Law Office of Lily L. Huang
More Than A Decade Of Family Law Experience

San Jose Family Law Blog

Is mediation best for divorcing same-sex couples?

If you and your same-sex California spouse decide to end your relationship and seek a divorce, you should consider mediation as the way to do it. Not only does mediation represent a much more amicable way to divorce, it also may offer you far more flexibility.

GoogleScholar shows the transcript of the landmark 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that established the right of same-sex couples to marry. However, if you read this decision, you will discover that the Court issued no mandate to the states to update their divorce laws so as to accommodate same-sex couples. Thus, obtaining a mediated divorce may be your only real option since it represents a non-judicial proceeding.

Moving away with your kids

While your divorce may bring with it a certain sense of finality, the reality of the situation is that your association with your ex-spouse may not entirely be over. If you have children together, you will continue to need to coordinate with each other to fulfill the terms of your custody agreement. The events of your life could further complicate matters if they compel you to move away. Many in such a situation come to us here at The Law Office of Lily L. Huang wondering how their relocation could affect their custodial situation. The answer to such a question depends on the unique circumstances of your case. 

According to information shared by the Judicial Branch of California, the matter is less complicated if you have sole custody of your kids. In such a case, it would be up to your ex-spouse to show why you moving away would be detrimental to the children. Still, in that situation, the court may ask the you provide both it and your ex-spouse with notice of your intention to move prior to the move actually happening. 

How can you help your kids cope with an amicable divorce?

In the long run, an amicable divorce in California is healthier for everyone affected, including you, your ex-spouse and your children. However, in the absence of obvious indicators for divorce that children can understand, such as drug use or domestic violence, kids may feel bewildered by the end of your relationship that, from their perspective, seems unnecessary and comes entirely out of the blue. 

According to Psych Central, there are steps that you and your ex-spouse can take to help your children cope. However, it is a process to which you must dedicate yourselves on a long-term basis. It can take years for children to understand and accept the dissolution of your marriage. In some cases, children can only gain the necessary perspective by growing up and experiencing adult relationships of their own. 

What matters can you address in a parenting plan?

Splitting from your child’s other parent is rarely easy or seamless, but the process does not necessarily have to be tremendously painful or contentious, either. Increasingly, parents who are no longer together create documents called parenting plans that set guidelines both parents agree to follow when it comes to the co-parenting relationship.

While parenting plans vary broadly based on each family’s unique needs and the age of the child or children to which the plans pertain, certain similar elements exist that the most effective parenting plans typically share in common. So, if you and your ex work to establish one that works for you, consider making the following inclusions.

How is art treated in a divorce?

While Silicon Valley is the heart of the technology industry, there are numerous people in California who hold art in high regard. Many of these people pay large sums of money to acquire and display prominent pieces of art in their homes or their businesses. Some may even support artistic endeavors and have their names associated with displays or art institutions. If a couple who is deeply entrenched in the world of art gets divorced, it can leave spouses wondering what will happen to their art. 

As explained by Town and Country magazine, marital contracts like a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement are recommended for couples who have or expect to obtain valuable pieces of artwork. A contract like these can not only identify ownership for those pieces already purchased but outline a method of assigning ownership for pieces to be obtained in the future.

What factors are considered when determining child support?

If you have recently gone through the divorce process in California, or you are in the middle of negotiating a divorce settlement, you may be familiar with calculating child support. Child support is designed to bridge the gap children may experience as they move from a two-parent household to a one-parent living arrangement. There are different models of child support, and California has adopted the Income Shares Model. The idea is that children deserve to live with the same financial stability that they would experience had their parents remained together.

According to California Statutes, child support guidelines are set in place with the understanding that both parents are responsible for the financial and emotional support of the children. When determining child support, both parents’ gross income is calculated, and the amount of support owed is based off of the pooled income amount. The formula also takes into consideration the disposable income of each party.

When a spouse passes away during the divorce process

The divorce process can be incredibly tough for so many reasons, and some people face an uphill battle as they try to bring their marriage to an end. From questions about how custody will be awarded to child support, alimony, property distribution and adjusting to life without a former partner, this can be a draining and complex time in someone’s life. In certain instances, even more questions may arise during the divorce process and moving forward can be particularly tough from an emotional point of view. For example, someone’s former spouse may pass away in the middle of a divorce.

There are a handful of reasons why someone may be especially likely to pass away during their divorce. For example, the stress and emotional impact of the process may cause someone to have a heart attack or stroke, or it could make them more likely to get in a car accident. Sometimes, health problems may cause a marriage to fall apart, and these health issues could prove fatal during a divorce. Moreover, some people may find that it takes quite a while for their divorce to move forward, for various reasons, and a lot can happen during this turbulent time.

How to cut costs during divorce

When your friends or family members across California go through contentious divorces, it may give you the impression that all divorces must end in name-calling, hurt feelings and drained bank accounts, but in actuality, this is far from the case. At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang, I understand that saving money is often a priority for someone in your shoes, and I have helped many people in similar situations avoid dipping into their savings to finance their divorces.

According to Forbes, there are a number of efforts you can make to cut costs amid divorce, and they all share something of a common theme: collaboration. For example, not every divorce has to come down to bickering and fighting over every last lawn chair or lamp. Instead of prolonging a legal fight with your spouse over a desire to prove some sort of point, try to recognize that time is money, and the more time you spend fighting your spouse on trivial matters, the more money you will shell out just to do so.

How to break news of divorce to children

Hopefully, the divorce process will go by quickly for a couple. One woman from California had to wait nearly 50 years to get child support payments from her husband. 

For most couples divorcing, the process will only last for a few months. However, there is much to do during that time. One of the most vital things to do before pursuing a divorce is to inform any children of the separation right away. The best way to do this depends on the age of the kids. 

Assets, debts and your divorce

People in California who are married and make the tough choice to get divorced might wonder how the state's laws about community property might impact their divorce. Some may feel this could be a good thing for them as it means assets obtained during the marriage might be equally owned by and divided between both spouses. While this may be true, it is also true that the debts incurred during the divorce may be viewed as equally owned and thereby divided equally between both spouses.

As explained by Money Management International, credit card debt can plague divorced spouses if they do not manage it properly from the beginning of their divorce. If it best for a couple to cancel or freeze their joint accounts from the outset of their separation or divorce. This prevents any further debt from being amassed. It is also wise for a couple to pay off joint debt before they finalize their divorce.

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