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Woodland Hills Divorce Law Blog

Terminating your domestic partnership

Maybe you and your partner waited a long time for the right to legally marry, and in the meantime, you decided to take advantage of a few benefits of marriage by signing a domestic partnership agreement. On the other hand, perhaps you never wanted to marry, but you did want to share the rights married partners share, such as having each other as beneficiaries of insurance policies, tax benefits and family leave.

Whatever your reason for entering into the legal contract of a domestic partnership, the relationship is now ending. Among the rights you share with married couples is the right to end your partnership. However, unlike divorcing couples, you may not have the same protections. If you and your partner have been together a long time, have considerable joint assets or have children together, you would be wise to work with a California attorney to ensure your rights remain protected throughout the dissolution process.

Who gets the house in a divorce?

Dividing assets in a California divorce can get complicated when you own a home together. You are both liable for the mortgage, and the bank will not care that your marriage is ending. It focuses solely on getting its money. Since the mortgage is in both of your names, you have to figure out a solution to satisfy the mortgage as part of the process of dividing your assets.

According to Time, there are a few different options you have to handle your home in a divorce. It really comes down to what makes the most financial sense. However, emotions can get in the way, making the process more difficult.

What documents should I bring to my custody hearing?

Your child’s custody hearing will be one of the most crucial components of your divorce. In this case, bringing the right documents can make or break the decision. Judges will consider a number of different factors, including visitations schedules, medical records, and other documents. recommends bringing the following items, which can attest to the type of care you provide on a regular basis.

Written Submission

Will I have to pay alimony forever?

If you have concerns about paying spousal support after your divorce, you are not alone. Alimony is one of the most contentious issues to settle, and many negotiations come to a grinding halt when the topic comes up. Understanding the purpose of spousal support may help you prepare for the discussion in your own divorce.

Family courts in California and other states have certain matters to weigh before determining if a spouse will pay alimony, how much and for how long. When a couple goes through mediation, they have more control over issues like alimony. However, you may wish to take these same factors into consideration even if you and your spouse are using alternative dispute resolution to end your marriage.

Finding the courage to address family violence

We have addressed many different legal issues related to domestic violence on our blog, from obtaining a restraining order to financial abuse and stalking. For some people, however, simply speaking up about domestic violence can be incredibly difficult and may even seem impossible. There are a number of reasons why victims of family violence and those who have witnessed their children suffer at the hands of an abuser decide to remain silent and in this post we will draw attention to this concerning facet of family violence and victims' rights.

Some people who are abused physically, financially, emotionally or sexually may be too afraid to do anything about the mistreatment. They may worry that trying to take action will lead to further abuse or that the mistreatment they have been subjected to will become even more severe as the abuser becomes angry. Aside from being afraid of an abuser, some people simply may not be aware of their rights or know that the way they have been treated is illegal.

Adopting a child as a same-sex couple

If you and your spouse have decided to adopt a child, you may have many questions about the complex procedure you must go through. The home study is often the most stressful part of the adoption process. For same-sex couples, it may be even more so. While recent changes in laws have granted marriage equality to same-sex couples across the country, many still may feel they are under particularly rigid scrutiny.

By law, however, same-sex couples have the same rights that accompany marriage as opposite-sex couples, and this includes the right to adopt a child. In California, as in most states, the process of adoption includes a thorough background investigation and a careful study of the home environment into which a child may be placed.

How do we tell the kids about our divorce?

Divorce is a gut-wrenching process for California families, adults and children alike. Whether they have picked up on clues or it comes as a surprise, children may struggle to come to terms with the range of feelings that come during a divorce, such as anger, grief and confusion. Some children may feel that they somehow are the cause, while others fear they are being abandoned. Many may wish for a reconciliation long after a divorce is final.

Psychology Today offers some pointers to help you explain divorce to your children, beginning with repeated reassurances that you will not abandon them. They need to hear that both parents are going to be there for them now and in the future. Speak to them as a group and then each of them separately. Short talks and several of them will benefit them more than trying to process everything at the same time. Here are further guidelines for discussing divorce with them.

Easing into the divorce process

"I want a divorce" may be easy words to say, but many in California may not understand how complicated the divorce process can be. After all, specific factors can entangle two lives for years to come, such as having children, purchasing property and going into debt.

If you are planning to file for divorce in the near future, there are certain steps you can take to make the process less painful and improve the chances of arriving at a satisfying settlement. While none of the decisions you are about to make are ones you foresaw on your wedding day, each choice can have a significant effect on your future.

Understanding a legal separation

Sometimes California couples may realize that even though they are not ready to start divorce proceedings, it may be best if they are not living together. In this situation, people may want to get a legal separation.

Some aspects of a legal separation may seem similar to a divorce. According to FindLaw, people who become legally separated usually need to have a custody arrangement and visitation schedule for their children and they may also need to discuss how they will divide their property. Additionally, one spouse may sometimes pay alimony. However, there are a few key differences. If one spouse has credit card debt, the other spouse can usually still be considered responsible for this debt. People also generally keep their health care and social security benefits. Each spouse typically has a right to property if one of them dies unexpectedly.

Protecting children from domestic violence

As a parent, there may be a number of issues you are struggling with, from financial worries to concerns about your child's performance in class. However, domestic violence is especially disturbing and far too many families have had to deal with abuse. If you have witnessed domestic violence in the household or have been abused yourself, you should immediately take steps to address the abuse. Sadly, some people are silenced by threats or feel as if they do not have any options and continue to endure mistreatment.

Marriages are brought to an end for many reasons, from spouses growing apart to infidelity. However, domestic violence has prompted many people to file for divorce and some people need to take further action, such as pursuing a restraining order against the abuser. There are various ways in which domestic violence can impact a divorce, especially with regard to child custody. If you are in the midst of a dispute involving the custody of your children it is very important for you to stand up for your rights and bring out the truth in court. In some cases, people need to find the courage to step forward and speak up to make sure that their child is not put in a dangerous situation once their marriage has been brought to an end.


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