About Sandy McCarthy

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

Creative Ways to Divide Property in Divorce

When a couple files for divorce, one thing that is inevitable is dividing their property. In California, the rule is that all community property assets (any income and assets acquired during the marriage) must be split 50/50. A couple could sell all of the marital assets and split the proceeds if they would like, but there are more creative ways to divide property in divorce. Sometimes a couple just needs to think outside the box.

By |2019-01-01T17:16:34+00:00January 1st, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments

When is Probate Necessary in California?

A formal probate proceeding and can be expensive and time-consuming. In this regard, California law provides for alternatives to formal probate that are easier and less expensive. It is often possible to avoid probate. So, when is probate necessary in California and are there way to avoid having to file probate? This article explains what you need to know.

By |2019-01-01T17:26:55+00:00January 1st, 2019|Probate|0 Comments

Importance of a Custody Order For Unmarried Parents

Many unmarried parents are raising children together, but what happens to the children if they split up? When a married couple divorces, the must settle child custody, visitation, and child support issues before they can finalize a divorce. But there is no requirement for an unmarried couple to go through the courts to end their relationship. Furthermore, there is no requirement for the couple to settle custody, visitation, and child support issues as part of their break up. In this regard, a custody order for unmarried parents becomes critical. Even if the split is amicable and the couple is in total agreement about all of the child-raising issues, it is important that they get a custody order from the court.

By |2019-01-01T17:30:47+00:00January 1st, 2019|Paternity|0 Comments

Reasons to File a Joinder in a Divorce

In a pending case, either party can request that a third-party join the case, which is known as a joinder. In a divorce proceeding, California allows a party to file a joinder in divorce if a third-party is in possession of community property assets. Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during the marriage are community property assets in California and need to be divided like any other asset during the divorce proceeding. Keep in mind that most retirement plans do not require a joinder. However, some plans, such as California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and other city and county government plans, require that the plan to formally joined to the divorce proceeding before the plan can be divided. With this in mind, it may be wise to file a joinder in divorce even if the plan does not require it.

By |2018-12-30T16:39:45+00:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

How to Use a QDRO to Divide Retirement in Divorce

Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during a marriage are community property. During a divorce, couples divide retirement and pensions plans just like any other marital asset. The couple may split them any way they see fit, whether it be that one spouse completely buys the other one out of their share, or one spouse receives a percentage or fixed amount of the retirement payments. It is necessary to prepare a QDRO for each plan that is divided.

By |2018-12-30T16:47:07+00:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

Using a Non-Lawyer Probate Service in California to File Probate

Do you really need to hire an attorney to file probate? You might be surprised to learn that you don't need an attorney to file probate in California. In many situations, the estate can be settled without having to hire a lawyer using an experienced non-lawyer probate service. Here's why many are using the probate services of A People's Choice.

By |2018-12-30T16:54:20+00:00December 29th, 2018|Probate|0 Comments

Ex Parte Motions in Divorce and When to File Them

When divorcing spouses get upset, it can be tempting to file an ex parte motion. An ex parte motion literally means a motion where only one party of the case is present. Because the motions are decided quickly, without giving the other party time to prepare an opposition or explain their side, ex parte motions in divorce are only to be used in an emergency situation.

By |2018-12-30T16:58:13+00:00December 29th, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

How to Get Letters of Administration in Probate

In order to get Letters of administration, a full probate is filed that requests the court to name as personal representative of the estate. The court issues Letters of Administration when there 1) is no will; 2) when there is a will, but the will doesn't name an executor; or 3) the named executor is deceased and there is no alternate person named to act.

By |2018-12-30T17:03:12+00:00December 15th, 2018|Probate|0 Comments
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