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Tustin California Family Law Blog

When is an annulment appropriate?

It is never easy to come to the decision to end your marriage, but you may not know that divorce is not necessarily your only option. In some cases, it may be appropriate to pursue an annulment. Ending a relationship through annulment in California is rather rare, but you may find it beneficial to learn more about this possibility.

Both annulments and divorces have the same goal, which is to end the marriage. However, while a divorce officially and legally ends the marriage, an annulment will make it as if it never existed. Some people prefer the option of an annulment because of religious or social reasons.

How are child support orders enforced in California?

Failing to pay child support can result in serious consequences and potential penalties to the non-paying parent. Parents who fail to pay required child support may wonder what they are. Parents who fail to pay child support, but are able to pay it, can be found in contempt of court for failure to pay. Contempt of court charges can lead to jail time so it is important for parents not to ignore child support orders and obligations and be familiar with child support enforcement tools that can help parents seeking to collect child support obtain it and ensure paying parents meet their child support obligations.

Additional potential penalties and consequences that are associated with a failure to pay child support can include liens on property belonging to the non-paying parent as well as credit reporting that may lower their credit score, among other potential penalties and consequences. Because there can be potential financial and criminal consequences associated with a failure to pay child support, parents should never ignore child support obligations but can seek out family law resources when they are having difficulty paying.

How the family law system addresses medical expenses

Child support obligations are important and so is the obligation that parents have for the medical expenses related to the care of their children. Parents are responsible for the extraordinary medical costs of their children that are not covered by the parent's health insurance plan. These expenses can include out of pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays and prescriptions. They can include any medically necessary medical, dental and vision costs incurred for the child's health care.

The treatment of the child's health care costs and medical expenses may be addressed by the existing child support order between the parents but if it is not, the child support order may need to be modified to address responsibility for medical expenses for the child. States have different rules and methods for determining how medical expenses will be divided between the parents so parents should be familiar with those.

Understanding California divorce basics

Preparing for the end of a marriage can be challenging but it can also be helpful to be prepared for the divorce process and know what to expect to help achieve a smoother divorce. It is helpful to be aware that California is considered a no-fault divorce state and couples can divorce simply based on irreconcilable differences. The family law court realizes that the divorcing couple will have some rebuilding to do following divorce so it helps them reach a fair divorce settlement that places both former spouses in the best position to do that.

During the divorce process, the family law court will help the divorcing couple address important divorce-related concerns and issues including property division and the division of debts; spousal or partner support; child support; and child custody and visitation. Additional issues such as fees for representation or domestic violence concerns can also be addressed. It is also helpful for couples to have a reasonable expectation regarding the timeline for their divorce.

The family law process assists with all divorce-related concerns

Families change over time and families that have been through the divorce process are no different. Throughout the divorce process, and following it, there are a variety of concerns that may arise that the family law court can help couples and families with. When a couple is seeking a divorce, for instance, it is important for them to be familiar with the importance of legal separation which has an impact on property division if the couple ultimately decides to divorce.

In addition, couples should be familiar with the property division process which is governed by community property laws in California unless the couple has a valid prenuptial agreement. How property is classified, as either separate property or community property, has a significant impact on how it is will be divided when the couple is divorcing so it is helpful for a divorcing couple to be familiar with the community property system.

Requesting lower payments doesn't mean you don't love your kids

Given the fact that your former spouse was a stay-at-home parent for more than a decade, you no doubt expected that the California court would implement a child support order when you divorced. As a good parent, you obviously want what's best for your kids, and you were more than willing to continue to help provide for their financial needs even though you were no longer married to their other parent.

Some time has now passed, and you may have found yourself in a position where you're no longer able to keep up with payments as they stand. It happens. Jobs change, income changes, medical issues arise and any number of other situations can occur that make an existing court order no longer feasible.

Former reality TV personality files for divorce in California

Divorce can be challenging for many couples and families which is why family law resources are available to help. Former reality TV personality Audrina Patridge recently filed for divorce from her husband Corey Bohan. Partridge filed for divorce in California and listed irreconcilable differences as the reason for the end of the marriage. Partridge also requested legal and physical custody of the couple's daughter with visitation granted to Bohan. She also requested that he need written permission to take their daughter of a certain geographical area. Partridge asked the court not to award spousal support to either party.

In the couple's premarital agreement, Partridge listed two homes, one in California, bank accounts in her name, personal property, including household furnishings and jewelry, and her business as her property.

California spousal support basics

Spousal support can be a contentious issue during the divorce process. When a couple divorces, the court may order spousal support be paid by one spouse to the other. In circumstances of a divorce between domestic partners, it may be referred to as partner support and when a marriage is ending, it is referred to as spousal support or alimony.

There are a variety of factors the family law court considers when determining if it will award spousal support. Factors the court will consider include the length of the marriage; the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage; what the paying spouse can pay; the earning capacity of the spouses; the age and health of the spouses; the property and debts of the spouses; the impact employment may have on caring for children; if one spouse's career was impacted by caring for children or the home; if one of the spouses contributed to the education or career of the other spouse; the tax impact of an award of spousal support; and if there was any domestic violence in the marriage.

How a demanding job might affect child custody

Certain professions call for long, hard and irregular hours or extensive travel. Sometimes it is for a short period to get through an important deadline. In other situations, it is ongoing part of the job. Being an entrepreneur, business owner, executive, health care professional, firefighter or in the military can place additional stress on your relationships because the hours do not fit the nine-to-five norm.

While your occupation can present unique challenges, can it also affect your chance at child custody when you are getting divorced?

Children can thrive after divorce

While it is not uncommon for spouses in California involved in an unhappy marriage to think that staying together will benefit the children from the marriage, this is usually not the case. Exposing children to an unhealthy and unhappy marriage could cause more harm than good. In fact, research has shown that 80 percent of children who are involved in a divorce go on without any negative effects regarding their schooling, social skills or mental health.

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