The Engagement is Over: Whose Ring? July 26, 2013

The engagement is over and the question of the engagement ring arises. Added to the emotional ruin, the parties involved must deal with the question of whether the engagement ring needs to be returned. Though most engagements lead to a marriage, some engagements do not make it to the altar and result in significant conflict over the engagement ring.

Courts generally treat the engagement ring as a gift, from the donor (the person who gave the ring) to the donee (the person who received it). To be considered a legal gift, three things must be present: the donor’s intent to give the ring as a gift, the donor’s delivery of it to the donee, and the donee’s acceptance of the item. If the person to whom the ring was given can show all three elements, a court will consider the ring to be a gift.

The California Civil Code ยง 1590 states: Where either party to a contemplated marriage in this State makes a gift of money or property to the other on the basis or assumption that the marriage will take place, in the event that the donee refuses to enter into the marriage as contemplated or that it is given up by mutual consent, the donor may recover such gift or such part of its value as may, under all of the circumstances of the case, be found by a court or jury to be just.

This means that the court considers such a gift, such as a ring, to be a conditional one. That means that, until some future event occurs, in this case the marriage, the gift isn’t final. So, if the marriage does not occur, then the donor has the right to get the gift back. In real life, many parents use this concept by, for example, giving a teenage son the keys to the family car, on the condition that he maintain a certain grade point average for a specified period of time. If he doesn’t make the grade, the keys must be returned.

Women who want to keep their engagement rings often argue that the condition needed to make the engagement ring a final gift is simply the acceptance of the proposal of marriage, not the completion of the marriage ceremony. That way, if the engagement is broken, the ring remains her property.

However, this argument often loses. The majority of courts find that the gift of an engagement ring contains an implied condition of marriage; acceptance of the proposal is not the underlying “deal.” Absent some other understanding — say, that the ring is merely a memento of a great friendship — most courts look at engagement rings as conditional gifts given in contemplation of marriage.

If you have a question regarding Family Law in Los Angeles please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Encino. After you have spoken with our Los Angeles Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.

Income Gap and Changing Spousal Support Roles July 25, 2013

The shattering of the glass ceiling allows many women to continue to narrow the income gap, which has resulted in some unforeseen consequences, particularly when it comes to divorce. Also, with the current economic situation in California, many formerly well paid men find themselves jobless. The burden then falls to the wife and she then provides most, if not all, of the family income. Family law courts are seeing a rise in men requesting spousal support from their wives, whose jobs may not be as severely affected by this recession.

In the past, men were rarely the recipient’s of spousal support. For years, the spousal support system has favored women, who are often the lower-paid individual in a two-income household. The rise in the number of women entering the higher-paying fields has started to change this. Spousal support laws are gender-neutral, and women with high-paying jobs may be in for a surprise if they end up in divorce proceedings.

Courts consider the extent to which each spouse’s earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the marital standard of living when looking at who should pay alimony, and in what amount. Taking into account a long list of factors including the supported spouse’s ability to work outside the home and still protect the interests of any dependent children in his or her custody.

While many men would not consider or accept spousal support, there are a growing number of men who either cannot find work, recognize their former spouse’s financial abilities, and therefore elect to receive spousal support. The courts often view a spouse’s general lack of initiative differently from those caught by economic circumstances, but a judge may grant spousal support to a man who has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle afforded by his wife’s employment.

If you have a question regarding Family Law in California please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in California. After you have spoken with our California Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.

The Pretrial Phase of the Divorce Process July 24, 2013

The pretrial phase of the divorce process is a significant step towards resolving your divorce. Many of the actions taken in the pretrial phase can have a lasting impact on your final divorce judgment. The period of time after you file for divorce and before you reach a settlement or go to trial is called the pretrial phase. In Latin, this is called the pendente lite portion of your case.

Once the parties have completed their initial discovery and have a clear understanding of the facts of the case, the Judge will schedule a pre-trial conference. The purpose of the pre-trial conference is to limit the issues, clarify the parties’ positions, and find as much middle-ground for settlement as possible.

In preparation for the pre-trial conference, the spouses must conduct a “4-way” meeting between both spouses and their attorneys. This meeting is mandatory, unless there is a restraining order in effect, and is meant to force everyone into the same room so they will have a rational discussion about their disagreements and see if there are any issues then can agree on.

After the 4-way meeting, you must prepare and file a pre-trial memorandum with the Court in preparation for the pre-trial conference. The pre-trial memorandum is an important opportunity to explain to the Judge your view of the evidence, your positions, and your arguments for how the Judge should rule.

During the pre-trial conference, the Judge will read through both pre-trial memoranda and try to help the parties come to an agreement by explaining the most likely outcome and rulings. If you are not able to agree, the Judge will limit the issues in dispute, schedule a trial date, and issue a pre-trial order with important deadlines and requirements for the upcoming trial.

If you have a question regarding Family Law in Los Angeles County please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles County. After you have spoken with our Los Angeles County Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.

Establishing paternity and collecting child support July 23, 2013

Establishing paternity, or determining a parent child relationship, is legally necessary in order to collect child support. If a child’s parents were not married to each other when the child was born, the law does not recognize the father unless paternity is legally established by a court order. Establishing paternity will give your child the same rights and benefits as children born to married parents.

An acknowledged father is a biological father of a child born to unmarried parents, for whom paternity has been established by either the admission of the father or the agreement of the parents. An acknowledged father must pay child support. An unmarried man who impregnates a woman is often referred to as an alleged father, or sometimes simply as an unwed father. An alleged or unwed father will be required to pay child support if a court determines or he acknowledges that he’s the father; in addition, an alleged or unwed father has the right to visitation with his child and may seek custody.

If parents are registered domestic partners when a child is born, the law assumes that the domestic partners are parents. However, same sex parents should get legal advice to make sure that the parentage is clear. Parents who are not married when a child is born can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity before they leave the hospital, or after. When people who are not married cannot agree about parentage, the Court can order genetic testing. Usually a child’s parentage must be established before you can get child support or custody and visitation orders. You can ask the Judge for child support or custody and visitation as part of a case that establishes the parentage of a child.

Anat Resnik serves clients throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. There many legal issues involved in establishing paternity and you need a qualified family lawyer to provide you with experienced and professional guidance and advice. When considering paternity issues, the best division you can make is to contact the Law Offices of Anat Resnik if you need to establish the paternity of your child.

If you have a question regarding Family Law in Southern California please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Southern California. After you have spoken with our Southern California Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.

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