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Fullerton Family Law Blog

Violating a parenting plan: You can prepare for the worst

When you work long hours and depend on your parenting plan to be adhered to, nothing is more frustrating than having an ex-spouse who constantly wants to make changes. You may have it set up where you watch your child on weekends due to your excessive workload, or you may have arrangements for the other parent to pick them up from school when you're on the job.

Regardless of the arrangements, if the other parent is not following the parenting plan that the court ordered, you may want to consider seeking a modification. If the other parent's actions threaten your work or job, it's worth looking into your legal options so that you can change the schedule to something that does work for both of you.

Lump sums of alimony can resolve spousal support requirements

Spousal support sometimes becomes a hot-button issue during a divorce, because one spouse doesn't want to feel that they're still connected to the other. If you receive spousal support, you're essentially relying on your ex-spouse to pay it. If you are expected to pay support, you're supporting a person you no longer want to have a relationship with.

These are obvious conflicts with spousal support. The good news is that an easy way to deal with this is through a settlement. Instead of paying support every paycheck or each month and having to see it come from or go to your ex-spouse, you can take care of the requirement at once and fully cut ties.

Understanding California's 'community property' law

California is known as a "community property" state. That means that property and other assets (including income) acquired by spouses -- separately or together -- during the marriage are considered to belong to both of them.

Under California law, property includes anything that has value as well as anything that can be sold or bought. Some examples of property that many divorcing couples have included:

  • Homes
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Businesses
  • Insurance policies
  • Cash
  • Stocks and securities

Choosing the right family law attorney for your divorce

If you've just begun the process of searching for an attorney to help you through your divorce, you may be overwhelmed by the choices. There's no shortage of family law attorneys here in Southern California. So how do you select the one who's right for you?

Remember that you'll be going through a highly personal, emotional experience with your attorney. Therefore, you want to find one with whom you feel comfortable, who understands your goals and, of course, who has a deep knowledge of California family law. That's why it's wise to choose an attorney who specializes in that field instead of one who divides their practice among many different areas of the law.

The role of surveillance in child custody disputes

Few situations in divorce are as sensitive as child custody. Even though California law grants joint legal custody with equal parenting time, it is not uncommon for parents to request a custody modification after the divorce. The court will first want to know details about the status quo; that is, what type of schedule is currently in use. Do parents share custody and parenting time right down the middle? Alternatively, is one parent the main, or custodial, caretaker while the other, or noncustodial parent, sees the children less often?

The court is primarily interested in protecting the child from the potential trauma of changing the current arrangement. The divorce has already disrupted the child's life. Judges often prefer to retain an acceptable status quo to avoid upending the child.

Actors Tatum, Dewan working on custody agreement for daughter

We've talked about the divorces of famous couples here before -- largely to show that divorcing couples, regardless of how much money they have or how famous they are, deal with many of the same legal processes and challenges that all couples do. When they have children, much of the divorce is focused on developing a custody plan.

Recently, documents related to the proposed custody agreement in the Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan divorce became public. Tatum, best known as the star of Magic Mike movies, met Dewan when they worked on another movie together in 2006. They married three years later in Malibu. They announced last April that they were ending their marriage.

Know what restrictions you are under during your divorce

How long the divorce process takes depends on a number of factors, including how many issues spouses are in dispute over and the complexity of the assets and debts they're dividing. Until the papers are signed and the divorce is final, there are things you can't do, at least without the authorization of the court, and also things you're required to do.

It's essential to understand what those restrictions are. If you don't comply with them, you could find yourself in trouble with the court. Let's look at a few of the more common restrictions.

  • If your spouse is on your health insurance policy, you will need to keep them on that policy until the divorce is final. If you're the one who counts on your spouse for your insurance, that's good news, as it gives you some time to get other insurance before you lose your current coverage.
  • If you have children, even if you're the one whom they're currently living with and you're seeking primary custody, you may not be able to take them out of the state without the permission of your co-parent or the court. If you're planning to travel with them after the divorce, it's essential to address that in your custody agreement.
  • You can't sell or give away property that you and your spouse jointly own. For example, you can't sell your home, car or boat on your own if they're in both of your names.
  • If you have joint bank accounts, don't empty them. Don't max out joint credit cards, either. These actions can be seen as retaliatory and an attempt to keep your spouse from getting money that's rightfully theirs or sticking them with credit card expenses that they knew nothing about. Use these products only for reasonable expenses during your divorce.

Why January is known as 'Divorce Month'

If you're seriously considering or in the preparation stages of filing for divorce in these early weeks of the new year, you're not alone. January has long been known as "Divorce Month."

Divorce attorneys and other legal experts say that the end-of-the-year holidays play a big part in this phenomenon. Couples don't want a divorce to mar the holiday season -- particularly if they have children.

Developing a parenting plan when 1 parent moves away

It's common for one spouse to move some distance away after a divorce. They may be seeking someplace with a lower cost of living than pricey Southern California. They may want to live near parents, siblings or other family members. Perhaps they opt to take a job that pays better or offers more opportunity for advancement.

When there are children involved, if the move is out of California, you'll typically need to get your co-parent's approval or the court's. If the decision to move is approved, co-parents should develop an interstate parenting plan to help ensure that the children are able to maintain a relationship with both parents. That's the case whether they're moving with one parent or remaining here with the parent with primary custody while their other parent moves away.

Contact

Law Offices of Indu Srivastav, APLC
1400 N. Harbor Blvd., Suite 601
Fullerton, CA 92835

Phone: 714-515-5008
Fax: 714-515-8338
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