Category Archives:Marriage


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Facebook CEO's Well-Timed Marriage

Just one day after his company made its public trading debut, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg married Priscilla Chan.
Mark Zuckerberg's original Facebook profile
Mark Zuckerberg’s original Facebook profile (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

The Facebook billionaire topped off a remarkable week with a surprise wedding Saturday to his college sweetheart Priscilla Chan. Zuckerberg, 28,  met Chan, 27, during his years as an undergraduate student at Harvard. The wedding announcement was classic Facebook: Zuckerberg simply updated his profile to: “Married Priscilla Chan.” The news had almost 850,000 “likes” Sunday evening.

Though there’s no indication that the Zuckerberg wedding had anything to do with the IPO, its timing couldn’t have been better. At least if the pair ever decide to divorce.
Zuckerberg was worth $17.5 billion as of March 2012 but that figure could now be closer to $19 billion thanks to his move to take Facebook public on May 19, according to Forbes

Prenuptial agreements generally waive the right to make claims based on California community property laws, which state that property created after marriage is community property and should be split evenly after divorce.
If there was no prenuptial agreement, Zuckerberg benefited by waiting until after the initial public offering. If the marriage had taken place before the IPO, his shares could have been considered marital assets. Since it took place afterward, he can argue his Facebook holdings were separate property acquired before marriage, and they were not marital property. He probably couldn’t make the same argument, however, about gains made after the marriage. Earnings from work are generally considered community property.
Whether or not these legal repercussions had any impact on the timing of the Zuckerberg wedding is unknown. Even if they had no impact, Zuckerburg may have just lucked out.
Some of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement include:
  • documenting each spouse’s separate property to protect it as separate property,
  • supporting your estate plan and avoiding court involvement to decide property distribution,
  • distinguishing between what is marital and what is community property,
  • documenting and detailing any special arrangements between you and your spouse,
  • avoiding extended court proceedings, which result in the time of expensive divorce attorneys,
  • reducing conflicts during a divorce,
  • establishing procedures and rules for issues that may arise in the future, and
  • assigning debt, such as credit cards, school loans, and mortgages, to the appropriate spouse to avoid both spouses sharing debt liability.

Many people fear that discussing such matters, or even bringing up the word prenuptial agreement, will cause turmoil in their relationship. Often times, just the opposite is true. One of the main irreconcilable differences leading to divorce is finances. Talking to your spouse ahead of time regarding finances, property, and marital asset management can avoid a lot of these disagreements. You both can get on the same page in the beginning so that the issue does not pop up and cause an argument later. Furthermore, discussing these issues nurtures healthy communication. Even if you and your spouse decide a prenuptial agreement is not for you, discussing it may be a good idea.

Whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement or not is a very personal decision. Each individual and couple is unique. Therefore, you should base your decision on your own unique circumstances.

Legal updates by the Orange and Riverside County Law Firm of Don Ho, LLP.

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Divorce Help: Am I Entitled to Spousal Support?

When dissolving a marriage or domestic partnership, the issue of spousal support or alimony is often a primary concern of the parties.  In general, there are two types of alimony that can be awarded: permanent support, which deals with the support to be received at the conclusion of the divorce going forward, and temporary support, designed to maintain the status quo (as much as possible) during the divorce

Temporary Spousal Support
A spouse may have the right to receive temporary support during the dissolution process for the purpose of assisting that spouse with their financial obligations.  Immediately obtaining a temporary spousal support order may be necessary to secure financial security for a spouse who was dependent on the income of the other party.  Calculations of temporary spousal support are generally based upon the needs of the supported party and the ability of the supporting party to pay.  Prior to a judgment for dissolution, calculations for temporary spousal support are similar to calculations for child support and use a judicially recognized “guideline” calculated by a program.

Permanent Spousal Support
Permanent spousal support, or support ordered after a judgment for dissolution has been entered, is calculated by a careful consideration of a long list of factors under Family Code section 4320.  Such factors include the respective incomes of each spouse, the length of the marriage, ability of a party to pay, the standard of living during the marriage, the assets and debts of each party and whether there has been any domestic violence.  Permanent spousal support is generally payable for duration of half the length of the marriage, except in cases of a marriage of a long duration, or over 10 years, where the court may reserve jurisdiction over the termination of spousal support.  When calculating permanent spousal support it is important to evaluate the specific factors of the Family Code and also to consider the unique facts applicable to the individual’s case.  For example, the supported spouse may require retraining or education, one of the parties may have paid for one spouse to go to school and obtain additional professional skills, the supported spouse may previously had job skills and is that supported spousal maximizing their earning potential.

Modifications for Support Order
Unlike property division orders, an order for spousal support may be modified upon a determination of necessity.  On motion for modification of spousal support, a judge will consider changes in circumstances, such as unemployment or disability.

When you are going through a dissolution that involves temporary spousal support and permanent spousal support in particular it is important to have an experienced family law attorney because a negative result may not be modifiable and may a long-term financial impact.

Legal updates brought to you by the experienced attorneys of the Orange and RiversideCounty Family Law firm of Don Ho, LLP.

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Keep the Prenup Handy: Kim Kardashian Goes From Altar to Divorce Court in Only Seventy-Two Days

On Monday, it was reported that reality TV star Kim Kardashian filed for divorce in a California court from her NBA-playing husband Kris Humphries of only seventy-two days.

Kim Kardashian at the Seventh Annual Hollywood...Image via Wikipedia

It was estimated that over 4 million fans watched the couple marry in a ceremony that is estimated to have cost approximately $10 million.  Kardashian issued a statement explaining that she reached the decision to end the marriage after careful thought and consideration.  Humphries also spoke to reporters, saying that he was devastated to learn of the development and planned to try and save the marriage.

It is unlikely that divorce will make a significant impact on Kardashian’s assets, as the couple signed a prenuptial agreement before they wed.  Prenuptial agreements in California are governed by California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.  They are especially common in states like California that follow the community property system of asset division.  Without a prenup, almost all assets acquired by either party during a marriage are considered to be community property that is divided evenly upon divorce.
Additionally, since it is likely that both parties appear to be fully able to support themselves, there will be no need for spousal support. When it comes to spousal support, also known as alimony, the amount of the award is usually determined by the judge using state guidelines that factor in the incomes of each party. Generally, one spouse’s need is measured against the other spouse’s ability to pay.  When considering spousal support, also known as alimony, judges look at factors such as the length of the marriage, the presence of minor children, the earning capacity of both parties and the age of health of both parties.
Legal updates brought to you by Orange County attorney Don Ho, LLP.
All factual information provided by USA Today
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