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Orange County Family Law Blog

How to become effective co-parents in joint custody

Orange County residents are very familiar with stories of children being caught in the middle of the divorce process when their parents decide to part ways. As divorce continues to affect spouses, not just in California, but all across the country, more and more parents are now dealing with child custody issues. Such cases can be settled using joint custody, which allows both parents to become custodial parents, working hand in hand for the sake of their children.

Although the thought of becoming partners for the sake of the children may not be the strongest concern of divorcing spouses, it is important to understand that parents will stay connected with their soon-to-be ex-spouse because of their children. Being co-parents can be difficult for the parents at first but the children will benefit if both parents are present throughout their growing years.

How prenuptial agreements protect spouses' interests in divorce

Most Americans who go through it, including Californians, consider divorce one of the most difficult events a person can go through in life. One reason why most people find the legal process so difficult is that they do not have a firm grasp on their finances and are not sure what separation and starting over will cost them. Fortunately, by following a few simple tips, they can protect their financial interests, especially during property division.

For stay-at-home spouses or those who gave up careers to look after children, divorce can be especially challenging if they do not know what marital property and assets are at stake. So the first tip is to find out all they can about their finances - from taxes to bank accounts and savings accounts to employee benefit packages.

Charlie Sheen has stopped paying child support for his daughters

Child support is one of the most important issues discussed in a divorce case involving children. Support provides the financial means to maintain the health and wellbeing of the children. Each state has its own child support guidelines. In California, child support is based on the financial ability of the supporting party to pay. Support is handed over to the custodial parent who manages the finances for the benefit of the children.

Orange County residents may be surprised to know that the actor, Charlie Sheen, has reportedly stopped paying $55,000 in monthly child support to his ex-wife Denise Richards. Based on the report, the actor decided not to pay child support for his two daughters after Richards prevented a holiday visit last year. Additionally, Sheen is reportedly planning to sell the house Richards and the two girls live in to facilitate moving his daughters geographically closer to his house.

Tips to help spouses make it through the divorce process

Divorce continues to affect more than half of married couples across the United States. Orange County, California residents have their fair share of the legal process that unbinds the marital ties between spouses. Though this may sound easy, people who have experienced divorce relate that the process may take more time than initially expected. Divorce issues, such as child custody and support, property division and alimony are likely to arise and potentially complicate the divorce process.

Divorcing spouses need to understand that each case is unique. Some divorces may finalize in a couple of months, but some may take many months to reach the end. Divorce is similar to a marathon where stamina and a good mindset are important. A mediation session may take hours, which is why it is imperative for divorcing spouses to be patient during the whole process.

How does child custody arrangement affect tax exemptions?

Family law issues such as divorce are complicated. In Orange County, California, people who have been through a divorce understand that the outcome of the legal process will have a huge impact on those who are involved, including when it comes to taxes.

Divorce is not all about the custody of the children and the property and assets involved. Divorcing spouses should also consider the tax implications of being single with dependents. For a parent who will become the custodial parent of the children, that person may be able to get an exemption when filing a federal income tax return. On the other hand, noncustodial parents will not be able to get the exemption.

Common mistakes people make when dealing with child custody

Child custody focuses on the best interests of the child or children. Divorcing parents as well as parents of children born out of wedlock need to understand that child custody is for the benefit of the children, not the other way around. Here in Orange County, California, people who are currently dealing with child custody may be interested in knowing some common mistakes that can affect child custody issues and existing visitation arrangements.

Today, many people use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to post their thoughts and feelings, sharing their daily activities and major events. However, those social media platforms can also affect divorce issues such as child custody. For example, if both parents share custody of their children and their teenage children post something about drinking at a party, the custodial parent may be labeled an "unfit parent." This can lead to a modification of the existing child custody arrangement.

How emotions affect divorce cases

In Orange County, California, people who have been through divorce probably agree that divorce is a difficult process. Finances are at stake and the future full of uncertainties. The process itself is also full of emotions, which can certainly affect or derail even an amicable split.

As emotions run high, it is important for divorcing individuals to acknowledge these feelings as part of the process. This in turn allows spouses to manage their emotions, allowing them to overcome the hurdles that may arise from the legal process. However, delving too much into these emotions can backfire and result in an outcome that is not beneficial for the divorcing individuals or the children.

Dating during divorce can affect child custody issues

When Orange County, California, residents talk about legal issues involving family, they often refer to divorce, which is the most common family law issue. Many people consider divorce a complex process involving different issues, such as property division, alimony or spousal support and if children are involved, child support and child custody issues are likely to arise.

People currently in the middle of the divorce process or those who just signed a divorce agreement, may be wondering if dating or overnight guests are a bad idea immediately following a divorce; the answer is yes. Dating or cohabitating is normal adult behavior but it can affect the divorce process and even damage the child-parent relationship, already fragile from the divorce.

Ludacris challenges the request of $15,000 monthly child support

Raising a child can be a difficult task, especially if one parent is absent, which can happens when the child is born out of wedlock. In Orange County, California, parents who raise their children by themselves rely on child support that is being paid by the noncustodial parent. Any delays in child support payments can add to the financial burden of the custodial parent, causing the person to pursue other options such as getting another job or relying on the financial assistance of the government.

Ludacris, rapper and actor, is in the middle of a child support issue. The court ordered him to pay $7,000 in monthly child support, but the actor asserted that he is incapable of paying that amount. Ludacris claims that since the production of the "Fast & Furious 7" was halted due to the sudden death of Paul Walker, his finances were greatly affected. The actor stated that he only earned $55,000 last year.

Rules to follow for drafting a prenuptial agreement

Orange County, Californians are aware that the use of prenuptial agreements has grown in the past years. Historically, most people who entered into prenuptial agreements were wealthy. Currently many people, especially those who have been divorced, view prenuptial agreements as a way to protect their best interests before marriage.

Additionally, financial advisors often tell their clients about the importance of prenuptial agreements as an estate planning tool in the event of divorce or death. Couples can write an agreement detailing how property and assets will be divided in the event of separation. A second part of the agreement can address awarding alimony or spousal support to one party in the event of divorce. Put simply, any issue can be addressed and agreed to in writing except for child-related issues, such as child custody.

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