A child whose parents are divorcing may feel as if he needs his own lawyer-someone to articulate his feelings of confusion and sadness, someone to make his parents aware of what he needs to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. While minor's counsel may be appropriate in certain situations, their job is to represent the children's best interests to the court, not the best interests of the parents. Therefore, parents must take it upon themselves to understand their children's fears and wishes and then be prepared to address them in a compassionate and child-focused manner.
Are you dealing with a spouse who is telling lies to your children? If you are, you are not alone. Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses engage in dirty, underhanded tactics. A husband, for example, may lie in court, claiming that his wife is a drug addict and incapable of looking after their children. A wife, in turn, may falsely claim that her husband abused her during the marriage and he continues to stalk her. In both cases, the spouses resorted to false claims as a means of hurting each other and advancing their own agendas. Whether a court ultimately believes either spouse is open to debate.
One key to being a successful parent after divorce is to clearly and directly follow the law. It is never a good idea to sneak around or do anything that a court would consider illegal. Sneaky, underhanded actions can result in penalties for the parent, ranging from fines to losing custody. In an effort to understand how to act transparently, consider a post-divorce scenario where the court order (typically the Judgment) provides that the son will live with mom. He is, however, actually living with his father, even though father does not have court-ordered custody. In this case, the father is technically in violation of the divorce judgment; the new arrangement is, after all, not what the judge ordered. Even if Mom approves of the child living with Dad, the situation still lacks a judicial "stamp of approval."
Picture this: Your ex-spouse takes the children without warning and moves to a foreign country. This nightmare becomes reality for all too many parents. What do you do if your children are now thousands of miles away with your ex? Fortunately, parents are not entirely powerless in this situation. International child abduction is a serious problem that the international community has taken steps to address. Abduction is principally addressed by an international treaty titled "The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction." This treaty is a formal agreement between 73 member nations, including the United States and other nations such as the U.K., Korea, and Brazil.
Life insurance can be a key component of a divorce settlement. This type of insurance is often used to ensure that there will be enough money to support the children if the parent paying child support dies. It is a means of supporting one's children that even death cannot stop. But in order for life insurance to work one parent must have a life insurance policy. If neither parent has life insurance, there may not be a fund from which such support can be paid. Courts can work to avoid this situation by ordering parents to maintain, even after divorce, a life insurance policy that names their children, the other parent or even a testamentary trust as beneficiaries.
The updated 2013 Fourth Edition of The Essentials of California Family Law by Marshall W. Waller, CFLS, is available for purchase just in time for the upcoming October 2013 California Certified Family Law Specialist Exam.
Adultery is usually seen as reason to get a divorce. Spouses who have been cheated on typically feel angry and believe that continuing their marriage to their partner no longer makes sense. Still, some spouses choose to remain married even after discovering their partner's infidelity. Some fear that they will not find another partner. Some fear that they cannot be financially independent. And some remain married because they fear that they will lose their children. Some, of course, are able to address the causes associated with the infidelity and, usually through counseling or a mutual desire to save the marriage they are able to forgive and move forward.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage. This sequence of events was once the "norm" in our society, and many continue to follow the traditional route. A growing number of couples, however, choose (or end up with) children before marriage. If these unwed couples break up, they face the same custody and visitation issues faced by married couples.
Getting a divorce does not mean that you must now stop being a good, responsible parent. You can still care for your children, and help them grow into confident, mature adults. The best way to do this is with a clearly defined parenting plan. A parenting plan outlines regular visitation times for you, your children, and your ex. In doing so, the plan takes the mystery out of when you see your child, provides a minimum schedule of time with the children, and in turn provides you an additional tool to help you to b the best parent possible.
If you are sharing parenting duties with a former spouse and desire to relocate for any reason-work, cost of living, or just a simple new beginning-you may have difficulty renegotiating your custody arrangement. Whether you have sole custody or you share custody, if you want to take your child or children with you when you move, expect a reevaluation of the custody arrangement. Your initial custody and timeshare (your "co-parenting plan") may have been the product of agreement between the two of you or it may have come following a bitterly fought and expensive custody battle. Either way, the end result was either an expression of what the two parents felt was best for the children or what the Court felt was best for the children, the focus being on what was best for the children. Such is the case as well when one parent desires to relocate far enough away from the other parent that it will impact significantly on the non-moving parent's time with the child. We're not talking a move to a different neighborhood ten minutes away; we are talking about moves to different cities, counties, states and sometimes even out of the country. Remember that if you and your ex are unable to come to an agreement for a new parenting plan that encompasses a move away, then the Court will be there to make that decision for you, and the primary focus of the Court in this regard revolves around the child's best interests.