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.
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.
A support order is a fundamental part of a California divorce. However, there are often factors in dispute. This can be related to spousal support, child support or both. While the disagreements frequently stem from the amount that is paid and its duration, there are other reasons why couples might engage in a battle over the case. With these family law issues, it is imperative to have legal assistance from the beginning as there is nuance to the law that can be complex and confusing.
In California, when there is an order for a noncustodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent, it is a common foundation for dispute. Many issues can arise with child support and with a wage assignment, the payments come directly out of the paycheck of the supporting parent. With a wage assignment - also known as garnishment - there are certain facts that should be understood. These are critical to both parties.
There is a special bond between grandparents and grandchildren in California. However, a bitter divorce could sever this bond. Grandparents who are being prevented from seeing their grandchildren following a divorce may wonder whether they can pursue visitation rights.
When a child is born to a married couple in California, it is presumed that the married couple are the child's legal parents. However, when a child is born to an unmarried couple in California, for a father to have the right to seek custody or visitation with the child, or for the mother to pursue child support from the father, parentage -- also called paternity -- needs to be established. Paternity makes a father the child's legal father, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.
When an adult adopts a child, that adult becomes the child's legal and permanent parent. The adoptive parent is responsible for raising the child and providing the child with the care and love they need to thrive. Adoption also terminates the parental rights of the child's biological parents, meaning that the biological parents can no longer have custody or visitation with their child and are no longer obligated to financially support the child.
Absent issues of abuse or neglect, it is important that fathers in California are given the chance to bond and care for their child. However, if the child's parents are unmarried and are no longer in a relationship with one another, fathers could face challenges in obtaining the parenting time they need to develop a meaningful relationship with their child. In part, this is because in order for an unmarried father to seek parenting time, paternity must be established.
When people in California picture going through a divorce, they may assume that all the hurt, anger and animosity felt during the marriage will spill over into the divorce proceedings. However, this is not true for every divorce case. Oftentimes, the parties want to end their relationship with as little conflict as possible, especially if they have children. Divorce mediation may be an attractive choice for these couples.
When a couple in California divorces, one spouse may be ordered to pay spousal support to the other spouse. However, life is not static and sometimes changes take place that affect a paying spouse's ability to pay his or her obligation. On the flip side, life changes may change a receiving spouse's need for support. Therefore, sometimes a spouse might seek to have the amount of support modified.