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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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Posted on in Family Law

California family law attorney, California divorce lawyerAnnulment, divorce, and legal separation all have one thing in common: the two parties within the marriage or domestic partnership are no longer together. As far as commonalities, the split is just about the only similarity these divisions share. In a legal separation, the two parties are divided but not free to marry someone else. In divorce, both sides become legally single while still recognizing the existence of the marriage. Annulment wipes the board clean and makes it as though the marriage never legally occurred.

Why Choose Divorce?

Divorce in California requires one side to declare they believe the marriage suffers from irreconcilable differences. Both parties do not have to agree, and if one wants to exit the union, the court will grant their wishes. However, despite the prevalence of divorce within the United States, some people feel a stigma still exists, leaving them to for another option. For either personal or religious reasons, many of these individuals choose to wipe the slate clean entirely.

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California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerDivorcing a spouse, no matter the length of the marriage or the circumstances surrounding the split is rarely easy. With divorce rates reaching nearly half of all marriages, millions of Americans each year search for a better, less traumatizing method to end their union. A growing portion of the population chooses to utilize a divorce mediation process. Although mediation offers many benefits that litigation does not, it simply is not a viable or beneficial option for all cases.

The Benefits of Choosing Mediation

The mere thought of going to trial to have every personal aspect of a private life ripped apart and picked through by a judge creates such anxiety for many seeking a divorce that some avoid the situation by staying in an undesirable marriage. For these, there are several alternative divorce resolutions (ADR) available, one of which is divorce mediation. The assets available with this option are:

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California divorce attorney, California family law attorneyLife is always changing. Sometimes it takes unexpected turns that have profound and lasting consequences. Without the ability to foresee the future, it is impossible to plan every aspect of life completely. Two such instances are divorce and bankruptcy. California is very understanding when it comes to divorce and aims to ensure that both parties separate with equal financial footing, many times requiring the payment of spousal support or alimony. A bankruptcy filing can substantially alter maintenance requirements during divorce litigation or divorce mediation proceedings, many times requiring post-judgement modifications.

What Do These Terms Mean?

If a person is in bankruptcy status, the courts relieve them of paying these debts. During a divorce, bankruptcy may make it tough to make the necessary alimony payments. Many in this situation do attempt to use this status as a tool to avoid the fees. To see where there could be a dilemma, it is best to understand what each means.

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California custody attorney, California family law attorneyFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. With 40 to 50 percent of all marriages divorcing and an increasing remarriage rate, we see an unprecedented evolution in the traditional family home. No longer is the image of one mother, one father, and two children the normal makeup of the average family. Now, children are loved and cared for not only by their biological parents, but their new parents also love them with such fervor, it resembles that of an actual biological tie. With this changing family dynamic, we are witnessing legal cases redefine the child custody lines. With laws such as the “Third Parent Law,” what is the best interest of the children is entirely achievable through the avenues of mediation or litigation.

Is Three a Crowd?

Although it is common to find most children with one mother and one father, or two mothers, or two fathers, three is gaining popularity. The ability to have three parents was made possible by the plight of one family when all three demonstrated fitness as parents. Therefore, California Legislature determined “most children have two parents, but in rare cases, children have more than two people who are that child’s parent in every way. Separating a child from a parent has a devastating psychological and emotional impact on the child, and courts must have the power to protect children from this harm.” With this passage, not only may a child have three parents, they may have more if it is in the child’s best interest.

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Posted on in Family Law

California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyerA rising number of couples are turning to in vitro fertilization for child conception. Many use this methodology to conceive after years of difficulty. Recent scientific studies show that IVF significantly increases the likelihood of conception. Meanwhile, other future parents choose this alternative as a way to preserve their ability for when they are more financially stable and able to care for their beloved child. However, a lot can happen between the egg retrieval and the time at which the eggs are utilized. Sometimes, couples need to go their separate ways through divorce litigation or mediation. Do these frozen embryos qualify for custody arrangements or property division?

Why Is This an Issue?

There currently is no legislation in California regarding the usage of embryos after a divorce. The downfall to this is that each court then must decide the outcome based simply on the facts of the case, without taking into consideration the emotional or physical needs of either individual. As an embryo is a fertilized egg, meaning it has DNA donated from each biological parent, and many fertility clinics require a contract from both sides before completion of the procedure. There is often a clause in this contract indicating what to do with the embryos in the event of a divorce. Unfortunately, we are not all born with the capabilities of seeing into the future, and at the point of signing, these two individuals are often so full of every other emotion, divorce is not the forefront option. Within many of these contracts, couples readily agree to destroy the embryos should a divorce occur.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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