family law, Legal

Divorce and Property: Legal Reasons #59

There is a strong presumption under California law that assets and debts a couple accumulates during marriage are community property. California law also provides that property spouses acquire before divorce but after the date of separation is separate property. The date of separation is not necessarily the date one spouse moves out of the marital home. Instead, it is the date that one spouse decides to end the marriage, and it requires some act of physical separation combined with other actions clearly demonstrating that the spouse has decided to end the marriage.

Whether you handle your own property division or a court handles it for you, there are three crucial steps to the process:

  • determine whether the property (or debt) is marital or separate
  • agree on a value for marital property, and
  • decide how to divide the property.

The spouses—or the court if they can’t agree – generally assign a monetary value to each item of property. Appraisals can help a couple determine the value of real property as well as items like antiques or artwork. Retirement assets can be very difficult to evaluate and may require the assistance of an actuary, C.P.A., or other financial professional.

Spouses can divide assets by assigning certain items to each spouse, by allowing one spouse to “buy out” the other’s share of an asset, or by selling assets and dividing the proceeds. They can also agree to hold property together even after the divorce. Although continuing to hold property together isn’t a very attractive option for most people, since it requires a continued financial relationship, some couples agree to keep a family home until children are out of school. Others may keep investment property, hoping that it will increase in value.

The couple must also assign all debts accrued during the marriage, including mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts, to one of the spouses. Couples dividing debts should be aware that their separation agreement or divorce order is not binding on creditors, who may continue trying to collect a community debt from either spouse. If a debt is assigned to one spouse, the other can ask the court to put a lien on that spouse’s separate property as security for payment of the debt. However, it’s a better practice to try to pay off all the marital debts when the divorce is finalized—if you are selling the family home or one spouse is buying the other out, there’s often a refinancing of the house loan that provides an opportunity to do this.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

The End is Near

So strange to think it is October 30th, 2017. Just two months left in this year, and I cannot help but look at my resolutions. I managed to do something in each of the categories I set for myself. There were some that I didn’t even come close to, but I made progress.  The great thing about shooting for the stars is that I still managed to go further than at the beginning of the year.

From losing 35 pounds to speaking at a high school, there were things I was just uncomfortable doing but I got comfortable doing them. If I am not growing, I am shrinking. Yet there is a part of me still fearful of some things on my list. There are some aching reminders of the ones gone who meant so much, and I just hope they know what a big part they played in my life.

Daily, I wonder if I spent quality time doing the times that I care about the most which is intimate time with my wife and loved ones. Did I do something about my personal vision for myself? Did I use my day as I would if it was the last day of my life. Those are my motivations. I progress as if the end is near. Living any other way means complacency and an uninspired life, and I will be damned if I live that way.

Happy Monday!

Brownness

Pregnancy Disability Leave Overview: Legal Reasons #58

​​Employers with five or more employees are covered by California’s pregnancy disability leave law.

Covered employers

PDL is state law. Employers with five or more employees are covered.

Maximum amount of leave

The actual time designated as disability related to pregnancy is determined by the employee’s health care provider. The maximum amount of time available is four months, or 17 1/3 weeks per pregnancy. Note that if an employee is disabled longer than four months, she may be entitled to a leave as a reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy-related or other disability.

Employee eligibility

Employees who work for covered employers are eligible for PDL upon hire.

Reasons for leave

PDL can be used for any time the eligible employee is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

Employer responsibilities

Post required posters, include a PDL policy in your employee handbook and send a notice to any employee who needs PDL.

Interaction with other leaves

Can run concurrently with federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences but not with California Family Rights Act (CFRA) absences.

Ending the employment relationship before the leave expires

The employee cannot be subject to adverse employment action because she used PDL. Seek legal counsel before terminating anyone on PDL.

Return to work

The employee is entitled to reinstatement to the job she held before PDL began.​

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, MITT

A Weepy Weekend

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing some great friends from leadership program (MITT, LP 122), and I got a chance to reconnect with something else I’d been missing but didn’t realize it until I got to their photo exhibit; inspiration. I got there early and nearly an hour I got to experience their amazing talent, eyes, and work in the photos displayed of their to visit to the Congo.

It takes a special kind of bravery and soul to go to a war-torn country, and show others that love can flourish even the most of desolate of places. That with education, love, and dedication, kids can know that they matter, that they have a future, and others do care.

I got weepy as I realized that I resisted quite a bit coming to the event. In fact, the entire weekend prior to the event was about how life wasn’t fair, and I felt helpless in supporting anyone. And then it hit me last night. That I won’t be able to solve all the problem of the world, but I can still try. That I can take a bite out of the problem rather than drown in complacency and self-pity.

I am blessed to know so know so many talents in my life, but more than anything else to have so many loving souls who make me believe that life matters no matter how hard.

Legal

How To Dissolve a Business Partnership: Legal Reasons #57

Everything eventually comes to an end. For a business partnership, that end can come because of a dispute, a retirement, a death or simply because the partners wish to re-form their business as a limited liability corporation. Regardless, business partners need legal representation to ensure that their rights and financial interests are protected throughout the dissolution process.

Partnership Dissolution Requirements under California Law

The California Revised Uniform Partnership Act (RUPA) sets the rules for partnership dissolution. All dissolving California partnerships have three basic legal obligations:

  • A statement of dissolution must be filed;
  • All affected parties must be adequately notified, this includes creditors, suppliers and in many cases even the customers; and
  • Legal notice must be published and circulated for at least 12 business days.

Ultimately, these requirements are meant to ensure that partnerships are not dissolved in secret, thereby leaving affected parties in the dark. An experienced business dissolution attorney can make sure that you meet all of these basic legal requirements.

Dissolving a Partnership on Disputed Terms

The partnership dissolution process may not be too difficult when a partnership ends amicably. But, unfortunately, disputes sometimes arise. If you are ending a partnership on disputed terms, an attorney is especially vital. Important considerations include:

  • The partnership agreement: A well drafted partnership agreement should contain provisions for disputes and dissolution. It will likely establish your rights and your responsibilities as a dissolving partner. If the provisions are not clear, or you believe that your partner has not fulfilled their legal obligations, you should contact an experienced partnership dispute attorney immediately.
  • Understand your duties: You should perform all of the duties obligated under the partnership agreement. Do not leave any loose ends. It will be more difficult to dissolve the partnership if there is still unfinished business. Even more important, in the case of a dispute, the resolution will likely be much less favorable for you if you have unfulfilled duties.
  • Know the value of the partnership: You need to have a clear picture of the value of your partnership. This includes all of the assets and all of the liabilities. An adequate business valuation should be comprehensively and extremely detailed. You deserve to receive your fair share from the partnership, and the first step is knowing the precise value. This allows you to negotiate from a position of strength.
Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Resistance is Futile!

These past few days, I’ve noticed a nasty habit of mine. It was sobering, and made me realize that  I’ve made some of my work and my relationships a lot harder than they needed to be. It hit me that lately, I jump the gun and interrupt another while they are finishing their thought. Usually, my interruption is negative or based on what I think they are saying even though they are not finished saying it.

Not only has that caused tension, but it also made communicating with me tougher all because I couldn’t take the time to be present, really listen to their request or statement, and then respond.

An honest friend just asked me what’s up with that when I admitted to my bad habit. And the first thing that came up was fear. Fear of being sidetracked, of being wrong, of more work I couldn’t do, of being overwhelmed, of letting others down, of not being able to get to all my commitments to others and myself. Fear, fear, fear.  Just drowning in that emotion when all it took was taking a moment, breathe it in, be present, listen and then shift into being open to their words.

It’s sobering to realize that as much as I am proud of what I have accomplished, this tendency of mine to resist not only damages my relationships, it pushes me back.  My intent going forward is to take a moment, let the person finish their thought, summarize what I heard or understood, and then respond after I shift. It’s not going to be easy to drown out the fear, but it’s worth it if I don’t want to lose relationships and move forward in life.