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Pleasanton Family Law Blog

How might my divorce affect my children?

While divorced parents may be struggling to cope with the aftereffects of a divorce, it is often the children that take the biggest hit when their parents split. It can take children awhile to learn how to cope with transitioning from one parent's home to the other.

For the over a million kids here in America who endure their parents' divorces every year, these adjustments may not be smooth. In fact, younger children often regress with their behaviors as a result of the split. One way this may manifest is in sleep disturbances.

Blind-sided by divorce? We can help

You certainly weren't expecting to get served with divorce papers, yet here they are in your hands. You agree that you and your spouse may have grown a bit distant from one another lately. You may even have had some serious fights.

But you never dreamed that these incidents would land you in divorce court. You don't know what to do or where to turn.

Can you move with the kids after a divorce?

There are times when parents want to start fresh after divorce. For some people, this means trying a new life in a new location.

It's not always going to work out, but in some instances, people are able to take their children with them as they move to a new state or even another country. It's necessary for the move to be in your children's best interests. If the move is, then it's possible that the court could allow it. You do have to keep in mind, however, that the other parent, and their custody rights, will play a role in your ability to move with your children.

Various factors are considered with best interests of the child

When there is a divorce in California and the couple has children, child custody will inevitably be one of the biggest issues that must be considered. There can be frequent disputes regarding child custody and it is rife with emotions. Parents will want to maintain a relationship with children despite the end of a marriage and it is important to understand how the law decides on custody. A term commonly used is "best interests of the child." Knowing what that entails and other factors can be essential to a case.

The following will be considered as part of the process: how old the child is; his or her health status; the emotional connection between the parents and child; how adept the parents are at providing care for the child; if there are extenuating circumstances, such as substance abuse or violence; and if the child has ties to a school, the community or the home.

How does divorce impact a pension for public workers?

Property division is an important part of a California divorce. Issues related to property can lead to disputes throughout the process. While the most prominent disagreements are often linked to high-value items like a home, a business or valuable collectibles, retirement accounts can fall into this category as well. For those who worked in a state job, it is important to understand how their pension will be affected in a divorce.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System oversees pensions and other benefits these workers receive. For these employees, getting a divorce might yield surprising results in how their pension is split. In one case, a former fire department employee was married 18 months before he retired. After a 12-year marriage, the couple divorced. As the case moved forward, he found that his former wife could receive less than 1% of his pension. However, there were other issues he was unaware of. She was required to remain the beneficiary of the plan. Should he die first, she will get a significant amount of his pension.

How are personal injury damages split in property division?

California couples who are at the end of a marriage and getting a divorce will often have various levels of dispute about property division. Frequently, the law will have specific rules to address most issues. Some of the more common assets and properties that will result in acrimony and a back and forth as to whom will get what are a marital home, motor vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts and collectibles. There are, however, other properties that can lead to tension in a divorce.

If there were personal injury damages to one of the spouses and they have a pending case or received an award, this might be the foundation for a disagreement. According to the law, money or property that was received or will be received as part of a judgment or settlement because of personal injury suffered during the marriage will not be separate property, except in cases where that which was received was commingled in the community estate. In short, unless the money or property was mixed with jointly owned property, it will remain separate.

Post-holiday divorce is common across the nation

Family issues and the decision to divorce can come about at any time of year. However, there are certain times of the year when divorce is more common. Californians who are in the middle of a dispute with their spouse and are contemplating the end of a marriage might scoff at the idea that there is a correlation between a certain month and divorce. But, for couples who are experiencing problems in the relationship and are thinking about whether they want to move on, the holiday season and its accompanying stresses could be the breaking point. If this is a consideration, it might be beneficial to contact an experienced divorce attorney.

Statistically and anecdotally, divorce filings tend to rise in January. Legal professionals call January "divorce month" because there are so many more filings after the holiday season. People use search engines and social media to find divorce topics during the first month of the year -- a trend that has been increasing for the past several years. Studies, such as one from the University of Washington in 2016, show that in the 15 years from 2001 to 2015, there was an increase in divorce filings in January versus December. Other states showed a similar pattern.

Former football star and wife heading for high asset divorce

Celebrity divorces are common throughout California. In these prominent situations, financial concerns will frequently dominate the headlines and people who are not famous or are of lesser means might be under the impression that the case cannot be considered in the context of their own. However, with any divorce, the issues will often be comparable to one another. This is especially true if it is a high asset divorce. Regardless, it is sound advice to have legal assistance from the beginning, whether there were prenuptial agreements or not.

Johnny Manziel, the controversial former college football star who struggled with a variety of on and off-field issues during his brief time as a professional, is divorcing his wife. Mr. Manziel - nicknamed, "Johnny Football" for his Heisman Trophy-winning performance at Texas A&M -- is splitting with Instagram model, Bre Tiesi. Ms. Tiesi filed for divorce in California. The couple was married for one year and parted ways earlier this year. They had yet to file for divorce until recently.

Flexibility can make shared parenting of teenagers easier

Parenting gets harder as your children get older. Not only do you have to deal with the strain on your relationship that comes with adolescence, but your family will also have to acclimate to the stress of jam-packed schedules due to social events, sports and other extracurricular activities.

It can be hard enough to manage all of the demands of caring for a well-rounded teenager with your family intact, but during and after a divorce, it can seem impossible to juggle the various responsibilities that fall on the custodial parents. It will be much easier for everyone in your family if you and your ex are able to work together and be flexible with parenting time schedules.

What principles does the state use with child support guidelines?

Child support can be an issue rife with emotions and disputes as a California couple moves forward with a divorce. There is a seemingly endless list of factors that are considered in the context of how much will be paid, and it is essential for both parties to understand how the state determines the amount. To ensure that there are basic principles to adhere to, there is a statewide uniform guideline. Before a case starts, it can be helpful to understand these principles to avoid surprises and to be fully prepared.

The parent's main obligation is to provide support to the children. This is based on the situation and position in life. The responsibility to provide support is mutual for both parents. With the guideline, various factors, including income and how much responsibility the parents have will be considered. The parents should pay for the support of the child based on their ability to do so. The best interests of the children are prioritized in the guidelines.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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