Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Plan the separation from your marriage carefully

Making the decision to end a marriage sometimes isn't clear cut. Some couples try a separation to determine if they want to call it quits. Unlike a divorce, there needs to be some rules in place for the separation. If you ultimately decide to divorce, these can carry over to the divorce.

One thing to think about is the financial aspects of the separation. Just in case you and your ex can't work things out, you need to have the finances split. You need to be responsible for only your debts. This should be included in a separation agreement that you and your ex each sign.

Yolo County child support department receives award

The Yolo County child support services department has received an award from the state of California, according to a press release from the county. The department, in northern California, was recognized for its efforts in collecting and distributing child support payments for people who live in the county. The award that was issued to the department was the California Director's Excellence Gold Award and covers the department's work over the past year.

In 2017, some $14 million in child support was collected and distributed by the Yolo County Department of Child Support Services. 2017 marked the most successful year in distributing child support payments for the county in its history. Current collection of child support is rising and has reached 71.8 percent. The department is in the midst of an 18-year flat allocation from California but was able to raise performance every year for the last five years.

Can some decisions be made before the divorce is final?

Long before filing for divorce, many married couples here in California begin the process of separating their lives. One of you moves out of the marital home, takes one of the vehicles and sets up times to see the children. This may work in the short term, but eventually you may need to make more formal arrangements in order to avoid any conflicts.

Even though you realize this need, you know it will take some time before your divorce issues are finally settled. Fortunately, you can ask the court to issue temporary orders to provide you and your future former spouse some structure until you finalize your divorce.

Prenuptial agreements aren't a sign a marriage will fail

There is a stigma about prenuptial agreements because some people think that they mean the couple is assuming they will divorce. It is easy to see why they would think this, but if you delve deeper into these agreements, you will see that they actually provide more stability for the couple.

When coming up with the terms of a prenuptial agreement, the couple will discuss the matters that are important to them and decide how to include these in the document. Outlining what will happen if there is a divorce can help the couple of focus on building their relationship. There doesn't have to be trepidation that comes with wondering what is going to happen.

Should I sign a contract when moving in with a partner?

Many relationships take their natural course of action and advance to an engagement and then to marriage. Some of those relationships could involve the couple cohabiting prior to getting married. Many will ask if it is necessary to sign some sort of contract if moving in together before to marriage. This is a very important question.

Many couples that wind up getting married will sign a prenuptial agreement to protect the assets brought into the marriage by each individual. This agreement is typically more common when one person has more assets than the other coming into the marriage.

Is your client struggling to deal with the divorce?

There's no way around it: divorce is an emotionally charged process for the spouses, especially if children are involved. This often means that family law attorneys have to be part-legal counsel and part-therapist, and helping your clients manage their emotions isn't always easy. Some clients are better than others at overcoming their emotions in order to get through the relevant legal issues.

When you have a client who can't seem to do that, you may need to use tools in your arsenal other than reason and common sense. Otherwise, you could end up spinning your wheels as you try to help your client get through the divorce with the best outcome possible.

Be prepared to be positive while parenting

Parenting is a big responsibility. When you are doing this by yourself after a divorce, you might find that you are getting overwhelmed sometimes. This is perfectly understandable. In those times when the going gets tough, take the time to focus on remaining positive.

One thing that many people don't fully realize is that being positive starts from within. You have to make the choice to remain positive. Don't let anyone, not even your cranky ex who is trying to make your life difficult, take that from you. Choose to look on the bright side of the situation you are currently in.

Explaining debt and what happens with it following divorce

Have you ever wondered what happens to your debt if you were to get divorced in California? The simple answer is that it doesn't just disappear. You will still be responsible for some of your debt. You just need to figure out what portion of that debt you will actually have to repay if you get divorced.

California is a community property state. This means that all of the debt accumulated during the marriage is the responsibility of both spouses. Both spouses have to answer for any debt accrued during the marriage, even if one spouse ran up thousands of dollars secretly on a credit card.

Child support payments mustn't be considered a burden

There are often questions that come up about child support. We recently discussed the answer to one important question -- whether child support can be used for entertainment of the child or not. If you recall, the answer to this is that the recipient parent can use the child support money on entertainment options for the child.

This is one thing that parents tend to forget is that the support payments actually belong to the child. The recipient parent is only there as a conduit to ensure that the money gets to where it needs to go. Parents who are ordered to pay child support might benefit from remembering this since the payments are covering things your children need. We can answer any questions you might have about child support payments.

Can child support pay for entertainment?

When a parent pays child support, it is often concerning to suspect that the funds paid to the other parent are not used for essential needs of the child, like shelter, food and clothing. It is true that child support should generally ensure that a child's basic needs get met before going to pay for entertainment or other nonessential needs, and a parent who prioritizes nonessentials may need some guidance on using child support properly. However, courts generally allow a parent to use child support to give a child basic entertainment and even extracurricular activities, if other basic needs are already met.

Part of the basis of the child support system is the idea that a child should not suffer unnecessarily because of the state his or her parents' relationship. Child support payments are the right of the child, not the receiving parent, and as long as the receiving parent provides for the child's basic needs first, then it is usually permissible to use support payments to give the child entertainment and extracurricular activities.