Unique Family Law Issues
Family law is a legal practice area that deals with issues related to families and domestic relationships. While many family law issues are common across the United States, there are some unique family law issues that are specific to California. Here are a few of them:
California is a community property state, which means that most property acquired during a marriage is considered community property and is owned equally by both spouses. This includes income earned by either spouse during the marriage, as well as property purchased with that income.
In the event of a divorce, community property is divided equally between the spouses, unless there is a prenuptial agreement or some other agreement in place that specifies a different arrangement.
For more information about community property laws in California, visit the California Courts website here.
In California, domestic partnerships are recognized and treated almost the same as marriages. Domestic partners have many of the same rights and responsibilities as spouses, including the right to inherit property, the right to make medical decisions for their partner, and the obligation to provide financial support to their partner in the event of a separation.
Domestic partnerships are available to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples over the age of 62.
For more information about domestic partnerships in California, visit the California Secretary of State’s website here.
California was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage, in 2008. However, that decision was overturned later that year by Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.
In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Proposition 8, allowing same-sex couples to marry in California once again.
For more information about same-sex marriage in California, visit the Equality California website here.
Surrogacy is a legal and viable option for couples who cannot have children on their own. In California, surrogacy agreements are legally binding and enforceable, which means that both the intended parents and the surrogate mother have legal rights and obligations.
Surrogacy agreements can be traditional (using the surrogate’s own egg) or gestational (using a donor egg), and can involve either a traditional or a gestational carrier.
For more information about surrogacy in California, visit the California Center for Reproductive Medicine website here.