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Riverside California Family Law Blog

Pros and cons associated with monthly and lump sum alimony

Many California families are led by a single head of household that serves as the breadwinner while their spouse stays at home to take care of the home and kids. If that's long been the case with your family here in Riverside, then it's likely that you plan to request alimony from your spouse when you two split up.

Most individuals are familiar with the idea of receiving monthly spousal support payments to help the dependent spouse get the necessary educational or career training necessary to financially support themselves. What many paying spouses don't realize is that there's an alternative to making monthly alimony payments. They can simply make a lump-sum one instead.

Same-sex adoptions are increasing

Up until the last few years, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in California and across the nation struggled to gain the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. This was especially a problem for homosexual couples looking to adopt or foster children. There's been an uptick in LGBTQ adoptions in recent years thanks to shifts in perspectives though.

Research recently conducted by the Family Equality Council reveals that nearly 70% of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) millennials desire to have children. At least 58% of those who do plan to adopt. Of those, 41% are open to fostering a child.

What lasting impact does domestic violence have on my health?

If you asked most people if they believed that domestic violence left a lasting impact on a victim's life, they'd likely tell you that it doesn't. Research conducted by the national nonprofit Futures Without Violence (FWV), however, shows that it does. They found that domestic violence victims are at a significantly higher risk of developing health problems than those who haven't been subjected to such treatment.

FWV's research shows that domestic violence victims often experience extreme stress. This causes them to develop debilitating medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, chronic pain and heart disease at higher rates than others.

An attorney can help you decide if divorce is right for you

It is natural and normal to turn to other people for advice when you find yourself considering making big changes. However, not everyone is equally equipped to offer valuable guidance to those in need of advice.

Many people will turn to their friends or family members to make major life decisions without stopping to consider how many decisions also have legal and financial repercussions. Your friends and family members may be able to give you some assistance based on their own perceptions of your situation, but they may not be able to offer truly expert opinions.

Spousal support may soon cap out at 5 years in California

On August 8, the California Secretary of State (SoS) announced that a new family law petition had begun circulating. If the proposal were to generate enough support among voters, lawmakers would be one step closer to limiting the length of time that a spouse can collect alimony here.

In California, individuals who propose bills or amendments to them must first have the state attorney general assign a title and summarize its aims. The proposal is then forwarded to both the SoS and the bill's proponent.

Why parental rights are terminated before a California adoption

There are many ways to adopt a child in California, each with different requirements to do so. If there's one commonality shared between them, it's that the child's biological parents are required to terminate their parental rights before an adoption is allowed to move forward.

Many parents of newborns who don't feel that they can adequately care for a child relinquish their parental rights to an adoptive parent with the expectation that they can give their son or daughter a better life.

Deciding what's in the best interest of your child isn't easy

If you're going through a divorce, then you've likely heard your Riverside family court judge say they'll decide what's in the best interests of the child. While that sounds ideal, you may wonder what that means for your family in your specific circumstances. It's simply a way for the court to convey that visitation or custody decisions they make will take into account certain factors to make sure that the children remain safe.

Like family court judges all around the country, those in California generally weigh a multitude of factors when determining which parent is better suited to take care of their child.

How you can help your child through your California divorce

Divorce is often difficult for spouses to cope with, especially the longer they've been married or the more high-value assets that they share. Parents often don't realize how much their divorce also impacts their kids until they start having behavioral problems at home or school. There are ways that parents can take charge of the situation so that their child can feel supported as you all navigate the unchartered waters of divorce.

One of the best things that you can do as a parent when you're in the process of divorce is to keep routines as close as you can to the way that they've always been. Kids tend to thrive on stability. If you keep things consistent for them, then there will be less of a reason for them to need to adjust to changing circumstances. This should help regulate their mood.

Financial literacy slows domestic violence rates

It's a story that many victims of domestic violence tell once they finally break free from their abusers. Many of them were held captive, not allowed to interact with others or to have access to any money. Others were forced to work and have their pay deposited into their abuser's account. Most never had access to funds. This made it hard for them to get up and walk away from their toxic relationships.

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) has found that many of the victims of domestic violence that they've helped over the years remain in toxic relationships because they're financially insecure. This is why they've started going into the communities where some of the most vulnerable populations live to teach women about financial literacy.

Can children choose their own custody situation?

After nearly two decades of marriage, your spouse asks for a divorce. You have a child together, a 14-year-old boy. You both want custody, and you're both very involved in your son's life.

However, you have heard that children can essentially do whatever they want at age 14. They can simply ask the court to let them live with their mother or father, and the court has to go along with it. The child is now old enough to choose their own custody situation, and what you want -- or what you think is best for the child -- doesn't matter anymore.