Orange County Family Law Blog

Does your summer custody arrangement need tweaked?

With Memorial Day just around the corner, it's time to once again review your summer child custody plans. For some families, these transitions can be a little difficult to get used to. But with some patience and a little advance planning, everyone can get on board.

Ideally, your parenting plan should cover most contingencies that you, your kids and your ex may encounter. But even the most comprehensive parenting plans can't cover all potential conflicts that may arise, which is why successful co-parenting requires good communication.

Could your social media use tank your custody case?

Regardless of how you personally feel about sites like Facebook and Twitter, social media sites are here to stay. But for those locked in contentious divorces and custody battles, social media can become a minefield.

Divorcing spouses and parents need to realize that their social media presences can definitely be used against them in court. Below are some tips to keep in mind.

Determining if your spouse stashed the cash

Sadly, divorce tends to bring out the worst in some spouses. Some may attempt to lie under oath, either in depositions or in the courtroom. Still others try to get more than their fair share of the marital assets by stashing cash in secret accounts or intentionally devaluing or dissipating community property.

A dishonest spouse can become quite creative when trying to hide property from the other partner. Some may transfer ownership of assets to relatives or friends who are complicit in the con. Another way of diverting resources is to siphon off income from joint accounts to a separate account in one spouse's name only.

How courtroom actions affect custody battles

When it comes to the custody of your children, the family court judge presiding over your case often has little information on which to base this all-important decision. That's why the actions you take in court can make or break your custody case.

Learn how to avoid making a bad impression in the Orange County courtroom when you appear for your child custody hearing.

State approves temporary fix for foster parents

A temporary fix has been approved by the state of California for foster parents who find themselves stuck in the middle of the approval process and are in need of funding. The governor of California signed a stop-gap measure that provides funding to caregivers who are stuck in the process waiting for approval. The funding will be distributed as emergency funding.

Recent reforms in California state that the approval process for a foster family should take no more than 90 days. This has not been the case as many families have waited much longer and have been in dire need of funding. A large number of families have waited five months or more to be approved through the new process.

Are you worried about a parent abducting your child?

There are few things that can drive fear into a parent's heart like an abducted child. Even if it is known or suspected that the kidnapper is the child's other parent, there is little comfort.

What can parents do in such dire situations?

Can I lose custody of my kids due to mental illness?

Parents struggling with mental health issues often worry that their mental illness could cause them to lose custody of their children. It's a valid concern, especially if there is already an ongoing custody battle over the children.

Statistics have shown that the rates for loss of custody from parents with mental illnesses can be as high as 80 percent. As a result, parents with mental illnesses lose custody of their kids to the other parent, a relative or the state with greater frequency than those parents who were not diagnosed with mental health issues.

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.

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