Santa Cruz Attorney at Law

Family Law and Estate Planning Publications

On this page you will find articles discussing various family law and estate planing topics published by Keith Dysart and associates. If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, you can submit your questions through email at questions for Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney.

Please visit this page often for new article submissions.

Index of Family Law Articles

Index of Estate Planning Articles

Family Law Articles

What Happens During a Divorce?

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

When a couple decides they want to end their marriages they have many things left to resolve. First they must choose between divorce, annulment and legal separation. Then they must resolve numerous issues to finalize their divorce. This article takes a brief look at the process of getting divorced.

Click here to read What Happens During a Divorce? by Keith Dysart

What Affect do Age and Income have in regards to Divorce?

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Divorce is not as simple as a marriage not working out. Comparing marriages by age and education it becomes clear that many divorces are as much a matter of circumstances as anything else. People who get married young and do not the education necessary for avoid economic hardships are much more likely to find their marriages end in divorce.

Click here to read What Affect do Age and Income have in regards to Divorce? by Keith Dysart

Honesty about Property during a Divorce

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

When dividing property during a divorce it is tempting to want to keep something special to you or not disclose a certain piece of property. However the truth is the court can heavily punish people for disclosing property. However it is possible such property may be your separate property and if it is there are legal means to making sure it is not divided.

Click here to read Honesty about Property during a Divorce by Keith Dysart

Children's Wishes During a Custody Dispute

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

During a child custody hearing the wishes of a child may become important. This article includes the creation of an imaginary family to display when and how much importance a child's wishes having during a custody hearing. The court will determine if the child can intelligently make their wishes known and given them the proper consideration.

Click here to read Children's Wishes During a Custody Dispute by Keith Dysart

What do I need to do to get Divorced?

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

In California you need to resolve four issues before a divorce petition can become finalized. These are child custody, child support, spousal support and division of community property. These may be resolved by private agreement or by court orders but all must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized.

Click here to read What do I need to do to get Divorced? by Keith Dysart

Can the Court Award Attorney's Fees During a Divorce?

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

During many marriages one spouse chooses to stay at home and care for children. For these spouses financial security is an important issue to resolve during divorce. Spousal and child support help deal with the costs of day to day life, but the potential cost of future legal proceedings can be imposing. Even if not intentional, having a financial advantage can intimidate the other party and force them to concede issues they would not otherwise.

Click here to read Can the Court Award Attorney's Fees During a Divorce? by Keith Dysart

Avoiding the High Cost of Divorce

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Divorce brings with it numerous issues including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division which can be expensive to resolve in court. As an alternative many couples going through divorces had turned to private mediation or collaborative law for a less hostile and more cost effective approach. This article looks at some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with mediation and collaborative law and how they can help you during your divorce.

Click here to read Avoiding the High Cost of Divorce by Keith Dysart

Divorce and Other Options When you Want to Terminate Your Marriage

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Divorce is not the only option available for those wishing to terminate their marriages. Divorce, nullity and legal separation all terminate the physical relationship, but have different effects on the legal relationship created by marriage. This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each and why you should consider each carefully when looking to terminate your marriage.

Click here to read Divorce and Other Options When you Want to Terminate Your Marriage by Keith Dysart

Changing Your Perspective with Child Custody

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Dealing with child custody can be an ongoing battle for years even after a divorce. The pain a parent feels when a child is not around combined with the hard feelings and lack of trust associated with a divorce may continue to fuel fights over child custody. This article provides a simple solution that may help parents focus their concerns on actual custody issues. This will not make fighting just disappear but it will force you to discuss your custody concerns as they affect your child.

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Why to Choose Mediation over Litigation

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Mediation can offer a productive alternative for couples going through a divorce. By avoiding the courts couples may avoid unnecessary stress, costs and fighting. Divorces are never easy, but with the help of a mediator it may alleviate some of the strain. I encourage people to look over the benefits of mediation and consider it when going through a divorce or dealing with the modification of divorce issues.

Click here to read Why to Choose Mediation over Litigation by Keith Dysart

Estate Planning Articles

How Often do you need to check your Will or Living Trust?

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

Once you have an estate plan in place it is important to make sure it stays current. So many things change over time. You may have acquired or sold property, people come and go in our lives, our wishes may have changed or the law has changed. When certain events happen it is important to understand what affect they may have on your will, trusts and estate plan.

Click here to read How Often do you need to check your Will or Living Trust? by Keith Dysart

Value of Gifts to Estate Planning

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

When considering an estate plan gifts are often a valuable tool. Primarily gifts are a means of managing the value of estate to avoid estate taxes. With estate taxes running around 50% it is important to make sure your estate stays below the statutory amount. As valuable as gifts may be to an estate plan there are also numerous pitfalls if they are used incorrectly.

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Choosing an Executor for your Willl

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

Choosing an executor is an important choice when creating an estate plan and will. Your Executor will be the person you appoint to handle your final affairs. This includes all aspects of managing your estate including distributing your property, paying creditors and filing tax returns. It is important to choose somebody you trust and also somebody who you feel is capable of taking on the challenging task during a time of sorrow.

Click here to read Choosing an Executor for your Will by Keith Dysart

Why Every Family Should Have a Will

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney

So many parents who would do anything for their children neglect something as basic as creating a will. It is amazing how something as simple as a will can offer so many advantages to parents who want nothing more than their children to live happy lives.

Click here to read Why Every Family Should Have a Will by Keith Dysart