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Talkov Law Real Estate & Bankruptcy

Talkov Law Real Estate & Bankruptcy MyLawyers Directory

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(951) 888-3300


2900 Adams St Ste C225, Riverside CA, 92504

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Real estate, business and bankruptcy law in California. Call for a free consultation. 951-888-3300.



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The #1 Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template Form [Free Example Sample]

Skilled Family Law Attorney Creates the Ultimate Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template and Reveals it for Free!

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template Example Free Sample Form Termination Parental Rights

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template Free Sample Example

When a biological parent agrees to terminate his or her parental rights and consent to a stepparent adopting his/her child, the hard part is over, right? So why is it that when you Google “Consent for Stepparent Adoption Form” the results are anything but easy to sift through?

Isn’t there a Judicial Counsel Form for a biological parent to sign to terminate his or her rights and consent to a stepparent adoption? The short answer is no.

Many courts in California have a local form for this purpose, and there is a form that can be used (if you can find it) from the California Department of Social Services, but having closely studied the adoption and freedom from parental custody and control provisions of the Family Code, it does not appear that this form, or any others available online, contain the language that seems to be required for termination of parental rights and consent to a stepparent adoption.

For this reason, the knowledgeable adoption attorneys of Talkov Law have created a document to assist families and make this complicated process a little easier. This consent form is drafted for cases meeting the abandonment criteria of Family Code § 7822 (a)(3) and § 8604 (b), (c).

We also provide free templates for:

Child Custody Agreements

Pet Custody Agreements

Agreements to Sell Real Property

Marital Settlement Agreements

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template Example Free Termination Parental Rights Sample Form

It is highly recommended that you contact a skilled family law attorney prior to using this template. Adoption law in California can be frustrating and unclear when litigants attempt to navigate the process on their own. If you choose to use this template without contacting an attorney, keep in mind that the biological parent MUST sign this document in the presence of the court clerk in their county, or in the presence of a notary, probation officer, etc.

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template Form [Termination of Parental Rights Example Sample]

[NAME]

[ADDRESS]

[TELEPHONE NUMBER]

[EMAIL]

 

1. I, [Biological Parent], am the natural and biological parent of the minor child, [Minor Child], [Date of Birth], pursuant to the [Judgment of Paternity, Birth Certificate, or Other Document Establishing Parentage].

2. I understand that the Petitioner in this instant matter, [Stepparent], is the spouse of the minor child’s other parent, [Custodial Parent], and stepparent of the minor child.

3. I further understand that Petitioner, [Stepparent], seeks to adopt the minor child, [Minor Child], [Date of Birth].

4. I hereby acknowledge and declare that I have not communicated with, seen, or visited the minor child, [Minor Child], for a period exceeding one (1) year, pursuant to Family Code § 7822 (a)(3) and § 8604 (b), (c).

5. I hereby further acknowledge and declare that I have not paid for the care, support, or education of the minor child, [Minor Child], for a period exceeding one (1) year, pursuant to Family Code § 7822 (a)(3) and § 8604 (b), (c).

6. Based on the above, I hereby give my full and free consent to the adoption of [Minor Child] by Petitioner, [Stepparent].

7. Based on my full and free consent to the adoption, I understand and agree that this document shall be filed simultaneously with the adoption request, pursuant to Family Code § 9003 (a).

8. I understand that with the signing of the order of adoption by the court, I shall be forever relieved from all rights to custody, services, and earnings of the minor child and I may not reclaim said child, pursuant to Family Code § 8617 (a).

9. I also understand that I am voluntarily severing the legal relationship of parent and child along with all the rights and parental duties towards, and all responsibility for, the minor child, and have no right over the minor child, pursuant to Family Code § 8617 (a).

10. I further acknowledge and understand the provision of Family Code § 9004, reading as follows: “Notice to the parent who gives the child for adoption:  If you and your child lived together at any time as parent and child, the adoption of your child through a stepparent adoption does not affect the child’s right to inherit your property or the property of other blood relatives.”

11. I understand that my consent to the adoption of the minor child, [Minor Child], by Petitioner, [Stepparent], may not be withdrawn except with court approval, pursuant to Family Code § 9005 (a).

12. I acknowledge and agree that this document was prepared by the attorney for Petitioner, [Stepparent]. I am not represented by legal counsel at the time of execution of this document. I acknowledge that I have been advised to obtain independent legal counsel, that I have voluntarily chosen not to consult with any attorney, that I have read and understand the contents and legal effect of this consent to adoption, and I have signed it freely and voluntarily.

13. I hereby acknowledge and declare that I am fully and completely informed as to the facts relating to the subject matter of this consent to adoption, and as to my rights and liabilities. I hereby execute this consent to adoption voluntarily, free from fraud, undue influence, coercion or duress of any kind; have given careful and mature thought to the execution of this consent to adoption; and understand each provision of this document.

14. I have not made, nor have I relied upon, any promises or agreements as inducement to execute this consent to adoption. I have read this consent to adoption and I am fully aware of its content and its legal effect.

15. This consent to adoption is executed in the State of California and shall be subject to and interpreted under the laws of the State of California.

Based on the foregoing, and under the laws of the State of California, with the signing of this document my consent may not be withdrawn except with court approval and that with the signing of the order of adoption by the court, I shall give up all my rights of custody; services, and earning of said child, and that said child cannot be reclaimed by me.

 

Executed on ___________, 2020, by______________________________________
[Biological Parent]

 

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template-example-free-sample-form.pdf

Consent for Stepparent Adoption Template-example-free-sample-form.docx

Notice: Please contact adoption attorney, Colleen Sparks, to advise you of your rights upon an assessment of the facts in your case before using this form or signing an agreement in mediation.


The Ultimate Guide to Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions

A Complete Guide to Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions in California Family Court!

Can a Parent Voluntarily Terminate Their Parental Rights Adoption Attorney Lawyer

Procedure for Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions in California

Adoption is the legal process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent. Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parent(s) has/have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent-child relationship. The new parent-child relationship is permanent. An adoptive parent can be a stepparent or domestic partner of one of the birth parents, a relative of the child who has been caring for the child, or someone not related to the child by blood.

One of the most common adoption scenarios in California occurs when a stepparent adopts the child of the person that he or she has married. Marriage itself does not provide a stepparent with the legal rights and responsibilities associated with parenting a child. The additional step of having the family court approve the stepparent’s adoption of the stepchild is necessary.

A stepparent adoption begins with the filing of a petition for the adoption.  The petitioner is the stepparent who wants to adopt the child, and the case is generally filed in the county where the petitioner lives (Family Code 9000 (a)). Usually this is the same county where the child resides.

However, in order for a child to be adopted by a stepparent, the parental rights of their other biological, presumed, or natural parent must be terminated. A parent can lose his or her parental rights either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Terminating a parent’s rights is not easy, and for good reason. Parents have a fundamental constitutional right to parent their children and children have a constitutional right to a parent-child relationship.

The process involved in terminating a parent’s rights and adopting a child is not always straightforward, and without a thorough understanding of this area of law it can be frustrating and confusing.

Whether you are a stepparent thinking about adopting your stepchild, a parent wondering if your spouse can adopt your child, or a biological parent thinking about terminating your parental rights, you are in the right place.

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoption

California family courts only allow parents to terminate their parental rights voluntarily under certain circumstances. Generally, it is only possible to give up parental rights for the purposes of adoption.

If a parent wishes to voluntarily relinquish parental rights for the purposes of adoption, there is a process in place that requires all parties involved to provide the court with adequate notice.

If one parent will retain custody and the custodial parent’s new spouse or partner legally adopts the child, the court will need to perform a review process to ensure the adoption is in the child’s best interests. It is also possible for a parent to relinquish parental rights by refusing to respond to a request for termination of parental rights and/or signing a relinquishment of parental rights form.

When the Biological Parent Consents to Termination of Parental Rights

After the initial petition is filed by the stepparent seeking to adopt his or her spouse’s child, the documents must be served on the biological parent.  Once served, the other parent can sign a form in the presence of the court clerk in their county acknowledging their consent that their parental rights are to be terminated, or in the presence of a notary, probation officer, etc.

The biological parent can also appear in court on the hearing date to acknowledge their consent, or they can inform the social worker conducting the investigation that they consent.  The forms are filed and at the hearing date, the court will terminate the parent’s rights and set a further hearing on the adoption (by this time, the social worker will have completed their report and recommendation).

Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions in California Lawyer Attorney

How to Voluntarily Terminate Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions

If the noncustodial parent consents to the adoption and to terminate his/her rights and he or she lives in California, then that parent will need to sign a document consenting to the adoption. The consent document varies from county to county, and is often a local court form.

Alternatively, a pleading can be drafted with the language necessary to consent to the adoption. This document must be signed in the presence of an official court investigator, clerk, or notary public.

Uncontested Stepparent Adoptions

By consenting to the termination of parental rights, the noncustodial parent is giving up his or her rights to visitation with the child and other rights associated with parentage. That parent would no longer be able to pursue legal visitation rights via a court order. By giving up his or her rights in a stepparent adoption, however, the noncustodial parent will become unburdened from certain legal obligations such as being required to pay child support.

Involuntary [Loss] Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions

The other way a parent’s rights can be terminated is involuntarily. Several circumstances may lead to a parent involuntarily losing their parental rights. Typically, the conditions include abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child.

Examples of reasons a parent may involuntarily lose parental rights are:

  • Physical abuse or sexual abuse of the child.
  • The commission of certain felony offenses.
  • Abandonment.
  • Long-term mental illness or mental incapacity.
  • Long-term substance abuse.

When the Biological Parent Will Not Voluntarily Consent to Termination of Parental Rights

If the noncustodial parent does not want to consent to giving up his or her parental rights, then that parent will need to be notified of the pending petition for termination of rights and given a chance to plead his or her case in front of a judge against termination.

Stepparent adoption cases get extremely difficult when the biological parent that is the “responding party” to the case does not consent to their rights being terminated.  The biological parent’s fundamental constitutional right to parent their children creates a substantial presumption against termination. Unless there is a very serious problem with the biological parent or with the parent-child relationship, the court will not consider terminating the biological parent’s rights.

Contested Stepparent Adoptions

In order to terminate parental rights in family court, a petition to declare the child free from the parental custody and control of the biological parent must be filed and served on the biological parent. In the event the biological parent cannot be found, the petitioning party is expected to take reasonable steps to locate the biological parent and give them reasonable notice of the pending action. If the parent cannot be located, detailed evidence will need to be presented to the court regarding the steps taken took in locating and/or obtaining consent from the other parent.

How to Involuntarily Terminate Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions

In contested stepparent adoption cases, the respondent parent has the right to have an attorney appointed to represent their interests.  The family court will routinely appoint an attorney to represent the responding biological parent.  In these cases, the court will usually set a pretrial conference date and parties may conduct their discovery.

Once discovery is completed, the court will set trial and hear evidence on the issue of whether the stepparent’s rights should be terminated because the respondent parent has the right to a trial.

If there is not a “prima facie” case to terminate the biological parent’s rights (i.e. none of the statutory grounds allowing the court to terminate parental rights is set forth in the initial petition), the court will dismiss the petition.

Assuming the petition properly sets forth a prima facie case to terminate the parent’s rights, the parties will each have the opportunity to present evidence and argument at trial in favor of their respective positions. The social worker’s report will have been submitted to the court by the time of trial, and the social worker will most likely testify.  Any other relevant witnesses will also need to testify, and any other relevant, admissible evidence will be presented at that time.

In making its determination on termination, the court will consider the ability of the stepparent to provide a suitable home for the child as well as the biological parent’s fitness and history as a parent, which can including looking at instances of domestic violence, payment of child support, drug and alcohol abuse, and ongoing presence (or lack thereof) in the child’s life.

Termination of Parental Rights in Stepparent Adoptions in California Lawyer Attorney

After the trial, if the court determines that there is not sufficient evidence to warrant terminating the biological parent’s rights that will be the end of the case.  If the court does sever the biological parent’s rights, there is a waiting period to allow for an appeal, and a further hearing will be set thereafter on the adoption (which will be approved because the report will already have made the recommendation).

It is at the final adoption hearing where the child is brought to court, the adoption decree is signed, and the celebration occurs!

Is There an Investigation Process for Stepparent Adoptions?

It may seem unnecessary, especially if the biological parent has fully consented to terminate his/her rights, but there is still an investigation process in stepparent adoptions.

Notably, Family Code 9001 (a) states:

Except as provided in Section 9000.5, the probation officer, qualified court investigator, licensed clinical social worker, licensed marriage family therapist, private licensed adoption agency, or, at the option of the board of supervisors, the county welfare department in the county in which the adoption proceeding is pending shall make an investigation of each case of stepparent adoption.

The stepparent/petitioner can either hire a private investigator (at his/her own cost) or the court will appoint a social worker to complete an investigation as to whether the court should approve the adoption.  The investigator will interview both biological parents, the stepparent, and child.  They will conduct background checks and sometimes do a home visit.  The social worker will draft a written report and provide it to the court recommending either adoption or not.

Restoring Parental Rights – Can A Parent Change Their Mind About Terminating Their Parental Rights?

It is very difficult, and generally not possible, to restore parental rights after voluntary or involuntary loss of those rights. California law does not allow a parent who has lost his or her parental rights to petition for restoration of those rights.

There is a limited circumstance where the child can petition the court to reinstate the parental rights of a parent, but these cases are few and far between. There is typically no way to restore parental rights following an adoption.

Contact A Skilled Adoption Attorney For the Best Results

An adoption attorney can help parents, future parents, and children address parental rights issues. Ultimately, anyone with any concerns about his or her parental rights or the loss of those rights should speak with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us for a free consultation.


Right to Partition is Absolute in California

Co-owners of real estate in California have an absolute legal right to partition the property, thereby causing the property to be sold and the proceeds distributed.

Lange v. Schilling - Attorneys Fees - Mediation Before Litigation

As a real estate partition attorney in California, the most common question we receive is whether a co-owner has a right to partition a property by sale, meaning a court-ordered sale of the entire property to the highest buyer after the property is marketed to third parties.

California law is clear that the right to file a partition action requesting property be sold is available to any co-owner of real property, known in the law as a co-tenant (tenant-in-common or joint-tenant), is absolute.

One case explained that: “The action for partition may be brought by one or more of the persons described in section 752 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It is a special proceeding regulated by the provisions of the statute and ordinarily, if the party seeking partition is shown to be a  tenant in common, and as such entitled to the possession of the land sought to be partitioned, the right is absolute.” Bacon v. Wahrhaftig (1950) 97 Cal.App. 2d 599, 603.

Yet another case set forth that: “Ordinarily, if the party seeking partition is shown to be a tenant in common, and as such entitled to the possession of the land sought to be partitioned, the right to partition is absolute, and cannot be denied, ‘either because of any supposed difficulty, nor on the suggestion that the interest of the cotenants will be promoted by refusing the application or temporarily postponing action, . . .’” Priddel v. Shankie (1945) 69 Cal.App. 2d 319, 325.

One treatise on California law explains the issue as follows: “Ordinarily, therefore, if a party seeking partition is shown to be a tenant in common or a joint tenant, the right [to partition] is absolute and cannot be denied, either because of any supposed difficulty or on the suggestion that the interests of the cotenants will be promoted by refusing the application or temporarily postponing the action. The only indispensable requirement is that a clear title be shown, and in no event is a partition to be denied because it might result in financial loss to the cotenants.” 48 Ca Jur Partition § 36.

This is because Code of Civil Procedure Section 872.710(a) provides that: “At the trial, the court shall determine whether the plaintiff has the right to partition.” Code of Civil Procedure Section 872.710(b) goes on to explain that “partition as to concurrent interests in the property shall be as of right unless barred by a valid waiver.” Such concurrent interests include joint tenants and tenants-in-common, i.e. co-owners of real estate.

Even the leading treatise on California real estate law, Miller & Starr, explains under the heading “Absolute right to partition” that “each cotenant has an ‘absolute’ right to partition the common property.” Right of partition—In general, 4 Cal. Real Est. § 11:14 (4th ed.). While there are very unusual cases in which the right to partition had been waived or otherwise, these cases are so far outside the fact pattern of virtually all co-owners of real estate in California that these strengthen, rather than undermine, that the right to partition is absolute.

This means that the right to partition does not depend upon the fractional interest of the co-tenant. For example, a co-tenant holding only a small fractional interest could file a partition action. One reason the law allows this is that it may be very hard, if not impossible, to market a fractional ownership of real estate, as few parties will be interested in becoming a co-owner with the remaining co-owner(s).

Moreover, the right to partition does not require infighting among the co-owners. For example, an ex-husband can file a partition action even if he has an entirely-amicable relationship with his ex-wife, so long as they are co-owners of the property. Generally, partition actions involve parties who are or were very close, such as family (or former family), intimate partners (or formerly-intimate partners), and close friends (or formerly close friends). Indeed, parties would rarely end up as co-owners unless they did so voluntarily, based on trust existing at the time, or involuntarily, based on a trust, will, divorce decree or otherwise creating the co-ownership.

Further, the right to partition does not depend upon the hardship that a partition may cause to the tenant-in-possession (co-owner-in-possession). For example, an ex-wife can file a partition action that may cause the sale of the house occupied by her ex-husband, a co-owner of the property, even if the ex-husband may have no where else to live. One reason for this is that the ex-husband is welcome to be the highest bidder for the property. To the extent the tenant-in-possession is not the highest bidder, the tenant-out-of-possession should not receive diminished profits from the sale because of the hardship it may cause the tenant-in-possession, who can only offer a diminished sum. To prevent problems caused by a tenant-in-possession who would prefer that the property not be marketed for sale, an experienced partition attorney should request that the court take appropriate action if the tenant-in-possession fails to fully cooperate with an orderly sale of the property.

There are many ways to become a co-owner of real estate, but unless all co-owners agree to sell, there is only one remedy under the law: a complaint for partition by sale. To ensure that a partition action proceeds smoothly given the unique complications in every case, co-owners should seek the advice of an experienced partition attorney in California.


Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases

The Role of Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases in California Given the widespread substance abuse crisis impacting families across the nation, it is no wonder the problem has made its way into the family court system in California. The court will not demand drug and alcohol testing under normal circumstances. Generally, one...

Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases California Lawyer Attorney

The Role of Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases in California

Given the widespread substance abuse crisis impacting families across the nation, it is no wonder the problem has made its way into the family court system in California.

The court will not demand drug and alcohol testing under normal circumstances. Generally, one of the parents must request it; however, the court will not grant the request unless the requesting parent can offer evidence of the other parent’s substance abuse problem. If the parent has a history of illegal drug use or an alcohol-related criminal history, this constitutes a “preponderance of the evidence” and meets the burden of proof and the court may require drug and alcohol testing.

Can the Family Court Order a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

The short answer to this question is no. The courts may only order drug and alcohol testing done in the least intrusive method. Typically, this means only urine samples. The court cannot demand hair follicle testing even though this method produces more accurate results and provides results reaching father back in time.

However, a skilled child custody attorney can sometimes negotiate an agreement with the opposing party to get a hair follicle test. This can only be done by agreement, otherwise, testing is limited to urine.

Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases California Attorney Lawyer

It’s important to remember that a positive result on a drug or alcohol test does not automatically mean an adverse outcome in the custody case for the parent who tested positive. This will simply be one of the considerations the family court will consider.

Can a Parent Lose Custody of a Child for Failing a Drug Test?

The California State Legislature has enacted various provisions in the family code directly addressing the issue. Family Code 3011 (a) provides that in making a determination of the best interests of the child, the court “shall” consider:

(4) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances, the habitual or continual abuse of alcohol, or the habitual or continual abuse of prescribed controlled substances by either parent. Before considering these allegations, the court may first require independent corroboration, including, but not limited to, written reports from law enforcement agencies, courts, probation departments, social welfare agencies, medical facilities, rehabilitation facilities, or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations providing drug and alcohol abuse services. As used in this paragraph, “controlled substances” has the same meaning as defined in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code.

(5)(A) When allegations about a parent pursuant to paragraphs (2) or (4) have been brought to the attention of the court in the current proceeding, and the court makes an order for sole or joint custody to that parent, the court shall state its reasons in writing or on the record. In these circumstances, the court shall ensure that any order regarding custody or visitation is specific as to time, day, place, and manner of transfer of the child as set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 6323.

This language creates a mandate on the family court to consider such habitual or continual drug use/abuse, and creates a rebuttable presumption against awarding sole or joint custody to parents who have substance abuse problems – implying that the California State Legislature views substance abuse as a crisis directly impacting the safety and well-being of children.

Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases California Lawyer Attorney Law

The court may also require “independent corroboration” of drug and alcohol use. This could include documented reports from organizations providing substance abuse services, social welfare agencies, law enforcement, courts, medical facilities, and probation departments.

Remember, the court must act in the child’s best interest. Although drug or alcohol use on its own is generally not enough to restrict custody, judges typically find any substance use – even casual, occasional use – to be detrimental to the well-being of the children. Substance abuse often leads to poor judgment, resulting in bad parenting decisions or worse, so the court must acknowledge this in its ruling pursuant to Family Code 3011. Substance use and abuse is also frequently linked to domestic violence incidents.

What You Need to Know Before Requesting a Drug Test in Family Court

If you are thinking about filing a request for the opposing party in your child custody case to undergo drug testing, it is important to remember that the court will likely order that you undergo testing as well. The court will probably either order that you are to pay for the testing (subject to reimbursement if the opposing party fails the test) or that you share the cost of testing equally.

Court Ordered Drug Testing in Child Custody Cases

Speak with an experienced child custody attorney as soon as possible if you are unsure whether you have justifiable grounds to seek a drug or alcohol test in your custody case. A skilled family law attorney can help navigate your child custody case and assist you in determining the best way to approach drug and alcohol testing on either side of the table.


The Link Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty

The Link Between Cruelty to Animals and Violence Towards Humans Explained.

Link Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty

What is the “Link” Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty?

When animals are abused, people are at risk; when people are abused, animals are at risk. – National Link Coalition

The relatively recently discovered correlation between domestic abuse towards humans and animal abuse is modernly referred to as “The Link.”

Increasing awareness of the link is encouraging legislators, community agencies, and caring people to take action by giving greater importance to suspected animal abuse, knowing that they may be also be preventing other forms of violence.

Specifically, a 1983 study notes that animal abuse was found in 88% of homes in which physical child abuse was being investigated.

Link Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty California Attorney

The Link Between Cruelty to Animals and Violence Towards Humans

Over the past several decades, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence.

A 1997 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University found that animal abusers are in fact five times as likely to also harm other humans.

Mistreating animals is no longer seen as an isolated incident that can be ignored: it is often an indicator or predictor crime and a “red flag” warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe.

52% of domestic violence victims in shelters leave their pets with their batterers (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and nearly 50% of domestic violence victims have delayed leaving their abuser out of fear of harm to their animals (Pets as Pawns, Carlisle-Frank, Frank and Nielsen, (2004).

If a child is cruel to animals, research shows it may be a sign that serious abuse or neglect has been inflicted on the child. When children are exposed to family violence and animal abuse in the home, they may be 8 times more likely to become a violent offender themselves.

This finding is in line with other research showing that domestic violence toward pets both correlates with domestic violence toward humans, and is also a tool of domestic abuse — violent members of the household will threaten to hurt or actually hurt a companion animal as a method of control and a form of emotional violence.

How Can You Protect Your Pets From Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty?

Resources available to help victims of domestic violence seeking help for themselves and their companion animals can be found at www.awarenesshelpsguide.doomby.com

When survivors of domestic violence seek to escape their abusive homes they are often faced with the challenge of finding shelter for themselves and their children, as well as for their pets.

Unfortunately, many shelters do not have the means to house companion animals and many survivors are left facing the difficult decision to either leave their pets behind or remain in the abusive environment. Sadly, many survivors stay in abusive homes for fear of subjecting their animals to continued abuse, if left behind. Equally disturbing, animals are often left with their abusers to face torture or even death.

Link Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty California Lawyer

The Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) in California provides protections and remedies for those brave survivors who are able to come forward and seek assistance from the court. In California, the family court can issue a domestic violence restraining order for the protection of a pet who has been threatened, abused, or is at risk of such abuse.

A knowledgeable family law attorney with experience fighting for the rights of animals can help you and your pets get out of an abusive situation, and get an order protecting both of you from your abuser.

If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, it is strongly advised that you contact a domestic violence attorney for help. Call the experienced family law attorneys at Talkov Law at (951) 888-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.


Marital Settlement Agreement Free Sample [Template Form]

Skilled Family Law Attorney Creates the Ultimate Marital Settlement Agreement and Reveals it for Free! Discover the Reliable and Convenient Template Divorce Judgment Today.

Marital Settlement Agreement Example Divorce Judgment Sample Free

Detailed Marital Settlement Agreement – Divorce Judgment Sample Template

Are you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse trying to come up with a marital settlement agreement that works for both of you without involving the family court?

Sometimes it can seem like there is an endless supply of help out there for spouses who can’t agree on how to resolve their divorce, but finding resources for spouses who are actually compromising and cooperating can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

If our marital settlement agreement (divorce judgment) template does not help you reach a resolution in your divorce case, the next step is seeking the help of a skilled family law attorney for help determining what your rights are in dividing your marital property.

Oftentimes, having a divorce attorney help draft an agreement that meets the needs of both spouses and prevent confusion and controversy later on.

We also provide free templates for:

Child Custody Agreements

Pet Custody Agreements

Agreements to Sell Real Property

Consent to Stepparent Adoption

Marital Settlement Agreement Free Sample Example Divorce Judgment Form

Free Sample Divorce Judgment – Marital Settlement Agreement Example

[NAME]

[ADDRESS]

[TELEPHONE NUMBER]

[EMAIL]

THE PARTIES OF THE ABOVE-ENTITLED MATTER ENTER INTO THE FOLLOWING MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:

I. STATISTICAL INFORMATION

1. The parties were married on [DATE OF MARRIAGE].

2. The parties have the following minor children: CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB; and CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB.

3. Petitioner filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on [FILING DATE] and the court acquired jurisdiction over Respondent on [DATE OF RESPONDENT’S FIRST APPEARANCE OR DATE OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS].

4. Irreconcilable differences have arisen between the parties. These differences have led to the irremediable breakdown of their marriage. The parties have separated and agreed to live without any interference by the other.

5. The parties separated on [DATE OF SEPARATION], which is ___ years and __ months from the date of their marriage.

6. Petitioner (also referred hereto as Husband and/or Father or Wife and/or Mother) and Respondent (also referred hereto as Husband and/or Father or Wife and/or Mother) have not resumed their marital relationship since the date of separation.

7. The parties herein agree to all terms contained herein and intend for this Marital Settlement Agreement to resolve all issues currently pending in the above-captioned case.

II. CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION

1. The parents shall share JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY of the minor children: CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB; and CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB.

A. The parents shall share in the responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare of the children.

B. Each parent shall notify the other of the name and address of each health practitioner who examines or treats the children, such notification to be made within 3 days of the commencement of the first such treatment or examination.

C. Each parent is authorized to take any and all actions necessary to protect the health and welfare of the children, including but not limited to consent to emergency surgical procedures or treatment. The parent authorizing such emergency treatment must notify the other parent as soon as possible of the emergency situation and of all procedures or treatment administered to the children.

D. Each parent will have access to the children’s school, medical, and dental records and the right to consult with those professionals providing services to the children.

E. Each parent shall be designated as a person the children’s school is to contact in the event of an emergency.

F. Notification of parent’s current address. Each parent shall keep the other advised at all times of his/her current residence address, telephone numbers (home and work), the children’s school, and the location of any place where the children will be spending any extended period of lime four days or longer. Neither parent may use such information for the purpose of harassing, annoying or disturbing the peace of the other or invading the other’s privacy.

If a parent has an address with the State of California’s Safe at Home confidential address program, no residence or work address is needed.

G. Notification of proposed move of children when that move will impact the ability of the children to visit regularly with the non-custodial parent. The parent intending to move the children must notify the other parent 45 days prior to any planned change in residence of the children. The notification must state, to the extent known, the planned address of the children, including the county and state of the new residence. The notification must be sent by certified mail. return receipt requested.

H. In exercising joint legal custody, the parties will share in the responsibility and discuss in good faith matters concerning the health education, and welfare of the children. The parties must discuss and consent in making decisions on the following matters:

1) Enrollment in or leaving a particular private or public school or daycare center;
2) Beginning or ending psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling or therapy;
3) Participation in extracurricular activities;
4) Selection of a doctor, dentist, or other health professional (except in emergency situations).

I. If a party does not discuss and obtain the consent of the other party to the decisions indicated in item H above,

1) He or she may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
2) The court may change the legal and physical custody of the minor children.

J. In all other matters in exercising joint legal custody, the parents may act alone as long as the action does not conflict with any orders concerning the physical custody of the children.

2. The parties shall have JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY of the children. Both parents shall share the physical care, custody, and control of the children reasonably between them in such a manner as to ensure that the children maintain frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

3. REGULAR TIME SHARE PERIODS

A. MOTHER’S PARENTING TIME:

1) EXAMPLE: MOTHER shall have the children on alternating weeks beginning on Thursday pick-up at school (or 3 PM on non-school days) until Saturday at 8 PM, commencing September 3, 2020; and
2) EXAMPLE: MOTHER shall have the children on alternating weeks beginning on Thursday pick-up at school (or 3 PM on non-school days) until Sunday at 8 PM, commencing September 10, 2020.

B. FATHER’S PARENTING TIME:

1) FATHER shall have the minor children at all other times.

C. During any parenting period, the parent will be expected to spend as much time as possible with the children.

D. BOTH PARENTS shall have as much additional parenting time with the children as can be agreed upon by the parents.

E. No interference with the schedule of the other parent without that parent’s consent. Neither parent will schedule activities for the children during the other parent’s scheduled parenting time without the other parent’s prior agreement.

F. Canceled parenting time. If the non-custodial parent fails to arrive at the appointed time and fails to notify the custodial parent that he or she will be late, then the custodial parent need wait for only 30 minutes before considering the visitation canceled.

G. In the event that a non-custodial parent is unable to exercise visitation on a given occasion, he or she must notify the custodial parent at the earliest possible opportunity.

H. The custodial parent must give the non-custodial parent, as much notice as is possible, if the children are ill and unable to participate in scheduled time with the other parent. A doctor’s excuse is required.

4. HOLIDAYS/SPECIAL DAYS

A. Holidays/Special Days/School Breaks shall be arranged by mutual agreement of the parents.

B. Special day contacts shall take precedence over regular periods and holiday visitation for either parent.

C. Holiday/Special Day contacts shall take precedence over regular and school break contacts and shall not interfere with school attendance.

5. VACATION/TRAVEL

A. A parents’ vacation may not interfere with the other parent’s Holidays/Special Days or School Break schedules unless agreed upon between the parents in writing.

B. Every year, each parent may take vacation with the children for up to 7 days, for no more than 7 consecutive days at once. The parent must notify the other parent verbally and in writing of their vacation plans a minimum of 30 days in advance and provide the other parent with a basic itinerary that includes dates of leaving and returning, destinations, flight information, and telephone numbers for emergency purposes.

C. Should the parents’ vacation/travel dates conflict, FATHER shall have preference for his dates in the ODD-NUMBERED (2021, 2023) years and MOTHER shall have preference for her dates in the EVEN-NUMBERED years (2020, 2022).

D. When either parent plans to travel outside of the State of California for overnight or longer during their parenting time, a contact phone number and destination shall be provided to the other parent.

E. Any vacation outside the United States requires prior written notice to and consent of the other parent or a court order.

6. TRANSPORTATION/EXCHANGES

A. Only a licensed and insured driver will drive the children. The vehicle must have legal child restraint devices.

B. If the parents cannot choose a mutually agreeable exchange location, FATHER and MOTHER, or their agreed adult designee, shall pick up and drop off the children at the curbside of the other parent’s home by the receiving parent when the exchanges do not take place at the minor children’s school.

C. The parents shall not use the exchange times to discuss conflicts pertaining to the children, their own adult disputes or their court case.

7. TELEPHONE/AUDIO-VIDEO COMMUNICATION GUIDELINES

A. The children may have telephone/audio-video access to the parents at reasonable times and for a reasonable duration.

B. Each parent may have telephone/audio-video access to the children at reasonable times and for a reasonable duration.

C. Neither parent nor any other third party may listen to or monitor the calls.

8. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

A. Childcare

1) The children must not be left alone without age appropriate supervision.
2) The parents must let each other know the name, address and phone number of the children’s regular childcare providers.

B. Children’s clothing and belongings

1) Each parent will maintain clothing for the children so that the children do not have to make the exchanges with additional clothing.

9. RESTRAINTS ON CONDUCT

A. No Use of Children as Messenger. The parents will communicate directly with each other on matters concerning the children and may not use the children as messengers between them.

B. No Negative Comments. Neither parent will make, nor allow others to make, negative comments about the other parent or the other parent’s past or present relationships, family, or friends within hearing distance of the children.

C. No Parental Alienation. Each parent is enjoined and restrained from saying anything or doing anything, which might tend to alienate the affection of the minor child for the other parent or allowing any third person to do so.

D. Detriment to the Children. Both parents are enjoined and restrained from doing anything, and permitting any third person from doing so, that would be detrimental to the health, safety, morals, or welfare of the children.

E. No Exposure to Secondhand Smoke. The children will not be exposed to secondhand smoke, including but not limited to cigarettes, marijuana, hookah, or vaping. The children will not be exposed to any form of secondhand smoke while in the home or car of either parent.

F. No Corporal Punishment. Each parent is enjoined and restrained from inflicting corporal (physical) punishment of any kind on the children or permitting any third person to do so.

G. Discussing the Case. Neither parent shall discuss the business of this case with the children, nor permit any third person to do so, except in the presence of a therapist.

10. The terms and conditions of this order may be added to or changed as the needs of the children and parents change. Such changes will be in writing, dated and signed by both parents; each parent will retain a copy. Unless the changes are filed in court, the changes may not be enforceable. If the parents want a change to be a court order, it must be filed with the court in the form of a court document.

11. Family Code, section 3048(A) Findings:

A. This court is the court of proper jurisdiction to make child custody orders under the UCCJEA;

B. The responding parent was given notice and an opportunity to be heard; a clear description of the legal and physical custody rights of each party is contained in this order;

C. The country of habitual residence of the children is the United States of America.

III. CHILD SUPPORT

14. Petitioner/Respondent shall pay to Petitioner/Respondent, as and for child support, the sum of $1,000.00 (Example Child Support Amount) per month, for the benefit of the minor children, CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB; and CHILD’S NAME, born CHILD’S DOB; as indicated in the attached Xspouse calculation. Child support is apportioned as follows: $600.00 for CHILD’S NAME; and $400.00 for CHILD’S NAME. Payments shall be made payable one-half (1/2) on the first (1st) day of each month and one-half (1/2) on the fifteen (15th) day of each month, commencing November 1, 2020.

15. The Parties agree that child support shall terminate for each child when that minor child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years and graduates from high school, dies, is emancipated, reaches age nineteen (19), or reaches age eighteen (18) and is not a full-time high school student, whichever comes first.

16. As and for additional child support, both parties are ordered to maintain for the benefit of the minor children all medical, dental and hospital insurance (available through employment and/or union affiliation at little or no cost), to pay the premiums thereon, and to maintain them as insured, and each party shall cooperate in the presentation, collection and reimbursement of claims under such policy or policies.

17. Both parents are responsible for one-half of medical, dental, orthodontic, optometric, psychiatric, and/or psychological expenses for the minor child, not covered by insurance, pursuant to Family Code, § 4062 and 4063. If a parent has already paid all of these costs, that parent shall provide proof of payment and a request for reimbursement of his or her court-ordered share to the other parent.

If a parent has paid his or her court-ordered share of the costs only, that parent shall provide proof of payment to the other parent, request the other parent to pay the remainder of the costs directly to the provider, and provide the reimbursing parent with any necessary information about how to make the payment to the provider.

The other parent shall make the reimbursement or pay the remaining costs within the time period specified by the court, or, if no period is specified, within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 days from notification of the amount due, or according to any payment schedule set by the health care provider for either parent unless the parties agree in writing to another payment schedule or the court finds good cause for setting another payment schedule.

18. Each party must complete and file with the court a Child Support Case Registry (form FL-191) within 10 days of the Stipulated Judgment, thereafter, the parties must notify the court of any change in the information submitted within 10 days of the change by filing an updated form.

19. Each party must notify the other party in writing within 48 hours of any change in employment, advising the employers name and address and anticipated rate of pay. If a party fails to notify the other of a change of employment or income as ordered, the court reserves jurisdiction to retroactively modify support to the date notice should have been given.

20. Any party required to pay child support must pay interest on overdue amounts at the legal rate which is currently 10% per year.

21. In the event that there is a contract between a party receiving support and a private child support collector, the party ordered to pay support must pay the fee charted by the private child support collector. This fee must not exceed 33 ½ percent of the total amount of past due support nor may it exceed 50 percent of any fee charged by the private child support collector. The money judgment created by this provision is in favor of the private child support collector and the party receiving support, jointly.

22. Pursuant to Family Code, § 4065, each party agrees that each is fully informed of their rights under the applicable guidelines for child support. Each party enters into this Stipulated Judgment freely without threat, coercion, or duress. The needs of the child will be adequately met by this Stipulated Judgment. This Stipulated Judgment is in the best interest of the child. The right to support has not been assigned to any county pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code, § 11477 and no application for public assistance is pending.

23. Both parties stipulate and agree that there are no child support arrears owing and each party waives his/her right to assert any future claim for past due child support or over-payment of support as of the date of execution of this Stipulated Judgment.

IV. SPOUSAL SUPPORT

24. IF SPOUSAL SUPPORT: Petitioner/Respondent is ordered to pay to Petitioner/Respondent as and for spousal support, the sum of $700.00 (Example Spousal Support Amount) per month, payable one-half on the first and one-half on the fifteenth of each month commencing November 1, 2020 and continuing until further order of the court, the death of either party, or the remarriage of payee spouse, whichever first occurs.

25. IF NO SPOUSAL SUPPORT: Both parties waive any and all rights to spousal support payments and understand(s) that this waiver is final and they may never in the future petition any court for spousal support. Both parties are aware that this clause may work great and unexpected hardship to them, and they have considered that possibility in electing to waive spousal support. The court does not reserve jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support. This waiver of spousal support is absolute.

26. IF NO SPOUSAL SUPPORT: The Court retains absolutely no jurisdiction to award spousal support to either party in the future. The provisions of this section are intended to comply with the requirements of In Re Marriage of Vomacka (1984) 36 Cal.3d 459, which shall make clear that no court shall have the authority to provide support in any amount at any time. As a result of both parties agreement herein to terminate the Courts jurisdiction to award spousal support, the Court cannot award support even if there is a change of circumstances, poor health, inability to work, bad investments, decline in market value of assets, decreased income, serious need or either party wins the lottery.

27. The parties agree and acknowledge the provisions of California Family Code §4330 (b), which expressly provides: it is the goal of the state that each party shall make reasonable good faith efforts to become self-supporting as provided in the Family Code, section 4320. The failure to make reasonable good faith efforts may be one of the factors considered by the court as a basis for modifying or terminating support.

28. The agreements made herein were made after careful consideration of those factors enumerated in Family Code, § 4320. This order satisfies the middle-class marital standard of living.

29. The orders for support made hereinabove are based on the following assumptions of facts:

A. Petitioner’s gross monthly income of $_____ per month.

B. Respondent’s gross monthly income of $_____ per month.

C. The parties’ residence was described as 1,900 square foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bath.

D. Each party is being awarded a working, paid off, vehicle pursuant to the terms of this Stipulated Judgment.

E. The parties’ have three community credit cards, which Petitioner is taking on as sole and separate obligation herein without off-set.

F. The parties’ lifestyle is described as middle-class.

G. There is no documented history of domestic violence between the parties.

30. PLEASE NOTE: Under the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, spousal support that is agreed to or ordered on or after January 1, 2019, is no longer deductible to the payor or taxable to the payee, under federal law. The old rules have not changed for purposes of California taxation. The guideline programs mentioned above are being updated to reflect this fact for support orders originating after January 1. However, the old guideline formulas will continue to apply to support instruments, and court orders, entered into or issued prior to December 31, 2018.

V. ADVISEMENT OF RIGHT TO DISCOVERY

31. Both parties hereby acknowledge that his or her counsel, if any, is unable to adequately advise him and her with regards to: the very existence and extent of the assets and debts subject to the court’s jurisdiction; the characterization of the assets and debts; the valuation of the assets and debts; and the division and/or confirmation of the assets and debts.

Each further specifically acknowledges that the reason counsel is unable to adequately advise him and her with respect to the above is because said counsel has been directed to refrain from any discovery and minimize attorney’s fees and costs, based upon the belief of the parties that each knows the extent, characterization and valuation of all assets and debts subject to the jurisdiction of this court.

32. Each party further specifically acknowledges that each has been advised with regard to the potential legal effect of the lack of discovery, i.e., the potential that he or she will not receive that to which he or she is entitled under California law in general and the Family Law Act in particular and that the practical effect of the lack of discovery is that he or she will not receive assets to which he or she has the legal right; and/or that he or she will receive debts for which he or she should not be obligated.

VI. TERMINATION OF JOINT TENANCIES

33. Effective as soon as both parties have signed this Stipulated Judgment, any and all joint tenancy (with rights of direct survivorship) ownership between the parties are terminated. The parties shall own those assets as tenants in common. This section applies to all ownerships including but not limited to, real property, vehicles, or institutional accounts. Upon execution of this Stipulated Judgment and without regard to record title status, each party waives all rights of direct survivorship from the other party.

VII. DIVISION OF COMMUNITY OR CO-OWNED PROPERTY

34. The community and co-owned property is divided so that the aggregate net fair market value of the community and co-owned property received by each is approximately equal, considering the division of any community or joint liabilities. This division, which is set forth below, is deemed fair and equal by the parties.

35. Petitioner shall receive each former community or co-owned asset set forth immediately below. This property shall, forthwith, be the sole and separate property of Petitioner:

A. One-half the proceeds of the sale of the marital residence located at 1234 Divorce Street, Riverside, CA 92501 upon the sale of the property.

B. One-half of the community property interest in the 401(k) plan in Petitioner’s name, through Petitioner’s employment with ABC/123 Corp. Attorney Richard Muir shall prepare a proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) diving the party’s respective interests for the retirement benefit plan, and each party is ordered to cooperate in the preparation and filing of said QDRO. The parties shall each pay 50% of the cost of preparation of said QDRO.

C. 2010 Subaru Outback, along with any encumbrance thereon.

D. Wells Fargo Bank Account #1234.

E. Miscellaneous furniture, furnishings, appliances, household effects, clothing, and personal items in the possession of Petitioner.

F. Massage chair, hand tools, and various other personal property items and clothing of Petitioner’s currently in the possession of Respondent. The parties shall meet and confer regarding a pick-up time for said items.

G. Any policy of life insurance insuring Petitioner’s life and Petitioner shall be entitled to any benefits accruing from that ownership, including the right to name the beneficiary of his/her choice. Petitioner shall also be responsible for any premium payments due or loans to be repaid on the policies insuring Petitioner’s life.

36. Respondent shall receive each former community or co-owned asset set forth immediately below. This property shall, forthwith, be the sole and separate property of Respondent:

A. One-half the proceeds of the sale of the marital residence located at 1234 Divorce Street, Riverside, CA 92501 upon the sale of the property.

B. One-half of the community property interest in the 401(k) plan in Petitioner’s name, through Petitioner’s employment with ABC/123 Corp. Attorney Richard Muir shall prepare a proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) diving the party’s respective interests for the retirement benefit plan, and each party is ordered to cooperate in the preparation and filing of said QDRO. The parties shall each pay 50% of the cost of preparation of said QDRO.

C. 2011 Toyota Prius, along with any encumbrance thereon.

D. Miscellaneous furnishings, appliances, household effects, clothing, personal property items, and all other personal property left at the family residence except those specifically allocated to Petitioner herein, in the possession of Respondent (approximately $6,000 value).

E. Any policy of life insurance insuring Respondent’s life and Respondent shall be entitled to any benefits accruing from that ownership, including the right to name the beneficiary of his/her choice. Respondent shall also be responsible for any premium payments due or loans to be repaid on the policies insuring Respondent’s life.

37. The assets, as well as their earnings, rents and profits, received by each party pursuant to this division of assets shall, from the effective date of this Stipulated Judgment forward, be the sole and separate property of the respective parties. To the extent necessary to accomplish this division, each party grants, conveys, and assigns his or her right, title, and interest to the other.

38. Each party hereby warrants to the other that all community property of which he or she has any knowledge has been listed in this Stipulated Judgment and that neither he nor she is possessed or entitled to any community property of any kind or description which has not been disposed of or agreed to be disposed of by this Stipulated Judgment. The parties acknowledge that neither has made any warranty to the other as to the value of any of the community property or other property, which either party may have, claim, or interest.

Each party has made his or her own investigation and judgment with respect to the value of all property subject to this Stipulated Judgment, and each understands that both had the right to obtain an appraisal of any asset.

The parties acknowledge their understanding that they are subject to a “fiduciary duties” as defined by California Family Code, § 721, 1100(e), 2100 and 2102, which includes, but not limited to, the obligation to make full disclosure of all material facts and information regarding the existence, characterization and valuation of all assets in which the community has or may have an interest and debts for which the community is or may be liable, and to provide equal access to all information, records and books pertaining to the character and value of those assets and debts, upon request; and they further acknowledge that each has conscientiously endeavored to fulfill the duties of disclosure imposed upon them by said Family Code, sections with respect to this Stipulated Judgment.

39. Each party shall execute forthwith all of the documents necessary to carry out the terms of this Stipulated Judgment.

40. Each party shall be responsible for arranging for any insurance coverage for any of the property received under this Stipulated Judgment.

41. The parties agree that all after-discovered property that would have been community property or quasi-community property under the law applicable as of the date of this Agreement shall be divided equally between the parties.

42. The parties acknowledge that they have been informed by their respective counsel, or have otherwise been advised and understand that pursuant to federal law, or the terms of this above reference defined contribution pension plan, that they may become entitled to survivor rights and/or benefits in, to or from the other spouses separate property retirement benefits.

The parties hereby (a) waive all their rights to all such survivor benefits under the others separate property pension plan; (b) consent to the designation by the other party of any person or entity as the beneficiary entitled to any such separate property survivor benefits without future waiver by either party and (c) agree to execute all necessary documents within thirty (30) days following the execution of this Agreement in order to effectuate such waiver and consent.

VIII. OBLIGATIONS – COMMUNITY OR CO-OWNED

43. Each party hereby warrants to the other that he or she has not incurred and will not incur any debt, liability, or obligation as to which the other is, or may be, liable, other than obligations listed in Paragraph 43 and 44 below.

44. The parties further agree that all liabilities and obligations hereafter incurred by either party shall be the obligation of the party incurring said liabilities and obligations, and except as otherwise provided herein, each party releases the other from any and all liabilities, debts or obligations that have been or will be incurred, and either a party agrees that if any claim, actions, or proceeding shall hereafter be brought seeking to hold the other party liable on account of any such debt, liability, or litigations, he or she will as his or her sole expense defend the other against any such claim or demand, or threat thereof, whether or not well founded, and hold the other harmless therefrom, together with reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in connection with any defense the against.

45. Petitioner assumes and agrees to pay and hereby agrees to indemnify and hold Respondent harmless on all the following debts, liabilities, and obligations arising out of their marital relationship:

A. Any and all debts incurred since the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION) by Petitioner.

B. American Express card ending in #1234.

C. USAA credit card #5678.

D. Kohl’s credit card ending in #0000.

E. Petitioner further covenants and agrees that if any claim, action or proceeding is hereafter brought seeking to hold Respondent liable on account of any debt, liability or obligation being assumed hereunder, that Petitioner will, at his/her sole expense, defend Respondent against any such claim, action, or proceeding, whether or not well founded.

F. Petitioner shall pay all credit card debt and/or obligations in Petitioner’s name or incurred by Petitioner not specifically set forth herein.

46. Respondent assumes and agrees to pay and hereby agrees to indemnify and hold Petitioner harmless on all the following debts, liabilities, and obligations arising out of their marital relationship:

A. Any and all debts incurred since the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION) by Respondent.

B. Respondent further covenants and agrees that if any claim, action or proceeding is hereafter brought seeking to hold the Petitioner liable on account of any debt, liability or obligation being assumed hereunder, Respondent will, at his/her sole expense, defend Petitioner against any such claim, action, or proceeding, whether or not well founded.

C. Respondent shall pay all credit card debt and/or obligations in Respondent’s name or incurred by Respondent not specifically set forth herein.

47. Any obligation including but not limited to, tax obligations, incurred at any time by either party and not expressly identified in this Stipulated Judgment as payable in whole or in party by the other party, shall be paid solely by the party incurring it.

48. Except as may be expressly provided to the contrary in this Stipulated Judgment, the party to whom an asset is entirely awarded or confirmed under this Stipulated Judgment shall be solely responsible for all its obligations including, but not limited to, tax obligations, incurred at any time relative to any asset(s) in which the parties both retain an interest.

49. The party responsible for payment of an obligation shall defend, indemnify, and hold the other party harmless from all liabilities, costs and expenses relative to that obligation, including attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the other party in defending or responding to any collection action.

50. The parties acknowledge their understanding that, under California law, a debt or obligation may be assigned to one party as part of the division of property and debts, but if that party does not pay the debt or obligation, the creditor may be able to collect from the other party.

51. The parties acknowledge and agree that each has a federal right to bankruptcy. However, this Court may maintain jurisdiction over the division of obligations and debts, as well as the authority to make orders regarding the indemnification of payments related to the failure of either party to fulfill their obligations on any debt payments listed herein, which has a negative consequence on the other party.

IX. PETITIONER’S SEPARATE PROPERTY CONFIRMATION

52. Petitioner now owns, as his/her sole and separate property, that property set forth immediately below. Respondent acknowledges that he/she neither has nor claims any right, title, or interest in any of that property. The property is confirmed to Petitioner as his/her sole and separate property:

A. Any and all assets and/or obligations acquired by Petitioner before the date of marriage (DATE OF MARRIAGE) or after the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION).

B. Retirement, pension, deferred compensation and employment benefits earned by Petitioner before the date of marriage (DATE OF MARRIAGE) or after the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION).

C. Personal effects, clothing, and jewelry of Petitioner.

X. RESPONDENT’S SEPARATE PROPERTY CONFIRMATION

53. Respondent now owns, as his/her sole and separate property, that property set forth immediately below. Petitioner acknowledges that he/she neither has nor claims any right, title, or interest in any of that property. The property is confirmed to Respondent as his/her sole and separate property:

A. Any and all assets and/or obligations acquired by Respondent before the date of marriage (DATE OF MARRIAGE) or after the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION).

B. Retirement, pension, deferred compensation and employment benefits earned by Respondent before the date of marriage (DATE OF MARRIAGE) or after the date of separation (DATE OF SEPARATION).

C. Personal effects, clothing, and jewelry of Respondent.

XI. EQUALIZATION OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY

54. As part of the division of the community or co-owned property, each party waives all rights to receive equalization in this matter.

XII. CREDITS AND REIMBURSEMENTS

55. As part of the division of the community or co-owned property, each party waives all rights to reimbursement for the following:

A. Epstein credits (In re Marriage of Epstein, (1979) 24 Cal.3d 76; 154 Cal.Rptr. 413) and all rights to reimbursements to which they may be entitled as a result of the payment of community or joint obligation since the date of separation, except as may be specifically provided to the contrary in this Stipulated Judgment.

B. Watts credits (In re Marriage of Watts, (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 366; 217 Cal.Rptr. 301) and all rights to reimbursement to which a party or the community may be entitled as a result of one part’s use of community or co-owned assets since separation; all rights to reimbursement under Civil Code, the Family Code, including, but not limited to, Family Code § 2640 separate property reimbursements, or otherwise, for separate property contributed to the acquisition or maintenance of community or co-owned property; and, all rights to reimbursement under the Civil Code, the Family Code, or otherwise, due the community or a party for contributions made by the community or either of the parties to the education or training of a party.

C. Jeffries credits (In re Marriage of Jeffries, (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 548) and all rights to reimbursement to which a party or community may be entitled as a result of one party’s use of community assets since separation or one parties’ payment of debts or mortgage payments.

XIII. INCOME TAXES

56. The parties have filed certain joint income tax returns, both state and federal, and with respect to said returns, agree as follows:

57. If there is a deficiency assessment with respect to any of the aforementioned returns either party notified shall give the other immediate notice thereof in writing. If any amount is ultimately determined to be due it shall be paid by both parties with interest and penalties, if any, as well as expenses that may be incurred if the assessment is contested.

58. Neither spouse shall be deemed an “innocent spouse” for the tax years [DATE OF MARRIAGE – DATE OF SEPARATION].

59. For each taxable year prior to entry of final judgment of marriage dissolution, the parties shall file separate federal and state income tax returns.

XIV. RECONCILIATION

60. If the parties reconcile, at any time, after the execution of this Stipulated Judgment, this Stipulated Judgment shall remain in effect until modified or revoked by a separate written agreement signed by each party and specifically stating that the parties have reconciled.

XV. GENERAL PROVISIONS

61. This Stipulated Judgment is executed in the State of California and shall be subject to and interpreted under the laws of the State of California.

62. Each party agrees, on demand of the other, to execute or deliver any instrument, furnish any information, and/or perform any other act reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this Stipulated Judgment without undue delay or expense within 30 days of receipt from the other party. This includes executing titles, deeds and / or obtaining new loans or modify loans, removing the other party from financial responsibility for any property awarded to him or her, as whether specifically stated herein or not.

63. This Stipulated Judgment, except as otherwise expressly provided herein, shall be binding on, and shall inure to the benefit of, the respective legatees, reasonably, heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, and successors in interest of the parties.

64. If any provision in this Stipulated Judgment is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void, or unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall nevertheless continue in full force and effect without being impaired or invalidated in any way.

65. The parties agree that all pendente lite orders issued by the Superior Court of the state of California in and for the County of Riverside have been satisfied and are superseded by this Stipulated Judgment, subject to approval by the Court that issues a judgment for DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE between the parties.

66. The party may not alter, amend, or modify this Stipulated Judgment except by an instrument in writing executed by both of them.

67. By this Stipulated Judgment, Petitioner and Respondent intend to settle all rights and obligations between them including all aspects of their marital rights and obligations. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Stipulated Judgment, each of them releases the other from liabilities, debts and obligations of every kind, whether previously or hereafter incurred, including both personal obligations and encumbrances on the other’s property, and including all obligations of mutual support.

It is understood that this Stipulated Judgment that they intend to settle all aspects of their marital rights. The parties hereby waive application of Civil Code, §1542. The parties certify that they have read the following provisions of Civil Code, §1542:

68. A general release does not extend to claims, which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which is known by him must have materially affected his settlement of the debtor.

69. The parties acknowledge that the significance and consequence of this waiver of Civil Code, § 1542, is that they should eventually suffer additional damages relating to claims that currently exist; they will not be able to make any claim for those damages. The parties further acknowledge that they intend these consequences even as to claims for damages that may exist and which, if known, would materially affect their decision to agree to this release regardless of whether the parties lack of knowledge is the result of ignorance, oversight, error, negligence or any other cause.

70. Each of the parties shall execute forthwith all documents necessary to carry out the terms of this Agreement. Upon failure to carry out the above within 15 days of a request, the court may, upon appropriate motion, appoint the County Clerk as its commissioner to execute said documents.

71. Both parties waive the right to appeal, the right to request a statement of decision, and the right to move for a new trial or reconsideration.

72. A court commissioner may sign this order as a temporary judge.

73. The parties are aware of Family Code, § 2024, advising the parties to a DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE to review their wills, insurance policies, retirement benefits plans, credit cards, credit accounts, credit reports and other matters that they will wish to change.

The parties are advised to review all property rights and employment benefits that have survivorship or inheritance factors (including without limitations, life insurance, pensions, trust, jointly held real property and bank accounts) ensuring that each expresses the present intent of the parties, particularly with respect to title and beneficiary designation.

74. The parties acknowledge and agree that they enter into this Stipulated Judgment voluntarily, free from duress, fraud, undue influence, coercion, or misrepresentation of any kind.

XVI. WARRANTY RE PROPERTY

75. Each party warrants to the other that the warrantor does not own any property of any kind, other than the property set forth in this Stipulated Judgment.

If it later appears that either warrantor now owns any other property and that the warrantee has an interest in that other property, the warrantor shall transfer or pay to the warrantee, at the warrantee’s election: an amount of the other property equal to the warrantee’s interest in it, if it is reasonable able to be divided; the full market value of the warrantee’s interest on the effective date of this Stipulated Judgment; or, the full market value of the warrantee’s interest at the time the warrantee discovers the warrantor’s ownership in the property.

This section shall not impair the availability, in a court of competent jurisdiction, of any other remedy arising from the undisclosed ownership of any property.

XVII. WAIVER OF RIGHT TO INHERIT BY WILL OR OTHERWISE

76. Except as otherwise specifically provided to the contrary in this Stipulated Judgment, each party waives any and all rights to inherit any portion of the estate of the other, either by will or by intestate succession. Further, each party waives the right to claim any family allowance or probate homestead.

77. The parties further agree that in the event either party should receive or be entitled to receive any personal or real property, of any nature, under the Last Will and Testament of the other party, any real and personal property shall be received by the receiving party as trustee for the immediate heirs at law or for the deceased party, and that he or she will immediately distribute the asset to their heirs at law upon receipt of the property, to include without limitation the following:

A. All community property, quasi-community property, and quasi-marital property rights;

B. The right to a probate family allowance;

C. The right to a probate homestead;

D. The rights or claims of dower, curtsey, or any statutory substitute now or hereafter provided under the laws of any state in which the parties may die domiciled or in which they may own real property;

E. The right to inherit separate property from the other by intestate succession;

F. The right to receive separate property that would pass from the descendent party by testamentary disposition in a will executed before this Agreement;

G. The right of election to take against the will of the other;

H. The right to take the statutory share of an omitted spouse;

I. The right to be appointed as administrator of the deceased party’s estate, or as executor of the deceased party’s will, unless appointed pursuant to a will executed after the date hereof;

J. The right to have exempt property set aside in probate;

K. Any right created under federal law, including, without limitation the Retirement Equity Act of 1984; and

L. Any right, title, claim, or interest in or to the separate property, separate property income, or separate property estate of the other by reason of the parties’ marriage.

78. The Court shall reserve jurisdiction on the compliance of the terms of the allocation, distribution and equalization of the assets and debts as noted in the instant Stipulated Judgment.

79. This provision shall not prevent testamentary inheritance if the surviving divorcee’s spouse is specifically named in a Will or Trust Agreement document that is created, signed, or otherwise reaffirmed in writing after the effective date of this Stipulated Judgment.

XVIII. MUTUAL SPECIFIC RELEASES

80. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Stipulated Judgment or in any written agreement entered into at the same time as this Stipulated Judgment, each party releases the other and the other’s successors from any and all liabilities, debts or obligations and from any and all claims and demands, it being understood that by this Stipulated Judgment Petitioner and Respondent intend to settle all aspects of their respective property rights.

81. Each party warrants to the other that they have not incurred and that they will not incur any liability or obligation for which the other is or may be liable, with the exception of the obligations identified in this Stipulated Judgment.

Each party promises, that if any claim, action or proceeding is brought seeking to hold the other liable on account of the incurring party’s debts, liabilities, acts or omissions, the incurring party shall, at his or her sole expense, defend the other party against any claim or demand (whether or not well founded) and that the incurring party shall indemnify and hold the other free and harmless from costs, expenses and liabilities, including attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the other party in defending or responding to any collection action.

This section shall not apply to the parties’ respective support rights.

XIX. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

82. Each party to this Stipulated Judgment acknowledges and declares that he or she respectively is fully and completely informed as to the facts relating to the subject matter of this Stipulated Judgment, and as to their rights and liabilities; enters into this Stipulated Judgment voluntarily, free from fraud, undue influence, coercion or duress of any kind; has given careful and mature thought to the making of this Stipulated Judgment, and understands each provision of this Stipulated Judgment.

83. There have been no promises, agreements, or undertakings by either of the parties to the other, except as above set forth, relied upon by either as matter of inducement to enter into this Stipulated Judgment. Each party has read this Stipulated Judgment and is fully aware of its content and its legal effect.

XX. INTERPRETATION OF JUDGMENT

84. This Stipulated Judgment shall be deemed to have been drafted by both parties in accordance with their Stipulated Judgment. In case of uncertainty, the language of this Stipulated Judgment shall not be interpreted or construed against the drafter.

XXI. PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS

85. Each party shall pay their own attorney’s fees and costs.

86. In the event that either party shall be required to bring any action or proceeding to enforce any provision contained with this Stipulated Judgment or DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE of the parties, the other party shall be responsible for his and her attorney’s fees and other costs associated with the action.

87. No action or proceeding shall be brought by either of the parties hereto without at least ten (10) days written notice being given by the party intending to bring such action or proceeding, specifying wherein the other party is alleged to be in default and given the opportunity to such party during such period to correct the alleged default.

XXII. EFFECTIVE DATE AND COURT ACTION

88. This Stipulated Judgment shall not be effective until the date it is approved in its entirety by the court in the proceeding for DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE pending between the parties hereto in the Superior Court, County of Riverside; Case No: _______.

89. If a judgment of DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE is obtained by either party, the original of this shall be attached to the Stipulated Judgment. The parties agree that the court shall be requested to:

A. Approve the entire Stipulated Judgment as fair and equitable.

B. Incorporate the remainder of the provisions of this Judgment as a part of the judgment for the sole purpose of identification.

We have read this entire Stipulated Judgment, understand it fully, and request the Court to make this Stipulated Judgment the Court’s order. We waive all further notice of the order.

APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CONTENT:

DATE: ______________

________________________________
Husband/Wife

DATE: ______________

________________________________
Husband/Wife

Marital Settlement Agreement-divorce-judgment-free-template-example.pdf

Marital Settlement Agreement-divorce-judgment-free-template-example.docx

Notice: Please contact divorce attorney, Colleen Sparks, to advise you of your rights upon an assessment of the facts in your case before using this agreement or signing an agreement in mediation.


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