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Murrieta Legal Blog

About child custody hearings

Parents in California who have to go to a child custody hearing for the first time may be understandably nervous. However, there are some steps they can take to prepare for the hearing, present an effective case and possibly obtain the child custody terms that they desire.

The first step in preparing for a child custody hearing is to understand the state laws. Getting current on child custody laws can help parents understand the issues that they may encounter at the hearing. If there's confusion over legal matters, a parent could create a list of questions to pose to their attorney.

Divorce doesn't need to be a battle

California residents understand how challenging divorce can be. There is a reason why divorce is often described using metaphors of war: negotiations, conflicts, battles, winners, losers, collateral damage, etc. There is an added volatility to divorce because the two individuals who are now at odds with each other were once in love to the point of getting married, joining their finances and even having children.

There are certain tactics that have been tried and true as ways of gaining victory during divorce negotiations. However, in order to gain victory, someone has to lose. Divorcing like a mature adult means the couple understands that more is going to be gained if they are able to come to an amicable truce as opposed to battling it out with each other.

Main reasons for a divorce

Married couples in California and elsewhere around the world have to work hard in order to make their relationships work, and, fortunately, they have been more successful over the past few years as divorce rates have been declining. Nevertheless, some couples still decide to break their vows and end a union that was supposed to last a lifetime. Ergo, these same couples might have benefited greatly from learning about the top reasons that lead to divorce as well as what they could have done about them.

Of the many issues that lead to divorce, the biggest one is a lack of commitment from one or both spouses. This doesn't have to mean being unfaithful. Sometimes not being willing to do everything one can to make a relationship work can be enough. In other words, it means feeling flaky about the marriage, which might manifest itself in something as simple as not feeling romantic about one's partner.

What documents do you need for a divorce?

Information is key during a divorce. Because of this, there are a variety of documents and other types of information you will need to gather before and during the divorce process. Not only will this make the process easier, but it will help ensure that you get what you deserve out of your divorce.

However, some people may not realize what kinds of documents they will need to have handy for the process. Here are some documents you will want to gather to show your attorney

How to construct a viable parenting plan

Having a thorough plan can make it easier for parents in California and elsewhere to raise their children after a divorce or separation. The plan should prioritize the needs of the children over what may be easier or more convenient for the parents. It should also be flexible enough to account for any scheduling or other changes that occur after it is agreed upon.

For instance, if a child starts school or takes up a new activity, the plan should account for that. Both parents should strive to create a similar environment for the child in both of their households. This means expecting homework to be done at the same time or making sure that the child has a similar bedtime regardless of which parent he or she is with. Parents shouldn't assume that future conditions can always be met.

The impact of a wife's illness on the stability of a marriage

A woman in California who gets a divorce may be at a higher risk for cancer than a man in the same situation. A study that appeared in "The Journal of Health and Social Behavior" in 2005 reported that a wife's illness raises the divorce risk while a husband's illness does not.

Other research supports this conclusion. A study conducted by researchers at Purdue University and Iowa State University examined 2,701 marriages and how they were affected by diagnoses of heart disease, lung disease, cancer and stroke. Women who had heart problems or a stroke were at a higher risk for divorce than women who developed cancer. Men were at no higher risk.

What divorce looks like for the rich

California residents may have heard that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife are divorcing after 25 years of marriage. It is believed that the couple had a joint net worth of about $136 billion. One of the issues that will need to be resolved during their divorce is to determine how to divide the wealth. As a general rule, divorces involving wealthy people tend to be more complicated because of the assets that they hold.

In many cases, their wealth is held in stocks or stock options. There may also be assets such as Cayman bank accounts or rare collectibles that need to be appraised. How a divorce is decided depends on where a divorcing couple lives, and the Bezos family lived in Washington. Since Washington is a 50/50 community state, it's possible that Amazon itself will be considered community property.

Enforcing a delinquent child support order

Single parents in California may face difficult financial struggles, especially when the other parent isn't following through on child support obligations. However, parents who are owed outstanding support payments can take action to try to recover the debt. By going to family court or working with the California Department of Child Support Services, parents can seek enforcement of an existing child support order that is going unpaid.

Before going to court in a child support enforcement action, a parent should gather the proof that they tried to collect the support money and evidence that the other parent has not paid. In addition, it can be important to bring relevant evidence like the original child support judgment and proof of paternity. A parent can approach the state agency for assistance in enforcing an existing judgment, and various mechanisms can be pursued. Child support arrears can be damaging to a person's credit, and liens can even be placed against the other parent's property if they refuse to pay. More commonly, child support may be deducted from the other parent's paycheck as part of wage garnishment. Even many forms of government benefits may be garnished in order to collect overdue support.

Ways you can help your children get through your divorce

Once you begin the process of your divorce, it is likely that the well-being of your children will be the most important thing on your mind. Though you may have concerns about your finances, property division and living situation, you can bet that the emotions of your children will be a constant concern for you. Even though the children may have times of confusion and even hurt, this does not have to be a devastating time for them. You can help your children cope through this time by following a few of the following suggestions. 

Errors to avoid when ending a marriage

California residents who go through a divorce could experience a wide range of emotions. However, it is important to keep those feelings in check when it comes time to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, an individual could face criminal charges, an unfavorable parenting plan or undesirable financial terms. Generally speaking, it is wise to consult with a lawyer before attempting to negotiate a deal. It can also be in a person's best interest to review a settlement with an attorney prior to signing it.

Doing so may allow a person to determine if the settlement is reasonable. In most cases, settlements are supposed to be equitable, if not equal, in how assets are divided. However, it is not uncommon for a spouse to attempt to hide assets or make them difficult to find. Taking time to review a settlement before signing it may also result in more time to investigate a couple's financial situation.

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  • AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2018
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization
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