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Using your attorney to de-escalate your child custody dispute

Divorce is often a source of deeply felt and emotionally charged disagreements. It's natural for you to be anxious around your soon-to-be ex-spouse, particularly when important decisions need to be made regarding your children.

Frequent readers of our blog website may have previously read our post about refraining from getting into heated debates and playing the blame game with your child's other parent. In that article, we mentioned the value of refocusing any rising debate onto just the issues related to furthering the best interests of your children. This can be especially important to remember when you and your spouse are meeting with your children's doctors, school officials or day care providers.

Family businesses at stake in California divorces

When married California couples split up, there are a myriad of issues at stake. A divorce can necessitate resolving child custody, child support and many aspects of property division. One kind of property division is the matter of what is done with a family business.

A woman who owned a prospering public relations business at the time of her divorce found out, to her dismay, that it was considered community property. Because of that, the husband she was divorcing was legally entitled to a stake in it. The woman had to write a check in the staggering amount of $800,000 and give it to her ex-husband in order to buy him out of his share.

Making child support easier for San Mateo County parents

Many local parents will soon have an easier and cheaper way to make their child support payments. According to the communications director for the San Mateo County Human Services Agency, the electronic funds transfer service company Moneygram is behind this new initiative. The spokesperson says that Moneygram is significantly reducing its fees for parents using the service to pay monthly child-support bills.

Parents now using the service will pay a flat fee of only $1.99. In the past, parents looking to use Moneygram to send a $500 monthly child support payment would have paid $45. California is just one of several states that is now participating in the new EFT program.

Does my child’s opinion matter in my California custody case?

In any divorce action involving children, the most important decisions will always revolve around the care and well-being of the kids. For most of us, our children are the most significant elements in our lives. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why child custody disputes are often the most hotly contested issues in any divorce.

Divorcing parents need to understand that California family courts are mandated to make decisions regarding custody based on the best interests of the children involved. In California, a child is considered a minor until he or she reaches the age of 18. That means that unless a child has been emancipated, he or she does not get to decide where he or she will live. However, California law allows judges to consider a child's wishes when determining which parent will receive primary custody.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

California allows prospective spouses to contract their future relationship and marital property rights, including whether or not a community estate will be created during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be fairly basic, addressing only a few potential issues, or can be extremely comprehensive. Prenuptial agreements become effective on the date of marriage and are enforceable without consideration; however, for an agreement to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Also, it is imperative that both parties enter the agreement voluntarily and with fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party's assets and obligations.

What community property means to you in your California divorce

Generally, under California law any property that is acquired during a marriage is considered community property. In an earlier blog post, we discussed a scenario in which a divorcing spouse might be able to keep certain assets considered as separate property from a marital estate. However, it is more likely that most couples will share equal ownership of any property and assets they have acquired throughout their marriages.

Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service also considers both spouses as equally sharing the tax liability of the marital asset in community property states. This means that some spouses may attempt to conceal wealth during a divorce in an effort to avoid tax liability.

How is alimony decided in California courts?

There was once a time in American history where many married couples lived comfortably with one income source. Typically, the husband would work full-time and his salary would be sufficient to pay for all of the couple's needs. In that scenario, the wife would usually remain at home throughout the day and take care of the children and other household duties. Divorce under those circumstances usually proved disastrous for stay-at-home moms with few marketable professional skills.

Alimony, also referred to sometimes as spousal support or maintenance, was a way that lawmakers felt would provide some divorced spouses an opportunity to learn new skills and transition to single life.

Program aimed at helping parents behind on child support payments

The role that parents play in the development of their children's lives is extremely important. Research undertaken on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the absence of a father in a child's life can actually have negative consequences for the child's cognitive ability and educational achievements.

California has recognized the social benefits of placing the need of children to have both parents actively involved in their lives above the need to penalize parents that are behind on their child support payments.

Parents can choose whether to fight a child custody dispute

In a previous article on our website, we discussed the importance of child custody and visitation rights during divorce proceedings. Arguably, issues involving children offer the most fertile ground for intense emotion-based decision-making.

What many parents fail to realize is their children are watching them throughout this process. Personal attacks against a spouse may adversely affect a child's future relationship with that parent.

Important facts regarding social media and your divorce

In one of our previous blog postings, we discussed the likelihood of one spouse using subpoena powers to obtain adverse information about their spouse's social media postings. In that article, we revealed that the social networking company Facebook has taken a rather defensive posture regarding such disclosure.

According to that company's website, a federal statute known as the Stored Communications Act prohibits them from disclosing user content such as photographs, timeline posts and other similar digital data to non-governmental parties in matters litigated in civil court.

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