Orange County Divorce Mediation and Law Blog

The benefits of shared parenting

California parents who have gotten divorced may prefer that they both play a role in raising their children after the marriage ends. In recent years, lawmakers in several states have also pushed for parents to have an equitable role in raising children after a divorce. For some legislators, it may be a way to advance an agenda of gender equality. Creating a shared parenting arrangement may be a way to get parents to cooperate during divorce proceedings.

Instead of two people fighting for the right to be a parent, the law can dictate that both parents will have a role in their child's life. This may prevent one person leaving a custody hearing feeling like a part-time visitor as opposed to a true parent. In many cases, women tend to be given custody of children as they have long been seen as better caregivers.

Preparing well can help the divorce process

Divorce can be a challenging time for California residents looking to end their marriage. This can be the case even when the relationship between former spouses remains amicable, as the emotional baggage of dealing with child custody, spousal support and other issues in the divorce can loom large. When partners want to end their marriage without a court battle or a contested divorce, divorce mediation can be an option that can help people achieve their goals and move on from their marriage peacefully.

Annually, the turn of the new year also comes with an escalated number of divorce filings; many couples wait until after the holidays to begin the divorce process, especially if they have children in the home. At the same time, holidays and other family events can be an occasion for high-intensity stress that inspires a partner to put into practice their thoughts about divorce. There are several steps that people can take to prepare to handle their divorce as easily and quickly as possible.

Keeping Children Happy For Holidays

Couples in Orange County and across the country that are going through a divorce during the holidays may face many challenges. However, if they're prepared mentally, then there are ways that children and parents can deal with the new norm of life.

One thing that children should keep in mind is that there are two families to offer love and support to them and that they are the priority in the relationship and during the holiday season. There will be a time when the divorce will seem better, but that day might take a while to arrive. The first thing that couples should begin to put into perspective is that the holiday season is about family instead of the divorce.

Divorce mediation can help support a co-parenting plan

Many couples in California who are going through divorce intend to have a civilized separation process. This is especially true for couples who are also parents. It's important to note that a strong co-parenting relationship can be extremely important for the physical and psychological health of the children of the partnership. For these divorcing parents, mediation can help promote a collaborative approach toward parenting and the post-divorce relationship.

It can be important for parents to put the children's interests first. Even when the ex-partners would prefer not to deal with each other, it's important that the kids feel supported, especially when dealing with the stress of moving between two households. A child's relationship with each parent should not be governed by the divorce situation.

Divorce for same-sex couples

Married same-sex couples in California may find that the process of getting a divorce may be more complicated than that for a heterosexual couple. Although all states are required to allow same-sex marriages since the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2015, the manner in which a divorce is conducted is primarily determined on the state level, with a few exceptions. Same-sex couples may find that using mediation may be a more effective way of getting divorce than going through litigation.

Federal regulations oversee certain divorce issues, such alimony payment deductions and the transfer of retirement assets without being assessed taxes. However, some divorce issues, such as parental rights and asset division, are state legal issues that can present complications. One main issue is determining when the marriage began, which is an important factor in determining how assets should be divided and if a spouse is entitled to spousal support.

Making divorce finances easier

When a California couple divorces, each spouse's personal finances will change. This is true even in an amicable settlement. Because of this, it's important for spouses to prepare for some financial upheaval.

One of the first things that divorcing spouses should do is close any joint accounts, such as checking, savings or credit card accounts. This can sometimes present issues, so they may wish to speak with their attorneys about the best way to go about this.

Benefits of shared custody

Some California parents who are going through a divorce might want to consider shared physical custody. While mothers are awarded custody in over 80 percent of cases, studies increasingly support the idea that the most beneficial arrangement for children is one in which children spend roughly equal time with both parents. The exception is cases in which a child must be protected from parental abuse or neglect.

The conventional wisdom regarding shared custody has been that it could place children in a position in which they are caught in the middle between parents' conflicts. It has generally been believed that having the children live with the mother for stability and get only visitation with the father is the best solution.

The benefits of using mediation for a divorce settlement

California couples who are ending their marriages might consider the different options available to reach a divorce settlement. One of these is mediation, which promotes a calm, empathetic path towards conflict resolution.

The divorce process can often turn combative, with the parties experiencing intense emotions and the negotiations becoming complicated as well as expensive. Through mediation, however, couples are offered an option where they can explore their feelings, and look for ways to arrive at a solution, without the process becoming more hurtful. In the mediation process, the parties work with a neutral third party, who listens to both of their concerns and goals and guides the parties towards peaceful resolution of the conflicts. The parties participate voluntarily and the solutions reached are not imposed on them.

Mediation can be key to a successful prenup

Many couples in California planning for marriage have established careers and significant assets. It is increasingly common for both partners to enter their married life with property and even businesses of their own. With investment funds, medical or legal practices or even family inheritances to be considered, many people are heading into marriage with concerns about protecting their future.

Starting a marriage is a happy time, and creating a prenuptial agreement can be a complicated legal process. There are a few requirements that courts require in order to consider such an agreement valid. For example, the agreement must be in writing and both parties must fully disclose all of their financial assets and liabilities. A prenuptial agreement signed in the absence of full disclosure would be considered invalid.

How to prepare for a successful divorce mediation

Working with a mediator instead of going to court is one option couples in California who are divorcing might want to consider. Mediation focuses on trying to reach a compromise that suits both people, but it works best if the parties are adequately prepared.

Preparing to listen is important. This means hearing and thinking about what the other person is saying instead of thinking of a response while that person is talking. People should also be emotionally prepared. Talking about property division and child custody can be difficult, and a person might need to take a short break from the mediation session in order to get a handle on these emotions.

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Mediation Offices of David L. Price, Esq.
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Orange, CA 92868

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