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Pleasanton Family Law Blog

Agreeing to disagree in a divorce

Once you and your spouse have made the decision to divorce, you still have to find your way through the mire of the divorce process. This can be a minefield for some couples, while others manage to carry it off with aplomb.

How to get from Point A to Point B and remain civil

What to not forget when one is drafting a prenup

There is nothing less romantic than talking about the possibility of a California divorce when a couple is planning a wedding. While it is an uncomfortable conversation, it is an important factor to consider. Not only is the divorce rate near fifty percent, many divorcing spouses wish they had the ability to protect their assets. Because of this, many couples consider premarital agreements (prenup) as a form of security.

Even when couples are on board with the idea, this does not always mean that they go about the process the right way. While major issues are likely addressed, it is likely that some minor, but equally important issues, are forgotten.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

The divorce process is often viewed negatively. Many withhold do not file because they are not prepared to deal with the divorce emotional rollercoaster. However, even if spouses in California and other states are not able to communicate well, there are still ways to effectively navigate the process without litigation.

Although, there is nothing wrong with a traditional divorce, through litigation, many seek to reduce the time and costs associated with the process.

Being conscious of divorce

The summer is not only a time to enjoy the weather and go on trips. It is also time when Californian couples make major decisions. One of these could be to get a divorce. Whether a spouse or couple has debated this process or if a spouse or couple suddenly decides their marriage will no longer work, it is important to understand how to proceed with the process.

Based on recent trends, summer or right after a vacation or holiday are the peak times to get a divorce. It is also common for younger couples to divorce. No matter the reason or cause for divorce, conflicts are likely to initiate in the process.

Recent California ruling could impact custody rights of parents

Whether you are going through a divorce or are living your life post-divorce, the divorce process has likely altered your life greatly. This is especially true if you have children. Dissolution means addressing difficult issues, such as child custody. While some divorcing parents in California are able to reach fair and equal terms when it comes to deciding a fair parenting time schedule with their ex, this does not mean that they are free from visitation issues regarding their children. The divorce process is not only taxing on parents but can also take a toll on grandparents as well. Because of that, some grandparents will take steps to assert their grandparents' rights if they have limited access to their grandchildren during or after their child's divorce.

When grandparents take legal action to obtain visitation rights, they are likely to hear that the court's decision will be based on the best interests of the child or children. This is a common phase used by judges when they are assessing the factors involved. And based on these factors, the court will determine what is ultimately best for the child.

Divorce and property division: Points of consideration

As you begin to ponder how the divorce process will change your life, it is only a matter of time until you turn your attention to matters of property division.

What will happen to the family home? How about your retirement assets? What about the cars and home furnishings?

What is the "best interests of the child" standard?

Parents in California constantly focus on the needs of their children, as many of the decisions made by parents can impact their children. Thus, the interests of a child are often kept in mind at all times. Divorce is no exception. The needs of a child must come first when it comes to making decisions regarding custody and support. However, the ups and downs of divorce can make it difficult to not let emotions get in the way. Because of that, the court may need to step in at times to ensure the best interests of the child are met when there is a dispute about child custody and/or visitation.

What is the "best interests of the child" standard? The ultimate goal of this standard is to foster and encourage the happiness, security, mental health, and emotional development of the child. By looking at certain factors, the court seeks to arrive at the best custody agreement for the child in question. In custody situations, courts will analyze factors such as the wishes of the child (if they are old enough) the mental and physical health of both parents, whether the child has special needs, and if so, how does each parent care for those needs, the religion and cultural considerations of the child, the need for a stable environment, other children involved and impacted by the custody arrangement, the opportunity for support from and interaction with extended family members, possible adjustments to school and community, the existence of domestic violence in the household, the use of excessive discipline or emotional abuse by a parent, as well as any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse by a parent.

The benefits of divorce mediation

The divorce process can seem like a daunting task. Because of that, some couples in California and elsewhere prolong initiating the process. But the truth of the matter is that marriage dissolution does not have to be such an intimidating or overwhelming process. While it is not easy by any means, and is very emotional no matter which way you look at it, divorcing couples do not have to go through the traditional method of litigation. In fact, opting for an alternative dispute resolution method is often what makes the process easier, quicker and more cost-effective.

Divorce mediation can provide many benefits to those who utilize it. Because the act of litigating a divorce in front of a judge can add extra stress and anxiety to the matter, taking on an alternative method may allow the parties to avoid unnecessary stress caused by having a complete stranger settle important divorce issues. Mediation can actually be a much calmer way to get through dissolution, and with the help of an unbiased third party, known as a mediator, divorcing couples can work through a wide variety of divorce issues quickly.

Helping you determine if divorce mediation is right for you

For some couples in California it can seem like they can never get along. No matter what marital problem arises, it is difficult to resolve. Thus, during divorce, these couples find it challenging to sort through all the necessary family law issues they must confront. Whether it is because they cannot see eye-to-eye, are too emotional, or are just being stubborn, this problem can really extend the process and make finding resolution difficult. Nonetheless, there are some marriage dissolution options available to divorcing spouses that may be better than the traditional litigation approach, depending on the circumstances.

Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that, for many, is very beneficial because it can minimize the costs involved and reduce the time and stress often included in the process. At John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team understands the ups and downs of the divorce process. Therefore, we are dedicated to helping spouses in the Pleasanton area determine what divorce route is ideal for them.

Mel B is in dispute with ex-husband over spousal support

Many people in California are familiar with the former Spice Girl and current judge on America's Got Talent, Mel B. These people may also be aware that she is currently going through what seems to be a very bitter divorce that began with her seeking a restraining order against her ex-husband.

Well the fight is continuing after her ex-husband filed documents with the court for spousal support. His request includes $11,000 a month for his housing, $4,300 for food and groceries, $2,000 for clothes and $750 for his cell phone. Mel B objected to these requests calling some of them exorbitant, especially the $750 for one cell phone.

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