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Sacramento Family Law Blog

How does legal custody differ from physical custody?

In California, child custody is often the basis of the most longstanding disputes in a family law proceeding. Divorce is difficult in and of itself, but, when there are children involved, it becomes even more complex. Not only can battling over a child lead to acrimony between the parties, it can frequently have a negative impact on the child. The key to a child custody case from the court's perspective is to serve the child's best interests. Parents should consider their alternatives regarding child custody and have legal assistance from the start.

Parents can have two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody involves the ability to make key decisions in the upbringing of the child. This includes their welfare, medical care, education and more. Physical custody means where the child will live.

Legal advice can be critical in a high-asset divorce

For California couples who are divorcing, the level of wealth they had before the marriage or accrued while they were married can be a critical point in the process. Whether the accumulation of assets was due to a business that the couple built together or one spouse was better off financially than the other, having legal advice can be a key factor in navigating the difficult terrain of a high-asset divorce. This is true whether there was a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

When a person has wealth, a divorce can turn contentious as the sides battle over properties, bank accounts, a business, stocks, retirement accounts, valuable collections, motor vehicles and much more. In these cases, it is easy for the case to turn into a long-term dispute with back and forth over who has the right to what property.

How does my earning capacity influence child and spousal support?

Disagreements over a multitude of issues will inevitably arise in a California divorce. This is true whether it is a high-asset divorce or one of more moderate means. With support issues - including child and spousal support - people have a basic understanding that one spouse will likely pay support to the other, but they may be unsure of how certain factors are considered.

Children must be cared for with their best interests in mind, but with spousal support, there is greater nuance. Understanding how the spouses can handle the support order while maintaining a standard of living is a key part of the determination. When the case is moving forward, the parties should know what earning capacity and standard of living mean and how each can impact the support order.

Divorce pending for talk show host

With the number of people in California, it is inevitable that divorces will happen. Cases where people have significant assets can be contentious and have a lot at stake. When preparing to file for a high-asset divorce, both sides should have legal assistance from the start.

The talk show host, Larry King, has filed for divorce from his wife. Mr. King and his wife, Shawn, have been married for more than two decades. This is his eighth marriage. The couple married in 1997 and have two sons. There has been marital strife between the couple in the past, as they filed for divorce nearly a decade ago citing irreconcilable differences but got back together before moving forward with their case.

Protecting your children through a strong parenting plan

Divorce is complex, especially for two people who have children and who want to remain committed to their well-being. You and your spouse may resolve to work together to provide your kids with a stable and secure future, but this is not always as easy as it may sound. This requires both of you to have a willingness to work together and keep the needs of the kids as the main priority. 

One way that you can do this is by crafting a unique and thorough parenting plan. This is an agreement that will outline how you and the other California parent will work together, share parenting time and raise your kids to the best of your abilities. In order for this to work well long-term, you may have to set aside your own personal feelings and keep your focus on what is best for the kids.

Does California family law allow visitation for grandparents?

In California, when there is a divorce and visitation rights are determined as part of family law, it is often centered around the parents. However, there are other people who want to have visitation with a child even if the relationship that bore the child is no longer intact. Grandparents fall into this category. For grandparents who want visitation, it is important that they and the parents understand how the law handles this relatively common circumstance.

The law allows for grandparents to seek reasonable visitation with their grandchild. There are certain factors that must be in place for the court to grant this visitation. The child and the grandparent must have a pre-existing relationship. With that relationship, a bond must have been formed. It must be in the child's best interests to have visitation with the grandparent. In addition, the best interest of the child will be assessed in the context of the parents' rights as to who gets to see and spend time with their child.

How does California family law address parental relocation?

Child custody is one of the most complex issues in California family law. When there is a divorce and the parents are trying to get as much time with the children as possible, it can be made even more difficult if a parent decides to move away and relocate. This can impact visitation and more. It is a fundamental requirement to understand what the law says about parental relocation following a divorce.

A parent with sole physical custody has the right to move away without the other parent's permission. The other parent must show that the move would be detrimental to the child. However, the duration of the move is critical. Whether it is temporary or permanent will affect the case. For parents who have a joint physical custody agreement, a parent who objects to the move has more of a right to do so and prevent it. The parent who wants to move must prove that the move will be in the child's best interests. Parenting schedules are a critical factor in how the court will assess the case.

In family law, does the marriage length impact spousal support?

There are many decisions that must be made in a California divorce. Those going through a divorce may be concerned about a key part of family law: spousal support. It is a good idea to understand how the determination is made regarding how much spouse support will be paid. Another key factor that should be grasped by the spouse who will be paying support and the spouse who will be receiving support is how the length of the marriage will impact how long spousal support will be paid and if it will be permanent.

The amount of time the couple was married will be a foundational factor in deciding on the duration of spousal support. In most cases, the idea behind spousal support is not for the paying spouse to care for the supported spouse and pay for his or her upkeep forever. It is to give the receiving spouse time to find their own means of self-support. This should be done in a "reasonable period of time." Under the law, that phrase generally means half the duration of the marriage.

What are my options after being served with divorce papers?

Californians might be under the impression that a divorce stems from a slow and incrementally worsening series of issues that culminates in the decision to part ways. In many cases, that is true. Sometimes, however, being served divorce papers comes as something of a shock. Regardless, most situations have one spouse filing a petition on the other. The spouse who receives the petition and a summons is the respondent. It is important to understand that there are several alternatives after being served. To handle the case in the manner best suited to the individual, legal advice is key.

The petition specifies what the petitioner wants. In the summons, there will be information as to the respondent's rights and how the process of divorce works. There are standard facts like what can be done with assets, property and other items. The petitioner and the respondent are prohibited from moving out of California with children from the union or from seeking a new passport or renewing an existing one without first receiving consent.

Custody concerns when your ex has an addiction

Divorcing a spouse with a substance abuse problem can involve complex emotions. You certainly feel some anger and resentment, but you may also understand the overpowering control an addiction can have over your spouse. These matters can be even more complicated if you have children.

If your spouse was able to demonstrate to the court that he or she could control the addiction, the court may have ordered some form of shared custody or visitation. While this may have worked for a while, if you are noticing signs that your ex has returned to drugs or alcohol, you have justifiable reasons for concern over the safety and wellbeing of your children.

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