Who Gets to Keep the Car in a Divorce in California?

Do you want to know who gets to keep the car when you divorce?  Household budgets are strained, forcing most families to make hard financial decisions. Some families have become households with one car or using public transportation to get around. If the marriage ends up in divorce, the couple must choose who keeps the car. Property division in divorce is one of the most highly contested issues in the divorce. The answer is based on the property laws in California. Speak to one of our family law attorneys for a free attorney consultation and learn what property is yours!

Property Division in a Divorce

Since it is chosen at a state level, property division in divorce could be a tricky thing. If the couple is in agreement about how property will be distributed, they are permitted to make these choices on their own. But retaining a family law attorney is the best way to make sure that property is divided according to the law. A trained and experienced divorce attorney should let you know about the roles of property division in divorce and how to get you what you deserve!

Many states follow common law guidelines regarding property. If one spouse bought and paid for the car completely, this individual is the owner. If both spouses have their names on the car title, each is considered fifty percent owner. In states that follow the community property laws, property received during the marriage is divided evenly during divorce. This does not include property that was an inheritance or obtained before the marriage. Community property laws view husband and wife as equal contributors to the marriage so the court strives to distribute property equitably.

Even though this process sounds simple, it could be very complicated, especially when both spouses want to keep the family vehicle. In a community property state, the spouse who makes the strongest case will be the winner. For instance, the spouse can emphasize that the car is needed for commuting purposes because public transportation is not available and walking is not feasible. A stay-at-home mom could stress that she needs the car to drive kids to school and transport them to activities and medical appointments.

Click here to learn sexual harassment laws in California!

If one individual made a more substantial down payment on the car or made most of the loan or lease payments, that could sway the court to give the car to that person during divorce. If the vehicle was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage and that individual made all loan payments, it will most likely be awarded to that person. But the other spouse might be entitled to something of equal value.

Fights over the family car can turn ugly, with one spouse taking it away and not returning it. To stop the situation from reaching this point, you should talk to a family law attorney. We know how to handle the fair division of individual and marital property in divorce without the situation ending in an argument. 

Do you have a question about divorce laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Your Guide to Sexual Harassment Laws in California

If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you are definitely not alone. According to one current EEOC study, one out of four every women and one out of every five men have experienced the misfortune of sexual harassment.  

You only need to read the news or do a search of the “me too” hashtag to find endless stories of disturbing conduct, much of which amounts to sexual harassment inside the workplace.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning this for that. The term means the idea of an exchange. In this case, quid pro quo harassment happens when someone conditions your continued employment, hiring, promotion or benefits on your submission to sexual advances or some other kind of sexual behavior. Quid pro quo harassment could be meant as an offer or threat.  This type of sexual harassment is considered extreme enough that a single incident can give rise to liability.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

This type of sexual harassment happens when the nature of the offending behavior is so pervasive or severe that it unreasonably interferes with your work, alters the conditions of your employment or makes an intimidating or offensive workplace. You could experience and suffer from a hostile work environment even if the behavior is not directly aimed at you.

A single act of sexual harassment may be extreme enough to be unlawful.Behavior that is less severe might also become so pervasive that it becomes unlawful, even if the single incident on its own wasn’t particularly offensive or hostile. The legal test of whether or not something qualifies as a hostile work environment sexual harassment includes both objective and subjective components.

Who will be liable for sexual harassment claims in California?

Under the California law, an employee who is the perpetrator of the sexual harassment is personally liable for damages to their victim regardless of whether or not the employer was aware or should have known about the harassment.

Employers are held strictly liable if the sexual harassment was at the hands of a supervisor or if the perpetrator of the harassment was the employer. This means that if the harassment was perpetrated by the supervisor, the employer is responsible for the victim’s damage whether or not the employer was aware or should have known about it and regardless of whether or not they took corrective action.

Click here to learn how to protect yourself from business fraud!

While some interpretations of California sexual harassment can evoke some uncomfortable laughs, sexual harassment is very far from a laughing matter and could cause serious trauma for its victims. This also does not stop harassers from claiming the offending behavior was just a mere joke. In few cases cases, it might actually be the perpetrator’s misguided intention to be funny.  But it is not just the harasser’s intent that matters. It’s how an objective person would react and the impact of that behavior that results in whether or not the behavior constitutes sexual harassment. 

Do you have a question about sexual harassment laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Pet Custody Laws in California

You may think of your dog as your fur child, but California law would not agree. In regards to the law, they are really no different than the precious items or the home. But in more and more homes in California, splitting the pets can get pretty contentious. When you put all of your expenses together, it is no wonder that we are beginning to see a higher number of custody battles involving companion animals.

In the mid-90s, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals overturned a decision of the trial court that granted Kathryn Bennett visits with her family dog Roddy. The dog was an asset before marriage and belonged to her ex-husband, Ronald Greg Bennett, who was then awarded custody, while his ex-wife was only given visits with Roddy every other weekend and every other Christmas holiday. Ms. Bennett went back to court contending that her ex-husband was not compliant with the visitation the court had ordered.

But instead of applying her rights as a dog parent, the appeals court denied that they even existed. Pets must be awarded pursuant to the dictates of equitable distribution statute.

This ruling goes on to say that determinations as to custody and visitation will lead to continuing enforcement and supervision problems. The courts were overwhelmed with the supervision of visitation, custody and support matters related to the protection of children. They could not undertake the same responsibility as to animals.

When a judge chooses who should get the cat or dog, these factors as who spends more time with the pet, who cares for it and takes it to the vet and who brought it into the relationship in the first place needs to be considered.

Divorcing couples who quarrel over their pets might not be dealing with an underlying issue. An ex who takes his or her former spouse to court over and over in regards to visiting the dog or paying veterinary bills probably is not as concerned about the dog as he or she is about controlling an ex-husband or ex-wife. In a case of divorce, the dog or cat might become a symbol of power and control and might be seen as the one entity that still loves me unconditionally.

Click here to learn child abuse laws in California!

The legal battles that involve pets can be a large emotional investment with an uncertain outcome that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The divorce also takes a toll on the animal. A once energetic pet might become depressed, He or she might sleep more, consume food less and lose interest in activities such as walking and playing with his owner. He or she might start having accidents in the house or grooming himself excessively.

You should decide what is best for your pet. Put your own feelings aside to get to that decision. You will need to consider such factors as who fed and cared for them before the divorce and who can afford to pay for their veterinary care and other expenses.

Do you have a question about pet custody in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

4 Ways to Protect Yourself From Business Fraud

Every company is susceptible to fraud. This is largely because there are so many different kinds of fraud.

Cybercriminals adapt their ways almost as quickly as cyber security firms make new products and services. It is almost impossible to protect against every type of attack.

1. Secure Your Accounts

If you have not made separate bank and credit card accounts for your personal life and company, you should do so now. If cyber hackers get their hands on one account, they will not have access to the other. Make sure to look into the security systems your bank uses online banking to be sure things like automatic logout are available. Make a monitored reimbursement policy for team member expenses and stick to it. If you are going to give credit cards to your employees,  be sure that the card provider has suitable fraud protections in place.

2. Safeguard your computers

Hackers are experts at cracking systems in computers. A firm firewall could help protect your business data, while antivirus software could help detect breaches early on. There are several cyber security vendors. Look for the product that best addresses your needs. You should set up strict protocols that require employees to make passwords that are hard to decipher. Make sure to have your employees change their passwords every sixty to ninety days.

Click here to learn pregnancy protection laws in California!

3. Do an employee background check

When you are expanding your workforce, it is critical to find people who are not only well-qualified but who are also trustworthy. Do not rely only on references and work history. Make sure to conduct a thorough background check.

There are companies that could provide this service for you. Many of them charge between thirty to fifty dollars per report. When you narrow down the list of potential hires to one or two, you could run a check on the finalists prior to making your final decision. You should make sure you obtain proper permission to run the check

4. Make a secure entry

A secure entry system could keep out unwanted visitors. Some key-card systems bring out time-stamped records of an employee’s entries and exits from your office.

Management can also limit access to specific areas to certain people. For example, you could use a key card system to only let the tech managers inside the server room. Limiting the access to sensitive areas will keep you and your business safer.

Do you have a question about business fraud in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Here Are Child Abuse Laws in California

If you’re a parent, you have most likely wondered at some point or another the things that exactly constitutes child abuse. Knowing the kinds of physical contact are acceptable could be very difficult to determine. It used to be that the parent who felt that their child needed a beating with a belt was not thought of any differently than a parent who felt beating their child was wrong. Physical punishment was actually widely accepted as an effective method of parenting.

In the present day, things are extremely different. Depending upon detailed circumstances, the smallest of physical contact could result in a criminal charge for committing child abuse. Different areas of the US have different laws governing physical contact between a parent and a child with penalties and definitions of abuse varying wildly.

The laws in California pertaining to physical child abuse are somewhat average when compared to laws throughout the United States. People facing criminal charges for committing child abuse are encouraged to contact our domestic violence defense law firm for a  free consultation. There are some instances in which parents are falsely accused.

Different Types of Child Abuse

What is considered child abuse could range from emotional, physical, sexual and neglect. There are different ways in a which a person could abuse a child. While some experts may say that emotional child abuse is as damaging if not more than physical abuse, there is no question that all different types of abuse could negatively affect a child throughout their lifetime.

The following are the types of child abuse are:

Emotional Abuse: When a parent consistently shames or humiliates a child in any way it can be considered emotional child abuse.

Child Neglect: If a parent constantly fails to fulfill their child’s basic needs, this will be considered child neglect.

Sexual Abuse: If a parent or another adult engages in physical contact with a kid’s genitals or coerces a child into creating contact with their own genitals, they are then committing sexual abuse upon a child.

Physical Child Abuse: A parent who physically hurts or injures a child on purpose they are considered physically abusive. The gray area is whether or not the parent was intentionally trying to discipline their child. If the purpose of the harm was to discipline, there are still instances in which discipline could go too far. In these cases, perpetrators could be charged and convicted for committing physical child abuse.

Click here to learn how alimony is determined in California!

 

Specific actions that can result in child abuse charges are making purposeful physical contact with a child that leaves a mark, getting involved in a physical fight with your child resulting in marks and bruises, and using a belt or another object to beat the child.

Do you have a question about child abuse laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

 

Workplace Pregnancy Protection Laws in California

California law brings significant protection for pregnant employees.  In addition to prohibiting discrimination or harassment in regards to pregnancy status, the law California requires an employer to allow an employee disabled by childbirth, pregnancy or related medical conditions to take a leave of absence and to maintain her health insurance during the pregnancy leave.  It also mandates the employer to provide other forms of reasonable accommodation as necessary. The requirements to the pregnancy discrimination regulations that took effect seven years ago expanded the protections in several regards, including an expanded definition of the conditions that might render a woman disabled by pregnancy and the extension of protections to employees perceived as pregnant or disabled by pregnancy even if she is not actually pregnant.

The depth of protection for pregnant employees under the California law presents a challenge for companies and creates a number of varied issues and legal claims.  But one aspect of these laws that causes or contributes to some of the issues related to pregnancy we see has to do with a fundamental aspect of the laws that does not get a lot of discussion:  To stay compliant with the laws and avoid claims for pregnancy discrimination, an employer needs to have common sense.

Click here to learn the basic understanding of workers compensation laws!

If a pregnant woman is unable to perform the essential functions of her job, the employer is mandated to treat her as a temporarily disabled employee. This means that the employer must make the same accommodations as it would for an employee who cannot perform some or all of his or her job functions due to a temporary disability. This might include changing some of the job functions, having the pregnant employee do alternative functions or offering the employee paid or unpaid leave.

Employers aren’t required to give pregnant employees preferential treatment. Their duty is to treat them equal to other employees and not to discriminate against them in any employment decisions because of the pregnancy. Employers are allowed to terminate pregnant employees for excessive absences from work, even if those absences were caused by reasons related to pregnancy.

California law requires that an employer does not act on those assumptions but to instead handle each situation as unique and not one in which the employer’s history might repeat itself. To many businesses and managers not as familiar with California law, making decisions that ignore experiences in the past and common sense may seem bad for business. But in dealing with issues related to pregnant employees, employers need to in some extent ignore what has happened in the past with pregnant employees and resist making decisions based on what it expects to happen no matter how likely the outcome will be predicted. A busy manager concerned about staffing and meeting the needs of the company might understandably find it hard to do so.  But even an absence of any hostility toward the pregnant employee and a singular focus on preparing for the very real possibility that the pregnancy and the employee’s plans after pregnancy will adversely affect business will not necessarily protect the employer. When dealing with pregnancy topics in the workplace, good intentions and reliance on past experience might not provide a defense.

Do you have a question about pregnancy laws in the workplace in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

This is How Alimony is Determined in California in 2019

When it comes to finances and divorce, there is one topic that is more stressful and more emotional for parties to resolve than any other. Whether you call it spousal support or alimony during a divorce, California couples needing to come to an agreement that will require one ex-wife or husband to pay money to the other ex-spouse to support their lifestyle is challenging.

What is the real purpose of alimony in California and how does it work?

Alimony is intended to help the lower earning spouse in making the transition from married to single. To give them some time to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient after the split. How long that will take is a matter of much debate as it depends on how long you and your spouse were married – the answer might be never!

Alimony guidelines only apply to the temporary support payments.

In regards to child support, there is a mathematical formula that outputs a specific minimum amount each party should pay to support their children. And reasonably clear guidance on when it will finish. So at least divorcing couples have a good foundation from which to start their negotiations about that issue. But in the state of California, despite there being a guideline for the temporary spousal support, the amount of alimony you give or receive, and for how long it will last when your divorce is final, is left open for negotiation.

Do not forget about cost of living.

As if figuring out alimony in California was not difficult enough, there is yet another factor you need to bring into the mix. And that is the cost of living. Given the sheer size of California, the cost of living can vary widely from county to county or even town to town.

Finding an amount of alimony is just one piece of a larger picture.

Despite what you have heard about alimony in California after ten years, there is no set formula for finding out how many years you need to be married to get alimony in California or for how long it will last.

Click here to learn about divorce laws in California!

What if you have kids?

You might have heard that California alimony amounts are based in part on the net income of the paying party. This means if you have minor children and there is child support involved, that will lower the amount of net income available to pay alimony. Now in a few states, alimony needs to be determined first before a child support amount. But in the state California, it is the opposite. Alimony could only be determined once a child support award has been agreed upon in California.

Many people think of the check in the mail approach.

But there are more creative ways to resolve this because some people just do not like paying the alimony. For instance, you and your spouse can agree that in exchange for not getting that monthly check in the mail, one of you will take a larger share of the community property to offset the amount of support that would have been paid out over time.

Do you have a question about alimony laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Here’s A Basic Understanding of Workers Compensation Laws in California

Workers Compensation Law in California is a no-fault system developed to help both employees and company rights. The company needs to supply workers’ compensation advantages no matter the fault, since the employee gives up the right to sue the company. Workers’ Compensation laws are created to safeguard both the worker and the company in case of an injury on the job. California workers’ compensation laws offer insured coverage to employees for medical care for their injury and bring guaranteed compensation during and after the recovery of their injuries.

Even though these laws are primarily designed to protect the employee, the advantage to employers is that they put limits on the amount of compensation that can be collected from them. Many employers would ultimately rather pay for workers’ compensation insurance than be forced to pay a larger sum after losing a case. The laws also have benefits for dependents of workers who die on the job and help shield coworkers from virtually any liability.

You don’t need to have a workers’ compensation lawyer to file a claim. But it would be extremely helpful to talk with or get an attorney for your case. Our lawyers can assist you navigate the workers compensation law system the right way through court deadlines, representing you properly, managing disagreements, advising for additional resources and acting as your legal support through the court process. It can be especially valuable for you to talk to a lawyer if you are not sure the way to proceed with your claim. If you feel you are being dealt with unfairly by the insurance company or by your employer or if you have a disability long term, contact our office immediately.

Click here to learn about maternity leave in California!

What is Workers Compensation?

California has its own system when it comes to comprehensive workers’ compensation. This system is the DWC Office or Division of Workers’ Compensation Claims office. The work related injuries laws exist to protect employees from financial burdens when they are unable to work because of job related injuries. Injured workers would be forced to sue their own employers in civil court without this system. It would be up to them to prove that their injury was due to the employer’s negligence. This could be a lengthy process and there is no guarantee that they would win.

Workers’ Compensation Law requires all employers with at least one employee to have California Workers Compensation Benefits insurance. This comprises of all temporary employees and corporate officers of the company. The law extends to employers who are out of state as well and who might have employees that regularly work in California. It covers both repeated exposure, one time events and certain psychological injuries caused by the job that are stress related.

Benefits generally have the following:

1.) Medical care covers tests, doctor visits, treatment services, medication and necessary travel costs related to care

2.) Temporary disability benefits covers any lost wages incurred during recovery.

3.) Permanent disability benefits cover injured workers who do not recover and are unable to return to work.

4.) Job displacement benefits helps pay for retraining if a worker is unable to qualify for permanent disability and unable to return to their old job.

5.) Death benefits distribute payments to an injured worker’s spouse or dependents if they pass away due to job-related illness or injury.

Do you have a question about workers compensation laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!Courtesy of Cuselleration

What to Know About Divorce Laws in California

Navigating through a divorce can be a challenging and stressful procedure. There are a number of laws in the state of California that deal with divorce, and many of them can have a lot of information for you to digest.

People often wonder how they can make divorce proceedings as stress-free as possible while retaining control over their finances. Here’s a few key elements to keep in mind when it comes to the different divorce laws in California.

State law lays out a few rules for eligibility. At least one of the spouses in a divorce must have lived in California for at least six months. Additionally, one of the spouses had to have lived in the country that the divorce is being filed in for three months before actually filing. All divorce proceedings in the state must be filed through the specific county, not with the state at-large.

When it comes to divorce in California, the law regards each of them as no- fault. This means a person does not have to give a reason or otherwise prove how they were wronged by the other party while filing a divorce proceeding.

Judges in the state do not look at fault when it comes to splitting property and otherwise figuring out child support. This means actions like adultery by one spouse will not come into consideration by a judge during a legal ruling.

Click here to learn these 7 steps to avoid business fraud!

There are a few steps for getting divorced in California. This process can be long because there is a six-month period between the initial filing and finalization that is mandatory.

One of the spouses can start the process by filing in the proper county superior court. Whoever files must give the other spouse copies of the divorce petition and any additional information.

After this, there are a few different avenues. Spouses who work together easily can often come up with plans for property division and child support without the help of lawyers. Otherwise, spouses can go into mediation to get some outside help for when it comes to splitting property.

Mediators can be a big asset when it comes to working through tough situations. Otherwise, the most expensive option is a divorce trial. This means both sides hire lawyers and then a judge will have the final say when it comes to the terms of the divorce. This process can be very messy and time-consuming.

California is a community property state, so two people in a marriage are considered as a single entity when it comes to owning property. This means both assets and debts are community property.

Spouses in a divorce can either decide on their own how to split community property, work with a mediator, or go to a judge and have them decide in court. An appraisal might be necessary to assign value to property so it can be divided between two people.

If spouses do not want to figure out what pieces of property go to each person, they can also arrange where one party ‘buys’ the other out on different pieces. Alternatively, some choose to just sell all property and then divide up the assets accordingly. Sometimes, couples with children decide to retain joint property over something like a family home so their children can have access to it.

Overall, the divorce process in California can be a time-consuming affair. A good lawyer is a useful advocate to have during a case since they can help navigate people through the different divorce laws and offer input as to the best course of action.

Do you have a question about divorce laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Facts About Maternity Leave in California

Many people find maternity leave to be complicated and challenging. Even if the laws and regulations seem daunting, it’s easy to become well-educated on the topic and gain a strong understanding about your rights and privileges as part of maternity leave. Maternity leave in the state of California is much better than most other states and you will find a lot more protection than in other areas.

Here are a few important facts about maternity leave in California.

Most pregnant women are eligible for maternity leave, no matter the type of employment they have. You have the right to take maternity leave, but employers are not required to pay you during your time off.

However, pregnant women who do take maternity leave are often eligible to go onto California’s state insurance for disabilities while they are out of the office, since illnesses related to pregnancies are considered as a disability under state law.

There are a variety of resources out there for women who want to learn more about disability insurance payments and the corresponding laws as they pertain to disability insurance.

In general, maternity leave in California is governed under the California Family Rights Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. A few requirements have to be met in order to fall under the different laws.

Employees must work for a boss who has at least 50 workers within a 75- mile radius. Employees must also have been working for at least one year with the employer and must have at least 1,250 logged work hours in the past year.

If all of these stipulations are met, the employee may take up to 12 weeks of maternity leave in a year-long period. The idea behind this length of time is to provide an opportunity for a mom to bond with their child. In addition to maternity leave, employees also have a right to take time off for disabilities that are related to the pregnancy. Employers must give time off to pregnant employees if they are disabled by a pregnancy or childbirth, or have any medical condition related to pregnancy and childbirth.

This could include a loss of a child, postpartum depression, prenatal care, postnatal care, or gestational diabetes, along with a wide swath of other illnesses and conditions.

Laws in California give a right for up to four months of maternity leave based off of a disability due to childbirth or a pregnancy. This is a separate figure than taking time off for maternity leave for the purposes of bonding.

Click here to learn about alimony laws in California!

As a result, women in California could have up to seven months of total maternity leave (depending on the circumstances of the disability associated with the pregnancy and childbirth). Maternity leave for bonding time can be taken after the leave related to pregnancy and childbirth disability.

California law allows for intermittent leave, where maternity leave can be broken up into different time periods and not taken all at once. Employers

are required to give reasonable accommodations for employees who are pregnant if a doctor has mandated it, but a doctor’s note will be required by bosses before they will make a decision.

Employers in the state are not allowed to wrongfully terminate employees due to pregnancy, and there are laws on the books against harassment that is based on pregnancy.

Do you have a question about maternity leave? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration