Prenuptial, Antenuptial, and Living Together Agreements
When two people get married, the law automatically creates legal rights and duties each spouse owes to the other. Thankfully, most of those rights and duties can be modified by contract. Those couples who are happily partnered and choose not to marry can contract to provide only those rights and duties they choose. For couples who are newly engaged, already married, or happily partnered with no plans to marry, the family attorneys at ADZ Law, LLP are here to help them create the legal framework for the partnership they want.
Divorce and Dissolution of Relationships
When a relationship is not working out and one or both parties contemplating a breakup, the lawyers at ADZ Law, LLP are available to offer counsel about rights, duties, and options to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their family. Our attorneys have many years of experience litigating and negotiating a range of cases including simple divorces with no children, complex asset distribution issues, high conflict custody issues, cases involving issues of mental or physical disabilities, special needs children, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Our family attorneys are compassionate, tenacious advocates who fight for our clients and their children, and provide honest assessments about what the law can achieve in a given situation. We advise and represent on the following types of matters:
- Termination: Dissolving relationships for couples who are married, in domestic partnerships, or are unmarried couples
- Children: Addressing issues relating to the children of the relationship
- Financial Support: Obtaining or defending against spousal and child support
- Division of Property: When the relationship legally ends, community property is divided equally, including any amount in home equity, business interests, pension plans, retirement funds, personal property (for example, artwork, jewelry, antiques, vehicles, airplanes), life insurance, brokerage accounts, stock options, bank accounts, and family pets without regard to which spouse contributed to its acquisition.
Division of Property
California is a community property state, which means that unless a couple contracts for something different (see prenuptial and antenuptial agreements), when they get married, all income, property, and debts are community property and shared equally among the spouses. Assets one spouses bring to a marriage, and any assets acquired through gift or inheritance, are generally considered separate property unless the parties do something, intentionally or unintentionally, to change that characterization.
When the relationship legally ends, community property is divided equally, including any amount in home equity, business interests, pension plans, retirement funds, personal property (for example, artwork, jewelry, antiques, vehicles, airplanes), life insurance, brokerage accounts, stock options, bank accounts, and family pets without regard to which spouse contributed to its acquisition. No court has the authority to divide the property any other way. With equal division the bright-line legal rule, the question of distribution often comes down to how the items are characterized. The fearless financial mavens at ADZ Law, LLP carefully evaluate and examine each client’s estate, explain how the law characterizes each item, and helps obtain the most favorable distribution.
When a relationship ends and the couple has children, there is an added layer of complexity, stress, and emotion. Our parental desire to do what is in the best interests of our children is strong. The lawyers of ADZ Law, LLP are skilled at gently and realistically preparing clients for parenting post-separation. Our attorneys utilize their negotiation and mediation skills to help parents prepare clear, specific, enforceable co-parenting agreements to minimize conflict and maximize cooperation. When agreement is not possible, we exercise our litigation brawn to seek all relief available in court. Our family law attorneys at ADZ Law, LLP can help with:
- Establishing and enforcing safe post-separation parenting plans (child custody and visitation)
- Obtaining orders identifying the legal parents for children born outside of a marriage, children with multiple parents, children born of formal or informal sperm donation or surrogacy, children formally and informally adopted, children raised informally by loving adults, and other types of nontraditional families
- Moving with child(ren) or stopping the other parent from taking the child(ren) away.
California Family Law Attorneys
ADZ Law, LLP represents clients in San Mateo County and the San Francisco Bay area of California. We invite you to contact ADZ Law, LLP to schedule a consultation to learn more about our practice areas, our team, and how we can help you.