Washington State Divorce Legal Issues

People approaching Washington divorces are often surprised by the deficiency of clear rules. People ask their lawyers, ” How much alimony do I have to pay?” ”How much child support will I owe?” How long I will have to pay?” How much of my pension does she get?” With very few exceptions, Washington Divorce Online has found that the law itself cannot give you very precise answers to these questions.

Either you and your spouse will negotiate a settlement between yourselves or a judge will determine the arrangements for you. In Washington State divorce cases, there are now formal guidelines that the court must follow in awarding child support. However, on most issues, judges are unfettered to implement their own discretion after hearing evidence, and this discretion extends even to child support guidelines.

You take your chances when you and your spouse go to trial. It can be a roll of the dice. Most judges do their best to be fair and professional, but, like the rest of us, judges are susceptible to their own prejudices and biases. If you don’t like the judge’s decisions you will either learn to live with them or you can appeal to a higher court, but few people ever utilize the appeal process. Appeals are difficult to win because the burden is on the person making the appeal to prove to the higher court that the trial judge misinterpreted the law or abused the discretion permitted the judge by law. Even if you are one of the few who wins on appeal, all you get most of the time is a new trial. The only way to be sure that your Washington divorce meets your needs is for you and your spouse to negotiate the resolution yourselves.

When you negotiate your agreement, you negotiate a contract voluntarily. You sign it voluntarily. You cannot decide that neither of you will support your children, and you cannot subject your children to danger or neglect. But, within very broad limits you are free to decide together, how you will resolve the issues at hand.

Settlement arrangements are negotiated in the shadow of the law. That means, you negotiate with an eye on what you think would happen if you were to go to trial and let the judge decide. Experienced lawyers often think they can predict what would happen at trial. Washington State Divorce lawyers tend to develop a consensus or sense of industry standards about the results of trials. They may agree that the judges “always give the wife half the house” or ” a third of the husbands pension.” They might agree that in a particular case $200.00 a week for child support would be unlikely. Lawyers who have appeared many times before the same judge may acquire useful generalizations. Much of this may be true indeed, but the truth is that you cannot depend on it. You may get a particular judge, or you may get that judge on a bad day, or your lawyer may be wrong. Although most lawyers will sovereignly foretell the outcome in court, few will guarantee you the conclusion. You need to treat such predictions with healthy ske pticism.

Paternity Tests in South Africa

Paternity Tests and the New Childrens Act

The new Childrens Act confirms in Section 36 a presumption in respect of a child born out of wedlock. The presumption is that the person whom had sexual intercourse with the mother at any time when that child could have been conceived will be presumed to be the biological father of the child in the absence of evidence to the contrary which raises reasonable doubt. In the case of S v L 1992 (3) SA 713 (E) it was held that the phrase “in the absence of evidence to the contrary which raises reasonable doubt” means that whenever there is evidence to the contrary, the presumption does not operate or ceases to operate. This is also in line with the courts decision in R v Epstein 1951 (1) SA 278 (O), where it was held that a presumption operating “in the absence of evidence to the contrary” only requires evidence, not proof, to counteract the presumption. The Childrens Act does not define the word “evidence”, thus any acceptable evidence suffices, regardless of whether it is direct or circumstantial, however, it must raise reasonable doubt.
Section 37 of the Childrens Act states that if a person in proceedings in which paternity of a child is challenged refuses to submit him/herself, or the child, to take blood samples in order to carry out a scientific test to prove the paternity of the child, then a presumption in our law exists in which the failure of such a party to agree to such a test may be used as evidence to prove the contrary. The effect of this section is that it compels a court to warn the person who has refused to have his/her or the childs blood sample taken of the effect which such refusal might have on his/her credibility.
Refusal by mother to submit her and child to testing
In O v O, Friedman JP stated that there is no statutory or common-law power enabling the court to order an adult to allow a blood sample to be taken for the purpose of establishing paternity. Although there is still no such power, Section 37 obliges the court to warn the mother of the consequences of her refusal (perhaps that the man she is accusing of having fathered her child cannot be deemed to have fathered the child in the absence of a blood test). He would then in all probability not be ordered to pay maintenance for the child.

By Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc. Cape Town
www.divorcettorney.co.za

The Important Challenges Every Person Have to Know Concerning Internet Movie Resources

Scores of new movies are released each year because movies entertain us in a special way. A man or woman is wants a decent collection of top movie hits. This is a way to sit and relax with friends and family as well as enjoy the pleasure of watching movies. The movie listing will be extensive, because we all like our favorite genres.

DVD disc are flimsy and typically have a short shelf life. People today are looking for movies storage devices to contain their movies and enjoy the movie when they are relaxed. New programs make it easy to download movies. Online movie providers make it as simple as clicking just a few buttons and surfing their database.

Look around on the internet at the various packages before making up your mind. People generally stick with a few leading software packages. Companies have all kinds of packages that will be around to answer any questions you may have. A lot of movie sites include quick burning modules for movies.

It is imperative to recognize the availabilities of robust movie programs that deliver movies that you can download online.Keep in mind that ignoring laws that protect print and media is a violation. Dont get side tracked by choose quality movies from authorized shops or sites.

The benefits that make a particular piece of software superior are the speed and burning rate of the software. the enjoyment of being able to burn top rated movies is deterred if a movie is burned with low quality. A large number of burning software will produce a movie without losing any picture quality in the reproduction, as a result, the final picture looks perfect.

The burn precision and software engine is paramount since some programs can take twenty-five minutes to complete even though some applications burn at lightening speed. It is possible to get an evaluation copy of software before you actually need to purchase it. Most companies let you try their computer applications on your system in which they give you ample time to use the software without paying for it. This allows you to try all of its computer burning features and if the movies burning program runs smoothly.

Look on the internet for genuine ratings and user experiences about movie software to, to uncover any tips and tips to working with the movie application you are pondering. Another great tip is to, go with the software application that makes you feel comfortable that matches your criteria. Getting familiar with any computer software guides will expand your understanding of how to use it effectively. If at any time you are ready to unlock the complete features and buy it, you’ll expect to see those charges in your credit card bill.

Go from beginner to advanced very quickly by researching topics connected to the latest trends happening in the movie software arena. A lot of software users stay updated online due to the reason there are a lot of sites on this topic As a result of using your time wisely to get more facts online, you will come across online sites that let you download free software applications and a website section that shows how many movies they have that they have on file for twenty-four hour access.

People pay according to the billing plan of the website and on how well the website is designed and the tools, software and other benefits such as games. Businesses that are authorized to let you download movies are the ones to join and feature high quality film downloads for your membership at a price-point that seems to be comparable for the services you get.

These measures are what define real internet businesses. An individual can quickly build a robust movie collection very quickly and play them the next time you invite friends over.

What Type of Lawyer Handles Swimming Pool Accidents

Sadly, swimming pool injuries and drowning deaths occur at a very high rate. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that everyday there are at least 10 pool related injuries or deaths that occur. What is even more alarming is the fact that 20 percent of these incidents occur to children under the age of 14, and of that 20 percent, a majority of the events happen to children between the ages of one and four.

In most cases, a personal injury attorney would handle a case surrounding a pool injury or drowning death. However, some of these cases can become complicated and may be in the best interest of the injury victim or their family to consider using a personal injury attorney that is very familiar with, or only handles, pool injuries or drowning claims.

— Injuries Associated with Pool Injuries and Drowning —

There are many different types of injuries that can occur in a swimming area. However, head trauma from falling and brain damage from loss of oxygen while underwater are the most common injuries. People who are submerged under water and become oxygen starved can suffer with one or more of the following issues:

Learning disabilities
Limited brain functions
Loss of use of one or more limbs
Speech problems
Hearing problems
Blindness
Personality changes usually resulting in quick temperedness
Organ damage
Permanent serious brain damage
Death

Additional issues may arise from these types of injuries that are less common based on the individual that suffered the injury.

Many of these injuries require life-long therapy and care. Individuals that have been injured in a swimming pool or hot tub area accident and their families should seek competent legal representation to seek compensation to cover the costs of care.

— Factors That Contribute to Drowning Deaths and Pool Injuries —

Pool areas can be dangerous, especially for children. There are many reasons that a pool injury or drowning can occur. Some of the more common reasons include;

Failure to place a safety cover or fence off the pool area
Failure to keep pool area fence locked
Lack of adult supervision around to pool at all times
Lack of warning signs around the pool area
Failure to provide lifeguards for public swimming areas
Failure to mark the depths correctly in the pool

It should be note that accidents and drownings involving children under four years old occur most often in their own home.

— Pool Safety Tips —

The effects of injuries associated with pool injuries are often suffered for a life time. Taking a few simple precautions may allow you to avoid the tragedy of pool related injuries or accidental drownings.

-If you own a pool, make sure that everyone in your home can swim. You can begin with lessons for children as young as six months.

-Establish pool rules. These rules should include:
oNever swimming without an adult present
oNever swimming alone
oNo diving, even in the deep end of the pool
oNo running around the outside of the pool
oStay away from the pool cover always
oAlways keep pool chemicals locked away

-If your pool is located outside, you will want to have a four foot fence with a gate that can be locked installed around the pool. You may also wish to lock the gate to your backyard. You must take precautions against neighborhood children entering your pool without your knowledge.

-Take a pool safety class and know how to properly perform CPR. This will be very helpful if an accident should occur. In fact, everyone who is old enough in your household should have CPR training.

— The Statute of Limitations —

When you have been injured in a pool related accident, or if your loved one lost their life to an accidental drowning, you must understand that there is a limited amount of time for you to seek compensation.

The Statue of Limitations are laws that are in place that limit the amount of time a person has to seek compensation for a personal injury. These limitations vary from state to state and can be as little as six months from the time of the injury. On average, the Statute of Limitations for seeking compensation for a personal injury is two years.

If you do not file a claim for compensation before the Statute of Limitation expires, you will not be able to seek compensation for your injury and losses. It is important to speak with a personal injury law firm about your rights as soon as possible after an accident occurs so that your rights as a victim are protected.

— Speak to a Lawyer Immediately About Your Rights —

If you or your loved one has been injured in a pool or spa related incident, you may have specific rights to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. You will want to talk to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these types of cases and their respective injuries. During your initial consultation, it will be explained what rights you have as an injury victim and what types of compensation you are entitled to under your state laws.

Islamic Divorce in New York State

Muslims residing in the State of New York are in a dual situation when it comes to the implementation of family law. On one hand, they are governed by the religious law of Islam, known as Islamic sharia, and on the other hand, the secular family law of the state of New York. To Muslims, the family law of Islam mandates that marriage and divorce among Muslims should be done in accordance with the Islamic sharia, regardless of whether they live in an Islamic or secular country. Civil divorce decrees obtained by secular courts are not recognized by Islamic sharia.

Under Islamic law, a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, whereas a Muslim woman is prohibited from marrying non-Muslim man. Under these rules, a non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man in compliance with Islamic sharia is subject to the rules of Islam in the areas of divorce, child custody and inheritance. In other words, a non-Muslim woman who gets married to a Muslim man in accordance with Islamic sharia, loses custody of her children in case of divorce, or in case the husband dies. Consequently, a non-Muslim woman marrying to a Muslim man is forced, under the rules of Islamic sharia, to surrender custody of her son when he reaches the age of seven, and her daughter at the age of nine. She also prohibited from inheritance. These rules are applied throughout Muslim countries with a system of sharia-based family law in place.

Marriage Contracts in Islamic Sharia
Under the rules of Islamic sharia, the marriage contract should include: (1) names and addresses of the couple; (2) name of the guardian of the bride; (3) names and addresses of two male witnesses; and (4) the amount of mahr, or a promise of money or its equivalent to be given by the husband to the bride. Like any other civil contracts, Islamic marriage contract should be in the form of offer and acceptance by the parties.

Contrary to the popular notion that mahr is dowry; it is not. A dowry is what the wife contributes to her marriage while mahr is an obligation on the husband to pay his future bride. Others call it a gift; it is not a gift either, because mahr is an obligation on the husband and is mandated by the Quran. The Quran calls it sadaq (Quran 4:4). If no stipulation of mahr is provided in the marriage contract, the marriage remains legal and in effect; in such a situation, the “qadi” (judge) will determine the amount of mahr, which remains a property of the wife alone. The amount of mahr can be paid partially: up-front (Arabic, muqaddam), and deferred until divorce or death of the husband (Arabic, muakhar), or it may be prepaid in full before the consummation of the marriage.

Legal Status of the Mahr Provision in Islamic Law
The most important feature of the mahr provision is that one party makes an offer and the other can accept or refuse to accept. It is a financial settlement between the couple in case a divorce occurs or the husband dies. Although, Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride.

In the State of New York, an Islamic marriage contract involving mahr may be considered premarital agreement for a divorce settlement. In legal terms, this is called a concurrence of wills or meeting of the minds of the future husband and his future wife. This also means that each party from an objective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their acceptance, and a contract was formed when both parties met such a requirement.

The basic rule is that a premarital contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the law of the state in which it was entered into. Thus an Islamic marriage contract signed in Egypt according to the Egyptian law for example, must be interpreted according to the law of Egypt. The Restatement of the Law Second Conflict of Laws 3d, Chapter 8, Contracts, is clear about the law for the state chosen by the parties to a contract. The text of the Restatement reads: “(1) The law of the state chosen by the parties to govern their contractual rights and duties will be applied if the particular issues is one which the parties could have resolved by an explicit provision in their agreement directed to that issue.”

Looking at both academic and case studies in this area of law, this article points the reader in the direction of the current trends in the treatment of mahr in New York State and to address Islamic family law issues relevant to New York State law and the working of its legal system. The mahr provision in an Islamic marriage contract has been interpreted differently in other states. For more information on treatment of mahr in other states, the individual should seek legal advice.

Interpretation of the Mahr in New York State
Muslim men and women assert their Islamic legal rights in American family courts; as a result, Islamic sharia governing their marriages and divorces becomes an important and complicated part of the American legal landscape. This leads to a discussion of court cases involving Muslim marriage and divorce litigations in the State of New York, as well as whether New York courts will enforce the terms of Muslim marriage contracts, mainly the mahr provision.

New York courts have jurisdiction over divorce cases within its territory, with specific focus on premarital contract structured in accordance with foreign laws. And, various state courts have found no public policy prohibition in enforcing such agreements. In New York, a mahr agreement may be interpreted within the context of a contractual obligation.

In Aziz v. Aziz, the couple entered into a mahr agreement which required the payment of $5,032, with $32 advanced and $5,000 deferred until divorce. The New York court ruled that the contract conformed to New Yorks contract requirements, and that “its secular terms are enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” (See Aziz v. Aziz, N.Y.S.2d at 124).

In this case, the husband argued that the mahr agreement provided in the Islamic marriage contract could not be enforced because it was a religious document and was not enforceable as a contract. The wife responded by stating that although the mahr is a religious stipulation; its secular terms can be properly enforced by the court. The court agreed with the wife and ordered the husband to pay the deferred mahr. The court found that the mahr agreement complied with the necessary statutory requirements to be recognized and enforceable as a premarital agreement and held that the secular terms of the mahr agreement were “enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” The court stated that the mahr agreed to by the couple constituted a secular debt of $5,000 and ordered the husband to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

The case was based entirely on another New York of Appeals case of Avitzur v. Avitzur involving a Jewish Ketubah in which a Jewish woman sued for specific performance to force her ex-husband to appear before a Beth Din (Jewish Court). Under Jewish Law, only a man can grant a divorce, or “Get”. Until he does, the woman cannot remarry within the Jewish faith to anybody. Her children will then be considered illegitimate. In order that a “Get” may be obtained, both husband and wife have to appear before the Beth Din. The husband refused to appear, leaving the woman in a state of marital limbo, making her an “agunah.” The New York Court of Appeals found that the Jewish ketubah constituted a valid premarital agreement that could be enforced despite the religious underpinnings of the agreement.

Conclusion
As the second largest religion, and with the number of Muslims immigrating to the United State on the rise, American courts are more frequently looking into Islamic divorce litigations between Muslim couples. Out of respect to Islamic law and culture, American courts attempt to apply certain provisions from Islamic sharia, such as the mahr contract in divorce cases involving Muslim couples. By doing so, American courts risk involving their arguments with gender and economic inequalities between Muslim men and women, leaving Muslim women destitute. The application of mahr agreements in Islamic divorce in the United States prevents women from exercising their rights to equitable distribution of marital assets upon divorce. If the courts need to extend their respect to Islamic law in divorce situations, they should look into whether the wife had a choice in signing the mahr agreement. Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, the Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride. Other states do not regard the mahr to be a premarital contract. Individuals seeking information on the treatment of mahr by other states should seek legal advice from a competent attorney.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Republishing of this article is hereby granted by the author.

Personal Injury – Injuries Abroad

If you are involved in an accident abroad you may be able to claim something back for the injuries caused. If you are claiming for a personal injury compensation claim, the accident that occurs abroad must not have been your fault. Therefore it is important that a expert solicitor is hired to ensure that all the evidence is brought together to prove that you were not at fault, after this you will be able to claim for compensation.

If you are working abroad and an accident has occurred whilst in the course of business, your employer would be liable and it will be possible for you to claim a personal injury compensation claim. You should hire a UK based solicitor based, so long as you are employed by a company that is also based in the UK at the time of the accident, or your employer’s registered office or place of business is located in the United Kingdom. This would mean that your claim would be treated as if you were claiming for damages had the accident occurred at work. If your situation is that you are working for an employer who is foreign or a foreign organisation, it will be vital to seek specialist legal advice in order to understand the best possible options available to you for pursuing compensation.

If the accident occurs whilst you are on holiday abroad, it would be best to hire a personal injury solicitor from the UK. They will be able to claim against the holiday company if the holiday was booked as a package deal through travel agents in the UK. Therefore the accident would need to be the fault of the travel agent or their representatives, such as hotel staff.

In a situation where the accident has occurred while you have been doing a sporting activity that was organised by independent operators in the holiday resort you are staying in, then there will probably be no liability under the Package Tour regulations. Dangerous or hazardous activities such as paragliding, waterskiing, snorkelling, bungee jumping, skydiving, underwater diving or banana boat rides are less likely to be covered under the Package Tour regulations, as they will not be part of the holiday package deal that you would have bought and therefore you cannot claim for compensation through your travel agent of their representatives. However, you can try and sue the companies in that country for the accident, but this can be much more difficult and expensive.

For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources visit www.lawontheweb.co.uk.

Custody of Children after a Divorce

Over the course of history women have been given custody of children after a divorce more often than men. This used to be seen almost as an automatic right. This has changed slightly in recent times though, with Fathers given significantly more rights when it comes to looking after children post-divorce. This applies to both custody and visitation rights if their ex-wife has been given custody. A Fathers role in the development of children is taken much more seriously than in previous times. Family Law states that Fathers have equal rights to Mothers and each decision should be made on its specific merits.

Statistics show that women get custody more than men though. What is the reason for this? It could be that there is still some bias towards women by judges, who assume that Mothers make better parents. On the other hand it could just be that Mothers tend to more often be in the position where the children living with them would be more appropriate.

After a divorce there are many factors that are taken into consideration when deciding which parent should get custody of the children. Each parents employment status can be a very important factor. If one parent works full-time and the other doesnt work at all, it may be deemed best that the children live with the parent who does not work. This is because (s)he has more time to be able to devote towards the children. This may be one reason why women gain custody more often than men; it is more common for women to be stay-at-home parents than men, although this is not as common as it once was. A decision is most likely to be based on this reason if the situation was the same when the couple were married, and this parent has spent more time with their children as a consequence. The decision can in some cases be made the other way round, with the parent who does work being deemed to be in a more financially stable situation. This is not always the case because this parent will usually be required to make maintenance payments to help the other parent bring up their children.

The situation each parent finds themselves in and the stability of this situation is also important. This can depends on employment as well as other factors, such as lifestyle. If one parent has medical or psychological problems, then they may not be deemed the best parent to bring up the children. If one parent has re-married it could work either way. It may be seen as a negative to have someone else playing a part in their upbringing so soon after their parents have separated, but it could also be decided that this is a better family environment to bring children up in. A criticism of the system is that too much of the decision comes down to the opinions of a particular judge, and no matter how much Family Law stipulates what should happen, everyone has certain biases.

Andrew Marshall (c)

Is it Time for a Divorce

Most of us enjoy fulfilling love from different relationships all through our lives. However, no love can be comparable to marital love that adults are entitled to. This love is unique for it is a homogenous blend of respect, admiration, acceptance, friendship, trust, faith and the need to feel special. Such an atmosphere of love and desire is conducive to a healthy and fulfilling married life.

If either of these is absent from a marriage, the couple should work at fulfilling that particular deficiency.

Lack of Respect

Respect for the marital spouse is the foundation stone for a strong marriage. Lack of it is signified by both, verbal and non verbal communication. Even a simple gesture like an upward eye roll indicates non acceptance and respect denial, lack of caring and aggressive behaviour. This simultaneously induces defensive and negative behaviour from the spouse which in turn aggravates hostility.

A more serious breach of respect is the verbal onslaught and physical and emotional abuse by the marital mate.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse comprises shoving, slapping, punching, kicking or strangulation. Physical abuse should never be tolerated. The partner might use such acts of intimidation for controlling the spouse or resorting to such behaviour pattern might have been a habit learnt from childhood. Whatever may be the inducing reasons, such negative behaviour jeopardise safety of all the other family members.

Emotional Abuse

Verbal abuse is more serious than physical abuse and people often tend to ignore it for the mere lack of physical symptoms and the fear of not being taken seriously. But, it is much more serious than physical abuse for it leaves an injury on the soul of a person. The abused, loses self respect, courage, self confidence, rational thinking and lives life in self doubt.

Like the eye roll, the very first act must be met with defiance. The partner must be indicated the non acceptance of such behaviour. It should be put an end to before it becomes strong enough to destroy the marriage. If the spouse fails to end aggressive behaviour, needless to say the marriage has to be terminated.

Lack of Trust

Adultery is common and more than 30% of men and 25% of women have indulged in adultery at least once in the span of their marital life. And 65% of adultery episodes terminated marital life. Adultery, as is commonly believed does not occur just for sexual fulfilment. Men have the inherent desire to be loved, respected, admired and have peace at home. These propel a man towards higher achievements. And women desire to be sincerely loved, and love financial and familial commitment from their men. The desire to feel protected is a primeval instinct inherent in every woman.

Non fulfilment of either need drives people toward adultery. The erring spouse soon loses the trust of the aggrieved partner. Both adultery and lack of trust can be easily dispelled before they damage the relationship between spouses. Counselling is a must to help partners get rid of such tendencies. Once either spouse realises what is lacking in a relationship, fulfilling that inadequacy is not difficult. Yet, if each chooses to ignore the needs of the other, then divorce might be the only solution.

Divorce Law Myths in Australia

There are many myths about the laws that govern divorce in Australia. A lot of television shows, such as Boston Legal will have many viewers believing that divorce is a complicated and daunting process. However the majority of divorces never make it to court and only about 5% actually have a judge that makes the final decision. The majority of divorce claims reach a mutual agreement between the two parties before entering the courtroom.

The assistance of a lawyer will speed up the process and will guide you through any complications along the way. A qualified divorce lawyer can answer all questions relating to your divorce claim, including child custody, courtroom affairs and division of assets and property. In most cases your lawyer will be able to reach a settlement with the other party without standing before a judge.

Equal Child Custody
The idea that children will receive equal custody by both parents is not true and neither is the thought that mothers receive more custody. There are a few legislations that state equal child custody however these legislations are not mandatory. The truth is child custody is decided by 3 factors; firstly the childs age and their ability to decide which parent is in their best interest.

Secondly, the safety of the venue the child will be residing, including the home, contents and the surrounding area. Lastly is the practicality of the arrangement, including the distance from school and other facilities the child requires. Another myth surrounding child custody is that there is a high abuse rate. The abuse rate is actually higher in intact families as opposed to separated families where both parents have custody.

Half All Assets and Property
Again only 5% of divorce claims settle property and assets before a judge, as the majority of claims are settled outside of court. Even when settling before a judge, the chance of receiving equal amounts is very rare. In contrast to what many people believe, the earning capacity of each spouse is not the basis for the division of property and assets. Rather home duties are weighed together and the home maker will in most cases receive up to 70%.

For example the father may be more employable than the mother; however the mother has more home caring skills and will most likely end up with a larger settlement. There are cases where the main home carer will not receive the majority of property and assets, and that is when assets exceed an exceptional amount, such as property over one million dollars.

The Jury Decides
Nearly all matters concerning family law will not have a jury and will only have a judge. Divorce claims are held in family or federal courts, where only a judge, registrar or magistrate is present. The only exception is criminal acts, which are not treated as family law and are handled differently.

The majority of simple answers surrounding divorce law are myths, because they cannot be explained briefly. If you are serious about a divorce claim, then you should consult a professional family divorce lawyer. The best way is to jump online and Google family lawyers in your area.

California State Divorce How to Start Yours

California state divorce laws are not that difficult to understand if you have good information. With the right advice, instructions, and explanations, you can get your own divorce started without hiring an attorney, and save a lot of money on legal fees.

This article will provide an overview of California state divorce laws in the context of how you can start your own divorce. You will learn what California law says about the roles of the Petitioner and the Respondent and implications of each role in the divorce.

The Petitioner and the Respondent. According to California Family Law Code Section 2330, every California state divorce starts with a Petition. The legal term for divorce in the code is “dissolution of marriage”.

The Petitioner is the person who first files papers and gets the case started. The Respondent is the other party. A Response need not be filed, but it is a good idea, otherwise the inactive person has little say about when or how the divorce is completed, unless there is already a written agreement. In order to become officially involved in the divorce, the Respondent will need to fill out and file California Family Law Form FL-120 (the Response).

In general, the more both parties participate, the better. After a Response is filed, the divorce can be completed only by written agreement or court trial. Agreement is better.

Equality. Once a Response is filed, the Respondent has equal standing and there is no legal difference between the parties or their rights, and either party can take any available legal step.

The Petition. So if you are the one who will start your divorce, you will be the Petitioner, and you will need to fill out California Family Law Forms FL-100 (the Petition) and FL-110 (the Summons) and file them with the Clerk at the appropriate courthouse. According to California state divorce law (as described in Family Law Code Section 2331), you will then need to serve your divorce papers on your spouse.

The only thing you need to know before you do this is that you want a divorce. The issues can all be sorted out and resolved later. However, it would be smart to learn the basics about California state divorce law before you start.

Advantages to serving the Petition:
Starts the clock ticking on waiting periods. California state divorce law states that the Respondent has 30 days to respond.
Causes automatic restraining orders to take effect, as per the instructions on the back of Family Law Form FL-110 (the Summons).
Has psychological value for Petitioner and tells Respondent a divorce is really going to happen.
Helps establish the date of separation. According to California state divorce law, the date of separation is whenever you can prove that one spouse intended to make a complete, final break (not just a temporary separation), with simultaneous conduct furthering that intent.

Possible downside. Serving papers can upset your spouse and stir up conflict if you dont properly prepare him or her ahead of time.

Getting a smooth start. Unless your soon-to-be Ex is an abuser/controller, you will probably want to start things off as nicely as possible. An abrupt start will probably increase conflict as an upset spouse is more likely to run to an attorney who will probably make your case more complicated.

So take some time to prepare your Ex and let him/her get used to the idea that a divorce is about to start. If you arent comfortable discussing things in person, write a nice letter. Let your spouse know you are committed to working out a settlement that you can both agree to and live with. Unless you are under time pressure, dont serve your Summons and Petition until your partner seems ready to receive the papers calmly.

The Response. A Response should be filed within 30 days of receiving the Summons and Petition, but can be filed any time before Petitioner declares the Respondents default.

Filing a Response is not an aggressive act. In fact, it is usually a good idea for the Respondent to take part in the action, especially if you have kids or property or debts to be divided. It is easy to do.

The only disadvantages are Respondents filing fee of about $320 for a California divorce, and the possibility that you might have to file a questionnaire about your case in order to avoid a case conference hearing.

There are numerous advantages to filing a Response. If theres no Response, Respondent has little control over when and how the divorce is completed, so the Respondent feels insecure. By filing, Respondent joins the case on an equal standing with Petitioner, so Respondent feels more a part of the process, more in the loop, more confident. Experience and studies show that the more Respondent participates, and understands the California state divorce process, the better the outcome is likely to be.