issues are still largely the same. That’s because family members need emotional and financial security after the marriage ends.

Child Custody and Child Visitation

By the time most divorce petitions are filed, the parents are separated. According to child custody lawyer Hossein Berenji, “That fact is important, because the judge normally holds a temporary hearing about two weeks after the spouses file a petition.” At this proceeding, a status-based custody presumption (the children should probably stay where they are now) has replaced the old gender-based custody presumption (the children should probably stay with their mother). There is an old saying that “possession is nine points of the law,” so the parent with primary custody is likely to keep it at this stage.

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