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Reversing a Legal Separation

The process for a legal separation is essentially the same as for a divorce, but with the option for it to be reversed. Unlike divorced couples, legally separated couples can reconcile their differences in court, re-enter the marriage, and return to joint status. Below, we discuss the required steps for couples hoping to reverse a legal separation in the state of California.

Step 1

The most important factor in reentering a marriage following a separation is that both spouses agree on doing so. Ideally the couple will have since resolved some or all of the major matters that initially lead to the separation.

Step 2

With your written Order of Legal Separation in hand, couples can draft a motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation. This document is essentially the formal document needed to ask the court to review their request.

Step 3

One a motion has been drafted, the court will require you to draft an official Order to Vacate Order of Legal Separation. This is the second step in confirming with the court that you wish to be remarried.

Step 4

The final step is to file the Motion and Order to Vacate with the clerk of the family court where the legal separation was initially filed. Be sure to include a copy of the original Order of Legal Separation at the time of filing and keep in mind that there is typically a filing fee due at the time of filing, which must be paid before the motion will be accepted.

Final Thoughts

Southern California residents seeking to reverse their legal separation can trust that Richard E. Young Family & Associates will get the job done as quickly and thoroughly as possible. We will help you legally resolve any and all issues in family court including custody, child and spousal support, property division, separate and community property characterizations and disputes, business valuations and division and more!

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

When married couples find themselves at a crossroads it’s often a choice between separation and divorce. What separates these legal processes can be confusing and most couples are often left with more questions than answers. In this month’s blog, we define and clearly distinguish the similarities and differences between filing for legal separation vs filing for divorce in California.

Definitions

A legal separation is defined as an ordered agreement in which married couples have legally defined boundaries and responsibilities. This is often a three to four month process that couples take prior to filing for an official divorce sometimes due to financial or religious reasons, or because it was required by a judge. A separation can be reversed in court upon all parties’ agreement in the decision.

Divorce is the irreversible legal dissolution of a marriage in court. This process will take at least six months of hearings, negotiations, and court ordered agreements before it will be finalized by a judge and made permanent.

The Similarities

It is not necessary for both spouses to agree to end a marriage when separating or divorcing. In California, couples filing for these processes also do not have to prove that there was a ‘fault’ by either spouse that lead to the decision.

Throughout both of these processes couples will have to agree on the terms of child custody and support, alimony, child visitation, attorney’s fees, and the division of assets or property. So essentially, the settlement agreement in a legal separation is almost identical to a divorce settlement agreement.

The Major Differences

The main difference between legal separation and divorce is that when a legal separation is finalized, the parties do not revert to “single person” status. This is important to note for taxes and health insurance reasons. Ultimately, the most notable difference between legal separation and divorce is that divorce is final.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you know is preparing for divorce or legal separation in Southern California, it’s crucial that obtaining a lawyer comes first and foremost. When choosing Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates as your counsel you will benefit from decades of industry experience combined with a reputation for honesty and success. Visit our website or call us today at (949) 951-9529 for your free initial consultation.

Divorcing with Pets

Couples have been mercilessly fighting over pets in courts for decades. In recent years, California lawmakers have made some major changes to how animals are shared and divided between divorcing couples. While following along below, keep in mind that the California laws that have been passed are not obligatory, meaning judges still have the authority to call these cases as they see fit.

The Best Interest

At the start of 2019 California legal experts had to begin adjusting the way they handled pets and divorce in court due to a newly passed law. In late 2018 NBC reported on the new law saying, “The measure provides judges with the power to consider what’s in the best interests of the animal in divorce cases, instead of treating them the way they’ve been treated by courts in the past — as physical property.”

This means judges should consider what’s in the best interests of the animal, very similarly to how child custody cases are resolved in court. It’s up to judicial discretion to create a shared custody agreement by taking into consideration factors like who walks, feeds and plays with the pet when deciding who the animal should live with and when.

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

As of present emotional support animals don’t qualify as service animals in the legal system and are not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also, under the ADA only dogs can legally be considered service animals, with a rare exception only for miniature horses. 

In a California divorce case service animals will go on to continue living with the individual that the animal was initially placed with for medical reasons. However, since ‘emotional support’ animals are not typically recognized as legitimate by the courts, each individual judge will have to establish custody agreements based on their personal discretion which can vary case to case. 

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you know is going through divorce with pets call on the local pros of Orange County Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates for help. We are the easiest law firm to work with in the county and have an A+ rating among our local community. Our team specializes in divorce and family law including custody, trusts, visitation, domestic violence, bankruptcy and much more!

The Important Ways to Let Your Children Know About Your Divorce

Divorce is not easy for your kids, and it might be challenging to talk to them about it. Overwhelming emotions and confusing thoughts swish back in forth in your mind daily, and the pressure of saying the wrong thing might make things worse. However, it can generate positive foundations for a joyful future for everyone involved if the situation is considerately managed. In this blog, we help you navigate with telling your children about your divorce, supporting them, and learning to co-parent successfully.

  • Both Parents Need to Be Present

The first essential thing to do before telling your children anything is to plan what you will say. Both parents need to agree on what you want to speak about and not. Also, the best time to tell your children about the divorce is as soon as possible. It is crucial to talk to them about real issues and not be discreet. Both parents need to tell the children what’s going on simultaneously to answer any questions aroused.  You need to anticipate any questions, concerns, and emotions that will happen.

  • Assertiveness Prevents Preconceptions

Assertiveness is vital to prevent your children from feeling that the divorce is their fault. Reminding your children that they are loved will eliminate any preconceptions. Each conversation should be direct and straightforward, explaining the reason for divorce in broad terms. Leave any vulgar and blame outside the room when speaking to your children about the divorce. The conversation should focus on the age-appropriate manner and reassuring your kids that you will continue to love them.

  • Scheduling the Conversation

Parents need to schedule the conversation where the kids have time to process what’s going on and ask any questions later. Every child will ask different questions depending on their age and emotional levels. And some children might stonewall or be silent because of the overwhelming emotions. The best time to speak to them is at the start of the weekend or a few days before the children go to school.

  • Co-Parenting Plan

Your marriage may not have lasted, but it is essential to agree to not disagree with parenting. When you compromise on how to raise a child, it will alleviate any issues that may come up. It can help direct your future relationship’s condition more successfully and create a positive transition for your children. When there are five to ten rules consistently in both households, it establishes consistency and routine.  The rules can be bedtime routines or similar chores around the house.

Communication is prominent to successfully co-parent. Regularly update and check in with each other to keep your conversation focused on the children. Also, if face-to-face interaction is too tricky, then it would be best to digitally communicate.

  • Children Look Up To You

Your children are looking up to you as a role model. When you treat each other with respect and courtesy, it will prevent any further issues. Try to distance yourself from foul mouthing and eliciting lousy information about their parent because this will make your children feel like you are testing their loyalty. Children will only lead to distrust their parents, which creates more tension.

  • Allow Opportunities For Expression

As stated above, children need a space to allow them to have the opportunity to express themselves. Your children will experience different emotions at different intervals of the divorce process. Always validate their feelings and encourage them to talk to both parents. With young children, the best way for children to allocate themselves is using books or imaginative play. Older children or teenagers show behavioral changes and addressing them softly and gently. If they are struggling, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Conclusion

Divorce is complex for both parents and children involved. The best approach is, to be honest, gentle, and understanding in the situation. Working together as parents can help create a sense of peace in both households. Above all, your children come first before you, so make sure to allow them to express their emotions freely.

However, it is not easy to talk about money and other severe topics with your ex-spouse. If you need assistance, Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates can help you legally coordinate and navigate the divorce process by interceding for both parties. We manage financial disputes, visitation, custody, and much more. Learn more about us at our website today.

Types of Bankruptcy in California

Many families, business, and individuals file for bankruptcy every year for a wide array of reasons. In California there are four common types of bankruptcy cases that ultimately work to help people and corporations repay their debts in a more feasible way. Below we review these four types of cases, who they apply to, and where you can go for legal support in California for bankruptcy.

Chapter 7

In order to qualify for chapter seven bankruptcy in California your income must be below a predetermined amount and you must allow the court to sell your assets to pay off your debts. This means any assets you possess minus certain exemptions will be sold, granting debtors what some call a ‘fresh start.’ Keep in mind you can only file for chapter seven bankruptcy once every six years.

Chapter 11

Chapter eleven bankruptcy is typically for businesses and corporations in debt, but is sometimes available to individuals as well. This option allows debtors to reorganize or restructure their debt so they can keep their assets while slowly paying it down over time. Not only is chapter eleven bankruptcy the most flexible, but it also does not have limits on the amount of debt one can be in.

Chapter 12

According to the U.S. court system, chapter twelve bankruptcy is specifically designed for ‘family farmers or family fishermen.’ It’s a simplified version of chapter eleven bankruptcy that allows these farmers and fishermen to carry out repayment plans to their creditors over three to five years, without surrendering any assets.

Chapter 13

Chapter thirteen bankruptcy is similar to both chapter eleven and twelve, but is designed specifically for individuals making a typical income. Debtors who qualify for chapter thirteen bankruptcy will have to repay their debts over three to five years while being allowed to keep their property.

Final Thoughts

Year after year, millions of people file for chapter seven bankruptcy, frequently those going through a divorce. Often, a discharge of consumer and tax debt through bankruptcy can be the key to unlocking your financial hardship. Contact our firm in Orange County, CA today for legal support with family law, trusts, bankruptcy and more.

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