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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyer, Perhaps you and your spouse sat down and shared a lengthy conversation about what is wrong in the marriage and determined the situation as irreparable. On the other hand, maybe you knew that there were difficulties, but assumed there was nothing you could not work out together. No matter the situation leading to this point, nothing adequately prepares you for the moment you receive divorce papers, even if you saw it coming. What happens next? Do you have to reply? What happens if you refuse? These questions and more often come to the forefront of thought during this time.

The Papers

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Posted on in Divorce

California mediation lawyer, California divorce attorneyIt is no secret that the cost of divorce is not cheap. When you and your ex both need to set up separate living arrangements, complete with full pantries and furniture, it is strategic to cut costs where possible. Many protocols during divorce are optional and are the most useful during complicated separations. These extraneous measures are not always necessary for straightforward cases where both parties are amicable and willing to negotiate. If you are interested in reducing the financial burden of your divorce, we have a few helpful tips to consider.

Discuss Billing with Your Attorney

Explain your financial concerns with your divorce lawyer. Ask questions about billing arrangements. The majority of lawyers rely on an hourly charging schedule. Collect your thoughts and write down your questions before making communication if this is your agreement.

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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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California divorce attorney, California divorce lawsYour life is on the verge of significant change. You and the person who you have spent the last chapter of your life with are going your separate ways, bringing on a multitude of emotions. Excitement, anger, grief and happiness are all expected throughout the divorce process. Anxiety from the unknown will also keep many people up at night, especially leading up to the mandatory settlement conference.

What Is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a judge-ordered meeting to try to reach an agreement between two opposing sides. It is not required of every divorce, as default cases and those that can come to an agreement will not find any use in an MSC. This session is for divorcing couples who are unable to agree on divorce terms and have not found full relief in alternative methods, such as mediation. Along with their attorneys, both parties will meet in one session, or multiple sessions, if needed, to reach an agreement on complex matters. A “pro tem” or temporary judge will oversee the discussion and will attempt to help the couple reach a final agreement. If MSC does not resolve the controversy, then a trial will commence the following week, and the judge will decide the terms of everything left undecided.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce laws, California divorce attorneyAfter years of working and saving for a future for yourself and your family, you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. During the divorce process, most clients immediately understand that the assets need to be divided. Assets include everything from debts to the money in the bank account, to the house and the items in the junk drawer (provided that it is not trash hiding in that collect all drawer). Assets also include that retirement plan on which you have been diligently working.

Who Gets the Retirement?

You earned the retirement, so naturally, you are hoping that you are the one who gets to keep the retirement plan. The reality is, retirement is an employment benefit, just like any income earned. Additionally, any profits obtained during the duration of the marriage up until the date of separation are a part of the community property. As you may know, California is a community property state, meaning that everything valued to be community property is divided equally between the two parties at the time of the dissolution of marriage.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

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