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East Bay Family Law Blog

Understanding community property and relationships in California

Planning for your marriage should begin before the day you walk down the aisle. Even without a wedding, you must take care of these matters if you are entering into a domestic partnership. It doesn't matter if you are going into the union with assets and debts or if you think you will amass them during the relationship, taking the time to work out a plan now can be beneficial.

California is a community property state, which means that both parties in the relationship amass debts and assets as one entity after the union. Even though there is the assumption of community, there are some types of property that can still fall under the separate property classification.

Don't fall for some common child custody myths

Going through a divorce is a difficult situation, but it is even more challenging when there are children involved. If you are in this spot, it is imperative that you don't fall for any of the common myths that circulate about child custody.

Making sure that you have your facts straight can help as you make decisions about your case. Trying to base your decisions off of someone else's circumstances can be devastating because there isn't any guarantee that your case will end the same way.

Supervised visits require careful planning and consideration

Child custody cases can sometimes be very difficult matters to manage. When there are accusations of domestic violence or abuse, there is a chance that the court might order supervised visits. These aren't the ideal method of spending time with your children, but they are better than being unable to see them at all.

One thing that is going to make a difference about how your supervised visits go is your attitude. If you go into them thinking how horrible they are, they are going to be rough. If you take the time to plan for these times to enjoy with your children, you will likely find that the visits go better.

The most common child custody issues in California

As a parent going through a divorce in the state of California, it is likely that you are dealing with the child custody process for the first time. If this is the case, it is important that you take time to understand the child custody process, learn how key decisions are made by the courts and what are the most common issues known to arise.

When it comes to establishing the custody of the child, a judge's main goal is reaching a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. This means that the judge will acknowledge that, in most cases, contact with both parents is in the child's best interest. In addition, he or she will try to find out what might best suit that particular child.

Why are goals important in child custody situations?

Child custody decisions usually aren't easy to make, but your children are counting on you to have everything in order for them to thrive. When you and your ex are going through a divorce, it might behoove you to take a little time to sit down and figure out what goals you have for your parenting relationship.

For many parents these days, co-parenting is the chosen model they will follow after a divorce. Whether this is the type you choose or not, these tips might help you to define goals for your parenting model, as well as some basic goals for your child's upbringing.

Where should I live during the divorce process?

When you are going through a divorce, it can be a very stressful and tense time. The last thing you want is to come home to your estranged partner, running the risk of toxic fights and further stress. However, you probably want to keep the environment for your children as normal as possible, and you are likely to worry about what they will be thinking and feeling.

Making the choice as a father to stay or remain in the family home is a tough one. There are social, emotional and legal implications in the state of California that you should consider. As a father, it is likely that you will be concerned with the future custody of you children, and where you decide to live during the divorce process may play a part in this.

Are stock options included in your marital property?

One of the major aspects of divorce is the division of marital assets. For instance, you and your future ex-husband will have to decide if one of you will keep your Antioch home or whether you should sell it and split the proceeds. You probably have other high-value and complex assets that you also need to divide as part of your divorce settlement.

Stock options and restricted stocks fall into the realm of complex assets that are often hard for divorcing couples to properly valuate and divide. In order to ensure that these assets receive the proper valuation in your divorce, it is vital that you understand these assets and the available options.

Protecting your property: Separate and marital assets

When you got married, it was for better or worse. You planned to stay with your spouse for the long term, but clearly, your spouse didn't feel the same way. She recently served you with divorce documents, and now you need to do everything you can to protect yourself.

You don't have children, so your primary concern is your property. First, understand that California is a community property state. That means that when you get married, you and your spouse become a community. When you become a community, both of you own all assets equally. Debts also become community debts.

In a divorce, be sure to treat your retirement plan right

While what to do with your house in Antioch might be your main concern if you are planning to divorce, it is important not to overlook your retirement accounts. These assets might actually be the most vital to your future, especially if retirement is getting significantly closer. In fact, your pension and other retirement accounts could have a higher value than your house.

Since your future depends on those retirement accounts, you should spend some time finding out how your divorce might affect them. The following information might give you an idea about how to handle your retirement accounts during divorce.

Do you know the things to include in a parenting agreement?

It's hard to imagine a situation in which you're able to co-parent with success. After all, you're going through a divorce and you're not exactly getting along with your spouse.

Even so, you need to remember this: It's imperative to provide your child with the stability he or she needs to grow.

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