Leah Somoano Attorney at Law
Pre-Marital & Post Marital Agreements
More commonly referred to as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. While no couple envisions divorce in their future, it is wise to consider how the parties would divide property and assets in the event of a divorce in order to protect each person’s interests. A pre-marital or post-marital agreement may also make a lot of sense in this day and age where adults are marrying at an older age and have already acquired wealth or property prior to the marriage. In the unfortunate circumstance that a divorce does occur, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may also lessen the animosity surrounding the ending of a marriage and save you legal fees down the road.
Dissolution or Legal Separation
When a marriage is not working out and the parties decide that it is better to go their separate ways, a dissolution or legal separation is appropriate. In both situations, the parties will decide on custody, the separation of assets and debts and support payments. However, a dissolution will result in the parties being divorced whereas in a legal separation the parties are still legally married.
Child Support & Spousal Support
A separation generally has a negative financial impact on at least one party resulting in the need for support. Children are not responsible for the predicament they now find themselves in and it is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their child has the monetary support necessary to meet their needs. The parent who earns more or spends less time with the child will typically be the one paying support. Spousal support may also be appropriate depending on the circumstances of the marriage.
Whether married or unmarried, it is important to protect your parental rights. A parent’s primary focus when making custody decisions should be creating an environment that serves the child’s best interest and minimizes the impact of a separation on a child.
Over the course of a marriage parties often jointly acquire property that needs to be divided upon dissolution or a legal separation. California is a community property state and property is generally divided 50/50 after determining the value of each asset. Marital debts also need to be distributed in an equitable manner.
In order to obtain child support, you need to establish paternity first. Children born during a marriage are presumed to be the husband’s children. However, children born out of wedlock need to have paternity established.
Any general information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us for guidance on your specific matter.