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California Family Law Blog

Are child custody issues putting a damper on holiday planning?

No matter what time of year it happens to be, filing for divorce is never an easy decision. If you're one of many California spouses who is also a parent, then navigating divorce just before the holidays may be especially challenging. It is only natural that your highest priority is your children's well-being. If child custody issues have you concerned, there are several things you can do to be proactive toward finding a solution.

Even basic issues can spark contention between you and your ex if you do not agree. For instance, negotiating the terms of your co-parenting agreement would likely include resolving issues such as where your kids will live after you finalize your divorce, whether they will spend holidays with one or the other parent, or both, if they will have to change schools, as well as numerous other matters that might apply to your particular situation. If your co-parent is not willing to cooperate or to adhere to the terms of your agreement, it may definitely cause legal problems.

Child custody can be difficult but manageable with long distance

Ending a marriage might be the right decision for a couple who is no longer happy, but it can still be a difficult transition for parents and kids alike. Most California parents undoubtedly want to be in their children's lives as much as possible, but if work or other obligations cause them to move or the other parent to move with the kids, distance can make shared child custody more difficult. Fortunately, parents can do their best to keep in contact with their kids.

These days, practically everyone has a phone with them at all times. This means that parents have a convenient way to have regular contact with their kids even if they are not physically with them or live a considerable distance away. Parents can have scheduled calls and call, Skype or send texts at random times to let the kids know that they are being thought of.

Business divorce: Things to know re community property laws

It often takes years to bring a business dream to fruition. In fact, some California business owners say they actually began thinking of their plans in their youth, then spent years fine-tuning and crafting a more definite course of action. Finally, for those who can accomplish their goals, a day arrives when a business dream becomes an official company and (hopefully) starts turning a profit. Years later, after marriage, the birth of children and other life experiences, it can come as a tough blow to realize relationship problems have prompted a business divorce.

When a business owner files a petition or is served papers for divorce, it is logical to assume that his or her company interests will be a main focus and priority of proceedings. California is one of only nine community property states in the nation. This means property division proceedings typically include dividing all marital assets and debt 50/50 between spouses.  In this example, the business owner, who developed the business before marriage, likely has a separate property interest.

4 years later, Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman finalize divorce

Many California celebrities say they met their spouses on movie sets, which is where Kate Beckinsale met her now-former spouse back in 2003. The couple was together more than a decade when trouble arose in their relationship. Beckinsale's spouse was seen around town with a famous fashion model. It appears that this may have been what led to their divorce.

Once Beckinsale and Wiseman set the wheels in motion to end their marriage, it took several years to finalize a settlement. They had not signed a prenuptial agreement, which many couples -- including celebrities and non-celebrities -- choose to do to avoid complications down the line if a divorce occurs. In this case, both spouses agreed to waive a right to spousal support.

There's no magic sign that it's time to divorce

As each wedding anniversary passes, you may ask yourself if you would do it again if you had the chance. Would you marry your spouse again, knowing how it would all turn out? If the answer is no, it is likely that the thought of divorce has crossed your mind. If you are hesitating to file the papers, do you know why?

In some cases, a spouse who is thinking about divorce does not necessarily want to leave his or her partner. The spouse may simply want something different or better -- something the two may find together with a good therapist. However, how do you know if this transformation is possible for you or if it is time to contact an attorney to learn about your rights under California divorce law?

Learn valuable lessons from celebrity child custody cases

Divorce isn't easy, especially when there are children involved. Most California parents try their best to cooperate and compromise as needed to keep their kids' best interests in mind when resolving child custody issues. Celebrity divorce cases often make news headlines, and reviewing some of the more notable cases can be a means of obtaining information that later proves valuable in one's own life.

For instance, actress Kelly Rutherford's contentious custody battle with her ex shows the importance of understanding state laws, as well as any international laws that might apply when one of the two parents is living abroad. Rutherford wound up losing custody of her kids, perhaps because she took matters into her own hands by refusing to return her kids to their father at the appointed time. It's typically a better idea to turn to an experienced family law attorney who is well-versed on issues regarding domestic versus international laws and court jurisdiction.

Support a positive outcome for your child with these tips

As you and your spouse inch closer to getting divorced in California, chances are you are beginning to prepare for your quest to gain custody of your children. Even if you plan to share parenting responsibilities with your ex, preparing ahead of time for a child custody negotiation can help you to be more confident and have a more positive outcome. At Rombro & Manley LLP, we are aware of the challenges that divorced couples face and are ready to assist. 

From the onset of your divorce, come to terms with the fact that you will need to be flexible in creating agreements that are to the best benefit of all of the parties involved. This mindset is especially critical when you are dealing with the well-being and future of your children. You may not be able to arrange an agreement that is ideal for your schedule, personal desires and long-term convenience, but as long as it allows your children to continue to grow and provides support in their journey of managing their emotions in regards to your divorce, you have achieved an important goal. 

Former NFL star and ex-wife at odds over child support

While a divorce certainly brings with it a sense of finality, it does not necessarily signal the end of a couple's association with each other. In cases where a couple shares children or one spouse is obliged to pay the other alimony, couples will continue to have to work together to ensure that such obligations are met going forward. Asking a couple that might not have worked so well together while married to continue to do so after their divorce may seem like a tall order, given the emotions that both might still harbor for each other. Those feelings can prompt disputes that can last years beyond a divorce becoming final. 

The case of former NFL star and current talk show host Michael Strahan illustrates this point. Strahan and his ex-wife were divorced in 2006, at which time she was given a settlement of $15.3 million and he was ordered to pay $18,000 every month in child support. At the time, Strahan was still playing in the NFL. Upon his retirement, his child support obligation was decreased to $13 million. Yet since his retirement, Strahan has found success in other areas, which has prompted his ex-wife to petition that his child support obligation be increased. She also claims that Strahan has missed nearly $500,000 in support payments. 

Has your spouse been hiding money?

California residents like you will have to divide your assets with your spouse upon divorce. But what happens if your spouse doesn't report all of their assets? This is a real issue that some people may face, and you may have seen the warning signs yourself.

Sometimes, people will start hiding money before the divorce has even been announced. If they intend on announcing an intent to divorce or there is enough foreshadowing that it might be coming, spouses who intend to hide assets will likely start acting more furtively about finances. They may start cashing checks instead of depositing them directly and start using cash more often than credit cards in order to save a portion while eliminating a paper trail.

How co-parenting helps kids and parents

Separated or divorcing spouses in California who still have minor children at home know that one of the biggest challenges they will face is finding a way to effectively raise their children with a person they are no longer a partner with. It seems a bit illogical to expect that two people who could not find a way to remain in a relationship together could become effective co-parents but it is possible with the right steps. When done well, co-parenting benefits the children and the adults.

As explained by Thrive Global, when divorced parents collaborate effectively together, their children see them modelling healthy behavior. Kids also see that both parents are active in their lives and this results in children feeling more secure and safe than if they sense one or both parents have checked out to some degree.

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