Attorney Michael FischerWhy Prenuptial Agreements Are Good For Marriages

After that big romantic decision to go ahead and get married, all the excitement of informing family and friends of your plans, probably the last thing you want to be thinking about is what you’re going to do if the marriage doesn’t really last.

By now everyone will have heard of prenuptial agreements. You may think these arrangements are only for rich people with a lot of assets to protect and they do perhaps seem incredibly unromantic, but actually a prenuptial agreement can be a helpful insurance policy for any marriage.

When prenuptial agreements make headlines, it’s usually because the agreements were decidedly unfair. To make a prenuptial agreement worth at least the paper it is written on, you need to ensure that its provisions are fair.

Oceanside lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel warn that clients should be very careful about what conditions they try to introduce into prenuptial agreements and to ensure that there is fairness. If you don’t do things this way, it means your marriage is starting out from a position of distrust, and that can only mean there is much greater chance of it failing.

There will be no shortage of unethical lawyers willing to take your money for drafting a useless prenuptial agreement. When the provisions of the agreement are obviously unfair, no court in the country will uphold any of the provisions. That means you’re just wasting your money and time. While an unfair prenuptial agreement may delay the time that you would be required to divide assets, anybody using that delay as an opportunity to conceal or dispose of assets runs the risk of attracting serious criminal charges against themselves.

Prenuptial agreements help marriages stay strong because they indicate to both partners that there is mutual trust between them, they help to provide an assurance that the two people are marrying out of love and not for any other considerations, and they provide guidance for what should happen if the marriage does run into trouble.

A good prenuptial agreement is written in a way that clearly indicates what the two parties consider to be acceptable behaviors and what they do not. The agreement would set out which assets were to be considered joint marital property and which were not. It would provide some instructions as to what is agreed between the parties should happen if one of them were to breach the conditions of the agreement.

When the conditions are entirely fair, courts are very unlikely to dismiss the prenuptial agreement as irrelevant. This is why you need the help of an expert lawyer with solid experience in creating prenuptial agreements, as they will be able to advise you if any of the provisions you try to introduce into the agreement will be likely to lead to problems later. It’s also very important that there is a complete absence of any kind of duress or coercion. Both parties should enter into the agreement of their own free will.

Attorney Michael Fischer Getting Away From An Abusive Situation – How The Law Can Help

People living in the same household with somebody who consistently uses violence and threats against them often feel powerless and afraid to get away, even if it is the one thing in the world they most desperately want to do. Domestic violence is unique among the threats people face because it is happening within their own home, and by somebody who has a persistent close connection to them. As such, we also have unique laws for dealing with domestic violence.

Oceanside domestic violence lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel caution that escaping from a domestic violence situation is not something you can afford to delay. You should of course make appropriate plans in advance if you can, but when your life is on the line, your first priority should be putting as much distance between yourself and your attacker as you possibly can.

The two factors that empower a domestic violence perpetrator are proximity and privacy. Having you close at hand and away from the scrutiny of the public, they literally have you a their mercy. Consequently the more distance there is between you and the more public the setting you are in, the more difficult it is for the attacker to reassert control.

The first resort for seeking help is usually the police. If possible this should be done discretely. Announcing that you are calling the police or that you have just done so is sometimes a catalyst for a severe reaction from the attacker and may make things much worse. The absolute worst situation you can be in is to find yourself trapped under the same roof with an attacker who has begun to experience suicidal feelings.

After calling the police, it is better if you can meet them somewhere outside of the place where you have called them to. When contacting the police, give as much detail as you can. Let them know the full physical description of the attacker, whether they are armed (or have access to weapons), and exactly where they are.

If the police are satisfied that a felony level incident has occurred, they will take the suspect into custody. This is not the end of things, however. How long the suspect is in jail will depend on many factors, and you should expect they can be released at any time after their arrest.

So your first action when the suspect is taken into custody is to request from the officers at the scene to provide an Emergency Protective Restraining Order (EPRO). This is just a temporary restraining order, but it does give you some protection. If you can stay with a trusted person or move to a hotel room, this is often the best course of action in the immediate aftermath of the arrest.

Your next move should be to contact a lawyer and start the procedure to get a permanent restraining order against the attacker so that if they attempt to initiate any contact with you, there will be powerful legal protection available to you. The police will rearrest them, and their chances of being released after violating a restraining order will usually be greatly diminished.

Being a father is a big responsibility, and it’s not a responsibility that just anyone is prepared to accept. Unfortunately the laws in California make it amazingly easy for just anyone to have that responsibility thrust upon them. This injustice has already been inflicted upon thousands of innocent men in California, and the problem is growing worse with each passing day.

If you are a male residing in California (or even elsewhere in the country), there are some important things you need to know about. The first thing is you can be named as the father of anyone’s child, whether you have met them before or not. You could be a virgin, infertile, or even trans-gender, and it won’t matter one bit to your legal obligations to raising the child if you don’t take action within a very narrowly defined window of time.

Knowing this, many women exploit this particular area of law for their own financial gain. The true father of the child may be known to them, but that individual doesn’t have sufficient steady earnings or life expectancy to make it worthwhile pursuing them. So they go after some other more affluent individual instead.

Many people who are victims of this scam don’t even know they are victims until it is too late. If the perpetrator can accurately estimate when you’ll be away from your residence for an extended amount of time, this is all that is necessary for them to claim a share of your income for the next 18 years. If you don’t happen to be around when the sheriff comes knocking or the notice arrives in the mail, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. After 30 days, a default judgment will be made against you, and from then on you are considered to be legally the parent of the child, except in some very special circumstances.

A 2003 study by the Urban Institute found that at that time up to 70% of outstanding child support debts could be attributed to these default judgments, and often those targeted had no idea they were in any trouble at all.

As for female Californians, a few things you should know include that you do have a right to claim financial support from the legitimate father of the child except if you were married when the child was born and your husband was still alive. Otherwise your husband will be an assumed father, and this is true in every case except where you were divorced or your husband died more than nine months before the birth of the child.

Oceanside paternity lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel caution that paternity law is very complex and anyone involved in a dispute over paternity should tread lightly and get expert legal assistance. Even seemingly impossible situations, including already completed summary judgments, may have solutions if the case is handled correctly.

The important thing is to always act quickly. It’s worth noting that paternity fraud is very rarely prosecuted, and that can be discouraging to those who are victims of it. You could though, be able to make use of the law to strike back. An expert lawyer can advise and assist you.

When kids go to juvenile detention-or “juvie” as it is more commonly known-it is nearly always universally bad for them. While the intention of sending them there is usually described as a method to “straighten them out” or get them onto the right path, what normally happens is the exact opposite.

So your kid, who may have just gone a little off the rails or mixed with the wrong company, suddenly finds himself or herself thrown in the deep end and surrounded by sharks. The only way to survive in this environment for the average new fish in the pool is to also become a shark.

If you look at the background of some of the most notorious criminals in American history-Charles Manson, William Heirens, Robert Bardo, Robert Alton Harris, Scott Erskine, and many more-you will find they spent time in juvenile detention, and perhaps if they hadn’t then their lives would have followed a different path.

If the juvenile justice system is truly about justice, what happened in the case of Martin Lee Anderson? His family certainly could never have imagined that he would be dead within one day of commencing his sentence. His crimes? Stealing his grandmother’s car and trespassing. He was 14 years old, and the medical examiner concluded that the cause of his death was suffocation due to the guards covering his mouth and forcing him to inhale ammonia fumes. This is not justice by any definition.

Juvenile deaths in custody are rare. The same can’t be said for rapes and beatings, however. These awful experiences are often the catalyst that fuels the rage for the crime sprees that emerge later in life.

Oceanside juvenile delinquency lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel suggest that any parents who have kids facing a stretch in juvie should be prepared to do whatever they legally can to prevent it. With a good lawyer on your side, your kids at least have a fighting chance of getting a reduced punishment.

Don’t be deceived into believing that a spell of juvenile detention will help straighten your child out, or that “a bit of discipline will do them good”. Juvenile detention is a horrible environment for any child to be placed into, and it’s hardly any wonder that so many go on to a life of more serious crimes.

An important 2003 lawsuit, Farrell v Cate, prompted a review of the juvenile justice system in California. Some of the allegations made would outrage even the most hardline justice advocate. Besides that, studies have revealed other disturbing statistics, including that at least 10% of children sent to juvenile detention are sexually assaulted, and brutal beatings are a regular occurrence. If anything, the figures are under-reported due to the shame and fear these incidences instill in the victims.

If you’d like to see more compelling evidence of just why you should fight so hard to keep your kids out of the juvenile justice system, you could download a 2015 report by Richard A Mendel prepared for the Casey Foundation, titled Maltreatment of Youth in US Juvenile Corrections Facilities.

If you visit most law firm websites that handle domestic violence cases, you will notice there is a distinct bias towards helping accusers, and very little information for the accused. Oceanside domestic violence attorneys Fischer & Van Thiel are a notable exception. They understand there are two sides to every domestic violence case.

False accusations of domestic violence are a growing problem, and the consequences of being accused of domestic violence are very serious. It is grossly unfair to the accused if they are innocent, and making a false accusation is morally indecent because of the severe reprisals that may result.

Unfortunately it can be very difficult to clear your name if you’re accused, because there’s a strong tendency to give the benefit of any doubt to the alleged victim. You need a lawyer who can make a persuasive case on your behalf, especially if you feel there is any way you can prove that your accuser is lying.

The worst thing you can do is talk to the police without having a lawyer present. Many people wrongly believe they can talk their way out of trouble, but what they don’t realize is that police aren’t always interested in getting the correct result, they just want a result. Anything you say can be used as evidence against you, but that doesn’t mean that anything positive you say will be used as evidence for you. It means your entire statement isn’t always what the police use as evidence. They could just take some portion of what you say and use that, and it could make you look really bad.

Really, if you’re ever accused of anything or if you’re a suspect, the only things you should say are “Am I under arrest?” and “I would like to contact my lawyer”. You should not say anything else, because you can’t be sure how your words will be heard and how they will be used.

After being accused, you should have no further contact with the accuser at all, under any circumstances, at least until the matter has been resolved in your favor. Understandably you may be upset about the false accusation of domestic violence, or anything else you’ve been wrongly accused of, but there is nothing you can say that will help this situation. If anything, opening your mouth or acting out will only hurt your chances of winning in court.

It can be difficult, but you need to remain calm, and not say or do anything until you have a chance to meet with a lawyer. Try to think carefully about anything that could help your chances and make sure to inform the lawyer about these things. For example, if your home has any kind of surveillance system installed, this could provide crucial evidence to prove your innocence. But make sure to only tell your lawyer, it is not something your accuser or the police need to know about.

Domestic violence charges are among the most difficult to defend against, but it can be done if you have the right help, and if you don’t talk your way into more trouble.

Adopting a child is big responsibility, so government authorities like to make sure that the people who are granted permission to adopt are responsible people. For that reason, there is a formal application process that you need to go through, and in general it is strongly recommended to have a lawyer to help you with this process.

The first thing you’ll need to be sure of is that you really want a full legal adoption and not simply a legal guardianship. Sometimes the difference between these is not easily understood, but there is a clear distinction between them, and it’s an important one.

When you adopt a child, this is a permanent arrangement and you assume full and total responsibility for the child until they reach the age of 18 years. Most importantly, the natural parents and/or any existing family relatives forfeit all responsibility for the child and any kind of say they would have in the raising of the child. The natural parents of the child also do not have to provide any kind of financial support for a child who is adopted by somebody else.

When it is a guardianship, this is not always permanent and the natural parents do not forfeit any of their parental rights or responsibilities. They may also have to provide financial support for the child, although there are potentially some situations where that may not be the case.

A guardianship can be terminated if the natural parents apply to the court to have it terminated and the court agrees that it is in the best interest of the child to be returned to the natural parents. This isn’t normally possible when a child is adopted.

Oceanside adoption lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel are very experienced in helping with adoption applications, and can advise you about all the potential obstacles you could face, including what to do about them.

While the adoption process can sometimes seem a little intimidating, it really doesn’t have to be. The first step is that you normally have to show that you can provide as suitable environment for raising a child. Some of the factors that would be examined include your income, marital status, character (including a background check to make sure you haven’t been convicted of any major crimes or had any domestic violence incidents in the past), and other miscellaneous things such as how many hours you work or whether you have any other children.

No single factor will necessarily rule you out, but if there are any matters that may raise a concern, you will definitely need a lawyer to help you smooth out those issues and create a convincing argument for why the adoption should proceed.

The final thing that can sometimes come into play, if the child is old enough, is to consider their opinion on the matter as well. Even if all the adult parties to the adoption process are in agreement, if the child expresses any dissent, that can have a major influence on the outcome.

When the natural parents of a child are unable for any reason to not continue providing direct care for the child, other concerned persons with an already established relationship to the child (which could be for example a relative, god-parent, teacher, or even simply a close friend of the family) may apply to the court for legal guardianship of the child.

Naturally the authorities want to be certain that it is in the best interest of the child for the guardianship to be awarded, and a lot of factors are taken into account besides merely the wishes of the child and the applicant for legal guardianship.

Oceanside child custody lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel are very experienced in helping people to resolve legal guardianship applications favorably. Their suggestion is that anyone considering making an application for legal guardianship should do the very best they can to prepare for any inquiry into their fitness to assume the role of a legal guardian for the child. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of success will be. A good lawyer can help you prepare the best and most persuasive case to help you win.

Just some of the many factors that would be examined include:

  • The reasons why the natural parents of the child are no longer able to continue raising the child
  • Whether the applicant is a family relative of the child
  • How long the applicant has known the child, and the closeness of the relationship
  • Whether the applicant fully understands the legal obligations they will be subject to
  • Whether there are any formal objections to the guardianship application from any party
  • Whether the applicant would be considered a suitable role model for the child
  • The financial position of the applicant
  • Whether the applicant has any associations that may be considered detrimental
  • Whether the applicant has any prior experience in raising children

Even when you think there wouldn’t be any obstacles in your way, you’d be surprised how often certain overlooked information can cause disruptions in the process, and sometimes even result in the rejection of the application. Legal assistance is strongly recommended.

Once you have chosen a lawyer to help you, the best policy is full disclosure to the lawyer of anything you believe may have a bearing on the case. For example, if you have any prior convictions or if you are currently the defendant in a civil lawsuit, these conditions could be expected to possibly come into play.

You don’t need to worry, because anything you tell your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege, but it’s best for the lawyer to be completely aware of any factors that could introduce a difficulty into the process. One thing that’s certain is that lawyers don’t like surprises unless they, themselves, are orchestrating them.

Obtaining legal guardianship isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be, and the number one reason why applicants can come away from court disappointed is that they weren’t adequately prepared.

Juvenile delinquency is a big problem in our country. Governments at all levels are doing what they can to do something about it, but it’s a very difficult task. In recent times there has been a bit of a shift in attitudes towards juvenile offenders. Whereas in the past there was a tendency to look at the issue simply as “bad children doing bad things” to also considering the vulnerability of children. This includes acknowledging that while they may be perpetrators of crime, they can still also be victims of crime, and frequently their perpetration is linked to their vulnerability.

There are many different contributors to juvenile crime. Most children aren’t born criminals, they become that way due to a lot of different environmental circumstances. When these circumstances may tend to diminish the potential culpability of an offender, lawyers call these “mitigating circumstances”, and they are a very important consideration in any court trial or hearing, and most especially in juvenile cases where mitigating circumstances are likely to be given more focused attention.

According to Oceanside juvenile delinquency defense lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel, children often end up being further victimized by the justice system, and they’re often thrown to the wolves when they’re at their most vulnerable. The intention may be to scare kids straight, but in truth that rarely happens. It often sets them on a highly destructive path.

As a really good example which many Californians can relate to, Charles Manson spent a considerable portion of his childhood in juvenile detention (“juvie”). Researching into his background, it becomes very apparent that if the problems that existed in his family life had been identified and properly addressed, everything would have been different.

All of the terrible tragedies that subsequently happened can be squarely blamed on one single decision: when Manson’s mother attempted to have him placed into foster care, the court instead sent him to Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute. This is the same institution which also for a time housed serial killer William Heirens. You could put that down to coincidence, but it does seem a little strange that two notorious otherwise unrelated homicidal criminals hatched in the same nest.

Anyway, the clear takeaway point from these tragedies is that you need to do whatever it takes to keep your kids out of juvie. Once they go in, the chance of them coming out as a more hardened criminal with serious emotional disturbances is really high. Things happen in juvie that you probably wouldn’t want to think about. Don’t let your kids go there.

The importance of a good lawyer who has the right attitude with regards to the situation your child has ended up in cannot be overstated. It is crucial to have an attorney who understands the cause-and-effect nature of juvenile delinquency. Somebody who will fight to keep your kids out of detention because they know what is at stake, and a lawyer who knows how to get the court thinking of the child as a victim, not just a perpetrator.

When somebody comes to bother and annoy you, that alone is not enough for the offense to qualify for attention under civil harassment laws. You probably still have an actionable case, and legal recourse, it’s just that this will fall under a different area of law.

In order for it to qualify as civil harassment, the behavior must be threatening or intimidating, and not caused by an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent, etc). This careful definition is necessary because the title of the law is a bit confusing. Civil harassment law is intended to cover high level harassment only.

For example, if a gang of hooligans regularly loiter outside your shop with the intention of disrupting business for you, this is harassment behavior, but it’s not civil harassment because there’s no direct threat to you. Another example might be somebody spray painting racists slogans on your wall, and this is also definitely harassment, but it’s only civil harassment if it causes you to genuinely fear that you may be harmed.

Some examples of behaviors that might be considered civil harassment include:

  • Making threatening calls to an individual or business
  • Loitering alone or in a group as a means of intimidation
  • Sending threats or annoying letters in the mail on a repeat basis
  • Making verbal threats or taunts
  • Showing weapons as a means of intimidation

But it must be kept in mind that the harassment behavior must not be perpetrated by an immediate family member, and it must genuinely make you afraid. This means a threat must be credible. If somebody suggests they are going to harm you by dropping a giant block of jello on you from a helicopter, it’s not a credible threat because it would be very difficult to achieve. No reasonable person would believe they will be harmed in this way.

The distinction between ordinary harassment and civil harassment is a matter of degree, and it’s important because it can be much easier to obtain a restraining order when the matter is civil harassment or domestic violence. It’s best to have an attorney decide which laws are applicable to your situation and proceed from there.

On the topic of attorneys, the team at Oceanside based Fischer & Van Thiel are a great choice for civil harassment lawsuits. With an excellent track record of obtaining favorable settlements for clients, they also are able to help clients obtain justice and put a stop to harassment behavior, including assistance with getting restraining orders issued against violators.

A few examples of behavior that are clearly harassment but probably wouldn’t be considered civil harassment without additional factors include:

  • Causing damage to property
  • Playing loud music with the deliberate intention of annoying somebody
  • Creating an obstruction to prevent somebody from entering or leaving a place
  • Habitual loitering for reasons other than to intimidate
  • Using graffiti, signs, or posters to harass somebody

With regard to the last one, there are some potential First Amendment issues that could arise, but in general when harassment is clearly the goal, and when there is no other measurable benefit or merit, a First Amendment defense might be difficult to use in beating a civil lawsuit for harassment.

It doesn’t get a lot of coverage, but abuse of the elderly is a serious and growing problem. While such things have always happened throughout history, the situation we face now is unprecedented.

Respect for older people has been seriously eroded by popular culture, with entertainment media often portraying senior citizens as an annoyance, an inconvenience, or even just sponges that suck the marrow from society. The Simpsons, in particular, is an example with the way it depicts Abe Simpson, the residents of the Springfield Retirement Castle, and even Montgomery Burns.

It’s all part of an emerging pattern of ageism and that is something that we’ll have to deal with as a society, especially as people are now living longer and the percentage of elderly people in the population is growing.

Oceanside has a high number of elderly residents due to the tranquil climate and pleasantness of the surroundings. But what goes on behind closed doors can sometimes be horrific. Some people that are trusted with the care of the elderly are sometimes inflicting abuse upon them.

This abuse can take all forms, including psychological abuse, intimidation, rough handling, physical assault, extortion, or simply just the theft of treasured possessions. It’s even been known for sexual assaults to be perpetrated against the elderly.

Sometimes the abuser may be a nurse, or it could be a family member. In truth, it doesn’t matter who it is that inflicts abuse, it is something that needs to be dealt with and stopped.

The first step to getting elder abuse stopped is to get it known about by relevant authorities such as the police and health care service providers. Following that, you may need to get help from a lawyer. One law firm with expertise in handling elder abuse cases in the Oceanside area is domestic violence attorneys Fischer & Van Thiel. They understand the particular difficulties victims of elder abuse crimes may be facing, and they’ll be able to provide appropriate advice to help in any particular situation. Less experienced attorneys may know the law, but they may also not have the required level of understanding of the implications that may exist in a victim’s circumstances.

There is a range of services that can be applied and recommended, including obtaining a restraining order against the abuser, and other things all the way up to entering into civil litigation to claim damages for the suffering that has been inflicted.

Senior citizens should be able to live out the remaining years of their lives free from pain, stress and worry. All too often nature plays a role in denying somebody that privilege. With that in mind, it is completely unacceptable for any person to interfere in the life of an elderly person, to use intimidation, to take advantage of confusion or memory loss for their personal gain, or to use actual physical violence.

We must always remember that elderly people are vulnerable and need protection when facing the threat of harm. Fortunately there are laws designed to protect the elderly from abuse and there are many fantastic organizations dedicated to helping senior citizens who may be in difficult circumstances.