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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

6 Things a Prenup Can (And Can’t) Do

Before getting married, a couple might decide to define their rights and responsibilities in the event of separation or divorce. To do so, the couple would need to create a prenup. A prenup (also known as a prenuptial or premarital agreement) is an agreement between individuals who anticipate becoming married.

The law favors enforcing prenups, unless there is a good reason not to – like a contract defense, public policy reason, or another basis defined by the California Family Code. For example, contract defenses include things like duress, fraud, undue influence, and mistake. Additionally, public policy provides that prenups should not promote divorce or add “fault” to the equation in a no-fault divorce state like California.

What do courts consider when awarding alimony?

Alimony or spousal support is sometimes ordered during divorce proceedings. Its purpose is to ensure one spouse can maintain a similar standard of living as he or she enjoyed during the marriage. Not all couples are eligible for spousal support, as judges often consider certain factors when making a decision. The Judicial Branch of California explains a few of these factors. 

Length of the relationship

What should I know when filing a restraining order?

When abuse is an issue in a relationship, filing a restraining order protects you and your family, while also allowing you to break free from the influence of your abuser. The process can be a bit intimidating, especially when you're concerned about your own personal safety. To help you along, The Judicial Branch of California offers the following advice. 

How do restraining orders help abuse victims?

Key facts of a Californian postnuptial agreement

Most people do not go into a marriage expecting it to end. However, statistics show that it is a reality many couples face.

For this reason, having some form of agreement in place as to what should happen during a divorce can aid the process. For those who did not opt to instate a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement may be beneficial.

Understanding divorce mediation versus arbitration

The process of divorce can be financially, mentally and emotionally draining. However, that does not always have to be the case.

Especially when parties work together amicably, an efficient divorce is possible. Mediation and arbitration are two common alternatives to traditional divorce proceedings, and it is important to understand the differences between the two.

How should I talk to kids about divorce?

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is telling your kids about the decision. Children often have a difficult time coping with the news, and it's important to make them feel loved and comforted when informing them of your split. Parents Magazine recommends the following tips when having this talk with your children. 

Plan out the conversation ahead of time

The dangers of dating during your divorce

Your divorce may seem to consume all your emotional energy right now. Nevertheless, it will eventually come to an end. You may want to get a jumpstart on your future by looking for a new love interest. Unfortunately, dating too soon may cause more problems than it solves. 

According to the Pew Research Center, your chances of remarrying after a divorce rise as you get older. Naturally, before you marry again, you probably must date to find the right person. Still, dating during divorce proceedings can be dangerous. Here are three risks you may encounter if you enter the dating pool prematurely: 

What can I do about an ex's substance abuse?

Whether it's related to drugs or alcohol, substance abuse is an issue that impacts the entire family. This is especially true when ex-spouses share custody, in which case their child could be at risk when spending time at the parent's house who uses drugs or alcohol. Very Well Family explains how to deal with this issue so your child remains protected. 

Because custody is court-ordered, any issues with substance abuse must be addressed to the judge responsible for making the initial decree. This is the case when the substance abuse issue arises after the original court order has been made. If you're aware of the issue going into the custody hearing, they should be addressed at that point. All decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, and substance abuse could be a significant factor when the judge is deciding on the custody arrangement.

Retain financial security as a divorcing stay-at-home mom

When you get used to a certain lifestyle, divorce can rock your financial boat significantly. It comes with court fees, attorney fees and other associated costs, such as hiring additional professionals in high-asset cases. The more complicated, contentious or drawn-out the divorce, the more expensive it will be.

Furthermore, if you have been a stay-at-home mother for most of your marriage, you may find your new financial situation hard to navigate. However, with some information and planning, you can retain financial security.

How can I leave an abusive relationship?

Leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the hardest things a person does in her life. Along with emotional issues, you might also have fears about the safety of yourself or your children. That's why having a plan in place is so important. offers the following tips on how you can extract yourself in a safe and secure manner when involved in an abusive or violent relationship. 

You may not be ready to leave right away. That's perfectly OK, but you should take the proper steps for when the time comes. For example, let your friends and family know about your plans. Try to secure a safe place you can go to when it comes time to leave. Many abuse victims are isolated from their loved ones, so reaching out to others is often the first step toward making your break from your abuser. 

Breaking up with a spouse due to their poor decisions

We recognize that there are countless reasons why couples split up, whether they have only been dating for a few months or they have been married for decades. When it comes to ending a marriage, the process of moving on from a relationship can be more complicated for various reasons (not only from a legal point of view, but an emotional one as well). Marriages end for countless reasons and in this post, we will take a look at why some people decide to move on from a marriage because of the poor decisions that their spouse has made or continues to make.

From financial irresponsibility to infidelity, staying out all night, playing video games too frequently or abusing drugs, there are a lot of reasons why people may lose all interest in a relationship. If your marital partner continues to make poor decisions that you believe are harmful for your relationship and financial well-being (not to mention your children, if you are a parent), it is important to approach the situation cautiously.

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