FAMILY LAW - DIVORCE
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Family Law is an extremely broad category of laws that include, divorce actions, paternity actions, custody and visitation issues, child support issues, property division issues as well as conservatorship actions.
TO MARRY OR NOT TO MARRY
It is surprising as to the number of people that decide not to go through the formal ceremony and become legally married today. They buy homes, cars, have children and start businesses together without getting married.
Aside from the moral and religious aspects, there are legal benefits of getting married. Marriage is a legally recognized institution. Let's assume that a couple decide to live together. They buy a house together, two cars together, start and operate a business together and have children together. After fifteen years of living together, one or both decide: I have had enough of this, let's split. Since we are not married, it won't be hard. NOT SO FAST!!!!
First, we have to assume that each party will claim an interest in the residential property as well as the business. A host of issues will need to be worked out regarding those matters, including valuation, who will remain in control. Second, there will be custody visitation and support of the children. Without a marriage, all of those issues will need to be resolved in at least two if not three separate courts in separate actions. A marriage allows the parties to resolve all of the issues in one court using one judge. A divorce can result in a less complex, less expense and a more cohesive result.
Family Court is designed to end the marriage and divide the debts and equally divide the community property with as little animosity as possible. The grounds for a divorce is simple: if there are irreconcilable differences between the parties and counseling or court intervention will not assist in reconciliation, the parties are entitled to a divorce. Seldom, however, does a divorce end gracefully. Often, animosity has developed between the parties that prevents a peaceful dissolution.
Points to ponder:
- A complete new set of dishes or pots and pans probably cost less than one hour of your attorney's time.
- An attorney is not a therapist. He or she is there to advise you as to the law and strive to obtain your half of the value of the community property.
- Despite the fact that mediators and judges tout family law cases as "Non-adversarial", the principles are the same as in any litigation case. Evidence is presented in the same manner which usually requires experts, discovery and presentation. These are the same techniques as used in any complete business litigation case.
- Don’t use the children as pawns. The universal theme among all judges is that parents may not want be married any longer, but they will be required to work together as parents