Articles Posted in Child Custody & Visitation

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San Jose Family Law Attorney Discusses the What Happens to the Children When a Parent Dies

With the death of Michael Jackson, and a potential custody battle arising between Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael and Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s second wife and the biological mother of Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11, much talk has arisen about what happens when a custodial parent dies.

Generally, if a custodial parent dies while the child is a minor, the surviving parent would be entitled to sole legal custody. Other third parties such as aunts, uncles or grandparents may try to obtain custody of the child by filing an independent proceeding such as a guardianship, dependency or in the case of grandparents, a Petition for Grandparent Visitation. The other family members may be awarded custody if they can show that it would not be in the child’s best interest to be in the custody of the surviving parent and to do so would be detrimental to the child.

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Sacramento Family Law Attorney Discusses Affect of Filing a Family Law Case on Travel with Children

Now that we are in the midst of summer and vacation plans are being made – visits to grandma’s house, trips to Disneyland, etc., many people who are in the early stages of a family law case should be aware of what their limitations may be and plan their vacations accordingly.

Often times when someone opens a family case – either a dissolution, custody and visitation or paternity case, they are usually unaware of what exactly the repercussions are of filing. In California, when a family law case is opened, a Summons is issued and a standard family law restraining order is issued. This is also referred to as the Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO). The Petitioner, party who filed the case, is automatically subject to the ATRO upon filing the case, and the Respondent is subject to the ATRO upon being personally served with the Summons.

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San Jose Divorce Attorney Discusses How the Recession Changes Face of Divorce in California

As the economic downturn continues to damage housing values, force job losses and cuts in services, one thing that has not changed is that couples are still divorcing, child support is still being sought, and property is still being divided. What has changed is how those divorces are proceeding, in terms of financial awards and assets.

One of the largest assets in any divorce is typically the house. That asset used to have, particularly in California, equity which could be used to either buy the other party out or sold and divided equally between the parties. Frequently, we are now seeing that the houses not only have no equity, but that the parties owe substantially more than the house is worth, and often, the parties are behind on payments, or will be when the two-income household is no longer in existence. This poses a dilemma for family courts, parties and attorneys – how do we get divide a negative asset? Every couple has to decide for themselves, but options include a short sale, returning the property to the bank, or allowing the party who can make the mortgage to assume responsibility for the property.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney Discusses Children and Divorce

Children have it hardest in a divorce. The kids think it’s their fault or they are confused as to why their parents are angry and leaving each other. Therefore it is important to keep them isolated from the negativity that inevitably surrounds a divorce. Dr. Allan Schwartz gives us 5 mistakes that parents should avoid when dealing with their divorce below:

1. Do not use your child as a messenger between you and your ex spouse.

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Sacramento Family Law Attorney Discusses Child Support for 21 Children

Tennessee man has 21 children to support, and not from the same woman. The children ranger in age from 11 years to 11 months. How you ask, can a man possibly pay child support for 21 children? Apparently in, Tennessee, he can’t. Some of the mothers only receive about $2 in child support from him every month. $2! Clearly these mothers end up requiring state assistance in many cases with such a miniscule amount of child support being paid.

Most states calculate child support on the basis of income and timeshare. It no longer depends exclusively on income or requires one parent to pay a certain percentage regardless of timeshare. And, most states, Tennessee included, adjust child support based on the number of children to support. And all states require child support where the custodial parent is receiving public assistance.

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Fremont Divorce Attorney Discusses Getting Divorced While Living Abroad

Divorce is stressful under even the best of circumstances, and it can be particularly difficult for those living abroad. Whether you reside in a foreign country due to military service, other business or simply to be in a place you prefer to live, it won’t be easy to manage a divorce across international borders. One problem international couples face when seeking a divorce involves jurisdiction. It can be difficult for those living abroad to meet residency requirements courts demand for divorce proceedings. You may not be able to dissolve your marriage in court within the country where you reside. You also might not qualify to divorce in your spouse’s country of residence.

Another issue faced by those living abroad involves the time and expense involved in travel. How many times will you need to appear in a court thousands of miles away? How will you manage the costs associated with airfare, time off from work and accommodations? Issues regarding time off can be particularly challenging for those in the military.The length of time it can take to dissolve a marriage is another source of stress international couples must face. It could take a year or more to legally divorce in many countries, including the United States. If you’re eager to start your own business or remarry, this delay can be devastating. In all cases, it’s inconvenient and stressful to have the process dragged out for months on end.

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San Jose Divorce Lawyer Discusses Divorce and Custody

When getting a divorce, one of the most difficult questions is whether a parent wants joint custody or sole legal and physical custody of the child. Deciding on if joint custody is right for you depends a great deal on the ability of you and your spouse to get along. If you are to share decision-making, you must be able to sit down with your former spouse in a non-combative atmosphere and make decisions together. Shared values and parenting styles make this custody style more viable.

Here’s what psychologists have found after long-term studies of families in joint-custody arrangements and sole-custody arrangements in an article from Pamela Weintraub and Terry Hillman:

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Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Child Custody and Visitation

An article appeared in the Mercury News last week about a child custody case involving our office. The specifics of that case are not the subject of this blog, but some of the concepts involved in any custody and visitation dispute were at issue there, and are the subject of this post.

Custody and visitation cases always turn on what is in the best interests of the child or children. Best interests takes into consideration the health, safety and welfare of the children. Many times parents bring laundry lists of concerns to court that they claim affect the health, safety and welfare of the children. Many of these concerns are personality driven or involve different styles of parenting (playing indoor games versus outdoor activities, or feeding no junk food versus occasional junk food). However, there are hard cases where a parent is abusing a child, or abusing drugs or alcohol in the presence of the child, and it is those cases that test the family court system the most.

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San Jose Divorce Lawyer Discusses Actor/Singer Tyrese’s Divorce Woes Mount

Tyrese has been in the news a lot lately. The parties were married a mere 10 months, before filing for divorce. The parties had signed a pre-nuptial agreement limiting the terms of support and property division. Apparently, the wife recently filed seeking a modification not only of support, but also of custody and visitation, and attorney fees.

Tyrese has an annual income that undoubtedly puts him in the high earner bracket. California law requires both parents to support their children. Child support is calculated using a formula that considers the incomes of both parties, as well as the timeshare. Typically, this formula results in a number which becomes the child support amount. Sometimes, courts will adjust the number either up or down to reflect additional expenses, or for some other reason. The Court has to consider the lifestyle of a high earning parent, and order support in an amount to enable that child to share in his or her parent’s lifestyle. Recent reports indicate support in the range of $6,000 – $7,000/month was ordered.

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San Jose Divorce Lawyer Discusses Headlines Scream Mel Gibson Getting Divorce

The internet and entertainment news sources are abuzz with the recently filing for divorce by Mel Gibson and his wife of 28 years, Robyn. Gibson, who is known not only for his movies, but for his strongly held extremely conservative Catholic beliefs, seems an unlikely candidate for dissolution, but the petition filed by Gibon’s wife cites irreconcilable differences. The long-term marriage was not preceded by a pre-nuptial agreement, so under California law all property acquired during marriage (except as a result of a gift, bequest or devise) is community property. That means that the millions of dollars earned from movies during the last 28 years, and the assets acquired with those funds are community property and subject to division in the dissolution.

Among the issues likely to be raised in the dissolution are distribution and division of property, spousal support, and attorney fees. Six of the parties’ seven children are past the age of majority, but since one remains a minor, the Gibsons will likely be addressing child custody, visitation and support issues in addition to those identified above. Rumors are circulating that the reason for the split is Mel’s infidelity with a Russian singer recently signed by his record label.