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Fullerton Family Law Blog

When mediation might not work

California couples who are going through a divorce might wonder about using mediation instead of litigation. While the mediation process can save time and money, it is not necessarily appropriate for everyone.

This may seem rather obvious, but prime candidates for mediation are those that want it to work. Some people do not have the right mindset when going to mediation. Both parties should want to reach an agreement, and this involves wishing the other party well and compromising. The objective of mediation is to find a solution that benefits both people. Those who want an ex to suffer or who consider the process to have a winner and a loser will likely have trouble with mediation.

dealing with the financial aspects of a divorce

California couples may not know that, every year, an estimated 813,000 Americans get a divorce. The average cost of getting a divorce is about $20,000, an amount that can be financially difficult for many. However, there are additional costs that may not be felt until well after the divorce has been settled, especially if a person is required to pay child and spousal support.

Those who are considering divorce should discuss their situation with a family law attorney before even bringing up the idea. If the attorney and a financial adviser work together while the person prepares for filing for the divorce, they may be able to give the person advice on financial protection. Once the impending divorce has been announced, both parties will need to draw up a full list of assets and debts.

When you are ready to get divorced as soon as possible

Once a marriage is over, it is over. There isn't any reason to try to prolong the inevitable. The possibility of a rapid divorce is something that appeals to many people. If you are one of these people, you need to know what you are facing with your divorce.

There are several different things that you must consider when you are looking for a fast divorce. Here are a few to get you started:

Reasons for inaccuracy in child support estimates

With all the uncertainties surrounding the end of a marriage and a child's need for stability, California parents who are seeking a divorce in Fullerton are likely to look for predictability anywhere they can fine it. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring financial needs are met, and child support often plays a leading role in this goal. Parents often turn to authoritative government websites for information about child support guidelines.

A common feature on these websites is the child support calculator. These provide an estimate of the support amount based on state law. The programs typically require the income per month for each parent, the amount of total time the children will spend in each household, tax credits received by each spouse and employment benefits, such as health care insurance. This shows the first problem with relying on a calculator's estimation. Some of this information is likely to change between filing for divorce and a judge signing the final agreement.

Using mediation in the divorce process

Some California couples who are seeking a divorce might imagine it taking place in a court room with a judge making decisions about child custody and property division, but these are actually issues that a couple can negotiate themselves. Furthermore, the divorce does not have to be an amicable one for these negotiations to take place. The couple may use an alternative dispute resolution process to reach an agreement.

Mediation is one of the most effective dispute resolution methods. It involves bringing in a neutral third party to listen to both sides and encourage the parties to reach an agreement. Mediators may be drawn from a variety of professions including social work and mental health. Decisions made in mediation are not binding, and this is one advantage of mediation over litigation. In litigation, a judge's decision may be final. If mediation fails and the case does go to court, issues raised in mediation cannot be used against either person because the process is confidential.

Is an uncontested divorce right for you?

Divorces carry a reputation for being long, drawn out battles between spouses, and in many cases, that's exactly what happens. However, it doesn't have to be this way. If you and your spouse agree that you want a divorce and want it to be a quick, simple affair, you may qualify for uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce offer marriage relief for couples who are willing to prioritize finalizing a divorce over lengthy negotiations about every issue.

If you think that you and your spouse may want to pursue an uncontested divorce, it is important to make sure you both have a solid understanding of everything that an uncontested divorce includes. For instance, here In California, we use community property rules to determine property division, which may place greater restrictions than other states on how you can divide your marital property.

How parents can modify their child support payments

When a California couple with minor children gets a divorce, one parent is likely going to be required to pay a certain amount in child support every month. Once the amount of child support is set by the court, the parent must continue to make payments without fail or face consequences. However, a parent who experiences a significant change in circumstances could potentially have the child support order modified.

If circumstances change, a parent cannot simply stop making child support payments. If he or she refuses to pay without a child support modification, severe sanctions could follow, including a wage garnishment and driver's license suspension. In some cases, delinquent parents can face jail time.

Shielding and insulating kids from divorce

Many California parents struggle with how to manage the impact of divorce on their children. There are concerns over the children's mental health and what they should be told about the divorce. While some parents may aim to insulate their children from the divorce entirely, this is often not the best way.

There are several often-misunderstood aspects of divorce, including how to deal with children. It is often impossible to entirely shield kids from the end of their parents' marriage. They are going to notice changes in how their parents interact or if one person begins to live outside the home more and more often. Keeping divorce a secret from kids may actually raise their anxiety levels because it leaves them with unanswered questions and fears. Children are likely to not understand what is happening or may feel that they are the reason for arguments or splits.

What to bring when you meet with a divorce attorney

You know that you're ready to file for divorce, but are you really ready to meet with a divorce attorney? For those with little experience with divorce, simply knowing where to begin is often overwhelming.

If you feel this way, it's OK — you're not the only one. Getting divorced is often much more difficult and complicated than getting married, even in the best circumstances. In order to properly understand the scope of your marriage and your goals in the divorce, an attorney needs to see a number of different documents, and the more prepared you are when you meet with an attorney, the better he or she can meet your needs and help you plan for a successful divorce.

What to know about dads in America

Dads in California and throughout the nation see their role as a father as central to their identity as a person. This is according to a 2015 poll conducted by Pew Research. According to the poll, fathers were just as likely as mothers to say that their role of parent best defined them. Furthermore, they were about just as likely as mothers to say that parenting was always fun or always a rewarding experience.

In 1970, 47 percent of families with a child under the age of 18 saw only the dad go to work. Today, that number is 27 percent. However, society still tends to believe that a father should earn money for the family. While a majority of those polled say that having women in the workplace makes it harder to raise children, they also said that it allows families to have a more comfortable lifestyle.

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