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Bay Area Family Law Blog

The risk of parental abduction: How likely is it?

Sometimes, a parent who is engaged in a volatile and bitter custody battle will momentarily lose all sense of perspective and decide that abducting the child is a wiser course of action than trying to fight about it in court.

What are some of the risk factors that indicate it could happen to you and your child?

How to survive a divorce from a narcissist

Narcissistic personality disorder is a real psychological problem that can have devastating emotional effects on the entire family.

Studies indicate that about 8 percent of men and 5 percent of women have narcissistic personality disorder -- and it's a condition that really has no cure (especially because the narcissist is never convinced that he or she has a problem). If you've finally decided that you need a divorce, you can just about guarantee that you aren't going to have an amicable one that's resolved through something like mediation.

Could looming divorce change Zynga's power structure?

The founder and chairman of Zynga, which is arguably the world's favorite developer of online social games like Farmville and Words With Friends, is getting a divorce.

Like many people with a lot of assets, he had a prenuptial agreement drawn up before he married his wife. However, his wife is challenging its terms. If she's successful, that could mean that the man who now owns 70 percent of Zynga's shareholder vote could eventually lose the tight control he has over the company, since he may have to liquidate some of his holdings in order to divide up his property evenly under California's law.

Jason Patric wins appeal establishing paternity

Fatherhood isn't easy, but for some men it's hard just to win the right to be one.

In California, there is no automatic right to paternity when the parents are unmarried. Legal fatherhood can only be achieved by voluntary acknowledgement or a finding of paternity by the court.

Remember to think of divorce as a financial transaction

It doesn't matter if you have $10 sitting in your bank account or $10 million -- the emotional cost of giving up on your marriage is about the same. However, high-asset divorces can be a lot more cumbersome and difficult to get through simply because there's a lot more worth fighting over.

What's the best way to get through a high-asset divorce? Start thinking of your divorce as a business transaction -- because that's largely what it is.

Child support and the disabled adult child: What to know

One of the most common assumptions people make is that child support automatically stops at a child's eighteenth birthday. There are a number of reasons, however, that this might not be what happens in your case.

In California, one major reason that support might not end when your child turns 18 is that he or she has a mental or physical disability that leaves him or her "incapacitated from earning a living" and "without sufficient means." In that case, each parent is expected to continue paying support "to the extent of their ability" indefinitely.

Child support and extracurricular activities: What to know

Divorced parents often have a misconception about child support: it's just for the basics necessities. It isn't.

Sure, regular expenses used to calculate the percentage of support each parent has to provide will include the basics: food, shelter and clothing. However, it's also going to include any extracurricular activities, like gymnastics, ballet or martial arts lessons in which your child is already involved—even if you feel that it shouldn't, especially if you weren't a big fan of the activity in the first place.

Convincing the judge you can be supportive of the your co-parent

The last thing you may feel like doing after going through a difficult marriage and a subsequent divorce is being supportive of your ex-spouse. However, if you have children together, that's precisely what you need to do if you want to convince a judge to give you custody.

In California, there's no automatic presumption that favors joint custody over sole custody. The judge has the ability to award custody as he or she sees fit according to what's in the best interests of your children. However, the law specifically states that the court must consider "which parent is more likely to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent."

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