Thursday, May 22, 2014

How Do I Get a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.
The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:
            Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
            Sexual assault;
            Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
            Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.
Physical abuse is not just hitting. Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following you, or keeping you from freely coming and going. It can even include physical abuse of the family pets.
Also, keep in mind that the abuse in domestic violence does not have to be physical. Abuse can be verbal (spoken), emotional, or psychological. You do not have to be physically hit to be abused.  Often, abuse takes many forms, and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused.
If you are being abused in any of these ways or you feel afraid or controlled by your partner or someone you are close with, Call 911.  Once you are safe, immediately call the Law Office of Robert R. Beauchamp, Orange County Divorce Lawyers experienced in domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that helps protect people from abuse or threats of abuse from someone they have a close relationship with.
You can ask for a domestic violence restraining order if:
1.             A person has abused (or threatened to abuse) you; AND
2.             You have a close relationship with that person, meaning that you are:
            Married or registered domestic partners,
            Divorced or separated,
            Dating or used to date,
            Living together or used to live together(more than roommates),
            Parents together of a child, OR
            Closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).
If you are a parent and your child is being abused, you can also file a restraining order on behalf of your child to protect your child (and you and other family members). If your child is 12 or older, he or she can file the restraining order on his or her own.
If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, there are other kinds of orders you can ask for:
            Civil harassment restraining order (can be used for neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members like cousins, uncle or aunt, etc.).
            Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order (if the person being abused is 65 or older; or between 18 and 64 and a dependent adult).
            Workplace violence restraining order (filed by an employer to protect an employee from violence, stalking, or harassment by another person).
If you are not sure what kind of restraining order you should get, talk to an  Orange County Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Robert R. Beauchamp 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What a restraining order CAN do
A restraining order is a court order. It can order the restrained person to:
            Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
            Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools;
            Move out of your house (even if you live together);
            Not have a gun;
            Follow child custody and visitation orders;
            Pay child support;
            Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners);
            Stay away from any of your pets;
            Pay certain bills; and
            Release or return certain property.
Once the court issues (makes) a restraining order, the order is entered into a statewide computer system (called CLETS) that all law enforcement officers have access to. And your restraining order works anywhere in the United States. If you move out of California, contact your new local police so they will know about your orders.
If you move to California with a restraining order from another state, or if you have a restraining order issued by a tribal court (in California or elsewhere in the U.S.), your restraining order will be valid anywhere in California and the police will enforce it. If you want your restraining order to be entered into California’s statewide domestic violence computer system, you can register your order with the court.  But keep in mind that you are not required to register your out-of-state or tribal court restraining order. A valid order is enforceable even if you do not register it.
What a restraining order CANNOT do
A restraining order cannot:
            End your marriage or domestic partnership. It is NOT a divorce.
            Establish parentage (paternity) of your children with the restrained person (if you are not married to, or in a domestic partnership with, him or her) UNLESS you and the restrained person agree to parentage of your child or children and agree to the court entering a judgment about parentage. Read and use Agreement and Judgment of Parentage (Form DV-180) to do this.
Effect of a restraining order on the restrained person
For the person to be restrained, the consequences of having a court order against him or her can be very severe.
            He or she will not be able to go to certain places or to do certain things.
            He or she might have to move out of his or her home.
            It may affect his or her ability to see his or her children.
            He or she will generally not be able to own a gun. (He or she will have to turn in or sell any firearms he or she has, and will not be able to buy a gun while the restraining order is in effect.)
            The restraining order may affect his or her immigration status. If you are worried about this, talk to an immigration lawyer to find out if you will be affected.
If the person to be restrained violates the restraining order, he or she may go to jail, or pay a fine, or both.
Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
An EPO is a type of restraining order that only law enforcement can ask for by calling a judge. Judges are available to issue EPOs 24 hours a day. So, a police officer that answers a domestic violence call can ask a judge for an emergency protective order at any time of the day or night.
The emergency protective order starts right away and can last up to 7 days. The judge can order the abusive person to leave the home and stay away from the victim and any children for up to a week. That gives the victim of the abuse enough time to go to court to file for a temporary restraining order.
To get an order that lasts longer than an EPO, you must ask the court for a temporary restraining order (also called a “TRO”).
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
When you go to court to ask for a domestic violence restraining order, you fill out paperwork where you tell the judge everything that has happened and why you need a restraining order. If the judge believes you need protection, he or she will give you a temporary restraining order.
Temporary restraining orders usually last between 20 and 25 days, until the court hearing date.
“Permanent” Restraining Order
When you go to court for the hearing that was scheduled for your TRO, the judge may issue a “permanent” restraining order. They are not really “permanent” because they usually last up to 3 years.
At the end of those 3 years (or whenever your order runs out), you can ask for a new restraining order so you remain protected.
Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order
Sometimes, when there is a domestic violence incident (or series of incidents), the district attorney will file criminal charges against the abuser. This starts a criminal court case going. It is common for the criminal court to issue a criminal protective order against the defendant (the person who is committing the violence and abuse) while the criminal case is going on, and, if the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, for 3 years after the case is over.
The Restraining Order Process
When someone asks for a domestic violence restraining order in court, they have to file court forms telling the judge what orders they want and why. What happens after that varies a little from court to court, but the general steps in the court case are:
1.             The person wanting protection files court forms asking for the domestic violence restraining order. There is NO fee to file.
2.             The judge will decide whether or not to make the order by the next business day. Sometimes the judge decides sooner.
3.             If the judge grants (gives) the orders requested, he or she will first make “temporary” orders that only last until your court date. The court date will be on the paperwork. These temporary orders can include issues like:
            Ordering the restrained person to stay away and have no contact with the protected person (and other protected people and family pets);
            Child custody;
            Who can use the family home; or
            Who can use other property, like a car.
4.             The person asking for protection will have to “serve” the other person with a copy of all the restraining order papers before the court date. This means that someone 18 or older (NOT involved in the case) must hand-deliver a copy of all the papers to the restrained person.
5.             The restrained person has the right to file an answer to the restraining order request, explaining his or her side of the story.
6.             Both sides go to the court hearing.
            If the protected person does not go to the hearing, the temporary restraining order will usually end that day and there will not be a restraining order.
            If the restrained person does not go to the hearing, he or she will have no input in the case and his or her side of the story will not be taken into account.
7.             At the hearing, the judge will decide to continue or cancel the temporary restraining order. If the judge decides to extend the temporary order, the “permanent” order may last for up to 5 years.
8.             If the judge also makes other orders in the restraining order, like child custody or child support orders, these orders will have different end dates and usually will last until the child turns 18 or a judge changes them.
Getting Help
You do not need a lawyer to ask for (or respond to) a restraining order. BUT it is a good idea to have a lawyer, especially if you have children.

The court process can be confusing and intimidating. Both people will have to see each other in court, and both will have to tell the judge details of what happened in a public courtroom. Having a lawyer or (for the protected person) support from domestic violence experts can help make the process easier to handle.
By: Robert R. Beauchamp
Robert Beauchamp
Law Office of Robert R Beauchamp
23120 Alicia Pkwy
Second Floor
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Tel:  949-370-8000
Fax: 855-370-8100

Avvo Guide - Domestic Violence
Link to Orange County Superior Court Guide and Domestic Violence Forms

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lost Boys: Jason Patric, Sperm Donors, Surrogates and Parenthood

Paternity and Divorce attorneys are a twitter.

Jason Patric, best known as the star of "The Lost Boys, has dated some of the most glamorous starlets of the past two decades. But, it's his role as a father that has most recently launched public scrutiny into some of the most private aspects of his life.
Three years ago Patric’s former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber, asked him to help conceive a baby.
In a television interview with 20/20, Patric admitted: “I’ve been in a lot of relationships.” "I was always worried about having a child. ... But I was with someone, and I was at a certain age, [with] someone that I trusted and I loved. And so I said, 'Well, we can try this route.'"
A year later, their son, Gus, was born through the miracle of in vitro fertilization and for the next two years, Patric says, he was at the house every day.
But while Patric’s love for his son grew, his relationship Schreiber spiraled in the other direction.
Patric maintains that he has always had every intention to maintain a parenting relationship with the child and maintains that he never would have agreed to participate in IVF had he known Schreiber might not have wanted him to be the father. He maintains that he was always going to be the intended parent and so indicated on the IVF form on which he indicated that he was the intended father.
In 2012, Patric filed a petition to establish paternity. He lost in the trial court, which denied Patric custody and visitation of his four-year-old son, Gus, based on a California statute that provides that sperm donors do not have parental rights or responsibilities. But the case took a recent twist when the California Court of Appeals distinguished the case from a true sperm donor situation, upholding the paternity rights of a sperm donor who has demonstrated a close and committed relationship with his child.
The decision set a new legal precedent in the state for the rights of sperm donors. Interpreting state family law, California courts had never recognized a right of a sperm donor who isn’t married to the mother to make a paternity claim. “[A] sperm donor who has established a familial relationship with the child, and has demonstrated a commitment to the child and the child’s welfare, can be found to be a presumed parent even though he could not establish paternity based upon his biological connection to the child,” wrote Justice Thomas Willhite of the Second District Court of Appeal.
Patric’s victory could have implications beyond California, according to various law professors and practitioners. Georgetown University’s Jeffrey Shulman described it as an “important decision” for fathers’ rights.
“It serves as a cautionary note to mothers that there’s more than one route to seek paternity,” Mr. Shulman said.
Ms. Schreiber in court papers pointed to a California statute restricting the parental rights of sperm donors. That statute was intended to allow men to donate sperm without fear of liability for child support. But the appeals court said that the statute had been applied too broadly. In the case of Mr. Patric’s custody dispute, the court said, it was supplanted by another law that says a father is presumed to be the natural parent of a child if the parent “receives the child into his or her home and openly holds out the child as his or her natural child.”
The ruling “confirms the idea in the law that a biological parent can seek to establish a paternal right on the basis of having seized the opportunity to act like a parent,” said Mr. Shulman.
The ruling could also have repercussions for an unexpected population — women who use fertility treatments. Legal experts say the ruling could lead to changes in cases in which a man donates sperm to a woman he knows and then maintains a relationship with the child.
Patric's legal victory doesn't just impact heterosexual couples; it could also affect same-sex couples who have friends or acquaintances serve as sperm or egg donors.
The decision doesn't completely resolve Patric's fight to reunite with Gus. The "Lost Boys" actor must still prove to a Los Angeles judge that he qualifies as a father through his actions.
But the ruling definitely portends problems when a man donates sperm to a woman he knows or when a woman donates and egg to a person she knows then, as in Patric's case, begins to establish a paternal relationship with the child.
The ruling should prompt women receiving sperm donations, women receiving egg donations and surrogates for individuals they know should think twice about whether they maintain a relationship with the donor. Doing so could lead to to being designated later by a court to be a parent.
In the wake of the ruling, one should have to have a clear understanding from the minute the child's born, and even before, about what relationships are allowed with the child. Once you start the relationship, the court is going to allow the relationship to blossom.
No doubt the case is rare, but the scenario is likely to come up more frequently as reproductive technology advances and more same-sex and unmarried couples employ the procedures to start families.  And women won't be the only ones having to make difficult decisions at the fertility clinic. The key will be establishing immediately that you want to be the parent of the child.
By: Robert R. Beauchamp
Law Office of Robert R Beauchamp
23120 Alicia Pkwy
Second Floor
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Tel:  949-370-8000
Fax: 855-370-8100

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Parental Alienation in Child Custody Cases?

Without diminishing the existence and impact of alienation, it is important to keep in mind that neither party in a divorce is at their best or at their most objective when it comes to their ex.  At the same time, it is natural for children to be terribly confused during the divorce process and to independently choose sides for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with intentional conduct by either parent.  

Before heading into the signs of alienation, let me point out that the single most powerful thing that can be done to combat parental alienation is to ensure that every custody order requires that the parent who’s custody period is ending be required to deliver the child to the other parent to commence the other parent’s custody time.  This simple requirement dramatically reduces the alienator’s ability to use “home base” in the alienator’s attempts to interfere with the non alienator’s custody time.  It also forces the alienator to actually deliver the children to the alienated parent which serves two practical purposes:  (i) it conveys non-verbally that regardless of the negative comments made by the alienator, the alienator is still delivering the child to the alienated parent; and (ii) It forces the alienator to either exercise parental authority to require the child to obey the court’s order or face contempt for refusing to obey the court’s custody order.

In my experience as a divorce lawyer handling custody cases over an extended time, I have seen alienation perpetrated by both men and women, by both primary custodial parents and non-custodial parents, by both parents simultaneously and by grandparents and other family members.  Regardless of who is engaging in the alienating behavior, they are guilty of causing irreparable harm to the child that can take years to overcome. 

That said, there are any number of identifiable signs or indicators of alienation. Not all indicators appear in all cases, but the following are signs of alienation.  These signs should not be viewed in isolation, but in combination, keeping in mind that alienation is a complex problem and that children are independently confused and prone to take sides:

1. Lack of independent thinking; the child imitating the alienator’s thoughts and feelings.

2. The alienating parent tends to seek to curtail all communication between the child and the alienated parent.  The alienating parent may destroy mail or gifts from the alienated parent. When the alienated parent shows up to pick up the children, the alienating parent conveys either directly or through the children that the children do no desire to join the alienated parent for that parent’s custody time.  When done through the children, the alienating parent will often be standing behind the children. 

3. Removing pictures of the alienated parent with the chidden and/or ex-spouse, often “justified” by claiming that the act was done because the alienated parent no longer desired to be part of the family.

4. The alienated parent is portrayed as at fault for the divorce and is blamed for all problems encountered by the children and the alienating parent.  The alienating parent may refuse to provide things the child likes and blame the alienated parent for not paying sufficient support.

5. The child calls the alienated parent a liar and other abusive names in a manner similar to the alienating parent.

6. The child insults, shows disrespect, and humiliates the alienated parent often on front of the alienator.

7. Alienated parents are viewed as being despicable, faulty and deserving of being rejected permanently.

8. The alienating parent claims, often adamantly, that they are encouraging the child to make contact with the alienated parent while seducing the child emotionally, often by scheduling particularly fun or exciting events that conflict with the alienated parent’s custodial time.

9. The child is made to feel guilty for any love shown towards the alienated parent. The child will deny any involvement with the alienated parent, fearful of losing the approval of the alienator.

10. The child fears rejection by the alienator if he or she expresses any positive feelings about the alienated parent or any desire to spend time with him or her.

11. The alienating parent views the children as possessions using terms such as “my child” where “our child” would be the appropriate expression.  The alienating parent is viewed as all good, all wise, and all powerful by the child who becomes dependent, manipulated by them. There is never questioning that what the parent says or does is always right.

12. The child tends to paraphrase statements used by the alienating parent. The words used are often untypical of words likely to be used by a child.

13. The child will speak about exaggerated or contrived abuse that has been experienced from the alienated parent.

14. The child or alienating parent makes statements insinuating quasi or actual sexual, emotional, and physical abuse suffered by the child.  If the alienated spouse in a new relationship, the alienating parent will suggest that the alienated parent is spending time on the new relationship that should be spent with the child while continuing to curtail the time the child spends with the alienated parent.

15. Where there are allegations of abuse, the language used by the child comes indirectly from the alienator such as, “he touches me inappropriately,” or “he has penetrated me”  When the child uses such terms that they do not otherwise use, it is suggestive that the terms were suggested to the child by the alienating parent.

16. Children who are alienated lose the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood in a one-sided manner.

17. The alienated child will often show signs of alienation from the alienated parent’s family.

18. The alienator may alienate the child against a therapist or custody evaluator unless they supports the alienator. Hence the therapist is seen as an enemy in the same light as the alienated parent.

19. The alienated child tends to see themselves in a very powerful position, especially in the severity of their antagonism shown to the alienated parent. This is all done following the programming by the alienator.

20. Some alienators move away from where their ex partner resides in order to make visits difficult or impossible.

21. Frivolous reasons are given for not wanting to be with the alienated parent. Even when told that if these frivolous reasons are resolved, the child will often claim they do not wish to be with that parent under any circumstances.

22. The child is encouraged to be with friends or play on video games in preference to being with the alienated parent.

23. A child who had a history of a good, happy and warm relationship with the now alienated parent before separation or divorce will claim that they do not remember past events with the alienated parent that made the child happy.

Again, parents must keep in mind that many of these signs can be simply a result of anxiety and confusion by the child resulting from the divorce of parents, the reduction in funds available to support the former lifestyle and generalized anxiety about the situation and the future.  Still, in alienation cases, a pattern will emerge and an experienced divorce attorney can help you find solutions.
Here are resources discussing the problem of parental alienation and suggestions for dealing with it:

As a divorce and child custody attorney in Orange County, I have two types of cases: Those in which the parents divorce amicably and focus primarily on how they can work together for the best interests of the children and those in which the parties can’t stand each other and, consciously or unconsciously, interact with the children in a way that undermines the other parent.  Unfortunately, the latter outnumber the former 100 to 1.  

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting some thoughts on ways in which two parents can become parents who can overcome their own differences in order to minimize the impact of divorce on the children and, hopefully, find a way to at least learn to get along well enough to mutually enjoy their children’s activities and life events (birthdays, graduations, weddings and the like).

Sharing child custody is rarely easy, in large part because you're trying to coordinate with someone you couldn't stand being married to.  Nevertheless, studies show that shared-custody works best when both parents are cooperative, respectful, agree on shared custody, and manage their emotions.

Believe me, I know what you are going through, because I have been there myself.  Some might say that sharing my personal experiences violates some boundary or other, but as a child custody and divorce attorney, I will do all that I can to help others see that a peaceful arrangement can be reached. 

When there are problems in co-parenting, in my experience at least, the problem almost always results from one or both parents attempting to exert control over the other parent through the children.  Both in my practice and in my own divorce, I have seen this repeatedly.  

Extracurricular Activities:

Extracurricular Activities are a fertile source of conflict, particularly in the early stages of co-parenting during and after divorce.  For example, one parent schedules activities that conflict with the custody time of the other parent OR the custody order says that both parents must agree on any extra-curricular activities and one parent always, or almost always, refuses to consent to, or participate in, such activities.

Both as a parent sharing custody and as an Orange County divorce and child custody attorney, I ask myself, and my clients this question: “is this an activity in which the child participated, or in which the child would have participated, if you and your ex were still married?”  To me, the answer to that question is the deciding factor.  

If, being as objective as possible, you conclude that this is an activity in which you would have allowed, or encouraged, your child to participate during your marriage, you need to set aside whatever reluctance you have and agree to, and participate in, the activity.  The goal here is to minimize the impact of your divorce on the children.  You can despise your ex as much as you want, though you’ll later see that there is a better way.  Still, however much you hate your ex, if you love your children, you’ll set aside your own issues and those of your ex for the benefit of your children.

Another issue that can be tough is attending the children’s activities that occur during the other parent’s custody time.  If, for example, your child is in little league, attend all the games and practices that you would have attended if you were still married to your ex - err even on the side of attending more.  And, don’t be offended or resistant if your ex attends activities during your custody time.  The goal is happy children, not happy parents, although the latter is more likely if you follow these principles.  

Neither my ex nor I would deny that there was a time during which we could not stand the site of each other.  Even a brief perusal of our respective declarations in support of this or that OSC or Request for Order would show that, even as attorneys, we were people first and lawyers second.  We had, and have, every one of the same feelings and emotions as any other couple going through a divorce and custody battle.  We both made mistakes arising out of our own unhealthy emotions at the expense of our children.  With time, however, following the principles in this post, we have reached the point at which we actually like each other again.  Though I have remarried, my ex and I now have a relationship that is akin to adult siblings.  We have re-discovered the things we liked about each other and have gotten beyond the things we couldn’t stand about each other.

And, we didn’t get there because we worked on our relationship as ex’s, but because each of us independently awoke to the fact that we only had one thing worthy of leaving behind when we are dead and gone, and that one thing our children, damaged as little as possible by our conflicts and divorce and as emotionally healthy as possible despite our divorce.  

As a result, my new wife and I often meet my ex and the kids, regardless of who’s custody time it is, to attend the kid’s activities, to have dinner together, either at a restaurant or at one of our homes.  We allow our dog, whom I got after the divorce, to spend time with my ex while she had the children - not always, but whenever the kids ask.

Many of you are reading this now, saying to yourselves: "This would never work with my ex!"  I know that because I was one of you.  You may be right at any given moment in time.  But, your children will suffer more than necessary if you and your ex cannot put the children ahead of your own conflicts.  Keep an open mind and watch for any sign that your ex would be receptive to an opening to discuss cooperation.  Sometimes that receptivity arises when one parent begins to lose control of the behavior of one or more of the children as they get older, more advanced in their own preferences, etc.  In almost all cases, this will eventually occur.

By: Robert R. Beauchamp
Law Office of Robert R Beauchamp
23120 Alicia Pkwy
Second Floor
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Tel:  949-370-8000
Fax: 855-370-8100

Avvo Guide on Parental Alienation

Should I Have a Premarital (Prenuptial) Agreement?

Divorce attorneys are much maligned as one of the factors that make divorce more difficult.  Sadly, too many divorce attorneys in fact do just that.  But, through a premarital agreement, a divorce attorney can help eliminate some of the factors that lead to divorce and, should divorce unfortunately occur, divorce attorneys can make the dissolution of the marriage much simpler and much less expensive through a premarital agreement.

Premarital agreements seem like relatively recent developments but they have ancient roots.  Premarital agreements are mentioned in one form or another in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  So, with the wedding season again among us, some couples are doing more than shopping for wedding gowns, ordering flowers, and choosing reception venues. Many couples are discussing the terms of their prenuptial agreements.
You may be thinking: Is this planning a happy future together, or a divorce?

For some people it's a pragmatic idea, but for others, it chills the romance and threatens the chance of a happy marriage. One or the other partner may feel that suggesting a prenup shows a lack of trust and commitment, or attaches a higher value to assets than intimacy.

The profile of today's bride and groom has changed from the days when two penniless love-birds just starting out could easily tie the knot. Now many couples marry later in life, after becoming successful in their own careers. They may have acquired homes, significant financial assets, and hefty retirements. Children from a previous marriage may need consideration or they may want to avoid the financial sting felt from a prior divorce. And in any event, a protracted divorce settlement is no one's idea of a good time. Given these practical reasons, romance can still flourish if a prenup is approached in a sensible, yet sensitive manner.

Deciding whether a prenup is right for you and your future spouse is a personal decision, and every situation is unique. But, “timing," “wording” and specific procedural requirements are everything.
For the best outcome, try to get a general sense of your partner's approach to finances before becoming engaged. Talk openly and honestly about financial situations that you may have to deal with as a couple and express your expectations and anxieties about money.

When talking about a prenup, choose your words carefully. Phrases like "I want" and "I need" can sound as if you are focused only on yourself and your interests, rather than on the prenup as a mutually beneficial agreement, in place to protect both of you.

Once engaged, you will still have to work out the particular prenup details, but give yourselves time to enjoy your engagement. Don't talk about a prenup right after you become engaged, and don't wait too long to bring it up. You don't want your fiancé to feel that you are putting money before love, or that you waited until the wedding date was around the corner to bring it up-- both will dampen the romance.

If you decide on a prenup, each of you will want to have your own legal representation because you want both interests to be equally protected. In addition, there are very specific legal prerequisites to the enforceability of premarital agreements.  It is also usually best to retain attorneys who have no special connection to either of you; this keeps negotiations on a neutral keel. And, think about who you choose to represent you. Some lawyers are more sensitive than others in navigating the possible emotional waters.

A prenup is not about distrust, control, or impending doom; it's about planning and protecting finances for both of you. Once the prenup signed, let your lawyers keep the document. Go on your honeymoon, and forget the papers were ever drafted!

Although you will each need an attorney to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is enforceable if the time should ever come that it is needed, here are some additional resources that may help you evaluate with a prenuptial agreement is right for you and what it should contain in your unique case:

By: Robert R. Beauchamp
Law Office of Robert R Beauchamp
23120 Alicia Pkwy
Second Floor
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Tel:  949-370-8000
Fax: 855-370-8100

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What the heck is "Conscious Uncoupling"

Recently Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced there divorce, calling it a conscious uncoupling.  Not really a fan of Gwyneth, I had to ask, what the heck is conscious uncoupling?

In the process, I came across an article containing valuable insights to think about when contemplating divorce and/or going through a divorce with child custody issues.

5 Inconvenient Truths About Divorcing With Children

And, it turns out, that conscious uncoupling actually has meaning and can be a valuable concept to the extent that it is possible.  Of course, if conscious uncoupling were easy, we wouldn't need so many divorce attorneys.  Here are links to legitimate discussions of conscious uncoupling.

By: Robert R. Beauchamp
Law Office of Robert R Beauchamp
23120 Alicia Pkwy
Second Floor
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Tel:  949-370-8000
Fax: 855-370-8100