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San Francisco Family Law Blog

When do you stop paying child support for older children?

If you are a noncustodial parent, you may have been paying child support since you and your ex-spouse finalized your divorce. The purpose of these payments is to assist the custodial parent in raising the children to adulthood. This means that at some point, the financial support must come to an end.  

As your children move from adolescence to young adulthood, it is time to start thinking about ending your support payments. Your situation must meet specific requirements, and there is a process to making it official.

What happens to the pet in a California divorce?

When you divorce your one-time partner in California, you will undoubtedly need to work through certain matters, such as who is going to keep the house, whether one party will need to help support the other and so on. Increasingly, though, many divorces are becoming contentious with regard to who gets to keep the family pet, and the state has recently changed the way it handles these situations.

According to NBC News, dogs and other pets are a common point of contention in many modern divorces, and California’s courts will no longer necessarily handle dogs in the same manner they might cars, artwork or other assets. While couples have fought over who gets to keep the family pet for decades, California’s courts may now handle pets in a manner similar to how they would shared children.

How can I know if my spouse is hiding money?

If you are like a lot of married couples in California, one person may take the lead in handling your family's finances. This might be because one of you has particular expertise in this area or because one of you has a history of not managing money well. Regardless of the reason, Forbes indicates that this type of imbalance may open the door for the person who takes care of the money to hide assets from the other person. This can be especially harmful to one's finances if this happens leading up to a separation or divorce. 

Hiding money may take many forms, including literally taking money and putting it into a secret bank or investment account. The missing money might not even be noticed by the person who is not involved with the finances. If the spouse does notice and ask, the hiding spouse might be vague in providing an explanation.

Details matter for a prenuptial agreement

Dating or engaged couples in California who are wondering if a prenuptial agreement might help them should get the facts about what can make a marital contract most beneficial to them. They should also learn about what might make a prenup invalid so they can avoid this type of pitfall. 

As explained by CNBC, a good prenuptial agreement requires both parties to be completely honest and transparent with each other. This means they should both fully disclose not only their assets but also their debts. While this can be difficult, especially if someone has a lot of debt that they may be embarrased about, it is an essential step in the prenup creation process.

How can joint-custody benefit kids?

When parents file for divorce, children are often forced to go through the process as well. It can be extremely difficult for children to experience the separation of their family and learn to live in different households. Child custody and parenting plans are developed to lessen the impact of divorce on children and to ensure kids are able to spend time with both parents, even after the family has separated. While some children are placed in the sole-custody of one parent, others are put in joint-custody of both parents. There is evidence that children who are placed in joint-custody arrangements may reap the benefits of having access to both parents on a regular basis.

Researchers looked at kids who were raised in joint-custody, sole-custody and traditional family situations. They then compared them along a myriad of factors, including behavior, academics, health, family life and long-term outcomes. The study, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology, found that children who are raised in joint-custody homes have advantages over those who are raised by one parent.

Divorcing over 50 becoming new trend: What is behind it?

Statistics released in late 2018 reveal that the marriage and divorce rate dipped for those people considered millennials. At the opposite side of the spectrum, the divorce rate among baby boomers, or those over 50, doubled in the last 25 years.

The reasons behind this gray divorce trend may surprise some, but people who fall in this bracket may not find it a shock. What is causing this rise in couples married 30 plus years?

How and why would I apply for a child support modification?

Child support is an important part of being a single parent with primary custody in California. However, even when you are receiving the full amount of child support the court ordered during your divorce, you might still have difficulty making ends meet. Is it possible to get my child support increased, you may wonder?

There are many reasons to apply for a child support modification. Maybe your ex wasn’t employed at the time of the divorce and now has a full-time job. Maybe he or she reported a false income to the judge or had a significant pay raise. Perhaps your own situation has changed dramatically, such as losing your job or having an unexpected medical emergency. These are all valid reasons to need an increase in child support.

How can I co-parent with my ex?

If you are the parent of a minor child in California and you and your spouse have chosen to separate or get divorced, you'll need to figure out how to work with your former partner to raise your child. The fact that you are not married to your kid's other parent does not negate the reality that both adults likely want the best for your child. Now it is up to you to find a way to put that wish into action.

Today's Parent recommends that separated or divorced moms and dads think of each other like colleagues. Approaching communications and interactions with a professional demeanor may go a long way toward rounding the edges and avoiding unpleasant interactions.

Debt, divorce and bankruptcy

Spouses in California who are experiencing significant financial challenges and who are also contemplating ending their marriages may need to carefully assess their options for how to manage their debt before making any decisions. Some people might need to consider filing for bankruptcy but they should understand some of the ramifications of doing this before or after they file for divorce.

As explained by Money Management, credit card debt is one common reason that many consumers end up seeking relief via a bankruptcy. Credit card debt is also something that needs to be divided or allocated during divorce negotiations. The way this is done may vary in part based on the assets the couple has and who will receive what portion of those.

Consider a postmarital agreement

The infatuation and passion you feel during your engagement in San Francisco may make considering the possibility of divorce the last thing you want to think about. For this reason, you (like many others) likely give little thought to entering into a premarital agreement with your spouse. Yet many will often come to us here at the Ruben Law Firm regretting this decision. If you also come to share the same regret, you will be happy to know that you may still have the chance to enter into a similar agreement with your spouse. 

Section 1500 of the California Family Code states that premarital agreements (or any form of marital agreement) can override the property rights of spouses prescribed by the state's statutes. The inclusion of "other marital property agreement" in the language of this statute opens the door to the possibility of a postmarital agreement. Like a premarital agreement, one created after you are married can redefine what constitutes marital property and income, thus protect any assets you may own (or acquire during your marriage) from becoming subject to property division should you choose to divorce. 

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