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Redondo Beach, California, Family Law Blog

What is an annulment and what are its effects?

We've spent a lot of time on this blog discussing various divorce legal issues. These matters can be difficult to deal with, and the ramifications of their outcomes can be far-reaching. Oftentimes, those who are subjected to adverse divorce judgments can suffer emotional and financial losses, both of which can be difficult to overcome post-divorce. For some Californians, though, avoiding having to deal with these matters may be a possibility.

The most effective way to do this is to seek an annulment. An annulment is a legal order that declares that what was once considered a legal marriage is in fact invalid. When an annulment occurs, it is as if the marriage never occurred in the first place. In order to obtain an annulment, though, one of a number of circumstances must be shown. Amongst the most obvious are marriages that result in incest or bigamy. These marriages are never considered legal.

Study suggests divorce may be genetic in nature

Divorce can occur for any number of reasons, but many times people claim that they have fallen out of love with their partner. Whether this falling out is evidenced by other issues, such as infidelity or withdrawal from one another, varies from couple-to-couple. California residents will be surprised to learn that one recent study suggests that this falling out may not be case. Instead, the study suggests, divorce may be genetic.

Although many assume that children of divorced parents grow up to divorce because their view on relationships is skewed, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, in conjunction with researchers at Lund University, suggest that divorce may actually be engrained in some individuals' DNA. The conclusion was reached after researchers compared the history of divorce amongst adopted individuals when compared to their biological parents and adoptive parents. The researchers found that those adopted individuals were more likely to have divorce-related behaviors similar to their biological parents. This suggests to researchers that genetics play a greater role than the environment in which these individuals were raised.

Create a property division checklist

If you are going through the divorce process at the present time or have reason to believe that you will face this challenge in the future, it's imperative that you get on the right track without delay.

There are many things you need to do, with creating a property division checklist at the top of your to-do list. With this in hand, you'll find it easier to stay organized as the process moves forward.

What is paternity and why is it important?

For better or worse, our society tends to favor mothers over fathers when it comes to child custody matters. When a child is born to an unmarried mother, she is automatically granted sole custody of a child. Although some Californians may believe that the fathers of these children are given equal rights, the truth of the matter is that unmarried fathers have to take action in order to preserve their legal rights.

The first, and perhaps most important, step is to establish paternity, which is the process through which a child's father is identified. There are many ways in which a man may be assumed to be a child's father. For example, the signing of a paternity affidavit will legally establish that a man is a child's father. Additionally, a man may be presumed to be a child's father if he accepts a child into his home and cares for him or her as if the child is his own. There are a number of other ways in which a father can establish paternity, but it is important to note that a DNA test, although sufficient to establish paternity, is not necessary.

What does a judge consider when deciding alimony?

Many Californians find themselves giving up their education and careers in order to raise a family or further the needs of their spouse. While this may help a family develop in accordance with the couple's values, it can severely hinder that individual's earning power. Of course, if the marriage continues and he or she continues to be supported while caring for the family, then the issue never becomes a problem. But when a divorce occurs, this matter, which may have been ongoing for years or even decades, can suddenly redefine that individual's post-divorce life.

Without support from his or her spouse, one of these individuals can be left without the income to maintain the standard of living he or she enjoyed during marriage. This can be unfair, particularly when that person voluntarily surrendered the ability to further his or her education and career in order to care for the family or advance the other spouse's career. It is for this reason that alimony is often awarded in cases of marriage dissolution.

Family law advocate may help in child custody dispute

Just about any topic can be broken down into statistics and calculations. Family law is no different. As we discussed last week, new research has shown that joint child custody arrangements may prove most beneficial for children. Yet, no two child custody disputes are the same. Where one couple may be able to amicably agree to share legal and physical custody, each party to another case may feel that his or her child is seriously endangered while in the care and custody of the other. In these instances, sole custody may be sought.

More often than not, there has to be some sort of give and take in a negotiation over child custody. Whether this is negotiating for joint custody or figuring out the extent of a noncustodial parent's visitation, the matter can be filled with conflict. Many times a resolution can't be reached at the negotiation table, which leaves only one option: litigation.

Study finds that joint custody arrangements benefit kids

It goes without saying that divorce can be extremely difficult on children in Redondo Beach.. Their once stable home where they enjoyed time with both parents will be divided into two homes with limited visitation with one or both parents. Of course, divorce is oftentimes what is best not only for couples, but also for their children. Yet, to ensure a child's well-being, it is crucial that parents find a child custody and visitation agreement that they feel furthers their child's best interests.

According to one recent study, fully joint custody may be the best option for some individuals. The study, the first to analyze how custody arrangements affect children, found that children who are in joint custody situations are less stressed and have fewer behavioral problems. One of the study's authors believes that this is a direct result of these children having more access to their parents, which, in turn, allows the parents and children to develop a stronger bond. It also allows both parents to take an active role in raising the child.

Who will get the house in a divorce?

Going through the divorce process will bring a variety of challenges to your life. While you may feel bogged down, it's good to remember one thing: There is an answer to every problem you face.

There are many questions to answer, with this one among the most important: Who will get the house?

Dividing debt through divorce

There is a lot to consider when a couple decides to get a divorce. For example, he or she must figure out how a child custody arrangement may affect his or her time and relationship with his or her child. Another major consideration of marriage dissolution is property division. Although many Californians think of this process as merely equally dividing marital assets amongst the parties, this isn't the case.

The property division process can also involve the division of marital debts. Oftentimes, couples accumulate a fair amount of debt while they are married, and it can take many forms. A mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt can all be subjected to division. Equally dividing debt may seem easy enough, but the process can actually be quite complicated.

Custody modification in California

Settling child custody during divorce can be one of the most challenging, emotionally charged issues the parties can face. After all, each parent usually has a way they think their child should be raised, and those ideas aren't always compatible with one another. This can lead to heated child custody and visitation arguments that are difficult, although not impossible, to settle through negotiations. Yet, regardless of whether the matter is resolved through negotiations or litigation, the resolution often isn't permanent.

In fact, in California, parents can seek a child custody modification at any time. However, in order to have a chance to succeed on a modification request, a parent must show that there has been a change in circumstances that warrant the modification. The modification, which is justified by this significant change, must further the best interests of the child. The court will typically look to see if the modification is necessary to ensure the child has a safe and stable home.

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