In parentage cases, also known as paternity cases, the court establishes, legally, who a child's parents are. These cases often arise when the parents are unmarried. Often times, paternity cases progress similarly to that of a traditional divorce, where issues of child support, visitation/parenting time, etc. are litigated. No parent should have the paternity of their child in limbo.
Post-Divorce Enforcement and Modifications
After a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage is entered and the parties are divorced, issues may arise with regards to the terms set out in the parties' Judgment, Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Joint Parenting Agreement. For example, a spouse who is required to perform an act pursuant to the Judgment, who fails to do so, may be subject to a finding of contempt and/or other sanctions issued by a Judge. Often, a party who fails to comply with a provision of the Court's Order is liable to the other party for his or her attorneys' fees incurred in enforcing the provisions of the Judgment.
Additionally, upon request of either party, the provisions of the Judgment related to child support, maintenance, custody or parenting time may be modified on a forward moving basis depending on the facts and circumstances of each situation such as a new source of income or loss of a job.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Whether you are a business owner, high-salaried employee or just a person with considerable means, an individual contemplating marriage later in life after having worked hard to build your wealth and your estate, or if you are simply an individual looking to protect your estate and/or wealth in the future, it may be advisable to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement with your fiancÚ protect your financial rights through a Prenuptial Agreement before the marriage or a Postnuptial Agreement after the marriage.
Often times, a prenuptial agreement is a difficult concept for individuals to discuss prior to marriage. However, discussing it before tying the knots will most likely avoid controversy or conflict in the future. Prenuptial agreements are designed to clearly define each parties' rights and obligations going into a marriage in an effort to help avoid those types of disputes at any point in the future. It also removes the decision-making of those disputes from third parties, such as judges and keeping control of the process between the parties. Prenuptial or Premarital Agreements could also be a useful vehicle in helping to avoid the tremendous cost and acrimony of contested divorce litigation and also help to avoid lengthy or protracted litigation through the court system.
Should you have questions regarding ways to protect yourself, your estate or your assets, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.