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Fullerton Family Law Blog

How parents can help their children after divorce

There can be a lot of animosity following a divorce between parents in California. However, exes should try to avoid speaking unfavorably about one another in front of their children. This is one of several things they can do to help make the adjustment period less difficult for the family. It is important that children feel they can openly have a relationship with both parents, and they should feel free to express their love for both parents and stepparents.

Parents need to find a way to balance honesty and boundaries. They should try not to lie to children, but kids do not need to hear about the details of the divorce. Most importantly, the kids must understand that the divorce was not because of them. Children should be encouraged to share their emotions, and their parents should validate those emotions.

Reduce the cost of divorce with the right discussions

If you're approaching a divorce from a reasonable standpoint, then the first thing you really need to do is to sit down and budget for it. If you and your spouse can work together to create a budget to manage the divorce, that's great. If not, then you should sit down and plan out your own budget to prepare.

In California, the majority of divorces end in 50-50 splits of assets. That's because the state is a community property state. In the same light, that also means that you and your spouse are likely to share the cost of a divorce. Being able to talk about those costs can help you reduce their amount.

Key considerations when remarrying later in life

Over 40% of recent marriages bring together people in California and across the country who were married previously in the past. In many cases, people are wary about combining finances because they have already gone through the difficult property division stage of divorce in the past. In other cases, people may be concerned about how best to balance the needs of their children in a blended family, especially when adult children are involved. This is increasingly common, because remarriage is particularly popular among older Americans.

According to one study, over 66% of previously married Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 choose to remarry. By the time they reach these ages, both spouses may have significant assets, real estate and retirement funds. In addition, both may also have adult children that they want to provide for in their estates. When people hear about prenuptial agreements, they may think first of the ultra-wealthy or Hollywood celebrities. However, prenups can be a particularly useful option for older Americans who choose to remarry. As California is a community property state, a prenup gives both parties the opportunity to address their financial decisions while they love one another.

Divorce and finances

One of the aspects of divorce that divorcing California couples have to contend with is how it can affect their finances. However, there are some steps they can take to mitigate the negative financial impact of a divorce.

Maintaining a personal budget can be helpful when having to get used to a new financial situation. Whether they speak with a financial professional or use personal finance software, it is important that divorcees develop a budget that can help safeguard their finances.

Study looks at the correlation between wedding dates, divorce

Some California couples might assume that the most romantic day of the year for a wedding is Valentine's Day. However, some Australian researchers counter that this may not necessarily be the best date for those who want a long-lasting marriage. University of Melbourne researchers found that getting married on special days might be connected to a higher divorce rate.

Valentine's Day appeared to be particularly hazardous. Out of the 1 million marriages examined, couples who tied the knot on February 14 had the highest divorce rate. More than 10% were divorced within five years, and more than 20% had legally split up after nine years.

Child support varies case to case, state to state

The specifics of child support arrangements in California vary widely based on the facts of the case, and the amounts of payments also differ from state to state. A typical payment in California, according to a study by Custody X Change, ranges between $530 and $730 per month. The study showed that parents who move relatively short distances into different states might see their support payments cut or increased significantly.

Nationwide, the amount of a typical support payment can be as low as $402 in Virginia or as high as Massachusetts's $1,187. The study was conducted based on the hypothetical situation of a split couple who had two kids, with the father making $55,000 annually and the mother making $45,000 annually. The total income of the hypothetical couple may be high when compared to 2015 Census data, which indicated the average two-income household made around $56,000 each year after taxes.

Help your children adjust to life with divorced parents

Children adjust well to many new situations. One that might not be so easy for them occurs when their parents divorce. Finding out that their parents are going to live in separate homes is a huge shock for these children. As a parent, you will have to help them adjust to this new situation.

With the stress of the entire situation, it is understandable that you won't want to have to add any more to it. Unfortunately, one of they ways that you can help your children might be a bit more challenging for you. This is because it will require you to work with your ex.

Setting the record straight on non-custodial parent myths

A non-custodial California parent is someone who does not have physical custody of their children. Under some circumstances, however, a non-custodial parent still has legal custody. Unfortunately, the image associated with a divorced parent who is not living with their children is sometimes clouded by lingering myths about this type of relationship.

For instance, it's sometimes assumed non-custodial parents are deadbeats because non-paying child support spouses are often parents without physical custody of their kids. Even so, there are plenty of responsible and caring non-custodial parents who routinely meet their monthly payment obligations. Also, it's true that most parents without physical custody are men, but courts today are more inclined to grant dads shared or sole physical custody.

Co-parenting over the summer

Many divorced parents in California work hard to minimize the impact of divorce on their children. This means negotiating fair child support agreements and developing parenting plans that allow both parents to develop a strong relationship with their kids. While many parenting plans focus on visitation during the school year, summer vacation can be a challenge.

Because the school year is regimented with kids being school five days a week, parenting plans often focus on weekend visitation for parents who do not have physical custody as well as regular weeknight visits. Things can become more complicated when kids are not being cared for while at school, and vacation plans or summer activities may not follow traditional school week scheduling.

Documents to gather before divorce

According to statistics published by the American Psychological Association, between 40 and 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. For California couples, one major hurdle to clear before divorce is to know the financial situation. As soon as divorce becomes a real possibility, it is important for the parties to gather certain documents and information. Among the most important documents to have are tax returns, a lifestyle analysis and a net worth statement.

Tax returns contain a lot of information that is important for divorcing couples. Ideally, each spouse should have the couple's three most recent returns, along with supporting documents. Common supporting documents include 1099s, K-1s and W-2s. People who do not have these documents can request them from the IRS with Form 4506.

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