Orange County Family Law Blog

Mediate, don't litigate, your divorce

It may come as a shock to learn that your California divorce can be handled without acrimony. Especially in the immediate period after one spouse files the petition for divorce, emotions tend to run high.

One spouse may not even want the divorce to proceed and might try to throw up roadblocks that slow progress and negotiation to a crawl. That can foment some bad feelings between the soon-to-be exes. However, there are ways to encourage cooperation and help motivate the parties to reach an accord.

When to seek sole custody of your kids

With the push for shared custody of the children being a priority for family law courts here in Orange County, some parents may feel that it is pointless to seek sole custody of the kids in a divorce.

But there are situations where that is actually the only responsible position to take. How can you know whether sole custody is a viable option for you?

Things divorce attorneys wish their clients knew

Divorce attorneys see it all — the good, bad and ugly side of marriages ending. They have inside knowledge of the mistakes and bad decisions that cost their clients a lot.

But they really wish that their clients could get up to speed about these matters, as it would make things easier for all concerned. With that in mind, below are some tips from family law attorneys all over the nation.

Unwed parents should seek support for their children

If you are unmarried and have a child, you may not immediately realize how important it is to determine the legal paternity of the child to pursue child support. There are many reasons why parents may neglect to do this, however.

They may still be in a relationship with their child's other parent and fear that making it legal might rock the relationship boat and cause problems. The child's other parent may actually be married to another person and want to keep their spouse from learning of the child's existence. In some cases, the custodial parent may fear the other parent will harm them or their child physically or worry that the parent is not fit to be involved in their child's life.

Is lump sum alimony a viable option?

Paying alimony every month can be an irritating link to the past you thought you had left behind. This is particularly true if you have moved on to a new relationship and it rankles that you continue to be legally required to subsidize your ex's lifestyle.

However, even the recipients can grow weary of waiting for alimony payments that arrive late or end up being short. If only there were a workable alternative to these monthly spousal support issues.

We can help you get more child support if needed

It's very expensive to rear a child here in Southern California. If you are a divorced parent who relies on child support from your child's other parent, it can sometimes seem that the amount you receive falls far short of meeting your child's needs.

That can be especially true if you face a sudden hardship like an unexpected job loss or are felled by a serious illness and can no longer work. If something like this occurs, you may wonder if you can seek additional child support from your co-parent.

We can modify your custody order

Summertime is a good time to review the child custody orders that are in place for your kids. What typically happens is that the children "outgrow" the original order that may now be several years old.

For instance, if you divorced when your children were in preschool and they are now approaching middle school, a lot has changed in your kids' worlds since then. They may play on sports teams, take music or dance lessons or have other commitments related to their extracurricular activities.

Should you file for divorce this summer?

You and your spouse haven't been getting along well for a long time. It's almost as if the two of you are already living separate lives even though you are married.

Maybe it might be a good idea to make it official and file for divorce from your spouse this summer. At least that way, the two of you will be free to finally begin to once again live your best lives.

Can my child support include the kids' summer camp fees?

Parents, does it ever seem like your child support amount shrinks during the summer? While the amount stays the same all 12 months, having the kids home for the better part of three months has some definite financial consequences.

With that in mind, some parents wonder if their children's other parents can be forced to kick in some extra dollars to cover summer camp tuition and other related expenses.

Can I adopt my stepchild with my spouse's permission?

If you are the stepparent of your spouse's child from a previous marriage or relationship, at some point you may want to pursue adopting the child as your own. Do you have that right if your spouse gives consent?

The answer, as with many legal queries, is "it depends," and the person on whom it depends is typically the child's other birth parent.

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Rosen & Rosen, LLP, provides legal advice and representation to clients in Orange, California, and communities throughout Orange County, including the cities of Yorba Linda, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Anaheim, Tustin, Brea, Placentia, Garden Grove, Anaheim Hills, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Laguna.