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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.

Understanding a Postnuptial Agreement

According to Investopia, a postnuptial agreement “is a legal contract signed by a married couple after the wedding. This agreement not only dictates how a couple’s assets will be divided, but it also contains numerous other provisions dictating marital conduct.” Postnups are comparable to prenups, as they address the same issues. However, this agreement is entered after a couple is married. Read about varying postnuptial situations and why they are being drafted.

The Practicality of a Postnup

After marriage, some couples may want to negotiate their division of assets. From property and bank accounts to children from a previous marriage and a profitable business, a married individual can draft a postnuptial agreement as a way to protect their income and assets. In these situations, a postnuptial agreement can also help ensure that in the event of a divorce, each spouse exits the marriage “whole,” with the holdings he or she brought in.

Reasons for a Postnup

Married couples can redefine new terms from a prenuptial agreement with a postnuptial one. If they are dissatisfied with the contract, they can work with a lawyer to draft a postnuptial. This agreement is also for couples that do not want to negotiate a prenuptial before their big day. Therefore, married couples can opt for a postnuptial once they have settled into a marital routine. On the other hand, couples considering a divorce ought to consider this agreement.  It is a better option to minimize legal expenses and streamline the divorce.

Conclusion

Consult with a lawyer at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates for your postnuptial agreement. We understand the process and work hard to solve your legal issues quickly and efficiently. CALL FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION (949)-951-9529 today!

Annulments vs. Divorce

While most people know what a divorce is, an annulment is a less commonly known term that describes a similar legal process. In this month’s blog post we will explore the major differences between the two and exactly what should be understood about them before seeking representation and beginning their official legal processes.

Annulments

Those who are hoping to be granted an annulment have to meet a certain criteria, otherwise by default they will have to instead file for a divorce. In order to qualify for an annulment both parties have to agree that the marriage wasn’t ever legal or legitimate in the first place. Couples who have been granted an annulment move forward as if their marriage never existed.

Divorce

When a couple files for a divorce, it’s typically after an extended amount of time has passed since the marriage began and both parties have decided to part ways for any number of reasons. In a divorce both people have to agree on the fact that their marriage was always a legitimate union, however they also agree that it should not continue any further.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, both a divorce and an annulment effectively end a marriage. Some consider annulments much simpler processes because couples don’t have to go to court to divide their estates, pay alimony, or child support. If you or someone you know is seeking a highly skilled family lawyer who specializes in divorce and annulments, visit our website here.

Dealing with Retirement Funds during Divorce

You may be wondering how your retirement nest egg will be affected during your divorce settlement. Some mistakenly believe these funds are completely off-limits from the other spouse. However, generally that’s not the case. Any money in an IRA, 401K or pension is fair game in a divorce settlement.

Retirement funds are one of the most complex divorce issues to sort out. There are many moving parts to consider when splitting retirement. Such factors will determine how much a spouse will receive from your retirement plan. Certain issues must be determined while working out how to split these assets, including:


  • Does the other spouse have retirement savings?
  • What type of retirement fund is it– IRA, 401K or pension?
  • What is the current age of the spouse?
  • Was the retirement fund started before the marriage began?
  • How many more years will the spouse with the retirement fund continue to work?

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO (pronounced “quadro”), is a legal order by a judge that determines how assets will be split. A QDRO is used for alimony, child support and other divorce issues, not just retirement. A spouse must have a separate qualified domestic relations order for each separate retirement account.


“A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO (pronounced “quadro”), is a legal order by a judge that determines how assets will be split. “



For a 401K account, your legal representation may need to consult the plan administrator before drawing up a QDRO on your behalf. If your QDRO does not comply with the plan regulations it could extend the length of time it takes to settle your divorce. However, an IRA does not require a QDRO. In some cases a QDRO can prevent taxes from being levied on withdrawn 401K funds, but there are many factors that must be considered before determining if this is possible. If 401K money is withdrawn before the other spouse is 59.5 years old, there are generally penalties unless the money is rolled into another 401k account.

“Retirement funds are one of the most complex divorce issues to sort out.

Splitting retirement during divorce should be handled under the guidance of an experienced attorney. Don’t risk losing your entire retirement savings! Get a lawyer on your side who will advocate for your interests by contacting Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates today.

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