The Complete Dissolution Threat List

29 June, 2013 (16:47) | Uncategorized | By: admin

A guide to the psychological warfare that is commonly waged during the divorce process.

Most lawyers who have been handling divorces for any length of time have clients report an almost predictable list of threats from their spouses. Since divorcing parties generally have a limited understanding of the process, they take these threats literally and immediately call their attorneys to report them, thereby increasing their fees and their anxiety level. Most threats are baseless and more a result of fear, bullying or desperation. Often, merely knowing that you are not the first one to hear these threats can have a calming effect.

Having said that, on rare occasions a threat will turn out to be real. Thus, while it is easy to say that they are common, whether to give them any weight depends upon the actual circumstances of your case.

The following is a list of common threats that attorneys often hear and to which they generally pay little attention. Most of these threats are just that – threats born of anger and frustration. In some cases it is definitely necessary to get the assistance of private attorneys and/or the District Attorney. Read more »

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Children?

1 January, 2013 (17:50) | Uncategorized | By: admin

You may not know it, but you have an estate plan. Even if you have never taken the time to visit an estate planning attorney and have a trust or a will drafted, the state of California makes certain presumptions about what you would want as a parent in the absence of a specific written plan that you have signed with the appropriate formalities.

The first presumption is that you would want your children to receive all of the money from your estate when they turn 18

Remember how good you were with money when you graduated from high school? The state of California presumes that at the age of majority (18) your child can adequately manage any inheritance they might receive through a probate administration, or as the proceeds from a life insurance policy, etc. This could equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a typical estate. Taking the time to set up a trust gives you the control to decide how and when your child receives their inheritance. You can set age milestones (i.e., 50% of the estate distributed at age 25 and the remaining 50% distributed at age 30), or performance milestones (i.e., achieving certain grades in college). Your choices are unlimited; your estate planning attorney can tell you what some typical options are. No one knows your children as well as you do. As they grow and their personalities become more distinct you have the ability to reshape your estate plan to grow with them.

The second presumption is that you want your estate divided equally among your children

While your children are still under 18, generally you are inclined to treat them all equally when you consider how you want your estate distributed upon your death. However, we all realize that as children grow up they don’t all turn out as self-sufficient as we might have hoped. If you have a child who is now an adult and has a substance abuse problem, a spending problem, possibly even an abusive spouse, would you feel comfortable handing them hundreds of thousands of dollars? You may have a special needs child who will require a particular type of trust to protect their right to continue to receive governmental benefits, and you may feel that they require a different ratio of your estate. If you are unfortunate enough to have severed a relationship with a child (either through your actions, or through your child’s), while retaining solid supportive relationships with your other child(ren), would you want all of these individuals to receive the same sums of money upon your passing? You may, but then again you may not. The state of California presumes that you would want all of your children to receive the same amounts when you die.

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Protecting Your Children While Going Through A Divorce

5 September, 2012 (17:43) | Uncategorized | By: admin

Divorce is stressful not only for adults, but children too. Children are the unwitting casualties of divorce, and it should be your goal to protect them at all costs while going through your divorce and during the rest of their childhood. That being said, it can be your most challenging task when faced with a (soon-to-be-former) spouse that is angry and/or vindictive. The reactions you may receive from your children) may differ greatly depending on the child and circumstances surrounding the breakup. Fortunately, parents can help their kids during a divorce. Here’s how:

Reassure Your Children

Reassure your children that both parents love them (do this early and do it often); tell them directly that the divorce is not their fault and that everything will be okay. In most cases, you should attempt to come up with a game plan (or “parenting plan”) so that both parents can be actively involved in your children’s activities. Also, most Courts offer “parenting coordination classes” such as “Parents and Children Together” that can be taken to help you work with the other parent for the betterment of the children; take advantage of these classes even if they are not mandated by the Court, and even if your former spouse does not participate. Discuss any potential plans or agreements with your respective attorneys, and seek their input prior to making a final commitment. Do not sign anything without talking to your lawyer first. Read more »