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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce lawyerIf you are going through a divorce in the Santa Clara County and have signed a prenuptial agreement, you may wonder how it will affect your proceedings. In many cases, prenups simplify the divorce process, as these agreements dictate how property will be divided. Property division can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorces.

However, there are many requirements a prenup agreement must meet in order for the court to enforce it in full, as written and signed by the parties. If you seek to invalidate a prenup agreement, it is important to be aware of common mistakes that can be made. If you seek to enforce a prenup agreement, it is critical to identify weaknesses in the agreement and formulate a defense as to why the contract should be enforced.

In general, California follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which is a set of recommended laws adopted individually, in whole or in part, by states across the country. Some of the requirements and prohibitions found in UPAA include:

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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity attorneyIn California, having a legal mother and father can be very beneficial to a child. But not every child is born to a family with a legal father. California recognizes a child’s legal paternity if the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, or if the father is living with the mother and child in a family-like situation and demonstrates a commitment to the child. But if California does not automatically recognize a child’s paternity, there are two ways to establish it. A Sunnyvale paternity attorney can help.

Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

If a child’s mother and father wish to voluntarily establish the child’s paternity, they may sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) form, acknowledging that they are the child’s parents. If the mother gives birth in a hospital, the hospital will provide her with the form, and, if the father signs at the hospital, his name will be put on the child’s birth certificate. If the parents sign the VDP later, a new birth certificate, including the father’s name, can be issued.

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Posted on in Paternity

California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyWhen establishing paternity, or lack thereof, there is a chance that a “paternity test” or a DNA test will become a necessity. In some cases, one or both individuals receive an unexpected response, leaving them left to wonder the validity of the results and how it affects their case. Can these tests give incorrect answers?

The short answer is “yes.”

Can a test be wrong? Absolutely. No test is 100% accurate all of the time. There are paternity testing labs that do each test twice to ensure the validity of the results, however not every company does this, even some of the accredited facilities. Although there are several methods for running the comparison, the simplest and most non-invasive solution is collecting a DNA sample through a cheek swab of both the child and the potential parent. Scientists at the lab review the DNA strands within the sample.

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California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyThe school year is coming to a close, which means for many families with a child visitation schedule, housing situations swap. If you are the non-custodial parent who makes regular child support payments, you may have custody during the summer months. This alteration from the normal schedule raises questions about the continued payment of your responsibilities. If your child is with you for a month or more, are you still obligated to make a payment to the other parent?

Modification Options

As much as we may wish that we can alter payment schedules on a whim, this is not possible without court approval. When you set the payment arrangements, the decision became a court order which is unmodifiable, except through the court. To make a change, you must show proof to a judge that there is a significant change in circumstances requiring the change. Unfortunately, vacation and the predetermined visitation arrangements do not typically constitute a substantial change of circumstances. Instances that may qualify include:

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California family law attorney, California mediation lawyerMany children grow up envisioning their wedding day, dressed up as a prince or princess and marrying the person of their dreams. With today’s family dynamics coupled with a high divorce rate, this dream shatters, and many are left in an alternate situation. Perhaps they find their soulmate, the person with whom they are intended to travel through life. However, a growing number of couples choose to cohabitate rather than legally tie the knot. A common reasoning for choosing to remain legally separate is that “there is no need if what we have is good; marriage is just a piece of paper.” However, that “piece of paper” can make life easier down the road and provide protection because eventually, all good love stories come to an end, be it through natural death or separation. If your ending to a long-term relationship is a breakup, what are your options for property division or child custody? One great solution is divorce mediation.

A House Divided

Those who choose to cohabitate in California are not under any protection from a common law marriage that couples in other states enjoy. California has no such laws; if you never made it legal, the union never existed. With that said, no one enters into a committed long-term relationship knowing or even hoping that it will fail. If we all were able to see into the future, perhaps we would choose the marriage option to make a separation easier to navigate under the divorce laws of the state. Since divorce litigation is not an option, there are alternatives to assist splitting couples who were never married. One such example is mediation. This solution supports those who wish to guide their post-relationship agreement without the inclusion of a judge. Together, with the assistance of a mediator, you and your now ex can work out a legal agreement for all of the pieces of your lives together. Benefits of mediation include:

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