June 2013 Archives

How You Behave Can Affect Your Santa Rosa Custody and Visitation Agreements

child-custody.jpgYou finalized your divorce, all custody issues have been settled and you're living apart peacefully.

But suddenly your ex-spouse isn't agreeing with some aspects of your custody and visitation agreement.

When Agreements Fall Apart

Here are a variety of ways that custody and visitation agreements can often fall apart.

  • Your ex-spouse is repeatedly showing up late for visitation exchanges or missing them completely. Or she might be discouraging your children from spending time with you.
  • If you and your ex-spouse share legal custody, you both have a right to be involved in major decisions relative to the education, health and welfare of your children. Excluding each other from key decisions means that you are violating your agreement.
  • You are not allowed to attack your ex-spouse in front of the children, lie to the kids about their father or mother, or denigrate your ex-spouse. Causing your children to think negatively about your ex-spouse will affect the court's opinion of you.
  • If you allege that your ex-spouse is being abusive to your children and those charges are false, you will put your own custody rights at risk.
  • If you have a problem with substance abuse, you can expect to have your drug habit negatively impact your child custody and visitation rights

Back in Family Law Court

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Is Mediation An Option for You In Your Santa Rosa Divorce

i-mediation.jpgYou always worked hard, took care of the children, and managed the household. When your husband was away from the home, you trusted him when he said he was working.

But recently you discovered that your once loyal spouse has a lover and you want to file your divorce and get what you deserve.

Or perhaps you're marriage has simply devolved into petty fights. You fight over who forgot to return the milk to the refrigerator or about who was supposed to make the bed in the morning.

If any of these scenarios seem familiar, then you are probably not a candidate to resolve your divorce with mediation.

But if you don't have children and you and your spouse still like each other, then mediation is a better option for separating your assets and moving on with your lives.

You Can Save Money with Mediation

A mediator is a neutral third-party, which can be a lawyer, who assists couples in reaching agreements as they separate their community property.

Mediation has become an increasingly popular alternative to divorce lawsuits. In fact, in 1998 California's legislative branch revised the California family code to accommodate consumers' desire to have a more affordable divorce option.

Mediation is definitely less costly than a lawsuit as long as the parties agree to amicably reach agreement on how they will separate their assets.

How to Work with a Mediator

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How to Divide Retirement Accounts In Your Santa Rosa Divorce

Retirement Account Bank.jpg

"She works hard for the money
So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right"

In case you didn't recognize the lyrics, they are from the Donna Summer song, "She works hard for the money."

Summer was right. People - men and women - do work hard for their money. They also save hard for retirement.

You've probably stashed as much money as possible in a 401k and IRA, or in stocks, bonds and treasury notes. Instead of traveling to Italy, you visited your in-laws or you camped in Big Sur last summer.

You've done whatever you could to give yourself some assurance that when you turn 60 or 70, you would have sufficient funds to feel comfortable as you age. With your wife or husband, you saved because with the fate of Social Security so uncertain, you would be crazy not to have a retirement fund.

But what if after years of saving, your marriage disintegrates? How would your retirement be divided?

But that's My Retirement Account?

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Are Santa Rosa College Students Headed for Bankruptcy?

Ball-Chain-student-loan-debt-wedding-300x295.jpgAfter years of studying and spending tens of hundreds of hours in the library, you're finally free from school.

Unfortunately, you're not free of the student loan debt you accumulated.

If you just graduated from law school or medical school, your student loans will be even higher and possibly saddle you with debt you'll need to repay for many years to come.

The good news - if you consider this good news - is that you're not alone. It is now estimated that 70 percent of the graduating classes of 2013 owe an average of $35,200.

$1.1 Trillion in Student Loan Debt

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education, 38 million student-loan borrowers now owe in excess of $1.1 trillion. Their debt includes federal, state and private loans and loans made by their families. Some students placed a portion of their debt on their credit cards and are paying exorbitant interest rates.

The student loan debt in California is lower than the debt in New York but more students in California are delinquent in repaying their debt, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Some experts believe this discrepancy is due to students attending East Coast private schools that better equipped them to repay their loan debt.

Hello, McDonalds!

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