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Rancho Cucamonga Family Law Blog

How a court defines the best interests of a child

In any legal matter, you will hear vague-sounding terms thrown around as though they have specific meaning. Often in discussions on matters of child custody we hear mention of a child's "best interests." So, what exactly does it mean, and how does a court define it?

The state of California recognizes two types of child custody, described as physical or legal. Physical custody describes where a child will reside primarily. Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions that affect a child's well-being. While a child's best interests are important for both types, they are especially important regarding a court decision on which party will have physical custody.

Defining domestic violence in California

The Office on Violence Against Women, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, comprehensively defines domestic violence as "a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner." However, this is a general, all-encompassing definition of a problem that presents in many different forms.

Domestic violence can include one, several, or all the following: Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse, threats, stalking, or cyberstalking. These not only apply to spouses, but rather any individual involved in an intimate or trust-based relationship.

Child custody and relocation

Situations is which a custodial parent wishes to move away with a child are often complex, and often require a child custody attorney to workout. Each of these situations are unique in their own way. Therefore, it is difficult to project which way a court will rule when it comes to modification of a custody order.

Generally speaking, a party who has sole physical custody of a child can make the decision to move away without consent of the other party. To stop such a move, the non-custodial party would be required to show the court that the move would be harmful to the child or children.

Family home can be source of conflict during divorce

The most efficient way in which to address the splitting of property during divorce is for you and your soon-to-be ex to decide on your own how to divide your property. However, this isn't always possible, in which case you will have to rely on a judge to split your property for you.

One area of property division that can especially spark conflict involves the family home. Unlike monetary assets, such as money in a savings account, you cannot physically split a house down the middle. Who ends up with the house is thus based on the particular circumstances surrounding your divorce.

All American Law for the all-American family

Divorce is a stressful, emotional, and exhausting event that no one should ever have to face alone. A seasoned divorce attorney can make all the difference in getting matters resolved quickly and satisfactorily. In addition, he or she can serve as a "voice of reason" in situations that often invoke spur of the moment angry outbursts, which only make matters worse.

One of the best things a party who finds themselves embroiled in an unfortunate divorce can do is to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney. At All American Law, that is exactly what is offered. Our attorneys care about you, not just your case. Client service is our first priority. We fight for you from day one until the very end of your case, striving to make sure you are treated fairly and equitably.

Jennifer Hudson obtains restraining order against David Otunga

On Friday, November 17, 2017, a representative for singer and actress Jennifer Hudson announced her split from fiancé of nine years, David Otunga. The pair have been a couple for the last 10 years, and have one son together, born in 2009. On that same day, Hudson also requested and obtained a protective order.

Otunga vehemently denies all allegations that he ever abused or harassed Hudson or their son. In fact, he maintains that he is the primary caregiver while Hudson travels for her career. He and his attorney allege that Hudson requested the protective order as a measure to gain an advantage in their custody dispute. He claims that while he has been attempting to settle on an amicable parenting agreement for weeks, Hudson has refused to cooperate.

How does my pension plan get divided in a divorce?

When a married couple divorces, they must divide the property they own together according to state law. Each state has its own laws about the best way to do this. Most states practice equitable distribution, meaning that the law provides guidelines to ensure the division is fair. By contrast, California is a community property state. To generalize, this means all the couple's joint property should be divided equally. In practice, California property division is more complicated than a 50-50 split, especially when it comes to complex assets such as retirement funds.

The division of a pension is an extremely complicated matter which is highly suggested by California courts to be handled by an experienced divorce attorney. In addition to a common divorce settlement agreement, the parties must complete a separate form to attach to a divorce judgment. From this form, a judge, in addition to a standard divorce judgment, will enter a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO.) In this order, he will detail how a pension plan is to be divided between the parties. It must be approved by both the judge and the benefits provider.

What to consider when discussing a post-divorce parenting plan

Effectively co-parenting after a divorce requires an ongoing, conscious effort by both parties. While a parenting plan should be part of every divorce negotiation involving children, there will inevitably be unforeseen situations that arise. A thorough, written agreement can prevent such situations from getting out of hand. Let's take a look at some key points made by Psychologists familiar with divorce that should be included to alleviate unnecessary disputes and damaging impulsive reactions.

First, it should be stated that the parties agree to treat each other with respect at all times. This means speaking to, as well as about, each other in a positive manner. Keep in mind that children, although maybe not present, are always watching and aware. The parent's behavior is the model from which they will learn acceptable social interaction. One parent should never speak negative or condescending words about the other to or in front of a child. This action could have a negative emotional effect on the child.

Parenting schedules: Failing to plan is like planning to fail

As a parent facing the end of your marriage, one of your biggest concerns is probably how the change will affect your children and your relationship with them. Even the most amicable of divorces can get complicated when kids are involved, as both you and your soon-to-be ex are likely already worrying about holidays and weekends spent apart from them, and figuring out who gets to see them when.

The good news is that you can address a lot of this uncertainty and worry by creating a parenting plan. But what, exactly, is a parenting plan, and do you need one if you and your ex-spouse have a decent parenting relationship?

How to prove emotional abuse when seeking help from the courts

Domestic violence does not always entail physical abuse. Oftentimes, physical abuse is predicated by emotional, also known as psychological, abuse. In this situation, an abuser uses words and manipulations to control a victim, usually in a threatening tone of voice. They may also force the victim to lie, or perform demeaning tasks. An emotional abuser's victim is often not only their spouse, but also the children.

It is easy for victims of emotional abuse to feel trapped. Without any visible evidence of their pain, it becomes a "he said, she said" matter, and brings a burden of proof to a victim in the courtroom.

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