While celebrity divorce cases and custody battles might capture the attention of California residents at times, the challenge of facing these issues in one's own life could be overwhelming, demanding complete attention. An ex-spouse who is awarded primary custody and child support payments might find it challenging to make ends meet, but in many cases, the party owing support will complain that the support obligation is excessive. This can occur in celebrity and high-asset situations, but it is also possible in cases involving those of limited means.
For an individual about to get married in California, the chance to discuss important issues with a future spouse could prevent severe financial disruptions if the relationship does not work out. The creation of contract terms before a marriage allows a person to designate non-marital personal assets. Such assets could include a stake in a business, an inheritance or retirement savings. Outlining the terms of spousal support could also be important, especially if the two parties have substantially different financial statuses.
All married people argue. But when disagreements become the fabric of everyday life and not the exception of a mutually beneficial life together, it may be time to take different paths. The decision to get a divorce signals the end of a partnership that both people hoped would last forever. Those images of a happy, lasting family with children disappear into impending struggles over money, custody and visitation rights.
Some parents in California may start a college fund for their children and then worry about what might happen to that fund in a divorce. With a 529 savings account or a Coverdell Educational Savings Account, the beneficiary can be changed. This means that a former spouse could change the name of the child on the account and use the money for themselves, their new spouse or children from the new relationship. The best way to address this is to include a provision in the separation agreement stating that the funds in the account are only for the use of the beneficiary named. If the account is a custodial one, then the beneficiary cannot be changed.
California parents sometimes choose to remain in unhappy marriages because they worry about the impact that seeking a divorce would have on their children. Researchers have found that unfulfilled couples staying together may actually have an even more damaging effect on children, but there are things that parents can do to reduce the emotional toll of divorce. Taking proactive steps is particularly important for the parents of younger children.