Avoiding California Probate

Many decedents’ estates end up having to pass through California’s probate court system in some capacity. Probate court is the legal process through which estates are settled in accordance with relevant federal, state, and local laws, in addition to any estate planning documents the decedent might have created. California’s probate system is not as arduous as other states’, but it is advisable for anyone creating an Read More

How Are Pets Handled in a California Divorce?

Do you have a strong bond with your cat? Can’t imagine life without your dog? Many people who adopt pets with their spouses and later seek a divorce feel worried that they might not be able to keep their pet in the divorce, especially if their soon-to-be-ex also has a close relationship with the animal and would like to keep it. In most states (and in California until recently) pets are treated as property in Read More

Divorce in California: Contested vs. Uncontested

If you watch enough Court TV, you can't be blamed for assuming that filing for divorce in California is a drawn-out, expensive, and stressful process. While this certainly can happen (Rosendale vs. Rosendale took 12 years to resolve), it’s not the norm.  There are two types of divorce in California: contested and uncontested. Below is an overview of the main differences between these two dissolution options and Read More

Blending the Family: A Guide to the Stepparent Adoption Process

Adoption is a beautiful way to grow your family, and stepparent adoption is a special and unique way to really show your love. Unfortunately, adoption can also be a very complex legal process that needs to be handled properly in order to avoid delays and other issues. This blog outlines what needs to happen in order to successfully complete a stepparent adoption.  What is Required The first thing you need to do Read More

Understanding the Responsibilities of an Executor

When a person creates an estate plan, the estate plan typically includes a Will and that Will typically names an executor. If a person does not create a will, courts will assign an executor of their estate after their death. So what exactly is an executor? If you’ve been named executor of a deceased loved one’s Will and/or estate, you may be wondering, “What does this even mean?” The executor is the person Read More

The Pros and Cons of a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is a legal document that is used as a part of many estate planning strategies. The document is drafted and signed while you are living and funded by the assets you choose. These assets can include property, many financial accounts, and much more. When added to the revocable living trust, they are retitled in that trust’s name. Rather than you being the legal owner, they are owned by the Read More

3 Reasons Every Couple Needs a Prenuptial Agreement

Without a doubt, prenuptial agreements get a lot of bad press. For many, signing a prenup is equal to taking the first step on a path that will surely end with a divorce - and that’s even before the couple actually gets married. It is true that a prenup regulates important matters related to property ownership and financial obligations of the spouses - and it does so in a way that can help a couple avoid bitter Read More

3 Benefits of Drafting a Living Will

A Living Will is an important document that allows a person to state in advance his or her wishes with regards to medical treatment and end-of-life care. Its main purpose is to provide doctors and health care providers with information about the patient’s preferences and decisions in situations when they are unable to communicate such information personally. As such, it is often regarded to be an important part of a Read More

The Child’s Best Interest: How California Courts Calculate Child Support Payments

According to California Family Code, both parents have an equal responsibility to care for their child’s health, safety, and welfare. One of the primary ways to do so is by providing the child with adequate financial support and satisfying their material needs such as the need for sustenance, shelter and so on. Fulfilling this duty usually comes naturally when the parents of a child remain married to each other. Read More

Protect Yourself: A Brief Guide to the 4 Types of Restraining Orders Recognized in California

Abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual, is a serious problem in the U.S. Statistics shows that, on average, almost 20 people are physically abused by their intimate partner every minute. Unfortunately, California is no exception to this saddening national trend. Data shows that 32.9% of women and 27.3% of men have experienced some form of harassment at the hands of their intimate partners in their Read More