When a California couple can no longer maintain their relationship and choose to part ways, having children and determining the custody and visitation rights can be one of the most difficult aspects to deal with. The primary factor is the best interests of the child, but both parents will have their own viewpoint as to what that entails. Parents should be prepared for these issues and have legal assistance to settle it to their satisfaction.
Many children in California are born out of wedlock. Oftentimes, this raises issues with regard to paternity. Why does this matter? For a number of reasons. To start, a child will likely want to know the identity of his or her father. Additionally, child support can only be obtained from a father once paternity has been established. Also, a man has no legal right to visitation with or custody of a child without first having established paternity.
Recently on the blog we discussed domestic violence and the effect it can have on children. This is no small issue, as it affects thousands upon thousands of California families. Many of those individuals who find themselves in a situation where domestic violence occurs may be afraid to seek change, but taking action is often necessary to ensure their safety, as well as the safety and well-being of their children.
If you follow entertainment news at all, then you're probably aware that superstar actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are amidst a contentious divorce. The filing came after an incident on an airplane that involved Jolie's son and Pitt, who had been adopted by Pitt. Pitt later said that he had given up drinking after the incident, which fueled speculation. What is not speculative, though, is that the friction between these two individuals is so intense that their divorce process has essentially stalled.
Married or unmarried, caring for a child can be costly. Therefore, it is important that these costs are still addressed when parents are no longer in a relationship Child support can play an integral role in ensuring that a child is provided with the financial resources needed to ensure his or her well-being. However, in order to ensure that child support obligations are fair, a court will often conduct a balancing act where a child's needs will be analyze in the context of his or her noncustodial parent's income. After all, a court will not want to impose a child support obligation that leaves a noncustodial parent destitute. This will simply deter a noncustodial parent from meeting his or her obligation.
Domestic abuse is an issue that is talked about too infrequently in our society. Every day, men, women and children are subjected to physical, verbal and emotional abuse that can have a tremendous impact. Studies estimate that upwards of four million children are at risk of being exposed to domestic violence each year, which is a staggering number. These children can be affected merely by being aware of domestic violence in the home, but sadly, many of them see and hear instances of domestic violence as well as observe the injuries suffered on account of domestic violence.
It's no secret that divorce can be expensive. For many Californians, the financial impact of marriage dissolution can be equated to ripping off a bandage. Sure, it is painful at first, but the excitement of starting a new chapter in one's life and restructuring one's income and debts can result in a quick recovery. For others, though, the financial ramifications of divorce can be significant and long-lasting.
If you have children, then you know they can be expensive. During the course of marriage, or when unmarried couples remain together, these costs can typically be managed amongst two incomes. In the event of divorce or a breakup, though, arguments can arise as to who will pay for the child's care.
Although money can be an important consideration in divorce, many Californians are most concerned about protecting their relationship with their children. Sometimes couples are able to resolve child custody and visitation issues through settlement negotiations. Other times the matter has to be litigated. Regardless of how it is resolved, though, the issue can still become problematic from time-to-time, sometimes requiring additional legal action.
Regardless of whether you're a custodial or noncustodial parent, the outcome of a child support dispute can shape the financial well-being of you and your child. As we discussed last week, there are limited circumstances under which child support can be stopped, but there are many instances when a child support modification is warranted. Whether you are seeking to increase or decrease a support obligation, you need to be prepared for a fight, as very rarely do parents agree on an appropriate amount of monthly child support.