Your Guide To Prenuptial Agreements

When it comes to falling in love, planning for the wedding, and dreaming of a happily ever after ending to the story, it is easy to lose sight of important points and considerations. When the soon to be married couple gets swept up in the romance of wedding planning a simple yet sad truth can often get overlooked. This is the simple and cruel fact that  not every marriage will last and that based on statistics alone, around half of marriages today will eventually end in divorce, usually within the first five years.

Protect yourself ahead of marriage

One way to protect yourself from the financial impact of a divorce and to help guard certain investments and interests you have is to execute a prenuptial agreement before the marriage becomes officially binding. Prenups essentially are a contract both parties enter into that outlines each person’s financial rights and obligations should they divorce. This legally binding document, drawn up and overseen by a licensed attorney, protects against one spouse losing everything in the event of the marriage dissolving.

What can a prenup include?

The financial outline that a prenup follows are generally enforceable and cover thing such as the division of share property and assets such as bank accounts and investments. Some states already have regulations enforcing hoe shared property and investments are to be divided but there are still aspects that can be left open during a divorce.

In a prenuptial agreement, a spouse can include a provision that allows them to get more than the other party if certain criteria are met. A prenup can also contain provisions regarding what assets will remain separate, or who gets the bigger claim to shared assets such as savings accounts, retirement funds, and so forth. It is also possible to include terms and agreements for spousal support and payments in the event of a divorce.

What can’t a prenup include?

Prenups generally do not have any provisions or listings regarding child-related provisions. This means that issues regarding minors are not included as part of this legally binding agreement. Issues such as child custody, visitation, or child support have to be negotiated separately at the time of divorce. Children have rights and whatever is deemed to be in the best interest of any children involved in the divorce proceedings will be determined at that time by the appointed judge.

Protect your rights

With the right prenup, some of the uncertainty of the marriage can be put to rest. Both parties can rest assured that their interests and those of their spouse are protected. No one wants a marriage to end in divorce, but when it happens, it is good to know there are terms and protections in place to safeguard both parties in the event of divorce. Contact Erica Bloom Law today to get started.

Non-Physical Domestic Violence

One of the most common misconceptions about domestic violence is that it has to be physical. While there’s no doubt that hitting, pushing, biting–and worse–are all abusive behaviors, they’re not the only ways that someone can be abusive. Abuse usually includes more than just physical violence. For example, research shows that 95% of men who physically abused their victims also psychologically abused victims.

The trauma from non-physical forms of abuse is real and may be made worse by people refusing to acknowledge it. It’s crucial for people who experience abuse like that below to seek resources and protection from further abuse.

Mental Abuse

Mental or psychological abuse attempts to control the person’s thinking. It can include making threats, making someone doubt things they’ve experienced, lying, and other manipulation tactics. This type of abuse can happen over the phone or via text, not just in person.

Emotional abuse is closely related to mental abuse and focuses on eroding a person’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. Humiliation, yelling, insulting, ignoring, intimidating, lecturing, using sarcasm, infantilizing a person, blaming the victim, accusing the person of certain behaviors, including abuse itself, and trivializing the victim’s feelings. Physical actions such as breaking things or harming other people or animals–or threats of doing those–can also be mental abuse.

Stalking, where someone maintains physical or visual proximity to the victim or their immediate family, causing fear of harm, can be emotional abuse. But it might also be physiological if the stalker lies about their behaviors.

Financial Abuse

Financial or economic abuse is a tactic for the abuser to gain power and control in the relationship. It can include preventing someone from acquiring a job, forcing them to quit,  getting them fired, preventing a person from having financial input, and limiting their access to money and information about finances. Hiding assets or stealing are also examples of financial abuse, as is spending money intended for necessities on other things. Victims of financial abuse may not have the resources to leave the situation and find themselves trapped with their abuser.

Sexual Violence

Sexual assault is a type of sexual assault where someone touches or forces someone else to touch them sexually without consent. Sexual abuse may involve physical force, coercion, or altering someone’s state of mind with drugs or alcohol to make them easier to manipulate. Attempts also fall into this category, as does sexually exploiting someone else. Having (or threatening) to have an affair and use the details against a person or denying sex are also sexually abusive.

Evidence of domestic violence may be grounds for a divorce or other legal case. Erica Bloom specializes in California family law cases and can help victims of domestic abuse.

Building Your Support Network During Divorce

Divorce is not easy for anyone. It creates an immense amount of mental and financial stress, even when both parties agree. Every person going through a divorce needs a support system to help them get through the emotions, legalities, financial decisions, and other elements of a divorce.

Every person’s divorce support network looks different. However, several key ingredients combine to make a support system especially helpful. This guide will help you develop the team that will help you get through your divorce as smoothly as possible so you can look forward to the new beginnings on the other side.

Friends and Family

Friends and family are integral parts of a divorce support team. They’re often the ones who already know the struggles you and your spouse have been having. Friends and family can provide a lot of assistance during the divorce process, but they shouldn’t replace professional help.

A Qualified Counselor

Divorce is emotionally draining, and a qualified counselor or therapist can be invaluable before, during, and after your divorce. The process can uproot past traumas or create new traumas. A therapist or counselor can provide the tools you need to manage traumas and deal with the other mental health issues commonly associated with divorce.

Remember that your children may also need emotional support throughout this process. A therapist or counselor can be a critical part of their support network.

Financial Support

Divorces present a lot of financial questions and issues. A certified public accountant (CPA) or chartered financial analyst (CFA) can help you organize your finances and prepare for your future and your children’s future. They can also provide the advice you need to guard yourself against financial harm.

Divorce Support Groups

There may be divorce support groups in your area where individuals undergoing divorce meet and provide emotional support for one another. Joining a support group will immediately assure you that you’re not alone in this process. Online support groups can be helpful for those who live in rural areas or are not yet comfortable openly sharing the ins and outs of divorce in person.

Legal Support

Your legal divorce support team will guide you through the legal aspects of your divorce every step of the way. It’s essential that you feel the attorney you choose is responsive and always putting your best interest first.

The professional divorce attorneys at Eric Bloom Law understand all the turmoil surrounding divorce. Their team of experts is prepared to help you make the best legal choices to benefit yourself and your kids now and in the future.

What Is Gaslighting In A Relationship?

Gaslighting is a term that has grown increasingly common in recent years. Often used but less likely to be understood, gaslighting is a serious form of manipulation put in play by abusers. A simple example of gaslighting could include a rude remark at dinner, denied later by the defamatory individual. Saying, “I didn’t insult you” after clearly insulting you, is considered gaslighting.

What Is Gaslighting?

There are many forms and examples of gaslighting that we see in daily relationships. Simply put, gaslighting is a manipulative form of abuse that occurs between an abuser and their victim. Considered both covert and insidious, gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse where the bully forces the victim to question their judgment and grasp on reality. Gaslighting victims can feel so confused and lost that they begin to question actual reality. That is why it is so important for individuals in abusive relationships to have proper legal counsel. People like Erica Bloom Law can ensure that your voice is heard.

Gaslighting is often highlighted in romantic relationships but is common in every facet of life. Gaslighting can occur between family members, colleagues, and even close friends. Anywhere a toxic individual tries to wield emotional abuse to manipulate and control other people, gaslighting might be at play.

Why Is Gaslighting So Bad and Effective?

Gaslighting is so effective at hurting people because it alters the very perception of an individual’s reality. When you are being gaslit, it would be completely normal to second guess your thoughts and memories. You might even begin to second guess your very grasp on reality. You can end up feeling dazed, confused, and even lost while wondering what you’ve done wrong.

Gaslighting doesn’t only manifest as confusion and attacks against your judgment. Gaslighting can be seen in a variety of other actions.

  • Constant Lying – Individuals prone to gaslighting are often habitual or even pathological liars. They will lie and change their stories, never backing down or admitting they are wrong. Lying is at the foundation of gaslighting.
  • Minimizing Feelings – Gaslighting often includes minimizing both your thoughts and feelings, making you feel less-than as a result. Saying things like “stop being sensitive” or “stop overreacting” are two classic statements in the gaslighting playbook.
  • Feel Unheard – Gaslighting is about trivializing and minimizing the other individual. When you feel completely confused, closed, and unheard, you might be dealing with a gaslighting partner.

Gaslighting is a serious issue that needs to be resolved. Knowing what gaslighting is as well as its signs and indicators can help prepare you to overcome the challenge while finding support from Erica Bloom Law during any court proceedings.

Is It Legal In California To Record My Spouse During Our Divorce?

Equipped with little more than a cellphone, it doesn’t take much to have a high-quality recording device within arm’s reach at all times. Technology has fundamentally changed the way that we live our lives and that has manifested in how we interact with one another, particularly in the legal realm. Couples undergoing a potentially contentious divorce may want to leverage that technology to their benefit, potentially helping record admissions of cheating, asset hiding, and any other potential beneficial evidence that may help in the following proceedings.

One question underscores today’s topic: is it legal in California to record my spouse during our divorce proceedings?

Is It Legal To Record My Spouse During a Divorce Case?

The urge to gather photographic and audio evidence may overwhelm common sense, but don’t allow it to happen to you. California is a two-party consent state with regard to wiretapping laws, thus requiring that both parties be aware that the conversation is being recorded while also giving consent to said recording.

What does this mean in simpler terms? You are not legally allowed to secretly record a private conversation with your spouse.

Resist the urge to win debates by using illicit tactics as they will not help your case and can even lead to stunning legal consequences. Instead of risking your financial future and your freedom, hire a legal representative like Erica Bloom Law to guide you through the process.

How Can I Legally Acquire Recorded Evidence?

While it may be difficult for divorcing spouses to give one another on-the-record consent to record conversations, it is not the only option available. To keep things cleaner and calmer, some divorcing partners will have one or both attorneys offer to depose the other party, engaging with opposing counsel to answer questions. The party being questioned can have the support of their attorney on hand to provide legal guidance throughout the process. Information acquired through a deposition can be shown in court.

You Can Probably Ignore Recordings Altogether

California is listed as a no-fault divorce state, which means that both parties are able to walk away without proving anything for the divorce to become settled. Instead of potentially violating your spouse’s right to privacy, leading up to and including criminal charges, your best course of action is to let sound legal counsel act as your compass.

To learn more about the ins and outs of the divorce process in California and to find support from a legal representative, contact Erica Bloom Law with any questions or concerns you might have.

How To Celebrate The Holidays After Divorce (And Keep Your Sanity!)

A divorce can cause a lot of conflicts, even after it’s over. As the holidays approach, you may feel uncertain about how to celebrate the holidays post-divorce without worrying about losing your sanity. The following tips will help you make the holidays more enjoyable and ensure you can find your new normal after your divorce.

Keep Things as Normal as Possible

Some couples manage to maintain their holiday traditions just the same as they did before the divorce. However, if you aren’t one of those people, you can still make your holidays less stressful by creating new traditions, while maintaining some sense of normalcy, especially if you have children. It’s essential to evaluate which traditions you want to continue and which ones you want to revamp to accommodate your changed family.

Encourage Time with Both Parents

Juggling time around the holidays can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Encouraging your children to spend time with each parent reduces anxiety and shows them both parents still love them the same. However, it’s essential to check your attitude. Don’t express animosity toward the child’s other parent and don’t let anger or self-pity get in the way of an enjoyable holiday season.

Plan in Advance

Splitting time between both sides of your child’s family takes advanced planning. Think about how you want to handle the holidays and discuss the details ahead of time. Your court order should detail how the children spend holiday time with each parent. However, you may need to exercise a little more flexibility to ensure children are comfortable, especially if this is the first holiday season after your divorce.

Start New Traditions

Your family dynamic has changed. Giving yourself a fresh start by implementing new family traditions can go a long way toward improving the holiday season and making it easier for everyone. If there is something you previously wanted to incorporate into the holidays but your former spouse was against it, now is the time to consider adding it. Set realistic expectations and let your children take the lead in helping you choose what to do for the holidays.

Give Gifts

It’s common to struggle financially after a divorce, particularly in the first year or two as you seek to establish your new lifestyle. However, it’s essential to make sure you always have some gifts for your children to open. Even if you need to reach out to local charities, family members, or friends for a helping hand, gift giving will ensure a sense of normalcy for the holiday season. Be sure to set a budget and stick to it. After all, buying your children’s affection with gifts will only backfire in the end.

image of divorcing couple

How to Pursue a Divorce When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want One

In the old days, both parties needed to agree to a divorce. Today, only one person needs to request a divorce — but there are still some challenges for those who aren’t divorcing amicably. Here’s what you need to know.

Your First Step Should Be to an Attorney

Your spouse can’t refuse a divorce. But what they can do is make the process more difficult. They may hide assets or disagree on assets. They may draw out court proceedings. They may try to complicate custody, if you have children. They may disagree on what to do with large, shared assets, like cars and houses.

Your first step in any divorce should be an attorney. You should never have the same attorney as your spouse. Your attorney needs to be focused on advocating for you.

Your attorney will be able to tell you what you should do to protect yourself.

You Should Document Everything

Divorces can easily become complex when both spouses aren’t on the same page. This can happen even if both parties want a divorce; if they don’t agree on the terms, things can get drawn out. That can cost both time and money.

The best way to deal with these issues is through documentation. Not only should you have everything about your financial situation documented, but you should also document all your interactions with your spouse. Through writing rather than a phone is best; if you can communicate through email and text, you should.

If things become extremely aggressive, it’s best to communicate through lawyers.

You Probably Will Go to Court

If your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, they may not agree to your terms nor agree to mediation. That means you’re headed to court.

When you go to court, the judge’s interest is in dividing everything fairly. Because of this, they will need the documentation that you provide. A judge cannot know who is telling the truth in a “he said, she said” situation; they absolutely need to be given firm information to go on. This is where a lawyer can help, as they will know exactly what information to present to the judge.

A divorce can always be one-sided. Your spouse does not need to agree to a divorce for you to be granted one. But be prepared for everything to be more complicated. It’s likely that you’re going to be headed to court if your spouse isn’t going to come to an agreement. Your lawyer can give you more information based on your unique situation.


image of someone upset going through divorce

Understanding the Emotional Stages of Divorce

From a young age, children around the world dream of the day that they get married. From the Fairy Tale reverence that Hollywood grants marriage to the core values that religious institutions place within it, it is easy to see why the process is so important.

In 2017, nearly half of all American’s aged over 18 had been married. This number seems large until we realize that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in a divorce. With nearly half of these monumental decisions ending in such a trying way, it stands to reason that we should learn to better understand the emotional toll it can take.

5 Emotional Stages of Divorce

Whether a divorce was propositioned or planned, the process is never easy to undergo. Divorce can be hard on everyone within reach of the situation, including children, family members, and the formerly married couple. Like other aspects of loss, going through a divorce can send individuals through five emotional stages.

While divorce will always be difficult, understanding the conflict and emotional stages intrinsic to divorce proceedings can help to soften the blow, prepare us for life after, and push us forward when we feel down.

Stage 1 — Denial: As in all walks of life, when we are hit with something impossible to believe, we simply deny it. Denial is a traditional emotional process for both parties, but particularly the individual being divorced. A whirlwind of emotional turbulence can prevent the individual from accepting what is going on before them.

Stage 2 — Anger: Anger isn’t always a healthy emotion, but it is always a notable one. After fighting with reality, we might find ourselves both shocked and angered by what just happened. Rage and blame may manifest as both parties begin to engage in emotional warfare, rendered toward themselves and others. This is a time for patience, grace, and forgiveness.

Stage 3 — Bartering: Once the anger subsides, some folks find themselves looking to bargain with their former partner. One spouse may still be hopeful that the relationship can work, and they will often go out of their way to try and change. This is an important time to understand the journey that has been taken and to stand by the convictions that led us there.

Stage 4 — Depression, Sadness: Anger can only burn so long before the flames turn to ash. As our anger fully subsides and bartering shows signs of failing, depression can sink in. The longest and hardest to weather, depression can last for a long time.

Stage 5 — Acceptance: Where anger, sadness, and denial once existed comes the feeling of acceptance. While things aren’t wholly better, they are getting there. This is the stage that often leads to a new chapter in life.

Prepare For Life After Marriage With Erica Bloom Law

While divorce may be devastatingly common, it is a process that holds a special place in society. Whether you are undergoing a divorce or contemplating leaving a significant other, individuals can turn to Erica Bloom Law when they need a compassionate ear and a skilled hand at law by their side.