California Legal Blog

How to protect your rights if real estate disputes arise

As a California property owner, any number of issues can arise that cause a legal concern. Real estate disputes can be quite stressful to resolve, especially if you are not fully aware of the regulations, building codes or state laws that may affect your situation. That's why it is critical to know where to seek legal support if you are facing a particularly difficult issue that you feel ill-equipped to handle on your own.

Disagreements are common between homeowners and homeowners association officials. Such issues often include accusations regarding mismanagement of funds or complaints over increased rates in dues or other fees. Carefully reviewing a contract before signing (especially the fine print) can be helpful in avoiding such problems down the line.

Jeff Bezos has reportedly finalized his high-asset divorce

Many California readers have been following the divorce saga of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos and his now former wife, MacKenzie. The two married long before Bezos became the richest man in the world. They have four children together. The former couple recently settled their high-asset divorce.

Bezos' net worth is estimated to be $149 billion. That is about $12 billion more than was reported when the spouses first announced their intentions to divorce. Property division issues are often the central focus of marital breakups like this one. The proceedings are dependent upon the laws of the state where the divorce occurs. Most (but not all) states use equitable property division rules, which means marital property and debt is fairly, although not necessarily equally, divided.

How to keep costs to a minimum in a California divorce

While the specific reasons a California couple decides to end their marriage in court is not directly related to cost, such issues can indeed have an impact on proceedings. For instance, if a divorce is contested, it may take longer to finalize than situations of uncontested lawsuits. The longer it takes to rectify problem issues, the greater the related expenses are likely to be.

Maintaining financial stability is a primary concern for most divorcing spouses. It definitely helps to try to resolve disagreements ahead of time, as disputes regarding child custody or property division issues can take weeks, even months, to resolve in court. The lowest-cost proceedings are often those where spouses choose to mediate their settlements rather than enter litigation.

Need to file a mechanic’s lien? Here’s how

If you’re a subcontractor on a construction job and have not been paid, there are ways to make sure you can strengthen your position so you can receive payment in full.

By filing a mechanic’s lien as well as a stop notice or claim on a payment bond, you have an interest not only in the contract but also the property itself. If successful, a judge could ultimately order the property to be sold to pay off the mechanic’s lien.

California estate planning: It helps avoid sibling rivalry

Like many California parents, you likely have gone through stages in life where it seemed that your children did little more than bicker with each other. Regardless of their current ages, sibling rivalry is nothing new. However, where adult children are concerned when discussing inheritance, there are numerous documents you can sign to help prevent family disputes when the time comes to administer your estate. You can customize the estate planning process to fit your particular family's needs.

All you have to do to become aware of the possible conflict and financial disasters that can occur when an estate owner fails to prepare a solid plan is read celebrity news about stars who died without executing a last will and testament or trust. Probate litigation has gone on for years in some of these cases. If you don't want your family members to be caught up in contentious court battles, you can take steps ahead of time to designate an executor and provide asset transfer instructions regarding your chosen heirs and beneficiaries.

Which conservatorship is right for you?

Are you worried that someone could rob your elderly or disabled relative of their assets? When a vulnerable person needs someone to look out for their finances, the court can help you set up a conservatorship.

Conservatorships are set up much like a guardianship but only handle the finances of the person at risk. It could be their legal guardian, or another appropriate person.

Business litigation: California firefighter files lawsuit

It is not uncommon for California employees and employers to encounter problems in their business relationships. Many times, such disagreements involve wage and hours issues or benefits, promotions and other work-related matters. A business litigation case was recently commenced when a firefighter decided to sue his employer for discrimination and breach of contract.

The plaintiff has been a member of the Oakland Fire Department for 27 years. As a team veteran, he was in line for a promotion and was dismayed to get a phone call from a battalion chief while he was on vacation. The chief told the captain that his superiors had decided to pass him over for the promotion because of a criminal conviction following an arson incident that involved his son.

Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel seeks sole child custody

There are currently parents in California who are preparing for divorce. Many of them are at odds with their soon-to-be exes regarding child custody issues. Litigation may be needed in some cases where peaceful negotiation has proved unsuccessful. Court proceedings can be quite complex, especially if one parent accuses the other of being a detriment to the child or children in question.

Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel is currently going through a similar situation. She has petitioned the court for sole custody of her daughter. Her reasons for doing so, she says, include assertions that her ex, Jason Hoppy, is abusive.

Real estate disputes can get quite nasty

Real estate law is complex. Those interested in purchasing, selling, building or renovating real estate in California will want to make sure they seek clarification of any laws, regulations or building codes that may apply to their situations. While real estate disputes are not uncommon, they can be difficult to resolve, especially if property owners, selling agencies or builders try to handle problem situations on their own.

Any number of issues can spark a disagreement regarding real estate, such as property lines, easements or construction laws. Homeowners Association issues are also often a central focus of legal disagreements. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights became law in 2013. It ensures fair lending and borrowing practices for homeowners throughout the state.

Grandmother weighs in on Kardashian/Chyna child custody case

It is not uncommon for California parents to turn to extended family members for support when disagreements arise regarding visitation, support or other child-related issues. What is perhaps not so common, however, is for a  grandparent to side with the co-parent that is not his or her son or daughter. That appears to be the case for Hollywood star, Blac Chyna, as she and Rob Kardashian continue to hash out legal issues pertaining to child custody and other issues.

Chyna and Kardashian have a 2-year-old daughter. Chyna also has a son from a different relationship. Chyna's mother has publicly stated that she believes her daughter has some serious problems that are currently making her an unfit parent. The children's grandmother says she believes both kids would be better off if Kardashian were granted at least temporary custody.

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