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Orange County Divorce Law Blog

The likelihood of a gray divorce

Divorces among older couples have been on the rise in California and the rest of the United States. However, the causes may not be what people may think.

Current gray divorce trends show that the risk of divorce is not evenly applied among those who are 50 or older. While the current gray divorce rate is two times what it was 30 years ago, it is still not significantly high. In fact, the divorce rate for individuals over the age of 50 is half the rate of those younger than 50.

Effects of substance abuse on child custody

Family courts in California and around the U.S. base child custody decisions on the best interest of the child. When a parent has concerns about the other parent's abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs, a judge would consider how this behavior could impact the safety of the children. Someone wishing to address a parent's substance abuse could do so at the initial child custody hearing or request changes after a court has already issued an order for custody and visitation.

When a court is reviewing a custody agreement for the first time, a parent could express concerns about the other parent's substance abuse. A judge could order an investigation into the other parent's ability to care for children. The court will try to confirm the allegations and then evaluate whether the drinking or drug use could impede parental abilities or endanger the children. The findings of this investigation would influence the court's final decision.

Do children have a say in child custody disputes?

California children are often caught in the middle between their divorcing parents during a child custody battle. Depending on the age of the children, the court will sometimes consider their wishes, but a complete exploration to determine the best interests of the child will usually occur. A child's wishes may not always be found to be the best solution.

While children do sometimes have a voice in child custody proceedings, their reasoning must be based on a certain level of maturity. A child's motives may be considered, but the courts are often faced with deciding whether parental interference has occurred because one or even both parents may try to sway a child's views to meet their own desires. Parents sometimes coerce their children into taking sides in child custody disputes, and the courts realize that this scenario does occur.

Common prenuptial mistakes you should avoid

One thing you should take into consideration before you get married to your partner in California is a prenuptial agreement. When executed properly, this legally binding contract can help provide financial protection for you if you and your fiancé ever split. When done wrong, you miss out on the protections it offers.

Even though you may not like thinking about divorce when you have yet to get married, doing so now can help you to avoid many of the challenges that can occur when it is time to divide your marital assets during divorce. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when creating your prenuptial agreement. 

Flo Rida sued for child support for 7-month old son

California music lovers may be interested to learn that rapper Flo Rida was sued for child support on April 20 by a woman who claims that he is the father of her son. The 7-month old child reportedly has a medical condition called hydrocephalus, which prompted the mother to seek child support.

The woman claimed that the rapper started seeing her in December 2015. She alleges that the romance ended in mid-January 2016. The child was born in September in New York City. According to the mother's legal documents, a paternity test was taken in December 2016, the results of which show that there is a 99.99 percent chance that Flo Rida is the father of the child.

Emancipation and child support

With regard to child support, emancipation refers to the point when a child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in California, and the parent is no longer required to provide support. However, parents should be aware of the impact on child support payments if a child is emancipated before reaching that age.

There are multiple reasons why a minor child would be freed from the care of his or her parent. Minor children are allowed to self-emancipate for marriage, total abandonment of the parental home, economic independence and military service.

Obtaining back child support

California parents who have been raising a child without the support of the child's other parent may be able to request back child support. People may be considered to owe support even if they had not previously been ordered to do so.

To be able to successfully request back child support, those who are requesting it will need to provide a list of expenses as well as proof that the other parent has not been providing support. It is also required that they be able to demonstrate that they did attempt to collect this support and that the parents they are attempting to collect support from were aware of their parental obligations.

How an ex parte protective order can help in an abusive situation

Definitions of domestic violence can range from the use of abusive language to the instigation of physical violence. If you are living in a situation where these or other abusive behaviors are exhibited, you might be wondering what your options are. The state of California allows for ex parte protective orders that can be issued on an emergency basis, and there are some benefits that such an order may be able to provide. The following three factors are important to take into consideration.

Exclude the culprit from a common dwelling

The next step when a California custodial parent dies

If minor children should face the death of their custodial parent, there is always a question of who will become their guardian. There may be several relatives considering adoption, or the non-custodial parent may wish to be granted full custody of children under these circumstances. No matter what the desires of people involved with the children, sound decisions must be made on their behalf, and this normally occurs in family court.

If the deceased custodial parent was the mother of the children, and the biological father wants custody, there are certain requirements in each state that must be met to establish paternity. In any case, the father must make a formal acknowledgment by showing that he signed the birth certificate or by filing various paternity documents within the family court system.

The role of a QDRO in property division

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a document that couples in Orange County might need in order to divide a retirement account in a divorce. This complex document and the process of dividing the account can be costly if people are unaware of the fees and taxes associated with it. However, they might want to work with a certified divorce financial analyst who can explain the QDRO and how it can be used to make the movement of money efficient and less costly.

One scenario might involve a person who is getting $1.1 million from their half of a retirement account. On the advice of the financial analyst, the recipient might set aside $100,000 for fees and taxes. The other $1 million could go into a tax-free rollover, and the recipient could then begin adding to that account or start a new retirement account.

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