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San Jose Family Law Blog

Could you adapt to a parenting marriage to stay together?

There are many reasons why marriages fail, but probably the No. 1 reason couples give for staying together long after love has left the building is for the sake of the children. Some parents are sure that having their kids grow up in a house with both their parents present is preferable to their becoming children of divorce.

There is no right or wrong answer to that dilemma. Certainly, kids do not thrive living with parents who constantly fight wth one another and engage in icy stand-offs. But plenty of parents learn how to remain together in the relationship once the romantic part of their lives together has ended.

Seeking custody of the kids? Read these tips first

If you are fighting with your ex over custody of the kids, it can be very stressful. Your ex may even be doing things to push your buttons and get you to react so they can use your reaction against you in court.

That's why it is very important that you say and do the right things at this critical time. A mistake now can cost you the custody of your children, so always think twice before lashing out in retaliation. Below are some other tips for those who are seeking custody of the kids.

The many ways prenups can be useful

Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more California couples are considering the usefulness of signing prenuptial agreements before getting married. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that sets forth how assets will be divided if the couple goes through a divorce. According to the results of a survey performed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62% of lawyers said they'd seen an increase in the number of prenups requested.

Prenuptial agreements are popular among those whose families have significant wealth. Often, a person will be interested in a prenup due to family influence. Another major reason couples get prenups is if one partner has a business. Sometimes, that means a startup that doesn't have much value at the time of marriage but may become valuable later. People who have kids from a prior relationship may also want a prenup to protect their children's inheritance.

The traditional 50-50 custody agreement may not work

Parents in San Jose who are going through a divorce often opt for a traditional arrangement in 50-50 custody situations. This means that the children are at one parent's house for one week before transitioning to the other's for the next week. However, experts are beginning to advise that this is not the most effective schedule when it comes to the interests of the children.

When children are faced with an entire week away from one parent, they may experience negative effects such as separation anxiety. They can suffer with such long periods away from one parent.

Wealthy couple struggle to divide property in divorce

In California, almost all assets acquired during marriage are treated as community property, which is shared between couples 50-50. If a couple is unable to agree on how to split up their community property during a divorce, a judge will order that everything be divided equally. In most other states, assets are divided 'equitably", which does not necessarily mean equally. One New York divorce has made headlines as a wealthy couple battle over assets, which include real estate and artwork.

The estranged spouses, Libby and David Mugrabi, are well-known among private art collectors. Mr. Mugrabi's family has been attending art auctions for decades, and they are known for owning the largest private collection of Andy Warhol paintings. At issue in the divorce is any artwork acquired during marriage for personal use, which would be part of the couple's marital property. Ms. Mugrabi may also be entitled to artwork belonging to Mr. Mugrabi's business if she can show that she contributed to the business.

Divorce rate grows for older Americans

Fewer people in San Jose overall are filing for divorce, but the opposite may be true for older residents. Between 1990 and 2010, the divorce rate for Americans aged 50 and up more than doubled, a trend that has only continued since then. Dubbed "gray divorce", separations involving older adults may also carry some unique concerns about finances and retirement planning. There are many reasons why more people are choosing to divorce later in life.

In the first place, social attitudes toward divorce have changed dramatically. Today's older Americans are the same people who led the change in those attitudes. Therefore, it can be important to note that many gray divorces do not necessarily involve long-time marriages. People in a second or third marriage who have been divorced before may also be more likely to do it again.

Seeking custody of a disabled child in the divorce

Divorce is hard on all participants, particularly the children. But if you are a parent of a disabled child, the ramifications of a divorce can affect them even more.

For the divorcing parents, mitigating any deleterious effects of the divorce on their disabled children should be foremost in their minds. Often, this can require them to think outside of the box to find creative solutions to their custody dilemmas. Below are some suggestions for parents in these circumstances.

Benefits worth seeking in a divorce

Social Security benefit checks are expected to replace roughly 40% of the income retirees in California will lose when they stop working. Typically, the size of a person's benefit check is based on his or her work record. However, it may be possible for an individual to claim Social Security benefits based on a spouse's work record. This is typically true whether that person is married or has gotten divorced.

There are several criteria that must be met for a divorced person to make a successful claim. First, the applicant must be at least 62, which is the earliest an individual can start obtaining benefits regardless of his or her marital status. Furthermore, an applicant must have been married to the former husband or wife for at least 10 years to obtain benefits based on that person's work record. Finally, the person seeking benefits cannot be married when the request is made.

How parents can help their children after a divorce

Divorce is not easy on children, but by focusing on their well-being, parents in San Jose can make the process much less difficult. Children need reassurance that nothing they did caused the divorce and that they can go on loving both of their parents.

Holidays can be particularly hard on children after the divorce and can make them feel as though they have to choose between their parents. If parents are able to spend holidays together, this can help. While this may not be possible, parents should still keep in mind that they will need to learn how to be at certain events together. For such occasions as graduations and weddings, they will not have the option of separate events.

The best strategies co-parents can use after a divorce

While dealing with their own pain after going through a divorce, parents in California need to make decisions that are in the best interests of their children. It is important for co-parents to use healthy strategies to help them as they navigate these new waters.

Many co-parents have to follow a visitation schedule that has been laid out by the court after going through a divorce. While decisions regarding the visitation schedule have been drawn up with the children's best interests in mind, being flexible and open with the schedule can be beneficial to the children. For example, one parent may request a change in the schedule in order to take the children to a show or sporting event. If no harm is done, being flexible is the best route to take.

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