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Santa Rosa Family Law Blog

Why mediating your divorce could be the right way forward

Making the choice to end a marriage is not easy. Chances are that you spent months or even years considering this option and deciding the best way forward. While you may dread the complicated process ahead, you know this is the best choice for your future. In order to ease the complication associated with divorce, you may consider the benefits of mediation.

Mediation is a legal process through which two opposing parties can resolve their disputes and come to a meaningful resolution. California couples can employ this method when resolving their divorce disputes, ultimately avoiding litigation and coming to conclusions that will work for years to come. If you want to stay out of the courtroom and work together with your spouse on a final order, this form of alternate dispute resolution may be right for you.

Healthy co-parenting can make summer break enjoyable for all

The school year is coming to a close, and if you recently divorced, this could be your first year planning for summer break. If you were like many other Santa Rosa parents, you went to great pains to create a parenting plan that gave you and the other parent the best possible chance at a healthy co-parenting relationship.

If you are still in the midst of creating that plan, you may want to work in some mechanisms to help you achieve the type of co-parenting you envision. This article looks at some of the most common characteristics exhibited by those with good relationships.

Financial literacy could help you during divorce

Though the new year is well underway, you may still have a few resolutions on your mind. In particular, you may feel strongly about taking the first steps toward ending your unhappy or unhealthy marriage. Just thinking about making such a major change may have you feeling anxious, but many people feel the desire to file for divorce during the early part of the year.

Ending a marriage is certainly a substantial life change, and you undoubtedly want it to be one that will set your future on a more positive track. If so, you may benefit from avoiding some common divorce mistakes.

Spreading holiday cheer while co-parenting

The holidays are here again. Preparing for family visits, shopping, decorating and cooking can cause any family at least some stress. Hopefully, everyone can take the time to enjoy this time of year as well. If you are recently divorced or going through one, you may wonder if this will even be possible to do so.

For divorced families, there is often the added stress of making sure that each parent gets adequate time with the children, but it may be more than that. Grandparents, cousins and other extended family members may also want to see the children, and that means coordinating holiday activities could present a challenge. With a little planning and some cooperation, everyone could enjoy the holiday season despite a new family dynamic.

Back to school time may cause concern for newly-divorced parents

With the new school year about to begin for your children, you may have some excitement and apprehension. If this is the first school year since you and the other parent divorced, you may have some concerns about scheduling, how your children will perform in school after such a life change and various other aspects of the situation.

Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to help your kids feel as comfortable as possible when starting back to school and while working within the bounds of the custody arrangement. If you and the other parent can work together amicably, you may have the chance to make back-to-school time easier on yourself as well.

Are you headed for divorce at age 50 or beyond?

When you got married, you likely assumed it was a one-time deal and that you and your spouse would be together the rest of your lives. You may have spent the next 20 or more years building a life here in California, one that may include business ventures, children, valued friendships and more. Like many spouses, however, time and circumstances may have taken their toll, leading to a moment when you decided to file for divorce. 

Divorce is never easy, and in a long-term marriage, it can be especially emotionally challenging. You may also encounter various financial problems, retirement issues or situations related to your estate that younger couples perhaps don't deal with as often in divorce. There are several apparent reasons for the tremendous increase in late-life divorces throughout the nation. Regardless of what caused your particular situation, you may have less stress and more success if you know how to protect your rights and best interests. 

How to divide investment properties in a divorce

Dividing assets during a divorce can be contentious and frustrating. While there may be objects that hold sentimental value, the most important goal is reaching a fair division of property that will allow each of you to leave the marriage in the most positive financial situation possible.

If you and your spouse discussed the possibility of divorce prior to your wedding, you may have opted for a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can identify any assets that will be exempt from property division or designate certain assets for you or your spouse in the event of a divorce. If no such agreement exists, you may find yourself facing some complicated transactions, especially if you own investment properties.

Domestic violence may impact child custody and parenting plans

Divorce and separation are relatively common legal matters that Santa Rosa families engage in throughout the year. While a separation helps the partners to a married couple set up separate lives without terminating their legal union, a divorce severs the legal bind that marriage created between the partners. In either case, if the partners share children they will have to create a custody and parenting plan.

While many factors can influence how a court assigns child custody and visitation time with parents, one factor may create a bar to a parent's right to custodial responsibilities: domestic violence. If incidents or allegations of domestic violence exist in a child custody case then a court must consider it under special rules and evaluate it as a domestic violence custody case.

Holidays are a good time to evaluate child custody plans

As 2017 comes to an end families throughout Santa Rosa will come together to celebrate the holidays that are their traditions. While some families may share gifts and meals with the ones they love, others may use their time off from work to travel to distant locations for experiences they would not otherwise be able to share with those that they love. The holidays generally bring togetherness and moments to enjoy time with the special people of their lives.

However, a family affected by separation or divorce may not have the opportunity to enjoy these luxuries. Parents who are no longer together may be subject to strict child custody and visitation schedules that prevent them from being with their kids on holidays or being able to travel with them on family vacations when the kids are out of school.

From beginning to end: A divorce checklist

You have reached the conclusion that divorce is inevitable. Now that you have made the decision and your feelings are out in the open, you may even feel as though a huge weight has lifted from your shoulders. For many, finally making the choice to divorce is the most difficult part.

However, the process is far from over, and on the other hand, you may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of what the coming months may bring. Regardless of your feelings, you're likely wondering what to do next. Where do you begin? While each divorce is different, there are certain steps that, if followed, should help you to remember the essentials and thus make the entire process smoother from beginning to end.