The Path to Establishing Paternity in California

Establishing Paternity in CaliforniaIn the state of California, when a married couple has a baby, the father is automatically assumed to be the legal guardian. This is also true for domestic partner parents: the law automatically considers the father in the relationship the biological father. However, what happens when the relationship is not so clear-cut? What happens when a father is not present at the birth, the couple is married but the child is not biologically related to the father, or the couple is simply not married at the time of the birth? What options do mothers and couples have to ensure their child will receive the support s/he needs in the coming years?

Fortunately there are a number of options to firmly establishing paternity in California of a child. Depending on the circumstances, you may need legal assistance to accomplish your goals. But rest assured, help is available no matter what.

First, if a couple is unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, California state law requires both individuals to voluntarily sign a Declaration of Paternity at the hospital, a local child support agency (LCSA), or a birth registrar. This effectively establishes the father as a biological relation to the child and finalizes the birth certificate. Continue reading

Truck Accident Claims Father of Two

A father is dead and his 4-year-old girl remains in serious condition with a fractured skull following a near head-on collision just outside of Fresno. According to a report by ABC 30, the accident occurred on Thursday afternoon near Reedley at Englehart and Floral Avenues. Investigators believe a tractor-trailer leaving Ruiz Foods in Dinuba failed to yield at a two-way stop sign and broadsided the car. It is also believed that the driver of the car, a father traveling with his two children and wife, took evasive measures to avoid a head-on collision. Officer Santiago Benitez of the California Highway Patrol suggests, “It appears from some of the physical evidence on the scene that he attempted to swerve to the right. Doing so, it broadsided the vehicle and not resulting in a head-on collision with the semi-tractor trailer.”

Investigators believe, were it not for the father’s decisive action to turn, putting himself right in the line of fire with the truck, the accident could have been far worse, even if everyone was wearing their seat belts. The truck was carrying a full load at the time of the wreck, weighing in at over 38,000 lbs. Fortunately, the mother and one daughter walked away with minor injuries, while the couple’s 4-year-old received a metal plate in her head and remains in the hospital. Continue reading

Fresno Divorce and Pension

Fresno DivorceWhen it comes to dividing assets in a divorce, few items can be as complex and potentially confusing as an individual pension. Like with most assets in a divorce, from houses to checking accounts, a judge weighs state law against a spouse’s pension and rule accordingly. However, unlike most assets, pensions must meet a number of federal guidelines and additional conditions before the division can be satisfied. If you are currently involved in divorce proceedings, consider some of the following points in regards to your retirement. Understand Fresno Divorce and Pension in this article.

Before, During, and After

As with most things in life, timing is everything. In regards to your pension, there are two distinct terms that apply across the board in any divorce: separate and community property. Separate property refers to those items, including your pension, that were secured before and after your marriage. Community on the other hand refers to any purchases or investments made during the marriage. For instance, if you live in California and your pension covers a 20-year span, of which 10 were spent in marriage, your spouse would be entitled to exactly one decade’s worth of your retirement. In other words, your spouse would not be excluded from the pension entirely – only the years before and after your marriage. Continue reading

Case Study: The McCourts and High Net Divorce

If you are facing a high net worth divorce, full of complex financial arrangements and significant investments, it is in your best interest to find an experienced family law attorney who understands the dramatic risks involved. You need an attorney who not only appreciates your joint economic situation, but also knows how to legally secure your rightful portion. After all, you don’t want to reach the final agreement, only to realize how much was left on the table. Unfortunately, such is the case of many high net worth couples. They may start off on relatively equal footing, but as the proceedings come to a close, the disparity in the settlement becomes painfully clear – to at least one person. Continue reading