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San Jose Family Law Blog

Why it's worth fighting for a civil divorce

Far too many couples adopt a scorched-earth approach to their divorces. They sling barbs and accusations, abscond with community property and try to pit the children and others against their soon-to-be ex-spouses.

This type of strategy is sure to backfire, however. Even if you prevail in court, if you share children with your ex, you will need to continue dealing with them on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future. It's not going to be easy after a napalm-drenched divorce.

What's the best way to share custody of a newborn?

As a new parent, you may find it hard to envision spending any amount of time apart from your infant. You may not have much of choice in the matter if you and your child's other parent have split up. All parents can exercise their parental rights to visitation or custody of their child, after all. There are some factors that you should consider if you're facing having to share your newborn with your ex.

Many new parents' biggest fear is that their child's other parent won't take care of their son or daughter correctly. While your ex may not know everything that they need to initially, they'll likely do so in time. You shouldn't expect them to do everything just like you. Instead, they will find their own way of handling things. All that matters is that your baby appears to be happy, healthy and safe.

Tips for dividing community property

Splitting your community property in your San Jose divorce can be quite stressful and expensive to litigate, That makes it even more important to negotiate for the items that will be especially helpful to you going forward once you are single.

Read on for some tips about dividing marital property from divorce attorneys all over the country.

Navigating your high-asset divorce

Divorcing couples with few assets and little community property typically experience quicker and less expensive divorces than California couples with many resources and high incomes. But there are things that couples can do to make high-asset divorces easier.

Get items valuated

Why reviewing your tax and financial records can help in divorce

When facing divorce, some people dig in their heels and want to fight, while other people give up and choose not to assert themselves at all. As with many things, an approach somewhere between those two extremes will be what tends to work.

While you don't want to obstinately fight just for the sake of making things difficult for your ex, you also don't want to make any decisions that could have a negative impact on your future financial solvency. You can choose to try to work with your ex while also remaining skeptical of their intentions and honesty, and advocating for yourself throughout the divorce process.

Debts as well as property get divided in divorce

When you file for a California divorce, you probably know that you will be dividing your community property. But don't forget about the other things that also must be split — the shared debts.

While it is never pleasant to haggle over property settlements, at least you walk away with tangible assets. Dividing debts is even more unpleasant because you can wind up saddled with financial burdens.

Can 2 divorced parents ever get along?

In the throes of a hotly contested divorce, you may think that you will never be able to hold a civil conversation again with your ex. However, if you both agree to set aside your differences post-divorce, you may be able to co-parent the kids far more effectively.

Below are some things to keep in mind when you are struggling to rear the children after splitting with your ex.

  • Keep the kids accountable. There should be both rules and consequences for breaking them at each parents' houses. Bad behavior shouldn't get a pass by either parent.
  • Give yourself time to heal before jumping into a new relationship. There is no hard and fast timeline for when it's OK to begin dating after a divorce. But be mindful of your children's feelings on the matter. You don't need to introduce them to a series of casual dates unless the romance is getting very serious.
  • Keep emotions out of your organizational parenting. Depending on how you structured your custody and visitation in the divorce, there will likely be holidays spent without the kids. Don't fall to pieces or wallow in grief if you miss some time with your children. Rather, make special memories with the time you do have with them.
  • Don't allow yourself to be manipulated by the kids. Each household doesn't have to have the exact set of rules, but co-parenting should ideally dovetail on the most important points. Failing to reach accord on the major stuff with your ex can only confuse the kids and foment disruption.

What to do about parental alienation

One of the saddest elements of contested custody cases in divorce is when one parent attempts to interfere with the custody arrangements. This is known as both parenting time interference and parental alienation, and it is a very destructive influence to the parent-child bond.

Parental alienation can manifest itself in many ways, but the goal is to deprive the other parent of their time and good relationship with their child. Common behaviors that can lead to parenting time interference include the following:

  • Prohibiting telephone conversations between the child and their other parent
  • Preventing visitation with the child by the other parent
  • Telling their other parent the wrong time or date of ballgames, recitals or other occasions so it appears they decided not to show up
  • Making the child choose sides
  • Allowing the child to become afraid of their other parent
  • Speaking badly about the other parent to the child or in front of them to others
  • Tossing out unopened cards, letters or gifts the other parent sent

What role do children have in custody decisions?

If you are divorcing with minor children, your custody arrangements will be a major focus of the divorce process. Ideally, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will be on the same page or able to quickly reach accord on these matters.

But ours is not a perfect world and all too often, custody matters can become hotly contested between the parents. When trying to come to an agreement, the children's wishes for custody could also have an impact.

Make wise choices when dividing community property

If you are divorcing here in California, you are subject to the state's community property laws that state each spouse is entitled to 50% of the marital assets. Along with matters concerning the custody of any minor children, property division causes the most headaches for divorcing couples.

While these aspects of the divorce may be unpleasant to hammer out, they still must be done. What is most important now is to understand the true value of all of the community property assets. To that end, the following information may prove helpful.

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