Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Don't let anger consume you during a divorce

Divorce doesn't bring out the best in many people. When you are going through this process, you have to remember that how you express your emotions can either help or harm your case. Think carefully about what you do when your anger starts to flare.

One thing that you don't want to happen is to allow your anger to consume you. It is perfectly natural to feel anger and even hatred during a divorce, but you can't make that the focal point of your life. Instead, look at your divorce as a positive fresh start.

The way you ask for a divorce will impact you in the future

There's nothing easy about asking your spouse for a divorce, as both you and your spouse will have a lot to say about your current situation and what the future will bring. There will be a lot of emotions on both sides, so it's important to prepare for this discussion.

The way you ask for a divorce will impact you in the future, so it's critical to take steps to minimize tension and put yourself in a position for success. Here's what you need to do:

  • Prepare: Know what you want to say, how you want to say it and how you'll react to responses your spouse could have. You can't prepare for everything, but you should at least try. This will give you more confidence.
  • Don't change your mind: As you discuss your feelings, you may begin to feel bad about what you're doing. Your spouse may even ask you to reconsider. If you're sure that divorce is the answer, don't change your mind now.
  • Don't discuss the details of your divorce: The divorce process is full of details, such as those associated with child custody, child support, alimony and property and debt division. You can negotiate these details in the future. Don't get into it initially, as it's likely to cause an argument.

Tips for discussing prenuptial agreements with your future spouse

Discussing a prenuptial agreement isn't something that many people think about when they become engaged. They might think that this is only appropriate for those who have significant financial worth. Unfortunately, that mode of thinking can mean that you don't have the protections that you need once you say, "I do."

One of the most important things for you to remember is that you need to have this discussion early in the relationship. Your future spouse must have time to consider the terms of the agreement. They also need to have time to talk to their own attorney about the arrangement.

Changing your parenting plan as your child grows up

If you and your spouse divorce when your child is very young, the parenting plan you agree on will almost certainly need to be modified as they get older. Precisely when those changes need to be made will depend on your child's needs, and to some degree, their wishes.

One family law attorney says that parents typically need to alter their parenting plan as their children transition into their preteen/early teen years. That's when most kids develop an identity and interests separate from their parents. Their extracurricular activities and friends are probably taking up more of their time.

Parent-child relationships shouldn't suffer because of a divorce

When your children are suddenly forced to live between two homes because of a divorce, they are likely going to grow closer to the parent they are with most of the time. This can leave the relationship with the other child lacking in some of the same elements that are present in the one with the custodial parent. It is up to both parents to try to rectify the situation.

If you are the custodial parent, you must ensure that you aren't trying to keep the relationship limited. You might do this unconsciously, but you have to try to catch those actions. Instead, encourage your child to have a meaningful relationship with your ex. Unless that adult was abusive toward the child or has hazardous behaviors, there aren't any reasons why you shouldn't try to help that relationship along.

What should you do when counseling is getting you nowhere?

You've been having trouble in your marriage for some time now. Instead of quickly pulling the plug on the relationship, you and your spouse tried marriage counseling. You've been going for a while, but things do not seem to be improving. What should you do next?

Marriage counseling does not work for every California couple whose relationship is in a bad place. There are several reasons for this, according to a member of the Council for Relationships. An article published in mid-2018 discussed five of the common reasons why marriage counseling may not work as hoped.

Co-parenting after divorce: Things to do and things to avoid

If you've been through a divorce, you and your kids may have already overcome many challenges as you worked together to find your "new normal." And the way you and your ex relate to one another can have significant effects on your children's ability to cope with the new arrangements and move on in life.

There are definitely issues that can cause your children stress, such as repeated exposure to parental conflict. If you and your ex disagree about a parenting issue, it's always best to try to achieve a fair and agreeable compromise. Your children's best interests are what's most important. If you can't resolve an issue on your own, it's equally important to know where to seek support.

How is the amount of spousal support determined in California?

If you plan to seek spousal support (alimony) in your divorce or your spouse is seeking it, that's obviously something that's on your mind. However, the amount of support generally isn't determined until after you've worked out the division of your assets.

Spousal support is intended to help prevent the spouse who earns less money or who doesn't earn an income at all from being unduly impacted financially by the divorce. Often, one spouse will receive what's called "rehabilitative" alimony until they're able to get the training or job experience they need to adequately support themselves. In some instances, a court may order "permanent" alimony that continues until the recipient spouse remarries or dies.

Plan for bringing an older child home during adoption

Adopting a child is a beautiful way to add another member to your family. Even though you are probably uber-excited to do this, you should remember that there are going to be some adjustments that will occur during the transition. For children who are adopted as infants, the transition isn't likely going to be an issue because they don't know any other family. When you adopt a child who is a toddler or older, everyone is going to be making these adjustments.

The specific points that are going to come into the picture depend largely on the child's former life. For example, a child who lived in poverty and frequently went hungry might hoard food. This is a shock to people who have always had plenty. One way that you can help your child to adjust is to provide them with healthy, nonperishable snacks to keep in their room or in another safe place. This lets them know that if they wake up hungry, they will always have something there.

Supreme Court rules child support counts as income

It is always difficult to transition from a married life with children to the prospect of two single parents managing their children's needs. There are several factors that can make it even harder, like a contentious relationship between the divorcing spouses.

Reliance on support from the State of California or the government in Washington can also create problems. Raising children well is an expensive proposition, and parents often divide responsibilities of earning money and caring for kids. If a divorce occurs and alters that relationship, one parent may find himself or herself short of cash at a tender time.