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Santa Rosa Legal Blog

Family law, custody complications could affect California parents

Many stories regarding the adoption of a child are heart warming. However, some adoption cases are not what they seem and could face complications if the biological parents begin to show interest in enforcing their parental rights for the child or children involved. As a result, both the biological and prospective adoptive parents may need information on such a family law proceeding.

A case currently underway in another state may interest California residents. CBS News reported that the child at the center of the dispute is a 3-year-old girl who was adopted by a couple in 2015. Apparently, the couple began fostering the child while she was only 3 weeks old. and later sought to adopt her. The child had been taken from her biological mother's custody due to the woman's drug problems, and in 2013, the woman consented to the young girl's adoption.

California residents may wish to protect assets during divorce

When going through a trying time, one of the main goals many individuals have is to protect themselves. Whether the protection needs to address emotional, physical or monetary concerns, individuals often want to find out their best options for adequately preparing. When it comes to divorce, protection may need to come in different forms, but for many California residents, ensuring that their finances are not decimated may be a primary goal. 

In order to protect finances and assets, individuals likely need to first know what those assets are. Therefore, a prudent step to take would be to inventory the property and determine what separate property each party may claim. Once an individual determines his or her personal assets, it may become clear what additional steps could help protect those assets. 

Home may play significant role in California property division

During divorce, determining what to do with assets is often a main concern. California residents may have understandable worries about what will happen with their homes during property division. One option divorcing parties could go with is agreeing to sell the home and split the proceeds. However, this option may not work for everyone.

A second option to consider for parties who want to keep the home is buying out the other spouse. With this route, an individual provides compensation for the other individual's stake in the home, and that compensation may come as an agreed monetary amount or potentially by way of exchanging other assets for the home. Of course, keeping the home could come with financial impacts to consider, such as keeping up with bills and expenses on a single income. 

New Year's changes may mean divorce for some in California

Many California residents likely consider the first month of the year a time for getting organized and assessing the state of their lives. For some, that may mean considering whether they would like to continue on with their marriages. If individuals are contemplating divorce, they may find themselves looking for information before jumping into the process. 

The feeling that divorce is imminent may strike individuals at this time of year because they have gone through a stressful holiday season. They may want to finish out the holidays as amicably as possible but believe the new year is the time to potentially move on. As a result, many individuals may want to know how long a divorce would take and how much it would cost before moving forward. 

Signs your spouse is hiding property

According to "The Orange County Register," the California divorce rate is about 60 percent. This is 10 percent higher than the national average of 50 percent. Many more couples think about divorce before ever taking such steps as talking to an attorney or hiding property to keep it out of the divorce settlement. In California, community property is defined as "assets acquired or income earned by a married person while living with the spouse." It also includes debt acquired during the marriage. All these items should be distributed equally in the dissolution of the marriage, but sometimes, a person might attempt to get around this law.

Changes due to child custody terms may seem overwhelming to kids

Fully accepting that a marriage is coming to an end may be a difficult idea for some California residents to accept. This change may be even more difficult to understand for any children who may be affected by the divorce. Because child custody arrangements may seem frightening to children, parents may wish to approach the new situation in a sensitive manner. 

Though children likely have friends whose parents have divorced, it can seem overwhelming when it happens to their own family. As a result, children may start feeling depressed over their new circumstances, and they could potentially start acting out. This type of behavior is not uncommon for children who are feeling as if certain aspects of their lives are out of their control, and their parents' divorce could be a catalyst. 

"Fuller House" star Sweetin may have child support issues

After their divorce agreements are put into motion, many individuals may find that certain terms do not fit as well as they had hoped. As a result, California residents and other individuals may begin looking for ways to change their agreements. When it comes to child support, a significant change in circumstances could warrant modifications.

Recent reports indicated that "Fuller House" star Jodie Sweetin may be in the midst of a child support case as her ex-husband Morty Coyle is looking to change their agreement. Reports stated that both Sweetin and Coyle were granted joint legal and physical custody of their 6-year-old daughter. The report also stated that Sweetin was not ordered to pay child support as her monthly income at the time was $4,000.

California divorce: Choosing the right approach

Dissolving a marriage can be a complicated endeavor that affects each individual differently. Those facing these issues in California may wish to pay particular attention to how they approach their divorce cases. By properly preparing and choosing the process that best suits the circumstances, divorcing individuals may be better able to work through their proceedings in the most efficient manner possible.

When it comes to deciding on a divorce process, parties may be able to avoid litigation by utilizing mediation, cooperative divorce or collaborative divorce methods. Each of these methods have their pros and cons, and they often require at least a modicum of amicable feelings between the divorcing parties. If the situation is likely to be high-conflict, these more compromise-based methods may not prove as effective.

Family law: California residents may need a close look at assets

Property division can lead many divorcing Californians to feel concern. Going through this family law process could result in individuals potentially losing assets they once held dear. Therefore, if individuals have property they would like to protect from such divorce proceedings, they may wish to find out what steps may be most useful in helping them achieve their desired outcomes.

Characterizing property may have a considerable effect on what property is divided. Though many individuals likely had property before they got married or that was otherwise obtained in a manner that would leave it as separate property, it is important that individuals have the proper documentation to specify those assets as separate property. If there is no documentation or other proof that holds up this status, the property could be considered community property and up for division.

Modifying child support or custody arrangements

One very important aspect of divorce for many parents is the decision on child support and custody rights. Sometimes, the court's decision on these matters no longer works if your life and circumstances change. It is possible to modify child support or custody decrees if there is a valid reason to do so.

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