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Orange County Family Law Blog

Do you know how California courts divide assets in a divorce?

If you find yourself thinking about divorce, you likely have many questions about the process. The truth is that divorce differs in every state and from family to family. You should not rely on information you've gleaned from movies, television or fictional books to develop your expectations of California divorces. Similarly, don't listen to stories from friends and assume your case will end up the same way theirs did.

Accurately predicting a divorce's outcome is difficult. The courts have to weigh many unique factors when deciding how to allocate child custody and the assets and debts you accumulated during your marriage. Unless you resolve all of your issues in mediation for an uncontested divorce or have a strong prenuptial agreement on record, you likely want to inform yourself about how California family courts approach the topic.

After divorce, successful co-parenting is critical

Are you going through a divorce? Are you glad that you're finally able to put your marriage in the past? Do you have at least one child with your soon to be ex-spouse?

If you don't have any children together, you can move on with your life and never speak again (if you wish to take this approach). However, if you have a child with your ex-spouse, it's important to turn your attention to all things co-parenting.

2 questions about divorce mediation

If you're considering divorce mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex are on the right path. Divorce mediation assists spouses to quickly overcome their potential differences and reach a mutually-agreed upon divorce settlement agreement.

The benefits of mediation are three-fold: (1) it saves a tremendous amount of money by avoiding litigation and costly court proceedings, (2) it saves time and (3) it's less stressful and helps you and your spouse maintain peaceful relations. Due to these benefits, you might want to learn a little bit more about the mediation process by reviewing the following questions.

Where is all my child support truly going?

If you are a divorced father paying child support for your kids, chances are good that, at times, you may have questioned whether or not 100 percent of your support money was going toward expenses solely dedicated to your children.

This can become a bone of contention between divorced spouses due to some common misconceptions about child support.

American families becoming bigger through divorce

Divorce is not the end of a person’s love life. Remarriage and cohabitation with a romantic partner happens frequently after the dissolution of a marriage. This has led to an increase in the average family size. According to a recent University of Massachusetts study, American families have become 66 percent larger in recent years, as second marriages, step-siblings and unmarried couples become the norm.

Approximately 33 percent of American homes are headed by at least one stepparent. Over 30 percent of people over 50 have had more than one marriage, and 40 percent of older Americans with children have stepfamilies.

Divorce and paying for a child’s college

Many California teens have finished applying for early admission at the college of their choice. Others are still in the process of deciding which institution is right for them.

Meanwhile, college tuition is rising, having increased on average 13 percent in the last five years, according to College Board. A private college in California costs over $50,000 per year for in-state residents, and over $13,000 for public institutions. It is no wonder that parents save and plan for years to help their children get an education.

Giving your children the best parenting possible after divorce

Divorce doesn’t change the fact that you love your children. Every parent wants the best for their kids. However, divorce complicates parenting. For one thing, children are more likely to thrive with involvement from both parents. Further, parents should be unified in their approach to discipline and other child-rearing issues. When parents are divorced, they face tremendous challenges in these regards when trying to raise their children.

How can you make sure you are giving your children the best parenting possible? Quality parenting after divorce requires some focus, planning and real effort, but it is possible.

Jobs with the highest divorce rate

“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” - Agatha Christie, crime novelist

Witty quotes aside, there are some professions that do indeed seem to be better suited to long-term marriage than others. A statistician, Nathan Yau, recently examined data from the 2015 Census to determine which professions had the highest and lowest divorce rates.

CA Court: Parents can lose custody even if there is no neglect

Last month, California’s Supreme Court determined that the state can take unruly kids away from their parents even if there is no finding of parental neglect and the parents are doing everything they can to control the children.

This particular case revolved around a state statute that allows the court to assume control of a child if he or she “has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child."

Is there a cap on child support payments in California?

One question some parents have — particularly wealthy parents — is whether California places a cap on the maximum amount of monthly child support payments.

Many are surprised to learn that California is actually one of the few states that does not have a child support cap. In fact, child support payments in California are typically based solely upon a preset formula that takes into account several variables, including the incomes of both parents and custody time, among other factors. In most cases, a parent will simply need to pay whatever the formula says, and there is no limit.

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