January 2013 Archives

Ready to Finalize Your Santa Rosa Divorce? Don't Forget These 5 Items

January 29, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

fiscal-cliff2.jpegYou're about to settle your divorce and you're certain you thought of everything, right?
You remembered to include the San Francisco 49er season tickets and your spouse's coin collection in your tally of assets. But did your lawyer discuss with you these financial consequences of divorce?

1) You will lose your health insurance. Once the divorce is final and you're no longer a dependent, your spouse is no longer legally able to carry you on his policy because you have ceased to be a dependent. As such, be sure to include this additional cost in your calculation for spousal support. By the way, your children can still receive coverage.

2) You may be entitled to Social Security benefits. If you were married for more than 10 years, are at least 62 years of age, and if you weren't the "breadwinner" during your marriage, you may be entitled to receive Social Security derivative benefits. Talk to your lawyer about this.

3) The courts want you to become economically self-sufficient. Even if you are awarded spousal support, you still need to make "reasonable" attempts at finding employment. This law also applies to spouses with small children.

Continue reading "Ready to Finalize Your Santa Rosa Divorce? Don't Forget These 5 Items" »

4 Immediate Actions Every Domestic Violence Victim Should Take

January 22, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

index.jpgDomestic violence touches every income strata and race. Judges, lawyers, police officers and even a well-known NFL player - Chad Johnson - have faced charges and made headlines.

Nationally, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year and 73% of those victims are female.

Domestic Violence, Battery & Willful Infliction of Bodily Injury

In California, domestic violence is defined as physical abuse committed against someone you know: a spouse, boyfriend, roommate, or someone you're dating. When arrested, abusers face incarceration and a fine.

Battery is any willful use of force or violence against another individual. Generally, the penalty is a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. When committed against someone with a restraining order, a police officer or a probation department employee, the consequences are more severe. In addition, the courts may force defendants to pay an added fee that funds domestic violence prevention programs. (Calif. Penal Code Sections 243, 1463.27)

Willful infliction of bodily injury occurs when abuse results in a wound or injury. Penalties include up to five years in prison, and depending on the circumstances, a hefty fine of up to $10,000.

California Domestic Violence Statistics

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State Sues Sperm Donor for Child Support

January 15, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

babies.jpgHave you ever donated sperm? Are you presently considering either helping a friend or an acquaintance fulfill her dream of motherhood? If you are, you'll want to keep reading about what happened to a sperm donor from Kansas who is being sued by the state for child support.

How could that be possible?

A lesbian couple in Kansas used a sperm donor who responded to a Craigslist notice. The pregnancy was successful and a girl was born, who is now three.

All went well until the lesbian couple split up. The birthmother became ill, sought state financial aid and applied for state health insurance for the girl from the Kansas Department of Children and Families.

Before providing assistance for the child, the state demanded the father's name. The donor's name wasn't listed on the birth certificate so, feeling pressured, the birthmother revealed the donor's name. The state maintains that the signed waiver releasing the donor from the responsibility of parental support is invalid.

This problem arose because in Kansas the state doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. Therefore, the state maintains that the donor is the child's legal father and should bear financial responsibility for the needs of the child.

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Will A Waiver of Spousal Support Be Upheld In A Prenuptial Agreement? It Depends!

January 8, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

prenuptial-agreement.jpgA recent appellate court ruling had held that a waiver of spousal support contained in a 1985 prenuptial agreement was invalid and unenforceable as contrary to public policy at the time of the agreement's execution.

When Raymond and Roberta Melissa married in 1985, Raymond demanded that Roberta sign a prenuptial agreement. The agreement contained an express waiver of any entitlement to spousal support.

When Roberta filed a petition for dissolution 24 years later, the family court declined to enforce that provision, finding that it was contrary to public policy at the time the agreement was executed.

Raymond appealed, citing the California Supreme Court's reliance on "contemporary public policy" in its analysis of a similar provision in another case.

Continue reading "Will A Waiver of Spousal Support Be Upheld In A Prenuptial Agreement? It Depends!" »

Marriage Licenses Renewals To Prevent Santa Rosa Divorces?

January 1, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

divorce.jpgBryan L. Salamone and Associates P.C. wrote an interesting post about expiring marriage licenses. In their post, it was noted that last year, it was reported that lawmakers in Mexico were considering legislation that would have created temporary marriage licenses as a solution to the rising number of divorces in the country. According to a Reuters report, statistics showed that in Mexico most divorce actions commenced within the first two years of marriage. In the nation's capital, Mexico City, nearly one in two marriages ended in divorce.

The idea behind the law was that the temporary marriage licenses would be granted for a period of at least two years. At the end of this trial period, the couple could either renew the license for any desired time period or they could just let the marriage expire. The law would have included provisions for how would happen to the property and children should the couple decide not to renew the license.

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January 1, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone