Year: 2017

History of Same Sex Divorce in California and Los Angeles

According to Frederick Hertz, an expert LGBT divorce attorney, LGBT marriages or the marriages of the people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities have been legalized in California long back in 2008 and those who married with same-sex people since they are allowed to enjoy all the rules of marriage along with divorce. Before you move further to know the history of LGBT divorce you should have a glimpse of the history of same-sex marriages in California and Los Angeles.

Five civil lawsuits were filed by the litigants in February 2014 in the Superior court of San Francisco and one in the Superior court of Los Angeles to stop the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in San Francisco. All the six cases were later on coordinated into In re Marriage Cases and assigned to the judge of Superior Court of San Francisco who overturned the Proposition 8 of California statutes.

LGBT or same-sex marriages were legally accepted by the State of California, the US for the first time on 16th June, 2008, when on basis of the ruling of Supreme Court of California In re Marriage Cases the State of California started issuing marriage licenses to the couples marrying same-sex people. In its ruling Supreme Court of California said that the constitution of the state was violated by baring the marriages of same-sex people. The issuance of these licenses was withheld from 5th November, 2008 to 27th June 2013 due to passing a state constitutional amendment known as the Proposition 8 to bar the same-sex marriages. But during this period the existing same-sex marriages continued to remain valid. Following the decision of United States Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry case the grant for same-sex marriages restarted by restoring the ruling of the federal district court of California which reversed and illegalized the Proposition 8.

Mr. Vaughn Walker, the Chief Judge of United States District Court, declared Constitution in Hollingsworth v. Perry case that Proposition 8 violates the clauses of Due Process and Equal Protection of the U.S. Constitution on 4th August 2010. But on 7th February 2012, this decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On 31st July 2012, Perry v. Brown case in Ninth Circuit was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court granted it a review like that of Hollingsworth v. Perry and on 26th June 2013, it gave its decision. The court gave this decision on the grounds that the officials who sponsored Proposition 8 had no legal right to appeal the decision of district court when it was refused by the public officials of the state. Supreme Court vacated the judgment of Ninth Circuit and returned the case to it and instructed the court to dismiss the appeal of the sponsors of Proposition 8. Thus the stay on the federal district court decision was vacated on 28th June 2013 and ban on same-sex marriages were lifted. Many LGBT couples married later on the same day.

After the legalization of same-sex marriages through the decision of the US Supreme court all the people who married before the ban are considered both recognized and valid to enjoy all the rules of marriage, including divorce. This new LGBT divorce law has also helped the LGBT couples living in California who want to divorce their partners from other nations or states. According to an expert LBGT divorce attorney, Mr. Hertz, to get a divorce from the unhappy same-sex married life the couples must have recognition of their marriage and the latest decision of the court makes it possible for them. The same-sex couples who got into marriage ties after the decision of the court in 2013 can divorce their gay partners if they are not satisfied with their married life.

So, if you or any of your loved ones is finding it difficult to continue their same-sex married life then they should contact an experienced LGBT divorce attorney who knows how to deal with LGT family law and can resolve the issues of LGBT child custody as required by your case. All these issues are complicated and cannot be resolved without an attorney who is well versed in LGBT family laws. The LGBT child custody is one of the issues for same-sex divorcees for which lesbians and gays have to suffer for several years to resolve them if they have not contacted a suitable divorce attorney for this purpose.

Dividing It Up—Divorce Laws Vary According to Individual States

Sacramento, CA – Divorce in California is a community affair. No, it’s not that the entire community gets involved [although there are those who will tell you otherwise]. Rather, it’s that aspect of Family Law in California that dictates whether your divorce will be governed by community property or equitable distribution. Divorce lawyers will guide you through this, of course—but here’s the skinny that may save you your shirt…

Equitable distribution is observed by most states. What that means, is that any property acquired during the marriage is deemed as belonging to the spouse who earned the income necessary to acquire it. In the event both spouses contributed equally to the acquisition, the division is fairly straightforward. However, there can be variations. In most cases, one spouse will earn far more than the other—or income is split with one spouse paying for the mortgage and property taxes, whereas the other covers household expenses. Does the spouse who paid for the groceries, then, miss out on the matrimonial home? Would a full-time caregiver to children lose out on the property because the other spouse earned the money to acquire it? There IS value placed in childcare and running the household. Divorce laws, together with the courts work all that stuff out on an individual basis.

Of course, in California, you don’t have to worry about equitable distribution. That’s because California is one of the minority states that observe community property.

As the term implies, monies and assets are pretty much split down the middle, regardless of who paid for what. Even if one spouse brought equity into the relationship and did most of the income earning to acquire property and assets within the marriage, the non-earning spouse may have an equal stake in everything.

It goes for debts, too. One spouse may loathe borrowing a dime for anything, while the other goes through credit cards like water. Guess what? The thrifty spouse owns half that debt, too.

The myriad of issues related to a divorce proceeding can make your head spin, regardless of state: common law marriage, child support laws—the list goes on. And that’s outside of issues related to the division of property. Family law attorneys can help guide you through the maze. Beyond that, it’s good to be aware of the primary thrust of divorce laws in the state of California when it comes to the division of property, so you’ll know what to expect in the unlikely event your marriage breaks down. And in California, divorce laws are based on the community property model.

Parents can lose custody of troubled children despite no finding of fault: California Supreme Cour

In an appeal involving a teenage girl who repeatedly ran away from home and gave birth to two children, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that juveniles can be removed from parental custody, even if there’s not a failure to supervise the child or no finding of neglect.

A California law allows children to be placed in state custody if it’s found that they’re at risk for serious harm as a result of the failure of their parents to supervise and protect them, the Associated Press reports. The unanimous ruling by the state supreme court found it doesn’t matter whether the parents neglected their children, or are to blame for not protecting them.

According to the opinion (PDF), the child, identified as R.T., was born in 1996, and started running away from home at the age of 14 and would not attend school. She falsely reported that her mother, identified as Lisa E. abused her. R.T. gave birth to one child when she was 15 and eventually had a second child, the opinion states.

R.T.’s mother sought help from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and law enforcement, according to the opinion, and later arranged for R.T. to live with her maternal grandparents. The grandfather previously worked with troubled youth, the opinion notes. R.T., who according to the opinion struggled with anger management issues, threw a chair at her grandfather.

The state in 2014 filed a petition to take custody of R.T., who was then 17. The court granted the petition and R.T. were initially placed elsewhere before going back to her grandparents’ custody. Her mother appealed, and an appellate court ruling upheld the lower court order.

“In arguing that dependency jurisdiction over R.T. was not warranted, the mother insists she was not at fault or blameworthy because she did everything possible to control R.T.‘s incorrigible behavior. We do not disagree — the record reveals her concerted (and at times desperate) efforts to protect and discipline R.T.,” the supreme court opinion states.“The record supports that R.T. faced an ongoing risk of harm based on her increasingly self-destructive behavior, behavior that mother simply could not control.”

Writer’s ‘awful’ prenup experience actually shows value of lawyers, law prof says

For Abby Mims, a prenup agreement was a humiliating experience that was still helpful because it gave her fiancé reassurance that his money would be protected.

Northwestern University law professor Steven Lubet has another take on the agreement. Though Mims failed to appreciate her lawyer’s work, he protected his client by insisting that the agreement be changed.

“For lawyers,” Lubet writes in the Chicago Tribune, “it is better to be blamed now than cursed later.”

In her Modern Love column for the New York Times, Mims says the prenup experience was “nothing short of awful.” She was embarrassed to disclose her meager financial situation to her lawyer, and didn’t want to change the agreement when he suggested it.

Mims had only $3,500 in savings and a Toyota Yaris on which she still owed $4,000 when her fiancé, Matt, asked her to sign a prenup. Matt had a career in finance and had “saved and saved, amassing an amount that he hadn’t disclosed to anyone,” Mims reveals.

Mims was happy with the agreement. “The agreement was essentially California law on paper if we ever left the state, which I understood to mean that if we were to divorce, we would leave the marriage with what we had brought into it and divide the rest,” Mims writes. “That seemed fair to me. We were in our 40s, not our 20s, and he was the one with assets to lose.”

But the lawyer had an objection to a clause that would bar Mims from getting her fair share if they were to sell their house. She confesses she was beginning to hate her lawyer as he rattled off figures. “When I left the lawyer’s office that day, I felt miserable and unmoored,” Mims says. She was sobbing when she called Matt and told him what happened.

Matt suggested they forget about the lawyers and just sign the agreement. Mims called her lawyer and told him their plans. “He advised against,” she said, “citing the troublesome house-sale clause.” The lawyer later negotiated a change in the language.

Mims ultimately saw the process as helpful because it removed money conflicts from their relationship. Lubet, however, is more skeptical of Matt, suggesting that his encouragement to sign the agreement “was disingenuous at best.”

“Abby and Matt have now been married for two years,” Lubet writes. “It seems that they no longer argue about money, with Matt having sequestered his personal funds and Abby trusting that the whole ordeal will turn out to have been unnecessary. …

“But if things ultimately do implode, well, Abby will at least get half of the house,” he writes.

Jailed Fathers Must Be Allowed to Participate in Release Program

Incarceration is no good for families. For parents, one of the worst parts of a prison sentence is being separated from one’s children. For kids, incarceration can lead to stress, developmental delays, and financial and emotional trauma. In such situations, incarceration can injure the families of offenders “as much as, and sometimes more than, offenders themselves,” according to studies.

Recognizing the problems caused by incarcerating offenders with minor children, California created an Alternative Custody Program in 2010. California’s ACP program allows participants to spend a portion of their sentence outside of prison, maintaining contact with their children. The program, previously limited to mothers, must now be made available to all eligible inmates, a federal court has ruled.