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Palo Alto California Family Law Blog

Can I move out of state with my child after my divorce?

Just when your post-divorce California life seemed to be settling into a “new normal,” your employer offered you a marvelous promotion. The hitch? You must move to a new state. Since you have children, you now may be wondering what hassle, if any, you need to go through so you can move your kids out of state with you.

As the California courts system explains, the first thing you should do is reread your divorce decree to verify what type of custody you have and determine if there are any restrictions regarding a post-divorce relocation. Assuming you have permanent sole physical custody of your children, a/k/a primary physical custody, usually you can move out of state with them if your ex-spouse agrees to the move. If (s)he objects to your move, (s)he must go to court and convince the judge that this move will somehow harm the children. You, on the other hand, must present convincing counter arguments showing how your move is in your children’s best interests as well as yours.

What do I do if I get a knock on the door from CPS?

That dreaded knock can be any California parent’s nightmare. This means that not only has someone felt it necessary to report a parenting concern about you to Child Protective Services, but a social worker is about to investigate and determine if you are a fit enough parent to keep your children in your home. This can be an upsetting, embarrassing and frightening experience for anyone.

What should you do if you open the door and see a CPS social worker? FindLaw advises to remain calm. You are not obligated to let the social worker in without a warrant. He or she may attempt to convince you otherwise, but you can insist on seeing a warrant and speaking to your lawyer. The social worker may schedule an appointment for a later visit or return with a warrant or law enforcement. You may then be required to submit to the investigation.

What's wrong with keeping my home in a divorce?

If you are like many people in California who are facing the end of your marriage, you may feel a strong urge to keep your family home. This can be very understandable, especially if you have children who still live at home. The desire to maintain stability for the kids and remain in a place where you have strong attachments is real but these are not always the facts upon which you should make this type of decision.

As explained by Time Money, there can be some serious financial consequences to keeping a home when you get divorced depending on the ageement you work out with your former spouse. For the spouse who chooses to leave the home, there can be unique challenges as well.

What do parents need to know about parenting schedules?

When you and your wife get divorced in California, one of the things you must consider is how you will divide your children's time. When both of you want to be actively involved in your kid's lives, it is important to establish a parenting plan that will give you both plenty of time with the kids.

If you and your wife had a divorce filled with tension and conflict, you may find it difficult to create a plan that works for your entire family. According to Very Well Family, it is important to remember that your parenting plan should not be a way of getting even with your ex-spouse. You should usually consider what will be best for your children and set your personal feelings aside. This can help you to find a schedule that will work for you, the kids and your ex-wife. Additionally, it is a good idea to consider that sometimes your plan may need to change as the kids grow up. You may want to create a plan that is flexible enough to account for changes in your lives, such as a new job or a move to a different town.

Yes, you can spend child support money on non-essentials

At the Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin, we understand that divorced Californians often do not get along with their ex-spouses. In many cases, parenting is a difficult issue that can cause conflict, especially regarding money. As the parent who receives child support, you might face disapproval from your ex about how you spend it. You might even worry that the court can monitor your spending or step in and tell you what you can and cannot buy with your child support money.

Child support is meant for the well-being of your children, as you know. This includes their emotional as well as physical security, as FindLaw explains. Therefore, the courts deem many non-essential expenses acceptable for child support spending, even if your ex disagrees. For example, you might spend child support on birthday party supplies and gifts for your child during his or her special day. You could use the money on a restaurant meal or to see a movie together. You could even spend child support on a weekend getaway to a campground or theme park. It is important for you to maintain a close bond with your children and create memories, and child support can help.

Mediation for same-sex couples

At the Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin, we understand that when you and your same-sex partner seek a California divorce, our laws may or may not apply to your specific situation. Many state laws do not fully consider the special problems that you and other same-sex couples often face when you divorce.

The Arbitration Law Review explains that while the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, it did not require the states to immediately modify their divorce laws so as to encompass same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. Not surprisingly, states have been slow to revise their laws. Consequently, a mediated divorce may be just what you and your spouse need to solve any legal problems you may otherwise encounter.

Escaping from domestic violence requires planning

Many marriages are unhappy and end in divorce. However, at the Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin, we understand that for some people in California and elsewhere, seeking an end to a miserable marriage can be dangerous. If you hope to get out of an abusive relationship, you will need to carefully plan your steps.

As you know, most abusers control their victims by undermining their self-worth, threatening them and making them dependent on them physically and emotionally. It can be very difficult for victims to make the choice to leave, let alone have the means to do so. When you realize you need to get out of your marriage for your safety and sanity, as well as your children’s protection, it may be best to have an escape plan, advises the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Factors that affect whether you receive spousal support

Ending a marriage is not an easy thing to do, particularly if you are financially dependent on your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You can be scared about where you will live, what you will do to pay the bills and how you will provide the things that your children need. This fear can be overwhelming.

If you are in this situation, you can talk about spousal support with your attorney. This financial support can help alleviate the economic burdens that financially-dependent spouses experience after divorce. However, it is not available to every person in every divorce. There are certain factors that will affect whether you might receive this type of support.

What types of things can our prenup cover?

If you and your beloved are a California couple looking forward to your upcoming marriage, this is one of the happiest and most exciting times in your life. Your world is beautiful and your future is full of promise. Both of you fully intend to live out the fairytale of happily ever after.

While such plans and intentions are laudable and expected at this stage of your relationship, the reality is that the American divorce rate hovers somewhere around 50 percent and has done so for the past 30 years. Just because the two of you are madly in love now does not mean that you will remain so 10 or 20 years from now. While it may seem that bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement only throws cold water on your present idyllic situation, neither you nor your soon-to-be spouse is a child. Marriage itself is an adult commitment and adults, among other things, responsibly manage their assets now so as to avoid nasty surprises in the future.

Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin
2225 E. Bayshore Rd., Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303-3220

Phone: 650-473-0822
Fax: 650-473-0812
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