Orange County Family Law Blog

When keeping the house in divorce is a bad idea

Divorcing couples have certain hot-button topics, and custody of the kids and ownership of the family home are two common ones that prove to be sticking points. In the latter, sometimes fighting over the house can wind up being a pointless exercise in frustration.

Couples see preserving and remaining in the family home as a way to provide stability and continuity to their kids or even the spouses themselves, in some cases. But a home that you can ill afford to maintain and that may be difficult to sell in a shaky future market is more of an albatross than an asset.

3 tips from experts to dodge the divorce bullet

Before heading off into marital bliss, it's important to get to know your prospective spouse and his or her views on important matters.

Those in the forefront of American divorces — family law attorneys, financial planners and mediators — share their collective wisdom and offer some tips to those who are contemplating marriage.

What does my child support cover?

A lot of people are misinformed about what child support is supposed to cover. In addition to providing a child with a decent living situation, clothing and food, there are may other expenses that can be met with child support.

If you receive or pay child support, you should be aware that these payments can go toward school tuition and fees, medical care, extracurricular activities and entertainment expenses for the kids.

Parental use of marijuana still can affect custody cases

With the legalization of recreational marijuana use here in California, questions still surround certain aspects of the substance and its usage. One particular gray area is how the state's family courts will rule regarding custody when one or both of a child's parents use cannabis.

One California father is still fighting for custody of his son — now a ward of the state living with nonrelative foster parents — after admitting to using medical marijuana prescribed to treat lingering pain from an auto accident.

Common questions about Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is frequently required when going through a divorce. They are generally used by the court to resolve three main issues: issues regarding the living maintenance for both people after they have divorced, to maintain the lifestyle of a child when their parents are not together, and to divide assets in the divorce process.

What information does a QDRO need to contain?

Can I fight for custody of the family pet in my divorce?

To may pet owners, their dog or cat is a beloved member of the family. But when divorce looms on the horizon, they are startled to realize that Fideaux or Puffy is considered just another piece of property not subject to custodial agreements.

However, some California courts are taking a more enlightened view of the role pets play in their owners' lives. With that in mind, learn how you may be able to reach accord regarding the future of your beloved fur babies.

Tips for smoother holiday sailing for single parents

If the thought of facing the holidays for the first time as a single parent has you ready to curl into a ball to hibernate until the festivities are all over, you're in good company.

But parents don't have the luxury of time-outs from stressful events, so read on to learn some coping strategies to beat back the holiday blues.

Should there be accountability for child support spending?

If you are a California parent who pays child support to your children's other parent, you may doubt that all of your hard-earned support dollars go to your kids.

California imposes no mandates on the way child support is spent. This gives the parent receiving the support unfettered freedom to live high off the hog on the former partner's dime with no guarantee that the children receive the monetary benefits.

How do I adjust to being a part-time parent?

In a world of helicopter parents and tiger moms, it can be difficult to embrace being a part-time divorced parent. But there are many reasons why this can be a status to celebrate.

No one is suggesting that these parents wouldn't prefer to give their children the gift of an intact home with both parents present. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out so smoothly. If you are burdened by guilt for being a part-time mom or dad, the following tips on how to learn to enjoy your evolving role may be insightful.

Child Support – knowing your rights and obligations

Facing the end of a marriage can be an emotionally charged time with many critical and complex issues to be tackled. When children are also involved, the stakes are even higher.  Going through a divorce means having to address matters surrounding child custody, support, and visitation. These decisions are both psychologically taxing and difficult to face alone. Who do the children live with, how does relocation impact well-being and what financial measures should be adopted to care for dependents are just a sample of the multifaceted questions that need solutions.

Perhaps the most challenging matters to reconcile are those of child support. To a large extent child support guidelines furnish a certain amount of answers based on custody and financial resources; however, determining how much and in what manner to pay support is unique to each relationship. Some of the aspects to consider when developing a child support formula are the cost of living, medical, educational and everyday expenses of the child. Making provisions for basic needs is essential but making allowances for those things that speak to the quality of life and maintaining a standard that the child has become accustomed are vital.  

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