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

San Jose Family Law Blog

Can an unwed father gain full custody?

Unmarried parents in San Jose like you may decide one day that it is best if you go your separate ways. But what about your child? Matters of child custody are not handled the same way for unwed couples as they are for those who have been married.

FindLaw takes a look at how child custody decisions are made if the parents of the child are unwed. In most states, sole physical custody will be awarded to the mother of the child. If you and the child's father are unwed, and you are proven to be a good mother, chances of winning custody are extremely slim.

How can divorce influence custody decisions?

San Jose residents who are getting a divorce will be able to either have a contested or uncontested divorce. We at the Law Office of Lily L. Huang will explain how these options can affect child custody matters.

With uncontested divorce, matters of child custody will be figured out between you and your spouse. You can rely on a third party mediator as well to help things out. You will also need to figure out things like holiday schedules, visitation schedules, and even child support payment plans. Because you must do all of this without court intervention, it can be tricky to accomplish. However, it will allow you to bypass a lot of the complex and expensive portions of legal battles.

What are the benefits of cooperating in divorce?

When couples in San Jose both mutually decide to divorce and can agree on the basic terms, an option becomes available to them. You may be able to qualify for an uncontested divorce, which can help you avoid the lengthier parts of litigation.

As FindLaw says, uncontested divorce is a scenario in which both involved parties have agreed to file for the divorce. It saves time, costs, and headache for everyone. However, you must be able to agree on certain matters related to the divorce. They can include:

  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property division
  • Child custody

4 signs divorce mediation may not be right for you

Choosing to end a marriage is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can make. While your divorce may seem to bring up unique challenges, you are likely not alone. In fact, any married individual has roughly a 40% chance of going through a divorce. How you choose to approach the end of your marriage, though, may make a big difference. 

Gone are the days when divorcing couples automatically headed for the courtroom. Nowadays, a growing number of individuals rely on mediation to wrap up their marriages. As you may suspect, though, mediation is not right for everyone. If you notice any of the following four signs, mediation may not be a productive way to end your marriage: 

What can you do to maintain amicability during your divorce?

Antagonism toward your spouse during a San Jose divorce proceeding is unnecessary and often counterproductive. It can be to everyone's advantage, including your children's, maintain civility between you and your spouse.

However, this is not always easy to accomplish. The Huffington Post outlines some tips for divorcing amicably. 

What is an offshore account?

If you and your high-asset California spouse will soon head to divorce court, you should consider the possibility that (s)he may have one or more offshore accounts of which you are unaware. An article in the Washington Post describes how vindictive or greedy spouses often use an offshore bank account as one means by which to hide assets from their spouse during a divorce.

As you likely already know, California is a community property state, meaning that all marital property accumulated by you and your spouse during your marriage belongs to the two of you equally and must be split up that way when you divorce. But if you do not know that your spouse has put money into an offshore account; i.e., one located in a non-U.S. country, your chances of getting the marital property to which you are entitled decrease substantially.

What is an amicable divorce?

You may have heard the term “amicable divorce,” but are unclear as to what it means and if it could be a good option for you and your spouse to choose in your upcoming California divorce. Greenbush Financial explains that an amicable divorce is one in which you and your spouse part company on a reasonably friendly and cooperative basis rather than fighting each other in a long drawn out court battle.

You and your spouse have two options for obtaining an amicable divorce: mediation and collaboration.

Mediation can help relieve divorce stress for kids

When parents file for divorce, the stress can be high for everyone involved, including children. Divorce is often an emotional and potentially overwhelming process, as parents split marital property, determine child custody and negotiate issues involved in moving from a traditional family to a one-parent household. Marriages involving negativity and fighting can also be hard on children. Studies show that it may be best for children to grow up in a divorced family rather than a toxic environment where parents do not get along. Studies also show that the manner in which parents end their marriage may have an effect on children's’ stress levels.

Mediation allows parents to settle their divorce out of a traditional courtroom environment. With a third-party mediator present, both parties negotiate the terms of their divorce settlement. One of the benefits of mediation allows couples to come up with terms of the divorce that may otherwise not have been available if they had allowed a judge to determine the terms of the decree. In many cases, parents who go through the mediation process end on better terms and are able to experience a healthier relationship post-divorce than they would have if they had undergone courtroom litigation.

Why some parenting plans have right of first refusal clauses

Ending any marriage can be stressful. If you have young children, though, choosing to divorce your spouse may bring up a host of concerns. After all, you want what is best for your kids. Accepting your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s approach to parenting may be difficult, though. 

If you want to co-parent your children after a divorce, you probably also want to draft a comprehensive parenting plan. Because there is no such thing as a standard parenting plan, you likely have wide latitude in deciding which provisions to include. If you want to spend as much time as possible with your kids, you may choose to include a right of first refusal clause. 

Social media and how it can affect divorce and custody

As California couples divorce, whether amicable or not, there are important decisions to be made about property division, child custody and child support. What many may now know is that social media activity can be used in the divorce process. According to The National Law Review, affairs conducted online precipitate up to one third of divorce cases. Social networking evidence is worthy of using in court by 81% of attorneys and Facebook is used as a principal evidence source in 66% of divorce cases.

While laws may differ from state to state, social media evidence is typically admitted in court if the information was not gleaned illegally. This means that a former spouse or their representatives cannot create fake accounts to obtain information about what the other spouse is doing, as the evidence will not be admitted. The exception to this rule is if the information is made public for anyone to see. In this case, anything posted can be used as evidence.

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