Prenup vs. Postnup: What’s Right for You?

prenup

Entering into marriage is a beautiful and profound commitment but also a legal and financial partnership. Nowadays, discussions about prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups) have become increasingly common. These legal documents help couples define their financial boundaries and expectations, providing a safety net if the marriage faces challenges.

This article delves into the key differences, pros, and cons of prenups and postnups. This information can help you make informed decisions about your financial future.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenups are established before a couple gets married and is typically drafted and signed during the engagement, before the wedding. Its primary purpose is to outline the division of assets, property, and financial responsibilities should the marriage end in separation or divorce.

Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

Pros

  • Asset Protection — One of the main advantages of a prenup is the ability to protect individual assets acquired before marriage. This can be especially important for individuals who own businesses, real estate, or significant investments.
  • Debt Allocation — Prenups can specify how pre-existing debts will be handled during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. This prevents one spouse from shouldering the burden of the other’s financial obligations.
  • Clarity in Case of Divorce — In the unfortunate event of divorce, a prenup can clarify and streamline the divorce process. It can help avoid lengthy legal battles over property division, saving time and money.
  • Preserving Family Wealth — Individuals from families with substantial wealth may use prenups to ensure that family assets remain within the family in case of divorce.
  • Protection Against Marital Misconduct — Prenups can address infidelity or other marital misconduct issues, outlining consequences or financial adjustments in case such situations arise.

Cons

  • Emotional ImpactBringing up the topic of a prenup can be emotionally challenging. It might lead to mistrust or doubts about the relationship’s longevity.
  • Perceived Lack of Trust — Some individuals view prenups as a lack of faith in the marriage’s success, potentially straining the relationship before it begins.
  • Complexity — Crafting a prenup requires legal assistance, which can be expensive. Moreover, creating a comprehensive prenup involves careful consideration of all assets, debts, and future financial expectations.
  • Limitation on Alimony — Prenups can limit or eliminate the possibility of alimony, potentially leaving one spouse financially vulnerable if the marriage ends.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnups serve a similar purpose as prenups but are created after the couple is married. A postnup is established during the marriage to address changes in financial circumstances or other considerations.

Pros and Cons of Postnuptial Agreements

Pros

  • Addressing Evolving Situations — Postnups are suitable for handling financial matters that have changed after the marriage has already begun. This can include acquiring new assets, a change in income, or children’s birth.
  • Relationship Strengthening — Engaging in open conversations about financial matters, especially after marriage, can lead to better communication and understanding between partners.
  • Avoiding Divorce — Postnups can serve as preventive measures, outlining how certain issues will be handled in the event of divorce and possibly preventing misunderstandings that could lead to separation.
  • Flexibility — Unlike prenups, which are signed before marriage, postnups can be modified or amended during the marriage as circumstances change.

Cons

  • Awkward Conversations — Introducing the idea of a postnup may be challenging and uncomfortable, potentially leading to disagreements or misunderstandings.
  • Potential for Pressure — In some cases, one spouse might feel pressured to sign a postnup, fearing the consequences of not complying with their partner’s wishes.
  • Legal Complexities — Postnups, like prenups, require legal assistance to ensure they are valid and enforceable. This incurs legal fees and paperwork.
  • Uncertainty in Court — Depending on the jurisdiction, the enforceability of postnups can vary. Some courts might scrutinize postnups more closely than prenups, which could lead to potential challenges in divorce.

How to Know Which is Right For You

The decision between a prenup and a postnup should be based on your financial situation, goals, emotional considerations, and the specific dynamics of your relationship. Seeking professional legal advice from an experienced family law attorney and maintaining open communication with your partner throughout the process will help you make the best choice with your needs and aspirations.

Considering a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement? Azemika & Azemika Can Help

Both prenups and postnups are valuable tools for couples looking to secure their financial futures and protect their assets. Regardless of the choice, the goal remains the same. To ensure that both partners enter their marriage with a clear understanding of their financial rights and responsibilities, fostering a foundation of trust and security.

The team at Azemika & Azemika offers competent and compassionate legal counsel for clients dealing with family law issues. We can help you create a prenup or postnup that protects your interests and is tailored to meet your current and future needs.

Our team was selected two years in a row as the Best of Bakersfield for Divorce/Family Law Attorney by the Bakersfield Californian. Are you ready to work with our award-winning team? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Co-Parenting vs. Parallel Parenting: Which is Better for You?

co-parenting

Parenting after a separation or divorce can be challenging, but it’s essential to establish a healthy and effective parenting arrangement that prioritizes the well-being of your children. Two common types of parenting plans that parents often consider are co-parenting and parallel parenting.

This article will explore the differences between these two methods and help you understand which option might be best suited for your unique situation. By understanding the benefits and challenges of co-parenting and parallel parenting, you can make an informed decision that supports a positive and nurturing environment for your children.

Co-Parenting: Collaborative Approach

Co-parenting is an approach where both parents work together to raise their children, even though they are no longer a couple. It involves open communication, shared decision-making, and cooperation between the parents. Here are some key characteristics of co-parenting.

Shared Responsibilities

Both parents actively participate in their children’s day-to-day upbringing in a co-parenting arrangement. They collaborate on major decisions regarding education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. By sharing responsibilities, children can maintain a consistent relationship with both parents, promoting stability and emotional well-being.

Open Communication

Effective communication is crucial in co-parenting. Parents must communicate openly about their children’s needs, concerns, and any significant changes or updates. Regular check-ins, shared calendars, and joint meetings facilitate this communication process.

Flexibility and Compromise

Co-parenting often requires flexibility and compromise from both parents. Being willing to accommodate each other’s schedules, adapting to changes, and adjusting the parenting plan is essential. This flexibility ensures that the children’s needs come first and helps foster a positive co-parenting relationship.

Parental Consistency

Co-parenting strives to provide consistency for children by maintaining similar rules, routines, and expectations in both households. This approach helps minimize confusion and provides stability, making the transition between homes easier for children.

Parallel Parenting: Structured Independence

Parallel parenting is an alternative approach that minimizes direct interaction between parents while prioritizing the children’s well-being. It is most suitable for situations where co-parenting is not feasible due to high levels of conflict or lack of effective communication. Here are the key characteristics of parallel parenting.

Limited Communication

In parallel parenting, direct communication between parents is kept to a minimum. Instead, communication is often limited to written messages or email exchanges. This reduces the potential for conflict or misunderstandings and allows for a more structured and controlled environment for parenting.

Clearly Defined Boundaries

Parallel parenting emphasizes the need for clear boundaries between households. Each parent has the autonomy to make decisions regarding their household, including rules, routines, and discipline. Parents can reduce conflicts and maintain consistency within their parenting style by having distinct boundaries.

Parental Independence

Parallel parenting allows each parent to have a more independent approach to parenting. Each household can operate differently based on the parent’s values, routines, and preferences. This independence can be beneficial when there are significant differences in parenting styles or when communication is challenging.

Professional Mediation

In some cases, parallel parenting may involve a professional mediator or parenting coordinator. These professionals can help facilitate communication between parents, resolve conflicts, and provide guidance to meet the children’s best interests.

Choosing the Best Option for Your Situation

Deciding between co-parenting and parallel parenting depends on various factors unique to your situation. Consider the following questions:

  • Is there a high level of conflict or ineffective communication between you and the other parent?
  • Are both parents willing and able to put aside personal differences for the sake of the children?
  • Do both parents have similar parenting values and goals?
  • Are the children’s best interests being prioritized in the decision-making process?

Let Azemika & Azemika Answer Your Child Custody Questions

Ultimately, the decision between co-parenting and parallel parenting depends on the level of cooperation and communication possible between parents. If a healthy level of collaboration is achievable, co-parenting can provide numerous benefits for children’s well-being.

However, if conflict or communication issues persist, parallel parenting offers a structured approach that allows parents to maintain independence while prioritizing their children’s needs. Remember, each situation is unique, and seeking professional guidance or legal advice can help you make the most appropriate decision for your family.

Your children’s needs are paramount during a separation or divorce. That’s why at Azemika & Azemika, we protect your children’s interests and your rights as a parent. We will help you find solutions for all of your child custody concerns.

Over the past 31 years, our partners have successfully handled some of the most challenging family law cases in Kern County. We will help you understand the laws and procedures while navigating child custody issues in California and will actively engage in a settlement, negotiations, or litigating your child custody case.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Co-Parenting for Fathers 101

co-parenting

Fathering plays a critical role in the upbringing and development of children. However, navigating your role as a father can be challenging when you’re in a co-parenting relationship.

Knowing that your children suffer during this time is one of the most challenging parts of a divorce or separation. They may feel torn between their parents and the separate lives that they now lead. And it’s common for fathers to feel misunderstood, competitive, and frustrated.

Co-parenting can sometimes be complicated and requires a lot of patience, communication, and compromise to make it work. Here are ten tips to help you become a successful father in a co-parenting relationship.

#1. Communication is Key

Effective communication is crucial when co-parenting. You need to talk to your co-parent and work together to meet your child’s needs.

You should discuss everything from schedules and routines to discipline and education. Keep lines of communication open, and be willing to listen to your co-parent’s concerns and ideas.

#2. Establish Clear Boundaries

It’s essential to establish clear boundaries in your co-parenting relationship. This includes setting boundaries around communication, scheduling, and decision-making. In addition, respecting each other’s boundaries and privacy is essential to help avoid conflicts and promote a healthy co-parenting relationship.

#3. Be Consistent

Consistency is essential when it comes to fathering in a co-parenting relationship. Work with your co-parent to create consistent routines and rules for your child.

Being consistent will help your child feel secure and know what to expect. Consistency also helps reduce conflicts between you and your co-parent.

#4. Respect Each Other’s Parenting Style

Although your parenting style may differ from your co-parent’s, respecting each other’s choices is essential. Avoid criticizing or belittling your co-parent’s parenting style. Instead, focus on working together to find a compromise that works for both of you.

#5. Keep Your Child’s Best Interest in Mind

When co-parenting, keeping your child’s best interests in mind is important. This means putting your child’s needs first and working together to meet them. It also means avoiding conflicts or behaviors that could harm your child emotionally or physically.

#6. Stay Involved in Your Child’s Life

Even though you may not see your child as often as you would like, staying involved in their life is essential. Attend school events, extracurricular activities, and doctor’s appointments.

In addition, stay in touch with your child through phone calls, video chats, or texting. This will help you stay connected with your child and show them you are still a part of their life.

#7. Be Flexible

Flexibility is essential when co-parenting. You and your co-parent should be willing to adjust schedules and routines to accommodate each other’s needs to find a solution that works for everyone. This will help reduce conflicts and promote a healthy co-parenting relationship.

#8. Avoid Negative Talk

Avoid speaking negatively about your co-parent in front of your child. Negative talk can harm your child’s emotional well-being and make them feel caught in the middle. Instead, focus on positive and supportive communication with your co-parent to promote a healthy co-parenting relationship and benefit your child.

#9. Practice Patience

Co-parenting can be challenging, and it’s important to practice patience. Remember that it may take time to adjust to your new co-parenting relationship.

Be patient with yourself, your co-parent, and your child. You’ll find that a bit of patience can help navigate any challenges and promote a healthy co-parenting relationship.

#10. Seek Support

If you’re struggling with co-parenting, seek support from family, friends, or a professional counselor. Co-parenting can be stressful and emotional, and it’s important to have a support system to lean on. A counselor can help you work through challenges and develop strategies for successful co-parenting.

Let Azemika & Azemika Help You Establish a Fair Custody Plan

Fathering in a co-parenting relationship can be challenging, but it’s essential to make it work for the benefit of your child. It may take time to adjust to your new co-parenting relationship, but with patience, understanding, and a willingness to work together, you can create a healthy co-parenting relationship that benefits your child’s development and well-being.

Remember that co-parenting is about putting your child first and working together to ensure they have the best possible upbringing. By following these tips and having a good child custody plan, you can become a successful co-parent and a great father to your child.

At Azemika & Azemika, our firm exclusively practices family law, and our team has a combined total of over 64 years of experience handling family law cases. We know that your child’s needs are the utmost priority during a divorce or separation.

We will help protect not only your children’s needs but also your rights as a parent. We can help you negotiate a fair child custody plan and help you understand the laws and procedures in navigating child custody issues in California.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How to Make Parallel Parenting Work

parallel parenting

Co-parenting can be challenging, even after the most amicable divorce. But it can make things worse when you’re dealing with an ex who is combative, uncooperative, or is making it impossible to come to a co-parenting arrangement that works for both of you. If you’re in this situation, parallel parenting may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Parallel parenting allows separated or divorced parents to effectively raise their children while minimizing the amount of conflict between them. The idea behind parallel parenting is that each parent takes responsibility for their child’s care during their parenting time, and the other parent stays out of their way, except in cases of emergency.

If you’re considering parallel parenting or already practicing it and want to make it more successful, there are some tips you should keep in mind. Here are some of the best ways to make parallel parenting work for you and your family.

Establish Clear Boundaries

The first step to successful parallel parenting is establishing clear boundaries between you and your co-parent. This means defining what each of you is responsible for and your roles and expectations. Then, be sure to communicate these boundaries clearly and regularly to avoid confusion or misunderstandings.

Avoid Communication Outside of Necessary Topics

To minimize conflict, avoiding communication outside of necessary topics is essential. This means avoiding small talk or personal discussions that can lead to disagreements. Instead, keep your conversations focused on your children and their needs, and avoid any topics that may cause tension.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology can be an excellent tool for parallel parenting. For example, use email or messaging apps to communicate with your co-parent so that you can keep a written record of your conversations. This can be helpful if you need to refer back to something in the future or if there is a disagreement about what was said.

Be Respectful

Respect is key in parallel parenting. Even if you don’t agree with your co-parent’s decisions or actions, it’s important to remain respectful and civil. Avoid name-calling, insults, or negative comments, and focus on finding common ground where possible.

Keep Your Children’s Needs at the Forefront

Remember that the primary goal of parallel parenting is to prioritize your children’s needs. Keep this in mind when making decisions, and try to work with your co-parent to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children.

Follow a Consistent Routine

Children thrive on routine, and having a consistent schedule can help them feel secure and stable. Work with your co-parent to create a consistent routine for your children, including meal times, bedtimes, and other important activities.

Communicate With Your Children

It’s essential to communicate with your children about the parenting arrangement, especially if they are young. Tell them what to expect, and explain that both parents love them and want what is best for them. Encourage your children to ask questions and be open and honest with them.

Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If you find that parallel parenting is not working for you and your co-parent, or if there are issues that you cannot resolve on your own, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A family therapist or mediator can help you work through your issues and develop a plan that is best for your family.

Be Flexible

While routine is important, it’s also important to be flexible. Life is unpredictable, and there may be times when you need to deviate from the routine. Be willing to work with your co-parent to find a solution for everyone.

Take Care of Yourself

Parallel parenting can be challenging, and taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your children. Make sure to prioritize your needs, whether that means taking time for yourself, getting enough sleep, or seeking support from friends and family.

Azemika & Azemika, Kern County Family Law Attorneys

Parallel parenting can be an effective way for separated or divorced parents to raise their children without the stress and conflict often accompanying co-parenting. Using the tips above, you can make parallel parenting work for you and your family. And while parallel parenting isn’t easy, it can be a positive experience for everyone involved if approached with patience, respect, and a willingness to work together for the benefit of the children.

The details of your parenting arrangement depend on your unique situation, and seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can be beneficial. At Azemika & Azemika, we know that parallel parenting can be confusing and often challenging. We can help you establish a parenting plan and help you modify it in the future if your circumstances change.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Hiring a Family Law Attorney – Is it Worth It?

family law attorney

Family law is a complex and emotional field that deals with legal issues related to family relationships. Whether you are going through a divorce, child custody battle, or other family law matter, navigating the legal system on your own can be challenging.

Hiring a family law attorney can provide numerous benefits and help protect your legal rights. In this article, we’ll discuss why you should hire a family law attorney and the benefits of it.

Legal Knowledge and Expertise

One of the primary reasons to hire a family law attorney is to benefit from their legal knowledge and expertise. Family law requires a deep understanding of statutes, case law, and legal procedures. A family law attorney has spent years studying and practicing in this area of law and is equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to represent your best interests.

Additionally, family law attorneys stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments in their field. They attend seminars and training sessions to keep informed about changes in the law and new legal precedents. This allows them to provide you with the most current and effective legal advice.

Guidance and Support

Going through a family law matter can be emotionally and mentally taxing. It’s common for clients to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. Hiring a family law attorney provides much-needed guidance and support during this difficult time. They can help you understand the legal process, provide options, and guide you through decision-making.

Furthermore, a family law attorney can serve as a source of emotional support. They have experience working with clients going through similar situations and can provide you with a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Having someone to turn to for support can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that often accompanies family law matters.

Protection of Legal Rights

Family law involves sensitive and important legal issues, such as child custody, property division, and child and spousal support. With a family law attorney representing your interests, you can avoid making mistakes or being taken advantage of. In addition, a family law attorney can help protect your legal rights by advocating on your behalf and ensuring that your interests are represented in court.

Effective Negotiation

Many family law matters can be resolved through negotiation and settlement rather than going to trial. However, negotiating with your spouse or partner can be challenging, particularly if emotions are high or you have difficulty communicating effectively. A family law attorney can help facilitate negotiation and reach a settlement that is fair and reasonable for both parties.

Furthermore, a family law attorney can help you understand the pros and cons of various settlement options. They can advise you on what is reasonable and not and help you negotiate terms that meet your needs and interests.

Courtroom Experience

While negotiation and settlement are often the preferred methods of resolving family law matters, sometimes going to court is necessary. Having a family law attorney with courtroom experience can be invaluable if your case goes to court. A family law attorney knows how to navigate the courtroom and can present your case persuasively and effectively.

Additionally, a family law attorney has experience working with judges and other court personnel. They know what to expect in a courtroom and can help prepare you for the experience. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

Efficient Resolution

Family law matters can be time-consuming and costly. Hiring a family law attorney can help resolve your case as efficiently as possible. An attorney can help you prioritize the issues that are most important to you and can work to resolve those issues quickly and effectively.

Furthermore, an attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes that could prolong the legal process. By working with an attorney, you can save time and money in the long run by resolving your family law matter promptly and efficiently.

Azemika & Azemika, A Family Law Attorneys You Can Count On

Family law matters can be emotionally draining, but hiring a family law attorney can help alleviate stress and uncertainty. If you are facing a family law matter, don’t try to navigate the legal system alone. Hiring a family law attorney can ensure your legal rights are protected, and you receive the best possible outcome.

At Azemika & Azemika, our firm is exclusively devoted to family law. Because of this, we can efficiently handle cases involving the dissolution of domestic partnerships, divorce, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, abandonment, adoption, and paternity. In addition, our vast experience in family law allows us to customize every case to suit our client’s needs.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Learn the Different Types of Visitation Orders in California

visitation orders

Visitation is an important aspect of family law that allows non-custodial parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children. In California, there are different types of visitation orders that can be made by the court depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

The courts prefer to keep both parents involved in the child’s upbringing. However, they will always put the child’s best interest at the forefront when making decisions about custody and visitation. In this blog post, we will break down the different types of visitation in California and provide a guide for non-custodial parents.

1. Scheduled Visitation

Children typically benefit from structure and routine. Thus, scheduled visitation orders are very common with the court, as well as with parents. Scheduled visitation specifies dates and times that children will spend with each parent.

2. Reasonable Visitation

There isn’t as much structure with reasonable visitation as with scheduled visitation. This type of visitation allows parents to make a joint decision over the time their children spend with each parent.

This works well for parents who still get along and are close after the divorce. Keep in mind, however, that while this type of visitation allows a great deal of flexibility, it also leaves room for disagreements should the relationship between the parents deteriorate.

3. Unsupervised Visitation

The most common type of visitation arrangement in California is unsupervised visitation. Unsupervised visitation allows non-custodial parents to spend time with their children without a third-party supervisor. The court may order unsupervised visitation if it determines that the non-custodial parent is not a danger to their child and can provide a safe and stable environment for them.

Non-custodial parents need to understand that unsupervised visitation comes with certain responsibilities. They must ensure that the child is safe and protected during their time together, and they must follow all court orders and parenting plans. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the court modifying the visitation arrangement or terminating visitation rights altogether.

4. Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation is a type of visitation arrangement that requires the presence of a third-party supervisor during the visits. This can be a professional supervisor or a trusted family member or friend approved by the court. Supervised visitation is usually ordered when there are concerns about the non-custodial parent’s ability to provide a safe environment for the child.

The court may order supervised visitation if the non-custodial parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or other behaviors that risk the child’s safety and well-being. Supervised visitation aims to protect the child while maintaining a relationship with the non-custodial parent.

Non-custodial parents should be aware that supervised visitation can be expensive, as they are responsible for paying the fees associated with the professional supervisor. Therefore, they should also build a positive relationship with the supervisor to ensure the visits are as productive as possible.

5. No Visitation

In rare cases, the court may order no visitation between the non-custodial parent and the child. This usually occurs when the non-custodial parent poses a significant risk to the child’s safety or has been found to have committed severe abuse or neglect. In addition, no visitation orders are typically made as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.

Non-custodial parents who have been ordered no visitation should seek legal counsel to explore their options for appealing the decision or modifying the order. They should also seek counseling or therapy to address any underlying issues that may have led to the no-visitation order.

6. Virtual Visitation

Virtual visitation is a relatively new type of arrangement that allows non-custodial parents to communicate with their children electronically. This can include video calls, instant messaging, or email. In addition, virtual visitation benefits non-custodial parents who live far away from their children or have limited visitation rights.

Virtual visitation is becoming increasingly popular in California, and many courts now include it as a standard part of parenting plans. Non-custodial parents interested in virtual visitation should discuss it with their attorney and the other parent to determine the best course of action.

Let Azemika & Azemika Help You Get the Visitation Rights You Deserve

Understanding the different visitation arrangements in California is essential for non-custodial parents who want to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children. By familiarizing themselves with these arrangements, non-custodial parents can work with their attorneys and the court to create a visitation plan that meets the needs of everyone involved. If you feel that your parental rights have been violated, you should enlist the services of an experienced family law attorney.

Azemika & Azemika has provided exceptional family law representation to clients throughout Kern County for over three decades. Our partners have handled some of the county’s most challenging family law cases. Our objective is to provide clients with aggressive, knowledgeable, affordable representation.

Contact us today for a case evaluation.

What Can A Family Law Attorney Do For You?

The family lawyer shares the figure of a man and a woman on scales.

Family law attorneys focus on issues in family relationships that involve divorce, marriage, adoption, child custody, child support, paternity, alimony, division of property, and more.

Many people will find they need an attorney at some point. Most attorneys specialize in certain areas and if you need a family law attorney in Bakersfield, make sure you hire an attorney who is experienced in family law.

A family law attorney is one of the most widely utilized types of attorneys, as many people frequently need them. This article will tell you some of the various issues a family law attorney helps you with and what they can do for you.

The Role Of A Family Law Attorney

A family attorney can help you with various things, including court proceedings and helping to negotiate through mediation. A family law attorney helps with issues around the family, family, legal paperwork, and more.

#1. Divorce

Divorce is essentially the dissolution of a contract; however, it’s also very emotionally challenging and legally complex. It is important to hire an attorney when navigating a divorce. When you are going through a divorce, it is emotionally, mentally, and physically tiring, and a family law attorney can help represent you using their experience, knowledge, and expertise. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the complex family court system, keep you from making some common mistakes and ensure that your rights and family are protected. They will also help alleviate some of the stress of a divorce and ensure that all the legal paperwork is filed correctly.

#2. Pre and Postnuptial Agreements

Legal documents such as pre and post-nuptial agreements detail how everything will be distributed to each party after a divorce. The prenuptial agreement is created before marriage, and all property and assets of both parties are outlined as and how they will be divided after the couple’s divorce. Certain things, such as child support and custody, cannot enter a prenuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is created after the couple is already married.

#3. Spousal and Alimony Support

Family law attorneys must negotiate common issues such as spousal and alimony support. Depending on the state you live in, a judge may make the final decision, or some states have laws regulating the amount of spousal support awarded depending on various factors.

Family law attorneys can provide the court with all the needed information to help achieve the best possible outcome for their client. State guidelines for awarding spousal support may vary; however, the judge still requires accurate information, including such things as:

  • Income
  • Level of accumulated joint debt
  • Ability to work and earning potential
  • Sometimes, even the conduct of each spouse will be considered

Your family law attorney will help gather and request all necessary documents to help you navigate this complex process.

# 4. Child Custody

Child custody is usually an emotionally charged issue for all parties involved in the matter of custody and is determined by many factors, including the following:

  • The parent and child bond for both parents
  • Criminal activity of one or both parents
  • Drug or substance abuse of one or both parents
  • The stability of each home
  • Domestic violence, including emotional, physical and mental, and financial abuse

Sometimes a child custody agreement can be created before going to court, and the judge will usually support it unless the child’s best interest is not being served. However, if no agreement is reached, it is up to the family law attorneys to gather evidence and present it to the judge to ensure that the child’s best interest is cared for when deciding child custody.

#5. Child Support

The majority of states have specific formulas used for determining child support. One of the crucial jobs of a family law attorney is ensuring that the court has all the necessary information to calculate the correct amount. Child support is to help ensure that the children have the financial resources they need and would enjoy it if both parents were living together. Information that needs to be gathered includes the following:

  • Accurate and transparent reporting of income
  • Healthcare expenses for the children
  • School and education expenses for the children
  • Allowable deductions

Your family law attorney can also gather evidence and report it if the other party hides resources or is intentionally underemployed or unemployed.

#6. Adoption

Family law attorneys are helpful during adoptions in California as they can ensure the paperwork is filled out and filed correctly. Adoptions often come with a lot of legal red tape, and a family law attorney can help your adoption be processed as quickly as possible.

#7. Paternity

If paternity is questioned or undetermined, a family law attorney can help protect your rights and family. This includes establishing paternity to receive child support or to obtain parental rights.

#8. Domestic Violence/Abuse or Child Neglect

If you or your child experiences neglect or abuse, hiring a family law attorney to help you is essential. The attorney may represent the child or you if you’re being abused physically, mentally, emotionally, or experiencing financial abuse. They may also be in the position of defending the parent who is being accused. Hiring an experienced family law attorney is essential to protect you and your family.

Azemika & Azemika Law Is Here To Help You

At Azemika & Azemika, a family law attorney in Bakersfield, California, we handle divorce cases, dissolutions of domestic partnerships, child custody and support, paternity, alimony and spousal support, adoption, and more.

Our highly skilled attorneys are here to help you navigate this challenging time and complex legal system. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How To Know If You Need A Family Law Attorney

Wooden toy family and judge mallet

If you have a conflict within your family unit, you may wonder if it is time to hire a family law attorney. Family lawyers are responsible for dealing with sensitive issues and relationship conflicts and navigating the complex family court system.

While everyone goes through conflict in their relationships at some point in their life, there comes a time when you need a family law attorney. However, it can be challenging to know when it is time. 

We are here to help you! This article will go over some of the signs that are good indicators for when it is time to hire a family law attorney and give tips for choosing the best one for you.

Why Hire A Family Law Attorney

Family law covers various issues such as divorce, child support, custody, adoption, and paternity. Laws vary depending on the state, so hiring a family law attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Here are some reasons for hiring an attorney to help resolve your family conflicts and concerns.

1. You Are Considering or Ready To File For Divorce

Filing for divorce is rarely an easy decision. It most often results from extensive and deep unresolvable conflicts in a marriage. If you ever find yourself in this position, one of the best things you can do is hire a divorce lawyer to ensure you avoid some common mistakes.

An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to walk you through the proceedings and help you navigate this challenging time. They will be sure that you file the paperwork correctly and assist you in negotiating your divorce. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney will help you feel relaxed and confident in alleviating some of the stress of filing for divorce.

2. Child Custody Arrangements and Questions

Determining child custody is usually an emotionally charged issue. Most parents want to have as much time with their children as possible, and choosing how to split that time between households can be challenging and hard on everyone involved.

My family law attorney has the expertise and experience to ensure that your rights and family are protected and that you can maintain a close relationship with your children. They will assist you in developing a sustainable child custody and visitation arrangement and plead your case to help you reach the desired outcome.

3. Child Support

Most people’s financial situations are significantly impacted during a divorce. It may be concerning how you will cover expenses and care for your children after your divorce, and that is why determining child support payments is crucial.

One of the great things about working with a family law attorney is that they deeply understand your state’s guidelines and the process the judge will use to decide how much a parent is responsible for financially. Hiring an attorney will ensure that you have someone who understands your situation to help you come up with the best solution and ensure that you have the financial support you need. An expert lawyer is priceless when implementing a fair child support agreement plan.

4. Arranging Alimony Payments

Depending upon your situation, you or your spouse may be required to make alimony payments to support the changing financial position due to the divorce. 

Usually, alimony or spousal support comes from one spouse who can prove they were financially dependent upon their spouse during the marriage. An example of this would be if one parent stayed home with the children and their spouse worked, then they would qualify for alimony payments. A judge decides on alimony payments, and an experienced family lawyer can look at your case and determine if you have a good chance of being approved. While it may seem like a hassle, going through these proceedings is worth the time and effort.

5. Domestic Dispute Cases

The other reason why hiring a family law attorney Is to help you solve a family dispute, such as custody agreements, property settlements, and family-related matters. A family lawyer can also mediate to help resolve legal arguments and conflicts between family members.

6. Parent Relocation

Life sometimes brings unexpected or desired changes after divorce. However, one parent can’t move away with the child without the other parent’s consent. There are many factors to be considered, including things like if one parent is pushing for better employment, to be closer to family, arranging new visitation agreements, any possible negative impacts on the child/parent relationships, new marriages, and more.

A family law attorney understands the complex issue of parent relocation and will be able to present your case to the judge and protect your rights and your family.

7. Adoption

Navigating the adoption of a child can be a complex legal process that may take several months to complete. Often adoptions will fall through due to legal issues. 

Adopting a child involves a lot of paperwork and submitting the documents to relevant agencies. You must prove that you are physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially capable of taking care of an adopted child to the state or child welfare services. You may also be required to participate in court hearings. Hiring a family attorney will ensure that all the paperwork is done accurately and that your case is presented favorably to the court.

Hire Azemika & Azemika Law, Experts In Family Law 

At Azemika & Azemika Law, we specialize in family law. Our highly skilled attorneys have extensive experience navigating California divorce laws, child custody, support and visitations, adoption, paternity, and more. We are here to help and support you and protect your family, rights, and assets. Contact us today for a consultation!

What is a Termination of Parental Rights?

parental rights

Terminating the rights of a parent is one of the most serious decisions that can be made in family court. When a parent’s rights are terminated under California law, the parent is no longer the child’s legal parent. When those rights are terminated, all of the parent’s rights and obligations end.

Parental rights can only be terminated by court order. This article will discuss how rights can be terminated, what happens after a parent’s rights are terminated, and how parental rights can be reinstated.

How Parental Rights Can Be Terminated

There are a couple of different ways California courts can terminate parental rights.

Voluntary Termination

While it may sound like it would be simple to sign away your rights, the courts in California will weigh the parent’s wish to terminate their rights with the child’s right to have two parents. This means a parent must have a valid reason to terminate their parental rights voluntarily.

In the case of adoption, the courts are willing to grant a voluntary termination of rights. Stepparent adoption is an example where the court may grant the termination request. That would mean that the custody of the child will then be given to the other parent. However, it could also be granted to a stepparent.

Federal law is more lenient than California law regarding the protection of children in these cases. The state has laws that outline reasons why a parent’s rights may be terminated. In any case, California family law courts make the best interest of the child the highest priority.

Involuntary Termination

As stated, the child’s best interest is the main priority in parental rights cases. Some cases require the court to involuntarily terminate a parent’s rights to ensure the child’s safety.

This is, however, only done in severe cases. Here are some of the most common reasons a parent could involuntarily lose their rights.

  • A substance or alcohol addiction that prohibits them from being a fit parent
  • Severe child abuse or neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Sexual abuse against the child
  • Failing to uphold parenting or financial obligations for a prolonged time
  • Mental impairments that prohibit them from being a fit parent
  • Being convicted of felonies
  • Committing a violent crime or domestic violence against a member of their family
  • Receiving a long prison sentence, especially if the child would be left in the foster care system

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include all the factors that could cause a parent’s rights to be terminated. Typically, the courts won’t terminate the rights if the petitioner can’t prove that it is in the best interest of the child’s health, welfare, and safety.

What Happens After the Termination

After a parent’s rights are terminated, the parent-child relationship is legally ended. That means the parent has no rights to custody or visitation, they are no longer responsible for the child’s actions, and they generally will no longer have to pay child support. The child will also lose the right to that parent’s social security, medical benefits, and inheritance.

If the rights of only one parent are terminated, all rights and responsibilities are passed to the other parent. If one relinquishes their parental rights for the sake of adoption, the adoption can then proceed.

When the courts terminate the rights of both parents, CPS (Child Protective Services) will find a new home for the child. Their priority is to place the child with their biological family, such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.

Restoring Parental Rights

In California, if parental rights have been terminated, parental rights can be reinstated. However, it can be challenging, and the child must petition the court to restore the parent’s rights. The parent cannot. The child must file the petition within three years of the termination, and the child cannot have been adopted during that time.

If the child is over twelve years old, they can attend the hearing to speak to the court about the original termination or the reinstatement. If the issues that caused the termination have been rectified, and the court decides it’s in the child’s best interest, they may approve the reinstatement.

Get Representation You Can Count on With Azemika & Azemika

Whether defending your rights or petitioning for termination, having an experienced legal team by your side is essential. Your legal team can focus on the best interest of your child while preparing a solid case on your behalf.

The partners at Azemika & Azemika have a combined total of over 56 years of experience handling family law cases. Our years of experience allow us to provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation to clients in Kern County in the case of divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal and child support, paternity, adoption, and abandonment.
Contact us today to work with our award-winning team.

How To Prepare For Your Child Custody Hearing

child custody hearing

Getting divorced is a stressful situation to begin with and when you have children it can be that much more scary, upsetting, and worrisome. When you and your former spouse are unable to come to your own agreement, you both will need to attend a child custody hearing to have a judge decide what is in the best interest of your child.

Despite the emotions you may have at the moment, it can be extremely helpful to plan ahead and be prepared for your hearing to present a convincing case and increase your chances of having a custody arrangement that falls within your goals.

Below we can take a look at ways to build a persuasive child custody case.

Familiarize Yourself with the Law

Learning how the hearing process works can make you feel more confident before attending court. There are laws that come with custody and parental responsibilities, and unless the court says otherwise, you will share the parental responsibility with the other parent.

Your family law attorney can describe what usually happens in these hearings, and give you an idea of what to expect the day of. There are different types of child custody, and exploring your options of legal custody and visitations can be beneficial for both you and your child.

Providing Documentation

Your lawyer will tell you exactly what type of documentation you might need for your hearing. Common documents that can be helpful for your case are:

  • Call logs and text messages confirming that you and your child are in constant contact and able to get a hold of one another
  • Photographs of you and your children together
  • A visitation log that plans out when you will see your children, how much time you spend with them, how often you will speak to your children during visitations. A log can also help keep track of either parent’s cancellations, or when they have missed time with their children. 
  • Medical records for your children, especially if they have any diagnosed health conditions that proves they need access to regular treatment
  • Proof of regular child support payments
  • School documents like attendance, additional tutoring, and grade reports
  • Any supporting evidence you are comfortable with the other parent’s possession and time with your children

The goal with providing proper documentation is to ensure that you are always putting the best interest of your children first. Judges will look for clear proof that you will support, provide, love, and protect your children. It is also important to demonstrate that you and your former spouse will be supportive of your children having a healthy relationship with the other.

Courtroom Etiquette and Appearance

Even if you are in a heightened emotional state, it is important to have proper courtroom etiquette. Having emotional outbursts, making accusatory statements, or raising your voice can be counted against you and potentially hurt your case. Remember that this is about your child, and you want to stay focused on your goals.

It’s understandable to have things get under your skin, and running through some roleplay scenarios with your lawyer can help you stay cool and collected in the courtroom the day of your hearing.

While it is unfair that judgments can be made on appearances alone, it is important to dress appropriately to make the best first impression to the court. This does not mean having to wear the most expensive attire, but it simply should present you as a responsible adult and not call unwanted attention to yourself.

Manage Your Expectations

Your attorney will be able to educate you on the potential risks and rewards of going to court, and they will be advocating for you and help you make the most out of your time during your hearing. Typically, child custody hearings are less combative than other court cases, and are not heard before a jury. Your case will be presented in front of a judge, and they will be able to make an immediate decision. You do have the right to appeal the order if you disagree with the custody arrangement.

Seeking Help for Your Child Custody Case

It can feel overwhelming to go through this process when you care about your children and just want the best for them in the future. At Azemika Law, we’re here for you during this emotional time with our practice that has been devoted to family law for 28 years.

We handle all types of cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the best opportunity to achieve your goals and build a happy future with your family.
For representation, support, and guidance during your child custody hearing, contact us today to speak with one of our family law attorneys in Bakersfield.