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Redwood City Family Law Blog

Custody of a pet? A judge will choose if you can't

Since 2019, the laws surrounding pets involved in divorce in California have changed. Today, pets are supposed to receive some rights, because unlike your sofa or TV, they have feelings and are living, breathing creatures.

Today, judges can look at your case and have the power to decide on the best interests of the pet involved in the divorce. Does one person provide better care to the pet? Does one walk the pet every day while the other ignores it? All of these kinds of factors are now considered, so that the pet goes to the right home.

Does divorce have you concerned about real estate and retirement?

The decision to divorce was likely not one you came to lightly. You may not have even made the decision yourself but learned that your spouse wanted to end the marriage. Whatever the case, your mind has likely been reeling as you think about how this major change could affect your future.

You will certainly see many changes in the coming weeks and months as your case proceeds, and the outcomes of your case could affect you for years to come. In particular, you may worry about how the divorce will affect your finances and other assets.

The advantages of spending time in the kitchen with your kids

If you're looking for new things to do at home when you have custody of your kids, why not try cooking together? This is an excellent opportunity for parents and children to do something fun and creative as a team, learn something new and have a chance to talk.

Cooking can also help kids' emotional development. It can help them develop patience, responsibility, creativity, problem-solving skills and confidence.

You may have trouble selling your home in a divorce

Couples in California going through a divorce may struggle with issues of property division. One particular area of controversy comes when one party wants to sell the marital home. There is a question of whether the other spouse can prevent them from selling the home in the middle of a divorce.

One spouse may have their reasons for seeking to stop the sale. This can range from legitimate concerns such as not wanting to move the children to emotions such as sheer spite. Regardless, the person can make life difficult for the other spouse. To the extent that they are able, both spouses should try to get on the same page and come to a mutually beneficial or agreeable conclusion.

Getting through a divorce with reduced conflict

Some spouses in California decide to divorce amicably and can move quickly to a new style of relationship. However, this is often more difficult when complex issues like infidelity, addiction or breaches of financial trust are involved in the end of the marriage. A spouse may justly feel wronged by the other party, and they might want to take action to expose or punish the other party's misconduct. However, wronged spouses should think twice before taking revenge that could affect their case in the courtroom.

Parents going through a divorce could be particularly concerned. After all, they will likely need to move toward a co-parenting relationship. Outside cases of child abuse or neglect, most parents will be ordered to share child custody/visitation. They may need to discuss plans and schedules with one another and work together to protect their children's health and emotional state, even if they are bitterly angry with one another. Parents who bad-mouth their former spouses to their children could be penalized in court or accused of parental alienation. That's why it's better to express such feelings to friends or a therapist instead.

Are you worried about a slow divorce process?

Making the decision to end a marriage rarely comes easy. Even if you know that divorce would best suit your needs and likely even the needs of your spouse, it can still be complicated to come to this life-altering decision. Of course, once you do make the choice, you likely want to get the process over with as soon as possible.

When it comes to marriage dissolution, every case is different, which means that the length of time it takes to complete the process is also different. Fortunately, you may have the ability to help your case move along smoothly, but you may also want to prepare for certain factors that could cause delays in the proceedings.

Factors to consider when settling or going to court in a divorce

In a California divorce, a decision that must be made is whether to settle the case through negotiation or to move forward with a trial. The circumstances will frequently dictate which is the preferable option. Understanding various aspects of each is beneficial.

In general, the following four aspects should be considered: time, money, stress and outcome. When people divorce, they might not realize how time-consuming it can be. Most divorces in court take at least a year. Settling will take much less time. A trial will include meeting with an attorney for preparation and court appearances. A settlement is useful as it allows the spouses to move on. Obviously, if the negotiations are not fruitful, a trial could be needed.

The difficulties of high-asset divorce

In community property states like California, all assets acquired during marriage belong equally to both spouses, including property and debt. Thus, when a couple in California files for divorce, all community property must be split evenly between the parties. In other states, such as New York, property acquired during marriage is distributed "equitably," or fairly. In community property states, it may be difficult for couples to decide how to divide property in half, such as a house. In other states, it can be a challenge to determine how to split assets fairly.

In one high-profile New York divorce, an estranged couple has been fighting for more than a year over an art collection worth several hundred million dollars. The wife contends that her husband took $200 million worth of artwork from their home in order to hide the assets, and she claims that he has hidden assets offshore.

Common reasons why women end marriages

According to the American Sociological Association, women initiate roughly 70% of all divorces in California and throughout the United States. One of the key reasons why a woman would want a divorce is the feeling that marriage is holding her back. Despite the fact that they make up a majority of the workforce, most women haven't seen any change in their responsibilities at home as they take on more work outside the home.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that 49% of female respondents said that they did housework on a daily basis. Only 20% of male respondents said the same thing despite the fact that both partners were employed. Ultimately, a woman who is focused on her career may feel as if marriage is a burden and seek a split from her husband.

How do the courts determine what is in a child's best interests?

When you made the decision to divorce your spouse, your first concern was probably how it would affect your children. You want what is best for them, but you may also know the courts have their own standard – one regarding the best interests of the child.

You may wonder how the court can figure that out considering they know nothing about you or your family. For this reason, the court looks at certain factors in order to gather the information needed to make a determination. Whether you and the other parent are working out your child custody issues outside the courtroom or relying on the judge to make a ruling, it may help you to know what those factors are before you head into court.


The Law Offices of Oliver R. Gutierrez
600 Allerton St., Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-399-0962
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