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Orange County Family Law Blog

A California child and the role of paternity to unmarried parents

For children in Orange County, California that were conceived during marriage, parental roles and responsibilities for the child are established. Even if the parents eventually divorce, the court has a clear-cut way to determine financial divorce issues, such as child support. It is a different story when a child is born to unmarried parents because the child's legal relationship is only established with the mother. For these kinds of cases, fathers are most likely the parent who would be paying child support; so establishing paternity is an important step.

Although paternity is defined as the process to determine the legal father of a child, it is also a big factor in the lives of many children with unmarried parents. Distinguishing the legal relationship of a man to a child leads to establishing parental rights and responsibilities of a father.

What are your rights as a domestic partner in California?

Californians, particularly lesbian and gay couples, are probably familiar with domestic partnerships. Domestic partnership allows non-married couples to legally recognize their relationship. Many people usually assume that a domestic partnership is similar to marriage because it provides domestic partners the same or similar benefits given to married couples. Like any family law issue, an individual who is a registered domestic partner has rights.

According to the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, also known as Assembly Bill 205, a registered domestic partner is entitled to the same benefits, protections, and rights as married couples. This means that even when a couple does not marry, registering their relationship as a domestic partnership may subject them to the same obligations, duties, and responsibilities as a married couple in the state.

We can help you deal with relocation issues in child custody

Divorcing parents must deal with the type of child custody that is best for their children. But there are other child custody issues that may arise even after the custody agreement is settled, including relocation.

When a marriage ends, ex-spouses want to start over and move on from their divorce. Divorced parents may feel the same, particularly if they want to protect their children from the emotional conflicts related to their separation. While any legal team understands this kind of situation, relocating with a child is not an easy road. For example, even if one parent was awarded custody of the child, that parent does not have the right to move away to another neighborhood or state just because they want to. Although there are no laws in California that ban parents from relocating, the state forbids a custodial parent from moving away without the consent of the non-custodial parent. Relocation can also complicate the custody and visitation arrangements between the two parents.

Determining and calculating alimony in California

Most of the time, a California divorce focuses on these three family law issues: property division, child custody and child support. Besides these, divorcing couples should also address the issue of spousal support or alimony.

When a couple wishes to dissolve its marriage, the court can obligate one of the spouses to make monthly payments to financially support the other party. This support is called "alimony, spousal support or spousal maintenance" under family law in some states. Spousal support is not limited to married couples; in California, domestic partners can be ordered to pay it as well.

Why should you have a prenuptial agreement?

California residents are used to hearing about celebrities opting to have a prenuptial agreement when they marry. This is why many people seem to believe that a prenup is just for celebrities. That is not actually true, because any marrying individual can enjoy the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement.

Whether you are a dedicated business man or woman or someone who is just starting their career, having a prenup when you marry your significant other makes sense. A prenuptial agreement can protect assets, rights and interests in the marriage. Any couple who brings their assets into the marriage may find a prenup advantageous. It preserves the expectation of both parties when it comes to the financial matters of marriage, and eventually helps to prevent financial disagreements in the event of a divorce. This marital agreement can also clarify the financial rights and responsibilities for each party.

Child support influences the lives of many family members

Generally, child support is the financial obligation that covers a child's everyday expenses, healthcare and other needs, making child support a very serious matter for many California families. Whether an individual is paying or receiving this monthly support, it affects families and children in so many ways. Unfortunately, those effects can bring challenges.

According to government data, child support plays a significant role in the number of families who are poverty stricken. The statistics compiled from 2010 to 2012 showed almost one in four children are the recipient of child support from a parent. However, only 62 percent of actual monies owed reach the recipients. In California, more than 60 percent was collected while more than 15 percent of families receiving child support were below poverty level. The study suggested that poorer states have low child support collections, which, in turn push many families into poverty.

Back to school signals child custody transition for parents

Many California residents think that once the court determines which parent is the custodial parent, the child custody process and other issues also end. This is not the case, however. The responsibility of both parents for their children does not end until the child reaches adulthood. Moreover, conflicts may arise after parents settle child custody, and these new conflicts may also have to be resolved.

Often problems and disagreements escalate with the new school year. The child custody agreement may require the child to go from one parent's house to the other's during the school year, and if both parents are not comfortable communicating about drop offs and meet ups, more divorce drama may develop. There are instances where parents argue about which house should be used for the child's first day of school photos, simple things that can cause big problems for those involved. Under such circumstances, parents must know how to effectively interact because a simple divorce conflict can greatly impact a child's emotional and physical well-being.

How can you end your marriage outside the courtroom?

When Californians think about divorce, they usually imagine a case of two spouses battling it out in court. This is a traditional divorce, where both parties settle divorce legal issues through the litigation process. However other, less combative, options are available, such as divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation is a non-traditional process to end a marriage in California. Many couples are turning to mediation to resolve divorce legal issues and negotiate a divorce on their own terms. Divorce mediation requires that spouses meet with a mediator, a professional who helps both parties resolve issues concerning child custody, property division and financial support.

California's family code on prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement acts as primary protection for California spouses bracing against the financial impact of divorce. The enforcement of this agreement at the time of divorce may depend on how it was drafted before the marriage.

In California, the guidelines for drafting a prenuptial agreement are based on the Family Code Section 1610-1617. Under Chapter 1610, premarital agreements are defined as an agreement between marrying spouses that should be effective during marriage. In creating a prenup, both parties must sign the document and it should be in writing. This marital contract includes the rights and obligations of each party pertaining to assets, properties and earnings. It also addresses the right of each spouse to buy, sell, transfer, use, lease, consume or manage those properties.

We can help with your child support issues

Raising a child nowadays can be expensive. The cost of child care is rapidly increasing, together with school expenses, health care and everyday expenses. Such financial needs are the worry of many two-income families in Orange County, California. The child support issue may be an even bigger problem with non-custodial parents.

Child support is the monthly financial support provided by the non-custodial parent. Child support issues may sound simple for many people, but often, they are complicated. Our firm has faced different types of situations related to child support, ranging from the establishment of the child support order to child support modification. Many divorcing parents are also very concerned about determining the child support amount during the divorce process because it will support the child's financial needs and care, which may cause disputes between the parents.

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Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers
790 The City Drive, Suite 120
Orange, CA 92868
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