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Orange County Family Law Blog

Child custody and parenting made easier with downloaded apps

California parents who are planning divorce would likely be concerned about the effect it would have on the children and how they can arrange parenting to cause as little trauma as possible. Shared child custody has become the rule rather than the exception -- except in cases where the court believes that such an arrangement will not be in the best interest of the child. Establishing parenting plans can be quite a challenge, but parents in this generation are fortunate to have a variety of mobile apps available to make separate parenting easier.

One of the available apps that can be downloaded is called SplitWise. This app offers the parents a platform for management of child-related expenses. It tracks the monies spent by both parents, and it could even remind one parent of amounts owed to the other parent.

Divorce mediation does not eliminate the need for an attorney

The prospect of ending a marriage and enduring the trauma associated with litigation can be overwhelming for anybody. Although mediation has become the chosen method of divorce for many couples in California, not everybody understands what is involved in this process. Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation and a way of ending a marriage at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time.

The biggest advantage of divorce mediation may be the fact that it is not a typical fight that ultimately leaves a winner and a loser. It is a process by which a mediator acts as an impartial third party to provide a platform for peaceful negotiation of a divorce settlement. The mediator does not provide legal advice or make decisions. The sole task of the mediator is to encourage communication and compromise and help spouses to focus on the future rather than the past.

Child custody: Is it really necessary to draft a parenting plan?

One of the primary concerns of most California parents who consider divorce is likely their children. Although both parents may know that a formal parenting schedule will have to be made as part of the child custody process, the prospect of drafting a binding plan may seem overwhelming. Divorcing parents whose relationship remains amicable may question the need for a parenting schedule. Many of the twists and turns of life cannot be anticipated, and having a basic parenting plan may make it easier to modify the schedule when circumstances change.

The prospect of being bound to a parenting schedule for years to come may make parents hesitate to establish such a plan -- especially if the children are still very young at the time of the divorce. However, no parenting plan is for life. Parents who get along are free to parent in any way they want as long as they agree. The plan, which will be part of the divorce decree can be put away until the time comes when parents no longer agree and enforcement becomes necessary.

Determining what is a reasonable amount of child support

Every divorce is unique, just like each marriage is comprised of unique people. Predicting the outcome of a contentious divorce isn't always easy. There are certain factors that have to be considered on a case by base basis.

If you are a father whose wife has assumed custody during divorce proceedings, you probably have a lot of questions. How can you fight for shared, fair custody arrangements? How will custody impact child support? Is it true that the more you make, the more you pay?

The first meeting with a divorce attorney can be stressful

In almost all divorces, whether in California or another state, the experiences are traumatic. Even when considering the possibility of filing a divorce, there are many things to think about, especially when there are children involved. For that reason, most people choose to rely on the support and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney.

However, even that first meeting with the attorney can be stressful. The best way to approach such a meeting may be to sit down and write a list of questions. This list can also include specific concerns, and it may help to discuss those candidly during the meeting with the lawyer. That will allow the attorney to address the client's concerns.

Father’s rights help relationships with children after divorce

You love your children. You take pride in being a great father. You enjoy teaching and nurturing your children. Unfortunately, you and your spouse have decided that your marriage will not work out. The two of you have come to the conclusion that it is best to divorce. You know that this is the best thing for the two of you, but you worry about your relationship with your children.

You’ve heard that mothers are favored by the courts. This makes you worry that you will miss out. While, courts used to favor mothers in determining custody, this is not necessarily the case anymore. California considers both parents when deciding custody.

With proper guidance financial impact of divorce can be limited

Ending a marriage does not only take a significant emotional toll on both parties, but it is also financially taxing. Just the thought that the same amount of income will have to provide for two households after the separation is enough to cause elevated stress levels. Then comes the division of property and debts to further complicate the process. The trick is not to try and navigate a divorce in California without experienced legal counsel who can help to prevent the total derailment of retirement plans and college savings for the children.

Things on which a person might want to keep an eye as the divorce proceeds include the type of assets he or she acquires as part of the divorce settlement. A split might seem equal, but the spouse who ends up with liquid assets that will be tough to sell might soon experience cash flow problems. An adviser's help can be valuable in determining the tax status when it comes to choices about brokerage accounts and tax-deferred retirement accounts.

Child custody: What are the best interests of the child?

When it comes to children in a divorce, each state has different laws. However, in California, as elsewhere, the best interests of a child will always be the primary consideration when decisions are made about child custody. The criteria of each state might show slight variances, but the general principle is the same.

When determining the child's best interests, the current situation related to the primary caretaker will be considered along with circumstances related to the care of the child prior to the divorce filing. The court will look at the safety of the child, and any potential of parental violence will be noted. Another aspect that will play a role is the existing relationship of the child with each parent, and any particular attachment to one parent may influence the decision.

At what stage of divorce is it best to consider mediation?

Most people in California may be aware that one of the options available if their marriages should end is mediation. Divorce mediation is becoming the chosen method to reach divorce settlements for those who want to save money and time. It is also true that divorce mediation provides a platform to negotiate a settlement free of the trauma and animosity typically associated with litigated divorces.

However, some misconceptions exist, including at what stage to proceed with mediation. Advisors say that the best time is not at the beginning of the divorce process, but rather once all negotiations have reached a dead-end. Sometimes couples manage to agree on all but one or two issues and then seek the help of mediators with only those matters. At the start of the process when one spouse has just announced the intention to file for divorce, the other spouse must have time to process the news rather than jump straight into negotiations.

On legal challenges to prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not invulnerable to a legal challenge. There are plenty of legitimate reasons and circumstances that could lead to a prenuptial agreement being invalidated, may that be in part or in full. So what are some of these reasons or circumstances?

First of all, the prenuptial agreement itself must be proper, compliant and legal. If you discuss illegal things in your prenuptial agreement, or if you fail to have a written contract, then your prenuptial agreement could be invalidated upon a legal challenge.

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