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Most are familiar with prenuptial agreements, which are sometimes referred to as antenuptial or premarital agreements. Prenuptial or premarital agreements are documents signed before parties get married. Prenuptial agreements can encompass a wide range of issues from property and debt division, spousal maintenance and attorneys’ fees in the instance of divorce. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, certain legal formalities need to be met. However, many are not so sure what a postnuptial agreement is and why they might want to enter into one. A postnuptial agreement is just like a prenuptial agreement, except it is entered into after
Parties who settle their divorce or family law matter amicably often do not want to go to court. Not going to court is one of the bonuses of settling the case. Going to court can cause some parties with lots of stress. Some parties not like the thought of being seen in court. They might not want to take time off work. Further, they worry that if they go to court, the matter will not resolve cooperatively. In a collaborative divorce, the hope is that the parties will sign settlement paperwork. In a divorce with kids, for example,…
In a divorce, courts require parties to identify all marital assets and debts. The exact way in which this takes place can vary. However, most courts require parties to disclose their assets and debts in financial statements early in the case. Discovery usually takes place to various degrees in a divorce as well. There could be interrogatories and requests for production propounded relate to marital assets and debt. Depositions often take place. The lawyers may also issue subpoenas. However, some parties may, unfortunately, decide to hide marital assets in a divorce. They might hide assets with the illicit motive…
Many want to settle their divorce or family law matter outside of court. However, versus hiring lawyers, they want to work it out on their own. Man ask why they should spend the money on lawyers? The thought makes sense on a lot of levels. If parties could settle their case on their own, maybe that would be best. But there are problems with this line of thinking for most: 1.) If parties were able to settle on their own, would they be getting a divorce in the first place? The cause of many divorce or family law…
Parental alienation cases are some of the most challenging kinds of child custody matters. In a parental alienation case, the children do not want anything to do with one of their parents for illogical reasons. Parental alienation is the opposite of realistic estrangement. Realistic estrangement is where a parent has behaved in such a way that the children logically do not want to be around a parent. Logical reasons typically involve severe instances of abuse or neglect. In parental alienation matters, one parent has either overtly or indirectly engaged in actions that cause the children not to want to
  In any divorce, including a collaborative divorce, all marital property and debt have to be divided. In an equitable division state, marital property and debt are to be divided in a just manner when considering all the statutory factors. Stock options are often overlooked by many parties when dividing marital property and debt. Some parties might forget to include them on their financial statements inoccently. In other cases, a party might, unfortunately, fail to disclose them in hopes that the other party does not discover it. In a collaborative divorce, it is vital that both parties act in…
In divorce and child custody matters, courts issue custody orders at the end of the case. In some states, these are referred to as parenting plans. Sometimes, a temporary order, known as a PDL Order in some states, is entered while the case is pending and before a final judgment is entered. In some cases, a party might think about denying the other party their custody or visitation time. They might even feel as if they have a good reason to do so. Take cases where they believe abuse or neglect is taking place. Thus, they might wonder what…
In collaborative practice, one goal of both parties ought to be a fair settlement. A fair settlement means that both parties generally believe that the settlement is fair and equitable for both parties. This is counter to traditional litigation where the goal is often to get the best deal possible for themselves. This is a mindset that is based on win-lose solutions versus win-win solutions. In collaborative divorce and family law, win-win is what both parties should strive for in their case. Win-win solutions help prevent future disputes and disagreements. Win-win keep parties out of court. Win-win solutions also…
A divorce or family lawyer’s job is to help their client in a competent, communicative and diligent manner. However, the more the lawyer knows, the better most lawyers are going to be able to help. A lawyer needs to be armed with the facts. They need to be provided with the details. This means that the lawyer needs to know the good, the bad and the ugly about the case. Knowing the facts helps the lawyer present the client’s case in court. It also helps the lawyer prepare for what the other lawyer might focus on in court, which…
In divorce and family law matters where custody and visitation of children are at issue, many wonder whether keeping a custody log will help. In other words, does it make sense to get a calendar and take notices of who has the kids when and to also document key events? When individuals going through a divorce or family law matter contemplate this, it often seems like a whole lot of work. It takes a lot of time after all to document custody each and every day on a calendar. There are also lots of software programs, digital calendars and
The first settlement proposal in a collaborative divorce or family law matter can be critically important. Depending on that first offer, the other party to the case can decide that negotiating may bear fruit. In other words, there are some settlement offers that can be so ambitious, that the other party might decide just to walk from the table. They might decide that the offer is so unreasonable, that they might feel hurt or insulted by it. Or, they might just feel like a reasonable settlement will be impossible. On the other hand, it is true at the same time…
Many individuals end up in the family court for various reasons. It could be a divorce. It could be a legal separation. It could be other matters like a paternity case, order of protection, motion for contempt, motion to modify or numerous other cases. Some may have seen the family law matter coming to fruition. Others may not have seen it coming at all. The filing of the case might have been a complete surprise to them. Some individuals are lucky in that they have the financial means to afford an unexpected family law matter. Others, however, might not…
Reaching a settlement in a divorce or family law matter is easier said than done. For parties who are participating in a collaborative divorce, most are looking for a reasonable settlement. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be participating in collaborative practice in the first place. But to settle a divorce or family law matter, a settlement is required. That means a settlement on all issues. In divorce and family law, the issues in play might be wide-ranging. To get there, the parties have to get to a reasonable settlement. A reasonable settlement is in the eyes of the beholder. That’s a…
When a divorce is filed, the couple often begins the process while living together in the same home. The question then for many is whether or not this is sustainable. Should the parties continue to live in the same home during the divorce? Or is it better that one party moves out of the house? And when there are kids involved in the divorce, does this change the analysis? These are all questions that many ask. The reality is that like anything else, there really are no black and white answers. Every case is different and every circumstance is…
A collaborative divorce is a great option for those who wish to amicably settle their divorce outside of court. This is particularly true where both parties want to settle, but there is not an agreement on all issues. In some situations, one party, however, wants a collaborative divorce, while the other party does not. This does not necessarily mean that the other party wants a litigated divorce.  But, sometimes, they have other ideas in mind. They might want to hire an attorney who litigates, but who is willing to exchange settlement offers and negotiate. They might want to go…