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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

Redwood City, California Family Law Blog

Relocating with a child post divorce

When your marriage is ending, you have to take time to plan for your new future -- especially if you have children. What will it look like? Following a divorce, many people in this area of California find themselves needing to relocate, but how does relocating work with kids?

Often, joint custody is the plan of choice in California. There are plenty of studies that show the benefits of granting children equitable time with both of their parents. In most cases, it is beneficial to their overall health and well-being. Relocating creates custody challenges, but there are ways to make it work. It is just necessary to get the proper authorization before packing up and moving away with the kids.

Why some couples opt to sign postnuptial agreements

Lots of people in California and across the country are familiar with how prenuptial agreements work. These legally binding documents are signed before marriage and help to protect each partner's assets in case of separation or divorce. Postnuptial agreements are not as well known.

A postnuptial agreement offers the same benefits that come from a prenuptial agreement. However, this agreement is created and signed during the marriage. It can help some couples to add clarity to their finances.

Foster care adoption and the adoption subsidy

Adopting a child can be one of the most joyous events in a parent's life. It can provide a sense of fulfillment knowing that a child in need is given a stable, loving home. Although there are a lot of children available for adoption in California, the process is not as simple as many would think. Therefore, those who are considering pursuing an adoption, whether privately, through the foster care system or merely adopting a step-child, should make sure they understand the law and how it applies to their situation.

This can be especially important when individuals need assistance meeting the needs of their newly adopted child. Special needs children, in particular, may require extensive resources that are beyond what an adopting family can afford. Fortunately, federal and state law provides that those families who adopt through the foster care system may qualify for adoption subsidies, which are monthly payments that can help offset these ongoing costs of caring for an adopted child.

Consider legal assistance when facing property division issues

While it is true that divorce involves the untangling of physical and emotional ties, it is also a financial transaction. Property division, alimony and child support can all play a huge role in your post-divorce life, which means that mishandling these matters can lead to a precarious financial position. This is why Californians who are in the midst of divorce or are considering divorce need to think about the legal arguments and negotiation strategies they can utilize to protect their financial interests as fully as possible.

As we have discussed previously on this blog, one tactic is to argue over marital and separate property. To make those arguments, though, you need to understand the law and how it applies to your situation. Fortunately, skilled divorce legal teams like those at our firm know what to look for in these circumstances to craft compelling legal arguments that serve as leverage at the settlement negotiation table. When we're unable to reach resolution through negotiation, we're not afraid to take the matter to trial.

Financial concerns prevent many women from seeking divorce

There are a whole host of reasons why a couple may choose to end their marriage. Disputes over money are a driving force behind many divorces, but so is infidelity. While the exact cause of a marriage dissolution may not seem that important when you get down to brass tacks, the truth of the matter is that it can play a significant role in how certain legal issues, like spousal support, are resolved.

While affairs are just as common today as they were 50 years ago, the way that they occur and how they are tracked has changed significantly. Technological advances have played a significant role in these developments. Couples who have linked digital accounts for everything from fitness apps to transportation apps like Uber, for example, can easily track one another's movements. This can allow them to quickly spot red flags that may be indicative of infidelity.

Are you ready to tell your kids about the divorce?

When you first got married, you likely envisioned you and your spouse living happy lives, starting a family and reaching milestones together. When the children came, you both could not have been happier about having little ones around. Unfortunately, as the years passed, your relationship began to deteriorate.

Now, you and your spouse have to decide how to tell the kids that you will no longer be married. Because divorce starts a chain reaction of numerous changes in the lives of the entire family, you may understandably worry about the effects those changes will have on your kids. Of course, you can offer reassurance and comfort to your children throughout the process.

Financial concerns prevent many women from seeking divorce

There are a number of things that can spur divorce. Infidelity, lack of common interests, and conflicting worldviews, including money management, can all contribute to spouses seeking marriage dissolution. Yet, just as there are various reasons for seeking divorce, many Californians find many reasons to put off divorce for a period of time or altogether. Sometimes these reasons are valid. In others, though, the fears are simply unfounded and can be successfully addressed through competent divorce planning, negotiating, and, if necessary, litigating.

One reason some individuals choose to stay in their broken marriages is financial insecurity. This issue may affect women more than men, and for good reason. After all, the pay gap is still far too large, and studies have shown that women are more easily stressed over financial concerns than men. Also, given that mothers are more often custodial parents, the rising costs of caring for children, especially when handling it primarily on one's own, can be especially daunting.

Continued grandparent contact can be good for kids

Divorce can raise a number of challenges for California families. While marriage dissolution can set the stage for one's post-divorce financial standing, it can also reshape an individual's relationship with his or her children. This is why competent legal representation is often necessary for those who want to protect themselves and the best interests of their children as fully as possible. Yet, there are other individuals who may have an interest in these matters, especially child custody and visitation. Grandparents, in particular, may want to retain a relationship with their grandchildren, one that may be under threat when a divorce occurs.

Grandparents can play a crucial role on healthy child development, too. Studies have shown that grandparents who play an active role in their grandchildren's lives can develop close emotional ties that reduce children's susceptibility to depression once they grow into adulthood.

When can the court deny alimony?

Alimony is meant to give one party to a divorce financial stability while they secure their own financial resources to support the lifestyle they enjoyed while married. There are a number of factors a family law court will look at when determining whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, how much should be paid. Yet, there are instances where one party will request alimony that is unwarranted. In these circumstances, Californians need to be prepared with strong legal arguments to support their position.

There are a number of situations in which a request for spousal support will be denied. For example, under California law, alimony will not be awarded to a party if they have acquired a separate estate that is sufficient to support them. Therefore, when looking at an alimony request, the court will consider each party's assets, liabilities, and income. Additionally, a court may choose to forego ordering spousal support if the requesting party is cohabiting with another individual. Of course, in the event that alimony has already been ordered, then these facts, if they exist, may justify a request for modification.

The purpose of post-divorce modifications

When the parties to a marriage reach the termination of their negotiations and settle their issues, they may feel as though they have completed their dealings with their soon-to-be exes. In some cases, this may be true and the parties may not have to address legal issues between them ever again. Unfortunately, many individuals who go through divorces will experience changes in their lives that may necessitate post-divorce modifications.

A post-divorce modification is a change to an existing court order that establishes new terms. For example, some co-parents may need to seek post-divorce modifications to their child custody orders if they must move for work or alter their visitation time because of new circumstances in their lives. When children are involved, courts often seek to protect their best interests when making post-divorce modifications.