Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Schwarzenegger divorce shows it isn't always a quick process

On July 1, 2011, Maria Shriver filed for a divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger after finding out that he had an affair and fathered a child with the housekeeper. It might shock some people to learn that now, seven years later, the divorce still isn't finalized.

The reason for the delay isn't immediately clear. It likely isn't child custody since the couple agreed on joint custody when they split and the youngest child is now 20 years old. One theory is that the couple just isn't really in a hurry to get the divorce finalized.

Can I tell if divorce is in my future?

A marriage is a relationship that requires a lot of work and give and take. There are times when a marriage begins to falter. The way your relationship rebounds is based on how the two of you work together to fix the problem. If the problem cannot be fixed it could lead to more serious issues such as divorce. So, how can I tell if divorce is in my future?

If intimacy has disappeared from your marriage, you might be headed for divorce. Intimacy is important on two levels: physical and emotional. There needs to be a connection between you and your spouse in more way than one.

Breaking child custody order terms can lead to more legal issues

The right to spend time with your children is one of the main points of custody agreements. You expect that this order will be followed by your ex. When he or she decides to break the agreement, there is a good chance that you will need to do something to force compliance. This might mean going back to court to assert your rights and show your ex that you mean business.

It can be difficult to deal with this situation because it usually means more legal proceedings for you to go through. In some instances, your ex might think that there is a good reason to not do what the order requires. This isn't acceptable unless the children are in danger when they are with you. We are here to help you find out what you might be able to do in these cases.

Where you live: Will it influence child custody rulings?

Like most good parents in California, you always have your children's best interests in mind. However, when you divorce, the court may get involved if you and your co-parent disagree about where your children should live. The judge overseeing your case will make a decision based on what is in the kids' best interests.

It is important to understand what factors the court may consider with regard to child custody decisions, including those factors that pertain to living accommodations. If you expect your finances to change once you no longer reside with your current spouse, it may be necessary to simplify your living arrangements. You definitely wouldn't be the first parent to face such circumstances. If you think your co-parent is trying to use that against you to gain custody, it's a good idea to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney, preferably one who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS).

How do I make custody exchange a safe event?

Exchanging the custody of your children with the other parent, who might be your former spouse, can very well be an awkward and difficult situation. Adults need to do everything in their power to make the situation as safe as possible for everyone involved, especially the children. So, how do you make custody exchange a safe event in California?

You need to choose a neutral location for the exchange and make sure it is the location used for every exchange. Don't pick up the child at the other parent's house and vice versa. Use a neutral spot like a police station, fire station, public library or even the child's school. This will help both parents feel comfortable with the other, especially when there are quite a few members of the public present.

California couples often divorce for these reasons

No other marriage is exactly like yours; however, you may find that many spouses have gone through experiences similar to yours leading up to divorce. While it won't take away the emotional pain of your own marital breakup, knowing you are not alone in the struggle may be of some comfort as you navigate the divorce process and try to make plans for your future that are in the best interests of your children.

Current data show there are 10 particularly common reasons people cite when they divorce. You may relate to one or all of the issues we'll discuss here. The good news is that, no matter what exact events prompted your divorce, you can tap into local resources to help you cope with the legal implications of your situation, as well as find encouragement and support as you adapt to your new lifestyle.

Child support modifications can come with specific circumstances

A child support order is meant to ensure that both parents are putting up money to support the financial needs of a child. Unfortunately, even the best laid out child support order might not make the responsibility equal. There are some instances in which the initial order meets the needs of the situation, but it might not be adequate throughout the child's life.

There may need to be a modification of the child support order if the circumstances change. For the paying parent, the need might arise if you lose your job or are demoted. In these cases, you might not be able to keep up with the ordered payments. Still, you should pay to the best of your ability because you will end up in arrears if you don't. Additionally, you need to file the modification petition as soon as possible. The modification likely can't be applied retroactively, so the sooner you can get it handled, the better you might be financially.

Is there an age limit for child support?

Having to pay child support is a situation that millions of people find themselves in each year. For most of them, the requirement to make these payments eventually ends for various reasons. Usually, the reason the child support obligation ends is that the child for whom the payments are being made reaches the age-out limit. Children can reach a certain age in California where they are no longer eligible to receive support payments.

You've likely heard of the term "age of majority" mentioned at some point during your time in the family courts. This term is important to understand because it is the age at which a person is deemed to be an adult under the law. It means the person is allowed to make legal decisions about themselves and other issues in life. The age of majority varies from state to state based on the law.

Prenuptial agreements can get your marriage off to a good start

Prenuptial agreements serve an important purpose for anyone who is getting married. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be wealthy to benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Even if you are young and don't have a lot of money or assets, you might still find that a prenup can help you.

One important thing that a prenup can do for you is to set the stage for your marital finances. This can help you and your fiance to understand what type of money styles each person has. It can also set clear expectations for what is going to happen with money matters.

How do I explain adoption to my child?

If you have children who are adopted or you are planning to adopt a child, you likely feel some stress about how you will explain this to your children one day. Telling children that they were adopted is never easy. You don't know how they will react. It's also difficult to tell your children that you plan to adopt a child who will become their sibling. Here are some tips for talking to children about adoption.

Depending on the age of your child, you might want to tailor the conversation accordingly. Some young children, up to the age of five, might have a very difficult time understanding the topic of adoption. You need to explain to the child that he or she was born just like every other child, that you wanted to become a parent and that you will be their parent for life.