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Fullerton Family Law Blog

Fathers may face challenges in family court

California fathers who are struggling to pay child support should still try to pay some portion of the amount. Ignoring these payments can lead to serious consequences including jail. This was the case for one pediatrician who went to jail for nonpayment of support, lost his job and had to file for bankruptcy. Other issues fathers may encounter include a struggle to establish paternity and get adequate visitation rights if unmarried and being blocked from seeing their children by a protection order. In most cases, mothers instead of fathers still get custody.

One man says that after learning his name was not listed on his child's birth certificate, he only got four nights per month of visitation time. Experts say unmarried fathers should act early on to get custody or visitation rights of a child. If they wait or if the state has to look for them, the process could be more complicated.

Post-divorce life: Financial tips and budgeting advice

You have had time to deal with the emotional side of your spouse asking for a divorce. You knew it was coming, after all. You're ready for it. Yes, it is going to be a big change in your life, but you feel confident that you can deal with it.

What you're less confident about is setting up your budget for life after divorce. You really got used to having two incomes. Can you get by on one? How do you need to change your spending? Do you need to think about debt differently? What are you going to lose or gain during the asset division process?

Financial missteps to avoid in divorce

There are a number of financial mistakes people in California might make when they are getting divorced. One of those mistakes is spending too much money on a shopping spree because they are upset. Unfortunately, this can cause even more stress when the bills come in.

Divorce can be expensive, and some exes may be tempted to sell assets to pay for it. However, such sales could come with hefty taxes. One of the first steps a person may want to consider when getting a divorce is sitting down with a financial adviser to make a financial plan for during and after the divorce.

Is representing yourself in divorce really dangerous?

For many spouses and parents who face divorce, the prospect of hiring an attorney to represent them seems like a waste of time and money, especially if they do not have endless resources.

While it is true that some divorces are much less complex than others, this is one of those areas where a clear understanding of the many state-specific laws at play in a California divorce is necessary.

Financial assets and the odds of divorce

Financial problems are a common reason that many couples in California end up filing for divorce. A statistic that may surprise many people is that couples who are financially doing well may be at a greater risk for divorce than couples who are struggling.

A study by the Federal Reserve Board found a correlation between a large difference in credit scores and a couple's odds of getting divorced. Couples with the greatest mismatch faced the greatest likelihood of getting divorced within the first five years. Those who both had high credit scores had the greatest chances of their marriage working out long-term.

Why prenuptial agreements can be useful

When people in California plan on getting married, they may not want to think about prenuptial agreements. In general, prenups have a bad reputation; people think of greedy celebrity divorces or other legal dramas. In other cases, people feel that it's bad luck to plan for divorce before the wedding even takes place. However, there's a lot more to prenuptial agreements than their image in pop culture, and they can be an excellent and important choice for many couples.

First, it's important to know that prenups aren't just a way for a wealthier partner to protect his or her assets. In order for a prenup to be upheld by a court, both parties should be represented by their own independent attorneys during the negotiations. Both parties should also receive benefits from the agreement. In addition, people can't include just anything in a prenup. Conditions that are unconscionable or contrary to the public interest can be dismissed by a judge. For example, two parents can't agree to dismiss child support in a prenuptial agreement because that support belongs instead to the child.

Personality traits that could lead to divorce

California couples may be more likely to get a divorce if they have certain tendencies or characteristics. For example, some people catastrophize small incidents and file for divorce over minor issues only to turn around and withdraw the filing later. This can strain the relationship. Overvaluing material things can also be an issue, particularly in marriages where wives earn more than their husbands but believe that men should be providers in accord with traditional gender roles.

While it seems like taking care of a partner can be a good thing, in some cases, it can create distance. One person might be the perpetual caregiver, and he or she may have structured the relationship to not need anything from his or her spouse. Avoiding conflict can also be a bad sign. Couples need to bring conflict out into the open and talk about their issues.

Tax law may increase cost of divorce

People in California who are considering divorce might want to examine how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that passed in 2017 will affect their finances. For example, alternating exemptions for children with IRS form 8332 will no longer be possible. Instead, divorced parents who have only one child will have to decide who can claim the head of household exemption.

The person who claims the HOH exemption can also take the Child Tax Credit. It is unclear whether the Child Tax Credit can be traded because the IRS has yet to issue guidance on the matter. Couples may want to write the divorce agreement in a way that is flexible enough to allow this trading.

Getting child custody again after losing it

After a divorce in California, one parent may have lost custody of the children. However, this is not necessarily a permanent arrangement. There may be ways for the parent to get it back.

First, the parent should look at the reasons for losing custody whether it is because of false accusations of abuse by the other parent, the violation of a court order or some other factor. In some cases, a judge may have placed conditions around regaining custody such as completing a drug rehabilitation program or parenting classes. These conditions should be fulfilled as soon as possible. The parent might also want to consider getting an attorney to help with the case.

Health planning after a late-age divorce

A growing number of people in California and across the country are choosing to divorce later in life. For people aged 50 and older, divorce rates have doubled over the past several decades. However, no matter when someone decides to end their marriage, it can be very important to take care of their health. According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, divorce is the second-largest contributor to stress-induced health breakdowns. For older people with existing health concerns, the effects of divorce-induced stress can be significant.

While the rates of divorce remain much higher among younger couples, the divorce rate among older Americans has skyrocketed. There are a number of factors that have contributed to these changes, including improved health and increased life expectancy, the frequency of remarriage and increased financial independence for women.

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