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Riverside California Family Law Blog

Mother to pay over $475 in support with only $50 going to kids

A mother in California was shocked to find out that she'd have to pay close to $500 a month in child support, but even worse, most of that money wouldn't go to her children. Instead, that money would be used to pay back her ex-husband's state aid.

The woman works as a police dispatcher full time and shares custody of three of her children with her ex-husband. He has the children three days a week, while she has them four days weekly.

Same-sex couples have the right to adopt

Adoption may be the only way that you want to grow your family. If that's the decision you've made, you deserve the right to apply to become an adoptive parent. You might think you will struggle due to being homosexual or involved in a same-sex relationship, but the truth is that children can thrive in a number of different circumstances as long as they are part of a loving home.

Same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples in the United States. That includes the right to adopt from most adoption centers and facilities. There are a few that still attempt to place children in heterosexual homes only, but on the whole, homosexual couples and singles have an easier time today with adoption than in the past.

Abandonment is treated differently in California

As someone who has come to America after going through the intensive visa process, you knew that you'd have a good life with great opportunities in California. What you didn't expect was for your spouse to leave you after moving your life to the state.

While Mexicans are familiar with the idea that those who abandon their spouses can be held liable for their spouse's income for life, that's not how it works in California. California is a no-fault state, which means that no one will be held at fault if either spouse decides to file for divorce.

Paternity testing is the only guarantee of parentage

The only way to guarantee a child's father's identity is by performing a DNA test to prove paternity. Paternity tests are highly accurate and take either blood or tissue samples from the father and child before matching them. If the DNA samples line up, then the father and child are related. If not, then the child has another parent who is not yet known. You have a right to seek a paternity test if you question paternity at all.

Paternity tests are between 90 and 99 percent accurate. They can easily identify who is not a biological father of a child as well as show the likelihood of paternity for another. If you are involved in a contested paternity case, you will be asked to provide a sample to the court for testing.

Can single individuals adopt?

As a single person, you may feel that adoption is the one chance you have at bringing a child into your life. Maybe you're not prepared to wait any longer for a long-term partner, or perhaps you're just ready to bring a child into your life and plan to stay a single parent. Whatever the reason is, there are ways to adopt as a single person.

Around 22 million children grow up in single-parent households across the nation. Nontraditional households are becoming accepted, and the benefits are clear. Children who go through an adoption and end up in single-parent households do as well or even better as those in traditional households.

Canadian victims of domestic violence welcome in California

If you were fleeing from domestic violence, you'd want to have the protection order enforced no matter where you go. That is possible for Canadians in California now, thanks to a new law.

Canadian neighbors to the north may be pleased to hear that California has passed a law that will recognize restraining orders for domestic violence cases based in Canada. The law has been signed by Governor Brown and written by Senator Bill Dodd. The goal is to help victims of domestic violence while strengthening relations with Canada.

Can states restrict who can adopt based on religion?

A Texas law that allows child welfare providers to halt and deny adoptions to same-sex parents based on the providers' religious beliefs is a discriminatory law that doesn't sit well with other states. One in particular, California, has now banned state-funded travel to Texas as a way of showing its support to the families the law denies.

The attorney general's office stated that the Texas House Bill 3859 allows for discrimination that could disqualify families from the the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community from adopting through the state's foster or adoption system. Not only is that discriminatory, but it is holding back children who could be placed in loving homes.

Talk about a prenuptial agreement before marriage

When you're planning to get married, the last thing you want to talk about is your marital property and how to manage it. You want to focus on your relationship and the future you plan together.

Now is a good time to talk about your property, though. By creating a prenuptial agreement before you get married, you can protect yourself and your to-be. This agreement makes sure it's clear which property will be divided in divorce and helps you identify separate property.

Bilingual divorce: Raising your children with two languages

Getting a divorce is hard enough, but imagine having a child who is speaking two languages. If you're a parent who doesn't speak the other language, you might feel alienated or stressed as you try to understand your child. You may feel threatened because you can't understand everything your ex says to your child.

While you both live in different homes and have your child at different times, the language barrier can still become a problem. So, how can you handle dual-lingual child custody concerns without offending the other parent? Here are a few ideas:

Custody conflicts don't need to involve your child

Your children are not the deliverers of your news to your ex. They are not the go-betweens when you and your ex can't get along. As divorced parents, it's up to you to focus on what's best for your children, and that is not to use them as your messengers.

It is stressful to go through a divorce, but it is equally distressing for a child. Using your child as a messenger puts a heavy burden on him or her. Even if you and your ex don't want to talk to each other, you owe it to your child to do so. That way, he or she does not have to fall into the center of conflict.