Family Law Blog

How Does Joint Custody Work in California?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Joint custody allows parents to have joint physical and legal custody of the child. These parenting arrangements allow both parents equal access to the child. However, there are certain things that you need to know about how joint custody works.

In joint physical and legal custody, you will have both physical as well as legal custody of the child. Physical custody means that your child will spend a fairly similar amount of time with you and your spouse. Physical custody does not mean that your child will spend the exact amount of time with each parent. It is not possible to precisely divide the amount of time that the child will spend with each parent. One parent will end up having the child for a little extra time, compared to the other. In such cases, where the parents have joint custody but one parent has access to the child more than the other, the parent with more access is called the primary custodial parent.

Joint legal custody means that you and the other parent will have a responsibility to make decisions related to the child. Joint legal custody means that either or both of you can make joint decisions about the child's welfare, including his education, his medical care, his school, and other aspects of his life. However, that does not mean necessarily that you will share in every decision that is made. While the parents can make decisions together, each parent can also make the decision on his or her own. However, it is important that both of them communicate with each other and resolve these issues instead of taking matters to court.

It is also possible for the parents to have joint legal custody, but not joint physical custody.

Seniors Now Constitute Significant Divorce Population

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Since 1990, divorce rates involving senior citizens above the age of 50 have increased significantly across the United States. The rate has doubled in the above- 60 group. Those increased divorce rates come at a time when divorce rates in almost every other age category are actually down.

There are a number of reasons for why those divorce rates have been increasing in the senior population, even as they have been dropping among other age categories. There are a number of factors that spike the divorce rate for seniors. For instance, seniors are much more likely to suffer from the “empty nest” syndrome, when their children are grown up, and they have the house to themselves. That automatically leads to thoughts about the meaning of life, and seniors begin to evaluate their lives. They may look around, and believe that they do not want the same kind of life with the same person for the next 20 or 30 years.

Besides, seniors can now expect to live for much longer than they used to a couple of decades ago. Longer lives means seniors who don't want to live that many years in possibly unsatisfying relationships. In other words, seniors are at a stage of their life where they are beginning to reevaluate their lives, and that means reevaluating their relationships.

Additionally, seniors may be in a much more financially comfortable position, and also may not struggle with issues of how the divorce will be handled by their children. When you know that your adult children are likely to be happy with whatever is best for you, you are much more comfortable about making the decision to walk out.

However, just because those divorce rates have increased, doesn't mean that there are no problems in a senior divorce. Senior women, for instance, who, haven't worked in a long time, may be much at a much higher risk of financial disaster during a divorce. Discuss your situation and your circumstances with a San Jose divorce lawyer.

Expensive Weddings Linked to Divorce

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Could a fancy expensive wedding with designer wedding gowns and eye-blinding bling, increase the risk of a divorce? New statistics definitely seem to indicate so.

Researchers recently analyzed data on 3000 American couples, and investigated their wedding expenses and the duration of their marriage. They were specifically investigating whether more expensive weddings were less likely to last. They found that women who spent more than $20,000 on the wedding were much more likely to find themselves needing a San Jose divorce lawyer over the next few years, compared to women who spent less than that amount.

In fact, the risks were 60% higher for women who had expensive weddings. Men who lavished approximately $2000-$4000 on their engagement ring, had a higher likelihood of divorce, compared to men who spent $ between $500 and $2000 for the engagement ring.

So, what kind of weddings are the most successful? The study seems to find a surprising link between marriage success and weddings that have more numbers of guests, compared to those that are more intimate affairs. The trend seems to be towards expensive weddings that have fewer numbers of guests. But, people should be probably cut down other types of expenses, and invite more numbers of guests to the wedding.

The researchers speculate that many people go for expensive weddings purely to show off, and that doesn't necessarily bode well for the marriage. Additionally, the more expensive a wedding, the less likely the bride or groom is to call the wedding off, if he or she develops cold feet, or premarital jitters. Precious studies have indicated that persons who suffer from premarital jitters are much more likely to end up getting divorced, compared to those who did not suffer from second thoughts.

How to Handle a Divorce from a Difficult Spouse

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Divorce is never easy or painless at the best of times, but it becomes infinitely more difficult when the one of the spouses chooses to be difficult or has a difficult personality. In such cases, you can expect the divorce to be prolonged, delayed, and even more expensive.

Some spouses are much more likely to refuse to compromise, refuse negotiations, and will want their day in court. How do you deal with a spouse who insists on making the divorce as ugly as possible?

Unfortunately, there isn't much that you can do to change your spouse’s behavior. In fact, it is probably better for you to come to the understanding that a person can't change his or her ways, and therefore, you need to make the best of your situation. If you plan to try mediation, get a mediator who is very well experienced in handling a contentious or difficult client.

Hire a Los Angeles family lawyer, who has experience in practicing trial law. In other words, you need an attorney who is ready right from the start to take your case to court, because that is where your case will probably end up.

If it's difficult for you to maintain face-to-face communication with your spouse, then limit personal contact to the minimum. Use e-mails and messages to communicate as much as possible.

Realize that just because your spouse is being difficult doesn't mean that you have to be too. That means that you don't necessarily have to dispute every little point that is brought up. Compromise on some issues simply to end the matter, and if the issue isn't really that serious anyway. In other words, don't try to prolong the divorce, simply because he or she is doing so.

Domestic Violence Rates Higher among Same-Sex Couples

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

According to new literature, domestic violence rates are either the same or slightly higher among same-sex couples, compared to heterosexual couples.

Earlier studies have also indicated high rates of domestic violence in the homosexual and lesbian communities. According to previous studies, domestic violence rates as high as between 25% and 75% of persons in the lesbian, homosexual and bisexual category. However, it's hard to arrive at established figures as far as violence in this category is concerned. That's because is there is a lack of accurate or representative data. There is widespread under reporting of abuse and domestic violence among lesbians, gays and transgender couples.

Very often, people who identify themselves as sexual minorities are simply not comfortable about coming out in the open about the problems in their relationship. Besides, these relationships tend to be under a lot of stress because these people are sexual minorities. Individuals aren't comfortable about coming out about the violence and abuse that is going on in their lives.

Both males and females may hesitate to report the violence because of fear of discrimination, due to their sexual orientation. They also fear that they will be abused further by the partner, or be blamed for the abuse. In other cases, people who are in such abusive same-sex relationships haven't really come out about their sexual orientation to people like their family members. They don't want to come out to family members, via a domestic violence incident.

In California, victims who face domestic violence or abuse can take out a temporary restraining order that limits the violence perpetrator’s access to the victim. If you are currently being subjected to abuse or violence at home, speak to a family lawyer in Los Angeles about getting a restraining order and protecting yourself.

Longer Commutes Increase Divorce Risks

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Couples who have longer commutes to work are at a much higher risk of meeting with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer. According to new research by three scientists, couples who have at least a 45-minute one-way commute to work every day, are much more likely to find themselves in divorce court, compared to those who have shorter daily commutes.

The study, which was published recently in the British journal Urban Studies, monitored millions of Swedish citizens between 1995 and 2005. The researchers found that 11% of the couples that were monitored as part of the study had divorced by 2000. They also found that couples who divorced, were much more likely to commute long distances to go to work.

13% of the couples in which one or both of the spouses had at least a 45-minute commute to work every day, ended up divorcing. However, according to the analysis only 10% of the non-commuter couples had divorced.

The results of the study point to the effect of stress on the relationship. Couples, who have long 45-minute commutes to work every day, are probably more stressed, especially when both of the couples have such long-distance commutes to work every day.

Stress can kill any marriage. Very often, that stress may simply compound problems that already exist in the marriage, and the couple may have no other choice but to call it quits. If you are currently considering divorce, speak with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, who can advise you about your options for alimony, child custody arrangements, parenting time, and child support payments.

There are several issues that must be ironed out before you finalize the divorce papers. Divorce can be at testing time for you, and if you aren’t careful can seriously impact your rights over your assets, home or children.

New Hotel Promises to Remove the Stress of Divorce

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Divorce is a traumatic and stressful affair at the best of times. Even if yours is an amicable divorce, and you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on the best of terms you're still going to find it very stressful to deal with the fact that your marriage no longer exists. In New York, a team of enterprising entrepreneurs has announced the opening of a divorce hotel, which promises to help persons going through a divorce, get the process over with in the most stress-free manner possible.

For a price price tag of $5,000, couples who are going through a divorce can enjoy a weekend that comes complete with separate rooms, and a divorce mediation service. While you are finalizing custody arrangements, and parenting time schedules, you can also avail of the hotel facilities, including a number of swimming pools, a golf course and a spa.

According to the promoters of the hotel, a couple going through a divorce can check into the hotel over the weekend, and leave by the end of the weekend, feeling rested, refreshed and having sorted out all those prickly, divorce-related issues. By the time you walk out of the hotel, you will be single, although the judge will have to review the divorce papers that you signed.

According to the promoters of the hotel, there was definitely a need in the market to target people getting a divorce. That works out to approximately 50% of all married people in the country. Going by current statistics, close to half of all American marriages end in divorce. That means a lot of people, at any given time in the US, are either considering divorce, or in the process of divorce, and it is this category of persons that the promoters want to target. Although the concept is new in the United States, such hotels have operated and flourished for years in Europe.

The “Out Of the Blue” Divorce and How to Cope with It

Friday, August 29, 2014

It’s one of the worst types of divorces that Los Angeles divorce attorneys come across. Surprise divorces, or a divorce out of the blue, where one spouse simply informs the other one fine day that he/she is moving out and wants a divorce, can leave thwe other spouse completely shattered.

The decision to divorce is not made overnight. In almost every single case that a Los Angeles divorce lawyer will see, the partner that seeks the divorce, has spent weeks or months, considering the idea of divorce, analyzing pros and cons, and only then making that appointment with a lawyer. Unfortunately, both the spouses in the relationship may not see the warning signs. One spouse may simply be coasting along in the marriage, thinking that everything is going well, and may be taken completely by surprise when the partner breaks the news.

It is usually the men who make the divorce announcement out of the blue. However, as women become more financially independent, they are also becoming much more comfortable about making the sudden decision to walk out of the relationship.

So, what you do when your life is turned upside down by a divorce announcement? The first thing to do is to find your bearings, and quickly. It’s probably best to give up any hopes of making your marriage work by going into couples counseling. If your spouse is adamant about wanting a divorce, couples counseling could be a waste of time.

A sudden end of the relationship like this can be devastating. Once the numbness and the shock have worn off, get yourself together, and speak to a divorce lawyer.

You are devastated, and feel like your life has ended, but it has not. You have finances to get in order, and crucial decisions to make that could impact the rest of your life, and you need a solid divorce attorney on your side. To heal, take some responsibility for the end of the marriage, but at the same time, be gentle on yourself. Have a good support system of family and friends, who can help you get through the grieving process.

Couples Who Smoke Marijuana Less Likely to Be Involved in Domestic Violence

Thursday, August 21, 2014

California's weed users will find the results of a new study encouraging. The study found that couples, who smoke marijuana, are much less likely to be involved in domestic violence incidents.

The study involved a small representative sample of 634 couples. The study analyzed some of the findings about domestic violence among couples who used marijuana. The analysis found that the more often the couple smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to be involved in domestic violence. The most frequent use of pot by couples led to less frequent domestic violence incidents perpetrated by husbands. Frequent marijuana use in this case refers to use that was equal to approximately 2 to 3 times per month or more.

Husbands who used marijuana also reported that there was a lower incidence of domestic violence incidents perpetrated by wives. When both the spouses used marijuana very frequently, couples reported the least incidents of domestic violence perpetration. According to the researchers, marijuana is probably linked to lower levels of aggression towards a spouse or partner. It is also possible that couples who smoke pot together have very similar views and values, and move around in similar social circles. That means a much lower risk of conflict automatically.

If you are currently in a situation where you are being subjected to violence by your partner, take legal action. In a situation like this, you can apply for a protective order, or domestic violence restraining order. You do not have to be married to your partner to apply for a protective order. Speak to a family lawyer in Los Angeles about protecting yourself and your family from violence.

Considering Divorce? Get Working on an Emergency Cash Fund

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If you are currently considering filing for divorce, there are certain things that you might not have given thought to. For instance, from the time you separate from your spouse till divorce proceedings are complete, and even after, you will probably have little money for your personal expenses, and to take care of your household needs.

Therefore, one of the first things that you must begin doing after you have made the decision to divorce is to get working on creating an emergency cash fund, and putting some money in the fund. If you have your own personal savings bank account, you're on the right path. However, if you do not have your own personal savings bank account, now is the time to open an account.

Open a simple savings account that does not involve heavy bank fees. Open an account with your local bank, and deposit small amounts of money every day. Have a goal of a minimum amount of money that must be put inside into your savings bank account, on a daily or weekly basis.

Stash away some money from your daily expenses. This can be easy to do if you are willing to make some sacrifices, and cut down on expenses. If you are on a very tight budget and can barely make ends meet, then you may have to start cutting down on some of your daily expenses, so that you have some money left over to put into your fund.

For example, consider giving up your cable TV. Look at a much more affordable phone plan that takes care of basic phone calls and messages. Pay yourself first - set aside some money for the emergency cash fund, before you pay your bills. That will ensure that you have a decent amount of money in your savings bank account, when you actually file for divorce.