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Santa Rosa California Legal Blog

Bankruptcy: Carrying debt throughout life can be stressful

There are many individuals in California and across the nation who have encountered times of financial hardship that left them facing substantial amounts of debt. For many, issues with debt remain an ongoing concern, and some may feel as though they will remain financially unstable until the day they pass on. Dealing with similar concerns can be a harrowing process that may leave those who struggle under significant monetary obligations in search of relief through bankruptcy.

According to a recent study, nearly 10 percent of Americans surveyed admitted that they fear they will carry their debts throughout life. While this can seem alarming enough on its own, studies indicate that as many as 70 percent of those who carry similar obligations remain in debt until the day they die. The average amount of debt each person carries reportedly reaches amounts in excess of $60,000.

Knowing the options when facing divorce as a business owner

Business owners in California and across the nation may face a variety of concerns upon making the decision to dissolve a marriage. Going through a divorce can be intimidating enough on its own, and the process may seem even more daunting when complex assets are involved. Those who wish to gain an understanding of their options concerning a business during divorce may find it advisable to seek advice in the initial stages of the process.

When preparing for divorce proceedings, it is essential to ascertain the value of one's business assets along with all other marital property. This can help a person make more informed decisions concerning how to approach negotiations. In some cases, one might be able to use other assets to replace the value of his or her spouse's interests in the business. Another option to consider is selling the company and splitting the proceeds.

1 accused of drunk driving in accident that injures 2

Being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident can be a devastating experience. Once a dangerous collision occurs, law enforcement agents may be tasked with investigating the incident to determine what might have caused it to take place. Unfortunately, a recent collision that injured two individuals, one of whom was an on-duty police officer, has left a 49-year-old man accused of drunk driving in California.

The incident is said to have taken place on a recent Monday night as an on-duty police officer was approaching an intersection while out on patrol. According to authorities, the driver of a nearby car suddenly turned into the path of the police cruiser. Police assert that the officer was unable to react in time to avoid collision and state that the incident caused significant damage to both vehicles.

Ensure your child's rights are kept in place in custody matters

During a divorce, it is easy to focus on how everything impacts you and your ex. What you might not automatically consider is how it affects your children. They need to be kept at the heart of any matter that involves them.

As you are going through the divorce, remember that your children have some specific rights. These have a little to do with the child custody negotiations but many of them carry over into everyday life. Here are a few fundamental rights to consider:

  • Children have the right to enjoy being a child. They shouldn't have to be involved in adult matters.
  • Children must be able to avoid conflicts. As parents, you and your ex must keep contentious matters away from them.
  • Children shouldn't be messengers. In fact, they shouldn't know about many of the things that you and your ex discuss. Instead of using them to relay messages, discuss matters directly with your ex.
  • Children deserve to have friends. Just because you divorce your ex, the children shouldn't be expected to give up their friends. Even if you move away, find ways for them to stay in touch.
  • Children can't act as therapists. Using the children, even if they are teenagers, as a sounding board can have a negative impact on them emotionally.
  • Children need a relationship with both parents. They shouldn't ever have to hear you disparage their other parent.

Reasons a prenuptial agreement might not be enforced in divorce

Many individuals in California may consider it essential to maintain a healthy financial future throughout life. Upon making the decision to enter a marriage, a couple might wish to safeguard their finances by implementing a prenuptial agreement. Since this can be a complex process, a person could find it helpful to seek assistance in properly executing a prenuptial agreement to avoid having the arrangement be deemed invalid during divorce proceedings.

In many cases, a couple may initially begin discussing a prenuptial agreement verbally, but the document must be set forth in writing to be enforceable. In addition, each party who signs the agreement must do so of his or her own volition without being pressured into the arrangement. Those who enter a similar arrangement must also be given sufficient time to review the document before signing it.

Pedestrian accident leaves 1 facing drunk driving charges

Once a collision takes place, it may be advisable to remain at the scene and check on the safety of all parties involved. Should a person choose to leave the scene of a crash, authorities may be more inclined to suspect the presence of wrongful behavior. A 74-year-old man has recently been accused of drunk driving in relation to his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run accident that injured a pedestrian in California.

Law enforcement agents assert the incident took place just before 9 p.m. as a pedestrian was walking on the on-ramp of a local highway. Police claim that a driver struck the person soon thereafter and proceeded to leave the scene of the crash. The pedestrian suffered injuries in the accident and was rushed to a hospital for medical care. After allegedly obtaining a license plate number from witnesses, police proceeded to search for the vehicle and its driver.

Refinancing or applying for a new mortgage following divorce

When couples in California and elsewhere make the decision to dissolve a marriage, one of the most common concerns may pertain to how to handle the family home. In some cases, a couple may decide to sell the home following a divorce. However, should one person wish to remain in the home, both parties may need to reach a decision concerning a potential buyout, and a person may also need to refinance the mortgage or apply for a new loan altogether.

In some cases, a significant portion of a couple's wealth could be tied up in the family home. Deciding how to handle this asset can be an intimidating task, as the home may also hold a certain level of sentimental value. Even if an individual is able to come up with the resources to buy out the other person's interest in the home, if there is still a joint mortgage in play, there remains the concern of liability.

Parents must fit their budget around child support

The judge orders your ex to pay child support during the divorce proceedings. Your ex quickly brings out a budget, showing their income and expenses. This nets very close to zero at the end of the month, so your ex claims he or she can't make the payments.

Is this how it works? Is child support supposed to fit into an existing budget?

1 facing DUI charges after driving car into ocean in California

There might be a variety of scenarios in which a person could lose control of a vehicle and veer off course. In some cases, a moment of distraction can have a similar outcome, and a medical emergency can also leave a person momentarily incapable of staying on course. A recent incident in which witnesses claim a car veered onto the beach and became slightly submerged in the ocean has left a man facing DUI charges in California.

Law enforcement agents claim to have received reports of a vehicle veering off the road on a recent Sunday. According to witnesses, the man's vehicle veered onto a nearby beach and nearly struck several individuals in the process. After his vehicle came to a rest slightly submerged in the ocean, authorities assert the man attempted to flee the scene on foot.

Making the necessary financial adjustments after divorce

Many individuals in California may wish to take steps to protect their financial futures upon making the decision to dissolve a marriage. When forming a strategy for divorce proceedings, one may find it helpful to gain an awareness of all marital assets and the values of each in turn. However, even after a divorce is finalized, individuals may still need to take certain precautions to protect their finances, such as updating information on retirement accounts.

When considering retirement accounts and their potential impact on the outcome of a divorce, the first step is to find out if the account is marital or separate property. Although all assets are divided equally between spouses in community property states, such as California, a person might be able to retain possession of an account that retains its separate identity. However, even if the account remains separate, one's former spouse may still be listed as a beneficiary.

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