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Roseville Family Law Blog

California firm helping draft surrogacy agreements

Despite living in the technological age, there are certain things that even the most cutting edge scientific approaches can't fully address. One of those issues is infertility. Many Californians suffer from infertility, and a significant number of those individuals find themselves worried about how to build the family they have always wanted. For those who can't and want more options than adoption, surrogacy may be their best option.

As we discussed previously on the blog, California has laws that are specific has to how surrogacy arrangements are to be created. Specifically, the state's laws specify certain terms that must be addressed in a surrogacy agreement. This agreement is meant to protect both the surrogate mother and the future parents so that all parties involved know what not only what will happen when the child is born, but also to whom the responsibility of paying for medical care will fall. Although some of this may seem like common sense, an ambiguous or vague surrogacy agreement can have disastrous consequences.

Study suggests genetics may play a role in divorce

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to divorce. Money woes, infidelity, poor communication, and even family tragedy can throw marital relationships into a tailspin. One factor many may not consider, though, is one's genetic makeup. Sure, researchers have known for years that those who grow up in families with divorced parents are more likely to divorce, but it was not until recently that they found a potential link between divorce and one's DNA.

The study, which occurred in Sweden, analyzed nearly 20,000 marriages of adopted children. Researchers assessed the number of divorces amongst this group, then compared that to divorce amongst the subjects' biological and adoptive parents. Surprisingly, the study found that those individuals whose biological parents divorced were 20 percent more likely to get divorced themselves when compared to those in the study whose biological parents stayed together or whose adoptive parents divorced.

Child support and the income withholding order

Raising a child is extremely expensive. Even families with moderate incomes can face difficulty making ends meet, so when couples divorce and a custodial parent must suddenly burden all costs associated with raising a child, one's financial situation can become dire. Fortunately, the state of California recognizes that the cost of child rearing should be shared by both parents. As great as that may sound, many custodial parents struggle to recoup money from a noncustodial parent, even if child custody is ordered.

California law does provide options when it comes to recovering owed child support. One of the best options is by obtaining an income withholding order and serving it on the noncustodial parent's employer. Such an order requires an employer to automatically deduct child support payments from an employees' paycheck and redirect it to a custodial parent. More than 65 percent of all child support payments are collected in this fashion.

3 common prenup mistakes to avoid

Are you looking to sign a prenuptial agreement? If so, you are not alone. Many couples these days are looking to protect their financial interests in marriage. Talking about finances with your fiance may be challenging, but it is a beneficial endeavor if you ever get a divorce in the future.

However, you must make sure you write and sign your prenup correctly, or else it may be invalid. Here are some common prenup mistakes you should avoid when you execute your agreement.

Child custody, visitation, and the parenting agreement

Depending on the parties involved and the issues at hand, divorce can either be highly contentious or amicably resolved with little need for court intrusion. However, simply because a couple gets along does not mean that they can relax during the divorce process. Those who do may find themselves at the losing end of what is essentially a bargain.

For example, child custody and visitation issues can be negotiated and finalized in a parenting agreement. By agreeing to the terms in one of these documents, parents can avoid litigating the matter in court and thereby leave important decisions to a judge who knows very little about the family. The terms of these agreements can vary widely depending on the circumstances at hand, but most address similar issues. These matters can include a determination on physical custody, legal custody, when visitation with a noncustodial parent will occur, with whom the child will spend certain holidays, the extent of contact with extended family members on both sides, and how the agreement can be modified.

There may be many signs of potential divorce

The New Year often brings with it a slew of divorce filings. Disgruntled spouses often try to tough out the holidays so that their children can enjoy one last season with both parents together as a family. Yet, while many Californians have already made up their minds to seek marriage dissolution this year, others may not be so sure about how to handle their troubled marriage.

There may be signs that one's marriage is headed for divorce. One of these signs could be that a couple experiences a breakdown in communication. When couples stop talking to each other about their problems, they can become emotionally out of touch with each other. In some instances, one person tries to communicate, but the other doesn't, leading to anger and resentment at the communications breakdown.

We know how to find evidence to support your child custody case

Family dynamics can vary significantly depending on the people involved, their financial circumstances, and any number of other factors. When it comes to divorce, these dynamics can have a significant impact on how certain issues are addressed. For example, as we discussed last week, those who are in relationships where domestic violence occurs may be able to use evidence of that violence to buttress their case for sole physical and legal custody, as well as to limit the other parent's visitation.

Domestic violence isn't the only issue that can affect child custody and visitation, as the ultimate focus is on what type of custody and visitation arrangement furthers the child's best interests. Therefore, evidence of a parent's struggle with alcohol or drug abuse may be pertinent, and so, too, may any evidence of untreated mental health conditions. This area of the law is very broad, giving parents leeway to dig deep to find evidence to support their claim. For better or worse, parents thus need to be prepared to find this evidence and present it in a clear and convincing manner or, in the alternative, defend themselves against such claims.

Domestic violence can impact child custody matters

Domestic violence is far more common than most Californians realize. Too many individuals, both male and female, are exposed to physical violence, as well as verbal and emotional aggression that leaves them seriously harmed, afraid for their safety, and forever damaged. Making matters worse is that fact that an estimated 15 million children live in homes where domestic violence occurs.

Although breaking away from these relationships can be difficult and downright scary, many parents need to do so in order to protect themselves and their children. However, even those who are brave enough to break the chains of domestic violence may wind up facing a contentious child custody battle, the outcome of which can be critical to their child's safety and well-being.

3 tips for finding a good surrogate mother

Pursuing surrogacy is one option for starting or expanding your family. If you are considering getting a surrogate mother during your journey of parenthood, you may find the process exciting yet overwhelming. The choice to have a child through surrogacy is a huge decision that can lead to a wide array of emotions. 

Choosing the right person to carry your child is crucial. While this is never a simple selection, there are some tips you can follow to make the process easier to navigate. Consider these guidelines for finding a good surrogate.

The various penalties for nonpayment of child support

Regardless of whether a Californian is on the receiving or paying end of child support, the matter can become quite difficult. Custodial parents may struggle when they fail to receive the support they are owed, and noncustodial parents may find themselves facing their own financial stressors when their obligation is more than they can afford. Yet, the penalties for failing to pay child support can be much harsher than the financial strain it can place on a noncustodial parent.

In fact, there are a number of ways that nonpayment of child support can be penalized. Of course, many Californians are aware that wage garnishment may occur, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to attempts to recoup child support arrearages. For example, those who fail to pay child support may have their bank accounts frozen and their professional licenses suspended. Additionally, credit bureaus may be made aware of the arrearages, thereby hurting one's ability to borrow for housing or a vehicle.

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