Are Parents Required to Pay for College?

185939630The following is a guest blog post by Maggie LaBranch, a solo practitioner located in San Jose, California. Her passion in law shines in making personal connections and building relationships in her family law and trusts and estates practice.

The case of the New Jersey teenager who left home and then sued her parents for payment of continuing private high school tuition, living expenses, and future college costs put fear into parents nationwide. Even the judge noted the “potentially slippery slope” involved in the 18-year-old teen’s case, which she ultimately dropped. But it brings up the related issue of parental obligations for the education and living expenses of their older teens in the context of separation and divorce. What are these obligations under California law?

Continue reading

Danger Ahead: 7 Child Custody Clients to Avoid

For each attorney, there are many cases that he or she ought to turn down. One reason to decline a case is a client that is likely to be nothing but trouble for you. Continue reading

When Financial Discovery Gets Complicated

hats_153049007Many family law attorneys are used to doing it all and wearing many different hats. But financial discovery can get complicated enough to warrant bringing in a specialist. Continue reading

Protecting Privacy During Divorce

privacy_200393443-001Going through a divorce is difficult on many levels. Your client may feel like his or her personal life is laid bare for everyone to see. As an attorney, you can’t protect your client from the emotional exposure involved in divorce, but you can take measures to protect your client’s financial laundry from being publicly aired. Continue reading

Love and Marriage…and Prenups

prenup_153168603It may not seem very romantic to discuss prenups right before Valentine’s Day, but some people consider them to be an important bridge to cross on the way to happily married life.  Continue reading

Until the End of the Contract Do We Part

The rumor that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes signed a five-year marriage contract prompted a New York Time’s article on the idea of 20-year renewable marriage contracts as a way of overhauling marriage in our society. The idea of short-term, renewable marriage contracts can be appealing, but would such agreements be enforceable under California law? The hitch may be in California law’s abhorrence of anything that promotes divorce. Continue reading

A New Take on the Quicky Divorce

A “Divorce Hotel” may be coming soon to a luxury hotel near you! As the New York Times explains, “Check in on Friday, married. Then, with the help of mediators and independent lawyers, check out on Sunday, divorce papers in hand, all for a flat fee.” Not surprisingly, this concept may have the makings of a reality show too. Continue reading

What Can and Can’t Go Into a Premarital Agreement

With the recent nuptials of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, there has been speculation as to whether the billionaire Facebook CEO had Ms. Chan sign a premarital agreement. We may never know the answer to that question — at least not if the marriage is a successful one — but we do know that premarital agreements are recognized under California law. But that doesn’t mean you can agree to anything in a premarital agreement; there are some things that you just can’t sign away. Continue reading

In the Divorce Wars, Who Pays the Attorney Fees?

Divorce has many costs, not the least of which are the attorney fees incurred by each party. But it’s not always the incurring party who has to foot his or her attorney’s bills. Continue reading

Keeping to the Style in Which They Have Become Accustomed

After a divorce, both parties want to continue to live in the style to which they have become accustomed. And California law supports this desire by requiring courts to base spousal support awards on the standard of living established during the marriage. Fam C §4330(a). Ah, but the rub can be in determining what exactly was the marital standard of living. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: