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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

What issues should a parenting plan in California address?

When parents divorce, one thing they must understand is that they must work together to give their child a good life, even though their relationship has ended. This cooperation can begin with a parenting plan. In addition, a custody and visitation agreement contains topics a parenting plan should address.

First, a parenting plan should address physical custody issues. Physical custody refers to where the child resides and when. For example, parents should decide who the child will live with on weekdays and weekends. In addition, parents will also want to decide how they will handle holidays, vacations from school and other special occasions. Children are often involved in activities other than school, for example, soccer games, violin lessons or homework. Parents will need to decide who will oversee which activities. Finally, parents will need to decide how drop-off and pick-up will work when the child is going from one household to the other for parenting time.

How can co-parenting after divorce benefit the child?

Divorce is a fact of life for many families in Los Angeles. This, for children of divorce, means that their parents do not live together. Some parents may fear this will have a negative effect on their child. However, quite the opposite is true.

One study found that around 80 percent of children with divorced parents are able to adapt to the situation, and do not suffer any long-term negative effects from it. Children need to have a good relationship with each of their parents, but their parents do not need to live together for this to happen. When a child's parents are able to work together after divorce through co-parenting and when they are emotionally stable, they are able to concentrate their energies on raising the child in a stable and loving environment.

Don't let parental alienation sneak up on you -- act now

As a parent, you understand that a divorce affects more than just your relationship with your soon-to-be ex -- it also affects your children. Most parents work to make this process as easy as possible for their children by limiting conflict when they are around and ensuring that they still have ready access to both of their parents.

Unfortunately, some California parents use their children as tools. You may be one of an untold number of parents who experience having their relationship with their child harmed by your ex -- a phenomenon known as parental alienation.

Property division can be complex in a high net-worth divorce

Between Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and all points in between, California is truly a state where a person from humble beginnings can become a very wealthy individual. And, like people across the nation, oftentimes when a couple marries, over the years their assets accumulate in a way that substantially increases their net worth.

Of course, not every marriage in California is meant to last. Ultimately, some high net worth couples will find that it is in their best interests to divorce. However, a high-asset divorce can be very complex. It is best not to handle such a divorce alone.

Things to consider in a late-in-life divorce

Most couples don't expect to find themselves slogging through a divorce after 30 years of marriage. However, it happens more often than one might think and presents its own set of unique challenges. Late-in-life divorce is sometimes referred to as a "silver divorce" or "gray divorce." Some reasons for these situations involve infidelity, regrets, and financial issues. While older, more mature adults may be able to handle the emotional pitfalls of a divorce better than a young couple, that doesn't mean it is any less painful or less tedious to resolve. In fact, late-in-life divorce comes with some unique considerations to take in.

First, a couple who has been married for a long period of time has likely co-mingled assets to a point that exact separation is extremely difficult. Further, assets such as retirement accounts and Social Security income that matter the most later in life are brought to the forefront in these types of divorces. The marital residence becomes a hot topic as well. It is likely that a house in which a couple has lived for many years is paid for in full, thereby giving its owner access to equity. The amount of that equity would need to be considered as an asset to the party who keeps the house, meaning that they may be required to pay one-half of that amount to the other party to keep the house.

Can one give up their interest in the family home after divorce?

There are many options for what to do with the family home in the event of a divorce. Some divorcing couples in Los Angeles may decide that one party will stay in the home for a certain number of years, after which they would put the home up for sale and divide the proceeds. Of course, this ties a person to their ex at a time in which a person simply wants to move on. In situations like this, the person not living in the home might just want to pay off the mortgage so that their name can be removed from it. However, will that relinquish that spouse from any responsibilities regarding the home if their ex continues to live in it?

Well, if the mortgage is paid off, then the spouse no longer living in the home will also no longer remain responsible for it as far as the mortgage goes. However, title to the home must be transferred in full to the person's ex, that is, the spouse not living in the home will need to relinquish their ownership interest in the home to their ex.

Billionaire couple in California finalize their divorce

Not every marriage is meant to last. Whether a couple in California gets by paycheck-to-paycheck, or whether they are wealthy individuals with many valuable assets, their marriage can hit the rocks for a variety of reasons, leading to divorce. One high-profile couple's divorce demonstrates just that.

Billionaire David Rubenstein and his wife Alice Rogoff have decided to end their marriage. The philanthropist couple had been married since 1983, but have now officially and legally divorced. The terms of their dissolution were settled upon in private negotiations and will not be made available to the public.

Courtroom drama? Not with these divorce court tips...

Whether a divorce was your idea or your spouse's, and whether you're merely considering ending your marriage or have already filed paperwork, you may be dreading the thought of court. You may even have begun your divorce proceedings with the best of intentions, hoping to make the process as amicable as possible. Perhaps, you've given some thought to - or even already attempted - mediation.

Sometimes, though, there's simply nothing more you can do. You've made your best efforts; however, the same differences that led to the end of your marriage are the ones that make it impossible to reach an agreement through mediation, thus litigation becomes a necessity. Few people envision their marriage ending in a court of law, so it can be difficult to prepare either mentally or physically for this eventuality. There are, however, some basic pieces of advice that can help make the process smoother from beginning to end.

What is the general process for modifying child support?

It goes without saying that it costs money to raise a child. When parents in California are married or are unmarried but in a relationship with each other, both contribute to the care of the child. And, if their relationship with each other doesn't last, both parents are still obligated to meet their child's financial needs, so their child can grow up in a healthy, supportive and nurturing environment. To this end, when parents in California divorce or break-up, the court will issue a child support order, in which the noncustodial parent will pay a certain amount of money each month to the custodial parent.

Of course, as time marches on, people's lives change. The parents might have a new job, move to more (or less) expensive areas of the state and, of course, as children grow older, their needs change. After all, the financial demands that come with raising a toddler are very different than those that come with raising a teenager.

Couples have options when it comes to the family home and divorce

Many married couples in California purchase a home, envisioning living their life there together forever. However, sometimes plans like that don't work out, and a couple ends up seeking a divorce. When this happens, they will have to divide their assets. This includes the family home. In fact, when it comes to property division, the family home may be one of a couple's largest assets. Therefore, couples will want to think carefully about what to do with the family home in a divorce.

Some couples decide that they will continue to own the home jointly. They may do this if they plan to pass the family home on to their children in the future. Of course, doing this involves a certain amount of cooperation and communication between the spouses, even after the divorce is final.

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  • State Bar Of California | CBLS | California Board Of Legal Specialization
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • LACBA | The Los Angeles County Bar Association

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