Monthly Archives: December 2014

Prenuptial Agreements

December 31st, 2014

Prenuptial Agreements are back in the news.

What is a prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short)?

A prenup is an agreement  between prospective spouses that sets forth the parties’ property rights and financial responsibilities at marriage.  A prenup can address any number of issues including, but not limited to, how property is acquired (community or separate) and how the parties will control or otherwise manage their property.  Fam. Code § 1612(a).  Parties may not exclude the payment any potential child support.  Fam. Code § 1612(b).

But – isn’t that unromantic to discuss such things before we marry?  Having an honest discussion about finances before the wedding day may save parties from problems down the road.  In fact, if you don’t have a prenup, the state of California provides you one with its community property system.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Give yourself, your potential spouse, and your attorneys time to draft, review, and revise a prenup.  At a minimum – 7 days are required if a party is not represented.
  • It is encouraged to have both parties represented by independent counsel.

If you want to learn more about prenuptial agreements and terms to include, be sure to speak to an experienced family law attorney.

 

Haircuts?

December 4th, 2014

The actress Halle Berry took her ex husband to court for straightening their daughter’s hair without her consent.  The news article is located here.

Leaving aside any racial component, a child’s appearance falls under “legal custody”.  As noted previously, certain decisions require joint agreement, and if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Court may be called in to make a decision.  The Court (or the parties) can also craft “joint legal custody” orders to specify what actions require joint agreement and which do not.

For example, a joint legal custody order may require that parents agree to all non-emergency decisions about a child.  The parties may also agree that one party may be “in charge” of educational decisions while the other party is “in charge” of selecting the child’s doctor.  The Courts provide a template for different types of joint legal custody orders.  Parents are free to divide the responsibilities as they wish assuming the child’s best interest is basis for that division.

If you have questions about joint legal custody provisions, be sure to speak to an experienced family law attorney.