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Redwood City Family Law Blog

How money can impact a relationship

For many California residents, money can play a major role in the success of their relationships. The results of a survey of more than 2,000 adults that was conducted by a leading bank indicate that money is the main cause of tension in a relationship. The research also indicated that 35 percent of people identify finances as the leading reason for discord with their significant others.

Research by the Federal Reserve Board shows that the greater the disparity between the credit scores of a couple, the higher the chances that their relationship will not last five years. People who have the highest credit scores tend to have committed and enduring relationships. Also, the higher the credit score and the better the financial standing at the beginning of a relationship, the lower the chances that the relationship will end after a few years.

Technology can help parents in strained custody situations

After parents get a divorce and decide custody, the next and often most challenging task is implementing the new parenting plan. For couples who share joint custody – physical, legal or a combination of the two – it can be challenging to co-parent with a former spouse and maintain a civil, cooperative dynamic.

For the sake of your children and the entire familial unit, divorced co-parents in California may need to seek additional resources and assistance to handle their shared parental responsibilities. To help lessen the tensions and potential burdens of shared parenting, consider turning to technological tools.

How tax changes could cost divorcing couples more money

Due to changes put in place by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, divorce could soon be more expensive for California couples. This act changed both how exemptions for children are claimed and the tax status of alimony. Experts say it ultimately could mean less money for some ex-spouses.

Instead of a child tax exemption, one parent will be able to claim a Head of Household deduction. To claim this, the child must live with the parent more than half the time. Furthermore, the parent must be single and pay over 50 percent of all expenses in the household. In addition, the HOH can take the child tax credit. The IRS has not yet issued guidance as to whether this tax credit is tradable. Couples may want to write a divorce agreement that allows for this if IRS regulations are clarified.

Regaining child custody

The loss of child custody can be a very difficult experience for parents. However, it is not a situation that has to last forever. Many parents are able to regain their child custody rights. California parents who have lost custody of their children should understand that getting it back is possible but difficult, and they should take the necessary steps to get the custody decision reversed.

The first step in regaining custody is understanding why the family court judge decided it was best that the children be in the care of someone else. The judges are required to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children. Understanding the reasoning behind the custody decision can direct parents toward actions they need to take to have the decision reconsidered.

Gray divorce and health

Spouses who go through a divorce will find that their lives will be impacted in many different ways, regardless of how old they may be. However, California residents who are at least 50 years old should be aware that a divorce can significantly and negatively impact their health. Divorce can have a number of physical and psychological consequences for older divorcees, particularly if they are already dealing with some medical issue.

For couples who have not yet reached the age of 50, the divorce rate is almost double than that for seniors. However, the overall rate for these younger spouses is not experiencing a striking increase. For individuals who are in their 40s, the divorce rate has risen only a little since 1990. The rate among spouses who are younger than 40 years old is actually decreasing.

Why a prenuptial agreement may suit some couples

A prenup may be a good idea for some couples in California even though they may hesitate to create one. People may worry that if they have a prenup, they will be more likely to get a divorce. They may worry that it will upset their families or about revealing personal information such as debt or bankruptcy. However, creating a prenup can improve communication and cooperation.

It may also protect business owners in case of divorce. Without a prenup, the other spouse might take a share of the company in a divorce. A prenup may also protect assets that a person brings into a marriage. If one person is prone to bad money decisions or running up debt, the prenup can prevent the other spouse from having to take on those debts if there is a divorce. Some couples use a prenup to specify who will get the pets in a divorce.

Can you physically prove emotional abuse?

After years of dealing with a spouse who has psychologically tormented you, settling a divorce can leave you with anticipation and fear. While you might feel some relief that you will no longer be with someone that negatively affects your mentality, you also could worry that someone who has put you and your child through agony might get some custody and assets that they do not deserve.

While California courts do take accusations of emotional abuse into account, it can be difficult to convince them of what your spouse did. If there is physical abuse, that means there is physical evidence. With emotional abuse, you must find ways to prove it occurred rather than just tell the court about it and expect them to believe you. Despite the hardships, it is crucial to obtain material evidence of your struggles to get the most out of asset division and child custody.

One major sign that divorce may be imminent

For couples in healthy relationships, spending time together brings about a sense of hope and happiness. Even on very difficult days, coming home is something that happy spouses look forward to. When married couples in California lose this hope, it's one of the biggest signs that they may be headed for a divorce. Hopelessness in a marriage is often characterized by a feeling that nothing can be done to save the relationships, and this is often true.

According to a study from the University of Washington in 1992, feelings of hopelessness and depression are the primary signs that a marriage is heading toward a divorce. The study showed that couples who reported the greatest amount of hopelessness at the beginning of the research had the biggest chance of being divorced three years later. Some of the couples in the study who got divorced reported that they initially went into marriage with unrealistic expectations.

How to prepare for a child custody hearing

California parents who are getting ready to go to court over child custody issues need to be as prepared as possible. Everything from the way they are dressed to how questions are answered can all play a role in the results of the hearing.

Preparing for a child custody hearing includes organizing and developing the arguments that will be presented in court. These should be clear and specific, to show the judge that the parent has a strategy for raising their child. This also includes anticipating the questions that might be asked and planning out answers to these questions. Parents should expect questions such as who will take care of the child during work hours where the child will sleep in a small apartment.

Why divorce seems appealing when a friend does it

Knowing someone who has divorced could increase a person's chances of getting divorced. That was the main takeaway from research conducted at the University of California at San Diego, Harvard and Brown. Specifically, a person is 75 percent more likely to get divorced if a friend has gone through such an event. If a friend of a friend gets divorced, a person's chances of also divorcing increase by 33 percent.

This is partially because it gives an individual the opportunity to learn more about the divorce process. It also causes a person to assess his or her own relationship and decide whether it is worth staying in a marriage. One woman said that most of her friends avoided her after splitting from her husband. Ultimately, those friends had issues in their own relationships that came to the forefront.


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

Phone: 650-399-0962
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