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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

Redwood City, California Family Law Blog

Discussing child custody in an uncontested divorce

Divorce is different for every California family, but you may be concerned about how the end of your marriage will affect your children. Fortunately, a lengthy and contentious divorce process is not the only option for you. It might be appropriate for you to file for an uncontested divorce. 

Uncontested divorce means that there are no remaining disputes between the two parties. This typically means the divorce process will be more streamlined and take less time to complete, but there are certain considerations for uncontested divorces that involve minor children. With guidance and thoughtful consideration of the needs of your kids, you can still seek an uncontested divorce if you have kids.

Is bird nesting right for your family post-divorce?

One of the most difficult parts of a Redwood City divorce is determining where everyone should live, especially children. Traditionally, one parent would agree to move out of the family home and the children would be expected to travel back-and-forth between their parents' houses. However, a new trend, called "bird nesting," provides children with more stability. It allows them to stay in one home post-divorce, while the parents take turns living in the home. In fact, a new ABC comedy called, "Splitting Up Together," starring Oliver Hudson and Jenna Fischer, draws attention to this new way of living for families dealing with divorce.

Generally, bird nesting can be beneficial for both divorcing parents and their children, particularly if the parents can afford to maintain the family home, as well as separate living areas for them to live in when they are not staying in the home. From a financial perspective, bird nesting can be helpful becuase it allows ex-spouses to wait until the time is right to sell the house or move to another property. Many couples keep a bird nesting arrangement while they wait for the value of the house to increase or their lease to end.

How does the stepparent adoption process work in California?

Bringing a child into one's family can be an exciting and challenging decision. If one decides to adopt, going through the legal process of adoption gives the new parent the same legal rights and responsibilities as the child's biological parent.

Under California family law, there are various forms of adoption, depending on family circumstances. For example, if one marries someone with a biological child from a previous relationship, they may decide to adopt that child through a stepparent/domestic partner adoption. This is the most common form of adoption. Generally, the stepparent/domestic partner adoption process is somewhat easier than other forms of adoption since the birth parent of the child will continue to be the child's parent.

Uncovering hidden assets prior to divorce could prove invaluable

While there are countless scenarios in which you may experience change in life, forming a strategy for certain changes can be challenging at best. If you are facing the end of your marriage, you might worry about how the outcome of your divorce could affect your financial standing.

Like many others, you may consider your financial future to be an essential part of life and wish to prepare for the financial aspects of divorce. While forming a strategy, it may be in your best interests to be thorough when identifying marital assets, as this may help you uncover any that were previously hidden from sight.

What one needs to know about parenting agreements

The California divorce process can be overwhelming for many couples, particularly if they have to deal with child custody issues. The child custody and support process can be made simpler if spouses can come up with a parenting agreement to resolve custody-related issues.

A parenting agreement requires parents to compromise and work together to come up with an agreement that will best serve the children. The agreement will include important details regarding the physical custody of the children, or where they will primarily live. The agreement will also specify visitation schedules and provide details regarding which parent will get the children on weekends, holidays, birthdays and breaks from school.

Our attorneys can help with property division issues in divorce

Readers may have heard that California is a community property state. This means that each spouse will receive half of any marital property, or assets acquired during the marriage. Therefore, one may assume that the property division process in a divorce must be fairly simple, the judge divides the couple's assets in half. However, the reality is that dividing property between exes during a divorce, even in a community property state, it is rarely ever that straightforward. While each spouse is entitled to half, there is no law that says everything must be split down the middle. And, having a divorce attorney on one's side to fight for what is important can ensure that they are satisfied with the final agreement.

If divorcing spouses can agree on all divorce issues, the court will not have to do much more than approve the ex-couple's final divorce agreement. Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney at Law, can save considerable time by drafting a fair settlement agreement that keeps things amicable between ex-spouses.

What do courts consider when calculating spousal support?

One of the most highly contested issues in a divorce is spousal support, or the amount one spouse has to pay the other spouse each month, post-split. In many cases, lesser-earning spouses and spouses who did not work outside of the home during the marriage are entitled to spousal support or alimony. Spousal support helps them maintain the standard of living they grew accustomed to while they were married.

California divorce courts will have to determine how much spousal support to award by evaluating numerous factors. The judge will often look at the earning capacity of each spouse, as well as the length of the marriage and standard of living during the marriage. Generally, spousal support is awarded for a reasonable period of time, which could be half the length of the marriage. If a couple has been married for a long time, typically 10 years or more, the judge may decide not to set an end date to the support. But, the judge will make their decision on a case by case basis.

Husband of 'Real Housewives' star fights for custody of children

California couples with children often must determine which parent will get joint and legal custody of their children after they divorce. Physical custody generally refers to where the child will be staying, while legal custody refers to who will make decisions relating to the child's life. Shannon Beador, one of the stars of Real Housewives of Orange County, is currently caught up in a battle with her estranged husband David over the custody of their children, as well as other divorce-related issues. The couple was married for over 17 years before separating in September 2017. The couple has three daughters, a 16-year-old and 13-year-old twins.

Shannon previously filed for divorce primary physical custody of the three children. David recently filed a response, challenging Shannon's child custody and support requests, as well as her request for spousal support. David is seeking joint legal and physical custody of the children, where the children would stay with him 50 percent of the time.

How to handle your gray divorce

Divorce at any age in California can be difficult both financially and emotionally. However, gray divorce, or divorce involving those 50 and older, has increased significantly, particularly among those who have gotten remarried. In fact, statistics show that gray divorce has doubled since the 1990s. Before you file the necessary paperwork, it is important to learn more about the gray divorce process.

For people over 50, experts often suggest a collaborative divorce where both spouses work with their lawyers to work out their issues outside of the courtroom through mediation and negotiations. This is often the best way to come to an agreement that is fair to both parties. Couples over 50 that have adult children may not have to worry about child custody and child support. As a result, their agreements will often deal with property and asset division, as well as alimony.

Britney Spears' ex seeks more child support

During the divorce process, many parents struggle to agree on child custody arrangements and child support payments. Even when they finally agree to certain terms, they may decide to revisit the issue and modify their child custody and support agreement months or years later.

In order for a court to modify an agreement, parties must prove that there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants the modification. For example, California courts will often consider changing a child support order if there is a change in income of one or both parents, incarceration, loss of a job, or a change in child's needs.