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Bay Area & Sacramento Area Family Law Blog

Resolving conflict in a joint custody arrangement

California parents who are getting a divorce might wonder whether shared parenting would work for them or if it would be disruptive for their children. Some people might think that because they are in a high-conflict relationship, they will be unable to manage shared parenting. However, studies show that neither of these assumptions is true.

According to one researcher and expert in shared parenting, when asked, children say they would rather have the disruption of moving between their parents' homes rather than see one parent infrequently. Studies show that shared parenting is the most beneficial arrangement for children. There is no evidence that it is harmful for even an infant or toddler to spend some nights with one parent and some with the other.

Child support enforcement moves toward centralized system

Child support enforcement can be a constant source of stress and confusion for single parents in California as well as the government agencies charged with overseeing the efforts. When parents do not receive their court-mandated support payments, raising children can be difficult. However, many states do not have the modern technology necessary to keep the system functioning well. In this context, the federal government is preparing to develop a nationally networked system for child support enforcement across the United States.

Most initiatives of the Trump administration have generally moved toward more state authority and limited federal centralization, but child support enforcement is a deviation from that trend. The $63-million Child Support Technology Fund seeks to develop a new IT system, located in the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to manage a centralized database for monitoring and enforcing state child support payment. This would be a change from a previous focus on funding states to update their own localized systems. Following the federal development, the HHS would allow states to join the new national system.

Kelis wants more child support from Nas after sharing custody

Some California parents of minor children might relate to the celebrity child support and custody battles that frequently play out in the headlines. Singer and songwriter Kelis has filed a court petition requesting an increase in child support payments for her young son. The father, hip-hop recording artist Nas, currently pays $8,000 a month to his ex-wife to cover the child's expenses.

The petition arrived shortly after the ex-spouses resolved a custody dispute. Nas had complained that his ex-wife blocked regular access to his son. Their custody settlement allowed Nas to care for his son during four weekends across three months.

Thinking of the children during a divorce

California residents who are going through a divorce may want to keep their children in mind as it moves along. Failing to shield them from the more painful aspects of the split could cause issues today and during adulthood. One way to resolve custody issues is to assume that each parent should have equal time with the children as a starting point for negotiations.

In the event that one parent isn't on board with that idea, it may be possible to avoid a court battle by opting for a collaborative divorce or divorce mediation instead. In some cases, it may be possible to ask the children what their preferences are if they are old enough to express them.

Parents can choose from many types of child custody arrangements

Parents in California who are getting a divorce might wonder about the different models of child custody that are available. First, parents should understand that there are two types of custody. Physical custody has to do with where the child lives. Legal custody concerns which parent has the ability to make important decisions about the child's life regarding issues such as religion, education and health care. One parent may have sole legal and physical custody of the child, or the parents may share joint custody in some way.

There are many different approaches to joint custody. Parents might even keep their family home and take turns living in it while the children remain there. A more common option is alternating custody; this involves the child either alternating weeks or days with each parent.

Collaborating for successful co-parenting

California parents know that parenting during and after a divorce can be a challenging situation. However, collaborating during the divorce negotiations to come up with a parenting plan that works well for all parties might be a key step in successful co-parenting after the marriage ends.

According to experts, working together to create a parenting plan that works is necessary to lessen the impact of the divorce on the children. It also means that the parents are putting the children and their best interests first. One of the first things parents need to figure out when dealing with child custody issues is where the children will live and how their time will be divided after the divorce. There is no one solution that fits all situations, so the couple needs to consider the options available and how they would best work in their family's particular situation.

Handling business matters during a divorce

California couples who operate a business together and who are also getting divorced should consider how they plan to handle the business. Some may decide to divide it up, while others may opt to continue working together. Regardless what is decided, there are certain ways couples can address the issue while they are going through the divorce process.

There should be a clear separation of the financial, emotional and legal matters. Divorcing couples should also specify what the necessities and the desired results are. This is helpful in preventing personal matters from making business relationships more complicated than they should be.

Divorce mistakes to avoid

A divorce can be a painful process in many ways, including emotionally and financially. California couples who are facing the end of their marriages should make sure to avoid certain common mistakes during the process.

Not finding the right attorney can make the divorce process even more difficult than it already is and can increase the likelihood that people might not get the divorce settlement terms that they want. Instead of relying primarily on internet searches, it is important that individuals arrange in-person consultations with possible candidates to make sure that the attorney has the client's needs in mind.

In some divorces, beloved art is worth more than its price tag

California is home to many wealthy couples who have gone through high-asset divorces. When a large amount of money is involved, any asset could be the subject of a million-dollar legal battle. One of the issues that may arise during property division is who gets to keep an art collection that took decades to curate. In many cases, an art collection is even more sentimentally valuable to a spouse that its price tag indicates.

Property interests in high-profile marriage breakups can include real estate, business assets and even offshore accounts. However, art is often a personal matter that can be difficult to split during a divorce. The recent dramatic increase in the monetary value of fine art has heightened conflict in separations involving billionaire couples. Not only are the collections themselves fought over, but so is credit from philanthropic gifts or long-term loans of priceless art. The Art Institute of Chicago recently changed the name of a an atrium after its donors slit up.

Co-parenting movement challenging child custody assumptions

Divorce courts in California and around the country have long been instructed to keep "the best interests of the child" front and center when hearing child custody cases. Issues such as choosing the custodial parent, visitation rights, relocation, and more have for decades been decided within an established paradigm. That long-held view often defaults to the mother retaining physical custody while the father gets temporary custody every other weekend and time during summers when children are out of school.

However, with shared parenting legislation currently moving forward in 20 states, the trend is toward both parents being treated equally under family law. This means that all benefits and responsibilities are evenly divided, even when the parents don't see eye to eye.

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Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP

Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
6542 Lonetree Boulevard
Rocklin, CA 95765

Phone: 916-780-0848 
Fax: 916-780-0787

Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
850 Iron Point Road, Suite 113A
Folsom, CA 95630

Phone: 916-365-4941 
Fax: 916-780-0787

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