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Bay Area Family Law Blog

Make the holiday season all about your children

When trying to divide custody with your spouse during the holiday season, there's one crucial thing you must keep in mind: The season has to be all about your children. Your focus must be on finding a plan that makes them happy and allows them to enjoy this season of joy and festivity.

Parents sometimes choose simple plans that switch every other year. If it's a year ending in an odd number, for example, you may get the kids on Thanksgiving and your spouse may get them on Christmas. That would apply this year, in 2015. In an even numbered year, like 2016, you may get your children on Christmas and they can stay with your spouse for Thanksgiving.

Child support can be paid at 7-Eleven

In California, child support laws are being tweaked to make the payment process easy and convenient for parents. The thought behind these changes is that parents will be more likely to pay if it's really easy to do it, which could mean more payments are actually made, even with less involvement from the government.

One of the biggest changes is that parents are now able to make their payments when they go to 7-Eleven.

Can Facebook cause a divorce?

Facebook may be your go-to way to connect with people, but a study shows that it could also be a huge hindrance on your relationship, perhaps even leading to divorce.

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, St. Mary's University in San Antonio, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. They talked with 205 individuals who were over 18 and under 83 years old, and a full 79 percent of them were currently in relationships of one type or another.

Will antidepressants cause you to lose a custody case?

When going through a child custody case in California, the court will carefully examine both parents to see if their lifestyles, living situations, financial means and other factors can provide a safe and comfortable place for a child. As a result, some people think that revealing that they are on antidepressants will be looked at in a negative light, causing them to lose the case. Is this actually true?

According to some experts, not only is this untrue, but it can be completely the opposite. Showing that you are on the medication demonstrates that you are responsible and willing to do what it takes to maintain good health—something that the court will assume translates to how you care for your child.

Your spouse cannot deny your request for a divorce

What are you supposed to do if you want to get a divorce and your spouse decides that he or she isn't going to let you do it?

You may be surprised by how often this question is asked. People are sometimes unsure if they can move forward with their divorces on their own or if they need to do it with their spouses. After all, both people had to say "I do" during the wedding, so do both people need to change their minds to break it off?

Getting your financial house in order

If your marriage is failing in California and you know it's not going to end with anything less than a divorce, it's time for you to get your financial house in order. This is a crucial part of the process, and it can impact a lot of the legal decisions that are made.

First and foremost, you may want to split up your accounts. This way, you and your spouse start putting your own money into your own accounts, protecting it and meaning there is less to split up.

Can a bipolar parent win a custody battle?

According to one advocacy group for those living with mental illness, a third of kids with a mother or father diagnosed with a serious mental illness like Bipolar Disorder are raised by someone other than that parent.

One reason for this is that the courts view mental illness as severe handicaps to effective parenting. Instead of taking the more enlightened view that mental illness can be successfully treated and managed with therapy and drugs, courts tend to err on the side of caution and rule against placing a child with his or her afflicted parent.

Legal dispute over frozen embryos highlights unique divorce case

A California case involving frozen embryos has sparked a debate on child custody issues long after a divorce. According to news sources, a San Francisco, California, judge is prepared to issue a verdict in a follow-on divorce dispute that emerged after the couple's divorce was finalized in April.

At issue, are five frozen embryos that the ex-spouses decided to have frozen after doctors discovered breast cancer in the wife just days before the couple married. At that time in 2010, the couple decided that freezing the embryos might preserve the wife's only chance of naturally conceiving a child. The mother of those embryos now says that she was unaware that the document was legally binding. According to the mother, both her and her then husband considered the documents as merely routine consent forms.

How criminal charges could affect your child custody case

Divorces that also include children inherently give rise to important decisions that need to be decided prior to the final divorce decree. Paramount on that list of concerns is the issue of child custody. In a previous article on our website blog, we discussed how most family law courts in Alameda County will require both parents to attend Child Custody Recommending Counseling Services. These are provided free of charge to both parties, and they are designed primarily to assist parents in working out the specifics of their child custody and visitation rights.

You need to know that the Family Court Services of California recommends that parents seek guidance from their attorneys and obtain the support of any therapists or family members prior to attending the CCR meetings. For couples where at least one spouse has criminal charges, meeting with an attorney prior to these visits can be very important.

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