Family Law Blog

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.

Adult Children Can Find It Difficult to Cope with Parental Divorce

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Parental divorce is a traumatic and stressful time for children. Studies show that divorce can have an impact on children, when parents separate during childhood. But what happens when adult children have to deal with parents going through a divorce? Such situations are actually becoming increasingly common because of the increase in senior divorce.

According to statistics, the number of gray divorces or senior divorces has actually doubled since 1990. Older couples getting divorces now constitute approximately 25% of all divorces in the United States.

Increasing senior divorce rates mean that many adult parents have to deal with the fact that their parents, who have been married for many decades, are now making the decision to separate. Obviously, the trauma and stress involved when you're an adult watching your parents separate is very different from the experiences of a child. The concerns that you have as an adult when your parents divorce, are unique.

However, divorce lawyers in Los Angeles do see that when adult children watch their parents get divorced, there can be a much longer- lasting and deep impact, because adult children may have many more memories of their family, than younger children. Adults may find the prospect of meeting the mother’s or father’s new romantic partner even more stressful and painful.

Additionally, adult children may be placed in the uncomfortable position of having to become referees when their divorced parents argue with each other at family events and celebrations. The focus at these events may shift from celebrating to keeping the parents away from each other. Some studies indicate that adult women seem to take a much longer time to get over the emotional trauma of a parental divorce, compared to adult males.

Co-parenting with a Problem Parent

Friday, July 18, 2014

Co-parenting is one of the most ideal child custody arrangements after a divorce in Beverly Hills. There are a number of advantages, including increased access to the father, and greater involvement of the father in the child's life. However, these arrangements can be difficult when one parent insists on being difficult.

Not every co-parenting arrangement is smooth and problem-free. Sometimes, parents try to create problems with their attitude, bad behavior, and lack of concern for the child. If you are in an unfortunate situation, where you are co-parenting with a parent like this, you will find coping a challenge. However, you have to place the best interests of the child as top priority, and must continue to engage with the other parent as best as you can for the sake of the child.

That does not mean unnecessary communication. However, it does mean that you continue to maintain open communication, and share information about the child with the other parent. Plan parent conferences where you discuss the progress of the child and problem areas that need to be rectified.

Realize that you can't do anything to change the behavior of your partner, and do the best with what you have. Use phone calls, e-mails, or SMS to keep in contact, if communication becomes problematic.

The one thing that you cannot do is stoop to the level of the other parent. No matter how bad the behavior is, it's important for you to make a stable difference in your child's life. It may not seem like a child sees much, but you can rest assured that your child is observing the behavior of his parents, and will appreciate the efforts that you make to be a stable and calming influence for him.

What Happens to Your Business during Divorce?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Among the many assets that you can expect to be on the division table during a divorce, the most painful one to part with is your business. You have invested many years of effort in building your business and making it successful. Although divorce can be traumatic even when there is no business involved, it can become much more complicated and stressful when there is a business to be divided.

If you own a business and are currently involved in divorce proceedings, then you know that this is probably the most valuable asset that you own. Division of this asset depends on whether the business was community or separate property. Typically, the business may be considered a combination of separate or community property.

If the business is considered community property, then you need to come to a compromise, and work together to make sure that the business does not suffer. One option is to sell the business, and divide the proceeds. This is one option that divorce lawyers often recommend. However, this isn't always easy, because disposing of a business is difficult and takes time. Besides, you have to ascertain the value of the business. Additionally, if you sell the business, at least one of the spouses is going to be left without a source of income or employment.

Another solution is to divide the business itself. A third option is for the couple to continue operating the business as partners together. This may be seem uncomfortable for the partners, but there's increasing evidence that partners who were married earlier actually make good business partners, provided they are able to keep their personal lives separate from their business.

The court may also award the business to one party, and order him to pay the other party his share of business. The court will determine the value of the business in such cases.

What Is a Co-Parenting Agreement?

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Parents, who have decided to get divorced or separated, and have decided to live in two separate homes can sign a co-parenting agreement that allows effective co-parenting.

A co-parenting agreement, as the name suggests, spells out clearly all the roles, obligations and responsibilities of each parent in the agreement. What does a co-parenting agreement contain? You may decide have a co-parenting agreement in which you agree to share all information about the child with each other. That includes medical information, the child's extracurricular activities, and information other child's school activities.

You will share with your other child's other parent, information about the child's vaccination records, and emergency medical procedures. In a co-parenting agreement, it's very important that parents work closely together to make sure that the child attends all of the extracurricular activities that he is signed up for without any problem. Each parent must have access to information about the activities the child participates in, the venue, people conducting the activity and so on. All school-related information should equally be shared between the parents. That data includes school progress cards, homework, extracurricular activities, school cultural events and programs, and parent-teacher conferences. As part of a co-parenting agreement, you will also agree to mutually make major decisions about the child jointly.

You may think that all of this is a given, and that you don't need an agreement to spell it out. However, you would be surprised at how quickly matters can sour when two parents are living apart, but taking care of their children together. You may encounter misunderstandings, especially when the two of you begin dating other people, and other potential step-parents, begin to enter the picture. It's best to have everything clearly defined in a co-parenting agreement that you have both signed.

People in Unhappy Marriages at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Americans, who are in unhappy marriages, are much more likely to report symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Those are the findings of a new study that clearly find a link between a higher cardiac disease risk and marital friction.

Researchers have known for a long while now that unhappy marriages or conflict at home can increase stress and have negative influences on a person's health. In fact, studies earlier have clearly found an association between a negative health impact, and marital stress. This study only corroborates that fact. The researchers analyzed a group of 280 healthy, middle-aged adults, and found that those who reported negative influences in their marriages were at a higher risk of reporting greater carotid artery thickness. The study's findings were published recently in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal.

When the hostility level in a marital relationship becomes too much to ignore, persons may be placed under severe stress. Marital strain is a contributing factor to several lifestyle conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, and is also linked to an earlier risk of death. Other studies have found that divorced people are much more likely to develop chronic illnesses, and also have a higher risk of premature fatality, compared to married couples. However, that only applies to those cases in which the married couples actually had happy marriages. If you are in a hostile marriage, it makes sense to get out of an unhappy situation, and start all over again.

Often, people who are stuck in unhappy marriages continue to remain in the marriage only for the sake of the children. However, there is no evidence to show that children in a home, where the parents are clearly not happy with each other, benefit from being in a situation like this.

Can Divorce Parties Help with Closure?

Monday, June 16, 2014

It is a new trend that’s catching on across the country. New divorcees are throwing parties to celebrate the end of their marriage, and sometimes, in a trend that reminds one of conscious uncoupling, those parties are actually being jointly hosted by the couple.

Most of the parties however are being thrown by individual husbands and wives, after the end of their marriage. Event planners across the country are reporting an increase in the number of requests for such parties. The highlight of the divorce party is the divorce cake. Interestingly enough, the design of the cake seems to reflect the environment in which the marriage ended. Some of the cakes feature miniature brides with weapons, and depressingly black icing. However, not all of these divorce parties are all gloom and doom. Very often, couples actually prefer to celebrate the end of their marriage and mark the beginning of this new phase in their life with enthusiasm, positivity and optimism. Many couples want to celebrate the fact that this is a new phase in their life, and possibly even a new phase in their relationship with each other.

In an interesting diversion of this trend, couples are actually hosting divorce parties together. That typically happens when the couple has had an amicable split, and wants to continue maintaining a relationship with each other on friendly terms, and prioritizing the children above all else. In these parties, the note is very positive and optimistic.

Los Angeles divorce lawyers find this trend towards divorce parties encouraging, because it possibly does allow the people involved to move towards closure. Treating divorce as if it's shameful or something that should push you into months of depression doesn't help with closure.

Many Older Couples Choose Not to Marry, Cohabit Instead

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Couples above the age of 50 constitute an unlikely demographic in the United States-they form a growing proportion of people who don’t marry, and live together instead.

According to Census Bureau data, many baby boomers now avoid marriage for a variety of reasons. For one thing, many baby boomers have already experienced one divorce, and would rather not go through one again. Additionally, there are other more practical reasons why baby boomers may not choose to get married. Money is at the crux of many of these decisions. For instance, if you are divorced, and choose to remarry, you lose the alimony payments that you received from your earlier divorce. You also stand to lose pension payments and Social Security benefits from your former spouse. Widows may lose survivor’s pension benefits.

There are still more practical reasons why baby boomers choose not to get married a second time. A second marriage makes inheritance and estate division more complicated. Baby boomers may want to protect their assets, so that these go to their own children.

Getting married again does seem like a crazy idea even for those in the higher income group. In these cases, another marriage could simply mean being placed in a higher tax bracket, which becomes more expensive. No wonder many older couples are perfectly content to live together, than get married again.

However, cohabitation isn't without its challenges. Even seniors, who live together in a cohabitation arrangement without marriage, must understand that there are financial risks involved. To avoid these, sign a cohabitation agreement with your partner. It clearly outlines your rights and obligations towards your partner, as well as limitations on these. The agreement should make clear who pays the household expenses in your joint living arrangements, and all your assets including the home must be properly titled.