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Encino Family Law Blog

Putting aside anger to seek the best interests of the child

Sometimes the hardest part of co-parenting after divorce is taking the high road. Despite whatever may have attracted two people in the first place, divorce can leave a California couple bitter and mistrustful. Nevertheless, when children are involved, maintaining a dignified and respectful demeanor with one's co-parent is in the best interests of the child. When conflicts arise, it is often one parent setting a positive tone who can make the difference in the resolution.

When the marriage ends, it is not uncommon for the former spouses to dislike each other. This may be especially true in the months or years immediately following the divorce, but experts suggest always keeping the needs of the child in focus. Those needs are never met when one parent speaks badly about the other in front of the children. Children may be confused when hearing such statements about a parent they love. Placing them in the middle of a war is one way in which divorced parents may harm their children.

California adoption basics

The desire to have a child can be overwhelming. For many California couples, this is a natural process; for others, having children naturally is not an option. Then there are those who can have children naturally and may already have children of their own but wish to expand their families. Whatever the reason, adoption is often the best way to complete a family and provide a much-needed forever home for a precious child.

The adoption process can appear daunting. Who is eligible to adopt? What are the requirements? Where does one even begin? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when one begins to consider adoption.

Attempt to save money on divorce may prove costly

The end of a marriage can occur for any number of reasons. Many times, the couple is unable to agree on anything of substance throughout the marriage; therefore, it makes sense that they will be unable to agree on the terms of their divorce. However, there are some California couples who, although they no longer wish to be married, are able to negotiate specifics regarding their divorce.

At times, when a couple is able to address these issues, the thought of trying to save money comes into play, and they decide to forgo consulting with an attorney regarding their individual divorce specifics. Many times, such a decision can actually prove more costly in the end. Although their decisions may appear to be sound, there can be other concerns, such as taxes, that could have a negative impact.

Economic abuse most common form of domestic violence

It's a problem that is typically hidden behind closed doors. Domestic violence can occur in any California neighborhood. It does not discriminate based upon age, race or even economic level. However, one thing that it does do is cause harm to all of those affected by it.

When one thinks of domestic violence, the obvious choices are physical or emotional abuse. While these types of abuse are easier to spot than others, they are not the most prevalent. As Serena Williams points out as a representative for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse program, economic abuse occurs in over 90 percent of domestic violence cases.

Property division and the health savings account

Once a California couple makes the decision to divorce, it is time for them to also decide how assets should be divided. Sometimes, this is a relatively easy process, and the couple is able to agree on a property division plan according to the state's community property laws. Other times, there are multiple factors that must be considered and assistance is required in order to make informed decisions.

Common elements to be considered in the property division plan are investment accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts, real estate and other assets of significant value owned by the couple. Each asset should be analyzed and a determination made as to which party should receive what portion of the asset. In doing so, it is important to consider both the current value of the asset and its future value along with any tax implications that may arise.

Property division details can help end unhappy marriage

Ending an unhappy marriage may be the best thing that a California resident can do. The days of "walking on egg shells" and disagreeing about every little detail will finally come to an end. Along with this, life as one knows it will change. To ensure that the lifestyle change holds more positives than negatives, one will want to pay close attention to the property division details during the settlement process.

One of the first things to decide is which party, if either, will keep the house. In making this decision, sentiment should be set aside and reality dictate the final decision. If the individual who wishes to retain the house will not have the income to do so, this may not be the best decision.

Divorce, lifestyle changes and the postnuptial agreement

Over the course of a marriage, things can change. At the beginning, the happy California couple knew just what they wanted out of life. However, as time goes by and the family dynamics change, divorce may become an option. With this being a possibility, it may be in the couple's best interest to develop a postnuptial agreement prior to making significant lifestyle changes.

In the beginning, the couple may have had a prenuptial agreement. This agreement took into consideration the couple's current financial status as well as anticipated changes. However, not all changes can be anticipated and planned for. For this reason, it may be necessary for the couple to re-address their status years after the wedding has taken place.

Change in financial status can cause a change in child support

Circumstances can change in an instant. One minute, the California worker is gainfully employed and the next minute, he or she is not. Although this change may be in no way the fault of the individual, it still has an effect upon that individual's ability to meet his or her normal monthly obligations. For many, these obligations often include housing expenses, car notes and even child support payments.

Without money coming in, it will be difficult for the individual to meet these obligations. However, when financial circumstances change, it is possible that a change in child support can be made. Such a change can be addressed through a formal request to the California court that is responsible for the original agreement.

Military disability, pensions and divorce

Financial concerns are often a primary concern regarding most decisions that a California couple makes. This is especially true when the couple decides to divorce. Finances play an important part in deciding exactly how marital assets should be divided as well as many other issues.

Some assets are easily divided and have limited financial implications. However, other assets, depending upon how they are handled, can have significant financial implications. Included among these assets are often investment accounts, retirement accounts and pension plans.

Sharing child custody in a positive and productive way

For many California families, protecting the best interests of the children is the top priority for both parents during a divorce. For this reason, many parents find that sharing child custody through a co-parenting agreement can preserve parent/child relationships and make post-divorce life easier for the youngest members of the family. Co-parenting is not the best decision for every family, but it may provide significant benefits for many.

One of the key components to a successful co-parenting arrangement is open communication. If parents are going work together after divorce, they must be able to talk, make plans and discuss issues that arise. It may be necessary to set aside emotions for the benefit of the children, and kids should never hear negative things spoken by one parent about the other.

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