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Riverside California Family Law Blog

You can escape domestic violence if you seek help

Domestic violence is nothing more than a type of control one person uses over another. It could be physical violence, financial control or emotional abuse. It is well-understood that it is destructive behavior that harms not only the people directly involved but also those who witness it.

Domestic violence primarily involves women as victims, but that doesn't mean that men can't be victimized. In reality, there are staggering numbers of men and women who have suffered at the hands of their partners or spouses.

Enjoy visitation time with your kids by exploring their interests

As a noncustodial parent, it's hard to see the smiling faces of your children when you pick them up on visitation day, because you know how badly they've missed you. It's even harder to say good-bye to them after dropping them off at the other parent's home.

This is why it's so important to make the most of the limited amount of time you get to spend with them. Here are two perspectives that will help you do exactly that with your kids.

3 common child custody questions

If you're in the throes of a contentious divorce and child custody process, you probably have a lot of questions -- and divorce misconceptions -- running through your mind. These questions will probably be imbued with hurt feelings, even anger, at the way your spouse has treated you during your breakup. With this in mind, here are three common child custody questions for which litigants sometimes don't have clear answers:

I feel like my husband abandoned me and the children when he had an affair. Will the family law judge agree and give me full child custody?

What is an attorney's retainer fee?

When you hire an attorney, freelancer, lawyer or another kind of professional consultant, it's common to pay a "retainer fee." This is not the total amount that you will pay the professional. In certain cases, you will pay less, and the professional will return the remainder of the retainer to you when the job is completed. In other cases, you will need to pay the professional more as they continue to work on your case.

In the case of hiring an attorney, the retainer is an essential part to confirm the commitment of both parties to the attorney-client relationship. Usually, the client and the attorney will also sign a formalized fee and employment agreement to solidify the relationship. In many cases, the receiver of the retainer fee will deposit the money in a separate account to draw from after performing services and incurring additional fees.

Why do spouses need to pay alimony?

There are a variety of reasons why spouses need to pay alimony. For one, it could be the law that you or your spouse must pay alimony in your divorce case -- particularly if you've been married for an extended period of time and one spouse's capacity to earn an income is particularly less than the other's. Beyond the law, however, there's an important logic behind alimony laws.

From a certain perspective, one might argue that no one should have to pay for the life and livelihood of another. We should all be personally responsible for ourselves and our financial well-being. As beautiful as this notion is, the reality is quite different. Imagine two spouses marry and one spouse is economically disadvantaged compared to the other spouse. By marrying the moneyed spouse, the lesser-moneyed spouse will increase his or financial security; he or she could even become financially dependent on the moneyed spouse and stop working altogether.

3 tips to remember while mediating a child custody dispute

Any kind of child custody dispute will be tense and difficult if the parents aren't ready and willing to reach an agreement.

If you're in the throes of a difficult child custody disagreement, keeping the following tips in mind may help you get through the process:

Liberate yourself from domestic violence with a protective order

Many victims of domestic violence do not realize that they are being victimized. They are just too consumed by their relationship, and the hope that things will get better, and they can't get an objective read on the situation. In fact, it can take years of abuse before a victim wakes up to the fact that he or she has the right to protect him- or herself by leaving the relationship. Even then, once the decision has been made, it could be dangerous to try to leave a violent spouse.

Fortunately, most victims of domestic violence will be able to obtain a restraining order -- or order of protection -- to protect themselves from further harm. Here are a few of the things that might be included in your protective order:

  • No contact provision: A protective order will prevent your ex from texting, calling, emailing, attacking, stalking, disturbing or hitting you.
  • Peaceful contact provision: This provision may allow your abuser to get in touch with you in only very specific circumstances, like child visitation transfers.
  • Stay away provision: This indicates the distance in feet or yards that the abuser must maintain from the victim and his or her home, work or school.
  • Move out provision: This provision makes it so the abuser has to move away from the home.
  • Counseling provision: This provision requires the abuser to go to counseling or anger management classes.

Debts and your divorce: What you need to know

Imagine your husband or wife has a shopping addiction and last year he or she put an incredible $40,000 of debt on a personal credit card. The problem is, you're now getting a divorce and realizing that even though the card was in your spouse's name, that debt will likely be considered a part of the marital estate. As such, you could be shouldering some of that debt burden after the divorce has finalized.

Determining who is responsible for what debt during the asset division process of a divorce isn't always clearcut and straightforward. Here are a few strategies that spouses employ regarding debts during a divorce:

Why you should always journal about your parenting time

Keeping a journal of your parenting activities is a great way to safeguard your parental rights. If the other parent challenges your parental rights in court by falsely accusing you of not being involved or being a negligent parent, you can use your parenting journal entries to prove your commitment and dedication to your children as one of their primary caretakers.

If you can see the benefit of using a parenting journal like this, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Was your divorce caused by jealousy?

Whether you're the jealous spouse or the victim of a jealous spouse, you probably don't feel entirely in control of the situation. Jealousy tends to be a knee-jerk, automatic and uncontrollable reaction. The first time a loved one erupts in a jealous fit of rage, it might be flattering to think that someone loves you so much. However, when it becomes a repeated and regular pattern, the spouse on the other end of the jealousy could eventually decide to call it quits.

Here are five signs that jealousy could be driving one spouse to make the difficult decision to divorce: