Family Law Blog

When Can a Spouse Claim Spousal Benefits?

Social Security exists to provide a financial safety net for retired individuals in the United States. However, navigating the Social Security Administration’s procedures for filing claims for benefits is anything but intuitive, especially when it comes to spouse’s benefits. Suppose your spouse has retired and started claiming benefits from the Social Security Administration. In that case, it is vital to understand how spousal benefits work, how to claim benefits, and what you can expect from your benefit disbursements. The timing of your filing can significantly influence the spousal Social Security benefits you receive as well. An experienced family law attorney

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Is Divorce Mediation Legally Binding?

Divorce mediation has quickly become the preferred method for American couples to handle the dissolution process. There are many reasons behind this trend, including the significant savings of time and money that mediation can provide compared to litigation costs. The litigation process can be incredibly expensive and taxing, even in seemingly simple divorce cases. Mediation provides a divorcing couple the opportunity to streamline their divorce experience and save money on legal fees. It also keeps the process firmly within their control and helps them reach a more rational and personalized result in their divorce case. Many people wonder, is divorce

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What Does a Lawyer Do in a Divorce?

It’s normal to wonder whether you need to hire an attorney once the idea of divorce becomes a reality for you. Hiring an attorney is a major expense. If you already stand to sustain substantial financial losses from your divorce, you may find it difficult to justify the expense of hiring an Oceanside divorce lawyer to represent you. The reality is that you stand to lose much more by not hiring an attorney to assist you. Without legal representation, you might agree to a divorce order that does not work for you in the long run, or you could fail

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Understanding Limited Scope Representation in CA Family Law

It is not uncommon for people facing family-related legal matters to wonder whether they need legal counsel to navigate these issues. Family law matters can vary greatly in terms of scope and impact. You could be facing an intense divorce that is bitterly contested and bound to involve highly complex and sensitive issues, or you may simply need a bit of legal advice as you prepare to negotiate a prenuptial contract or alimony agreement. It’s vital for people facing family law matters to understand what limited scope representation means and the benefit of choosing this legal counsel option for your

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What Are the Five Stages of Divorce?

Divorce is typically one of the most challenging experiences of a person’s life. No matter the grounds for the divorce, it is an emotionally turbulent time for everyone involved, and it can be difficult to process your emotions while undergoing legal proceedings to have the end of your marriage finalized and signed into law. The divorce process, and coping with it, is usually a five-step process. While navigating the emotional side of divorce is entirely on your shoulders, Oceanside divorce attorneys are the best available resource if you need guidance for the legal side of divorce. So what are the

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The Surprising Positive Impact the Coronavirus Is Having on Co-Parenting

The ongoing health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has sent many aspects of American life spiraling into uncertainty. Many families are still adjusting to working from home, limiting social interaction, and relying on digital communication to stay in touch with the people in their lives. Industries have evolved seemingly overnight and public entities like courthouses have closed to the public to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. One of the biggest areas of concern for divorced parents across the nation has been how the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively impact their existing custody agreements. While some parents have encountered significant

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Determining child custody during the holiday season

California residents may have different experiences during the holiday season. For some, it may represent a time of fun with friends and family members. For others, however, it can represent a time of stress and drama. Those who have been divorced may have the additional challenge of figuring out what to do with the children. In some cases, the courts don’t have enough time to help families resolve issues related to parenting and custody issues. It may be a good idea to create a parenting plan prior to getting divorced and attempting to stick to it as closely as possible. This can

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Divorce mediation is a positive alternative to litigation

Marriages end for a variety of reasons for couples in California and across the United States. While the term “divorce” often conjures up images of anger, pain and hatred as well as lengthy struggles in the courtroom, this is not the only way to bring a marriage to an end. Divorce litigation can be costly on both a financial and emotional level. Divorcing couples can lose up to a third of their total net worth due to the fees and costs that come with a contested courtroom divorce. A courtroom environment can emphasize the adversarial nature of divorce proceedings and

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How to increase the odds of success in mediation

Mediation can be an effective tool for California couples who are facing the end of their marriage. However, there are some steps that people should take before starting the mediation process to increase its effectiveness. For instance, people may wish to prepare for a variety of outcomes as opposed to aiming for a specific conclusion. Ideally, a person will consider both his or her needs as well as the needs of the other party. In some cases, the needs of both parties will align closely, which may make a favorable outcome easier to achieve. Those who are going through mediation should take

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Tips for planning a co-parenting plan that works

California parents of minor children must develop a custody or visitation arrangement as part of a divorce. Long-term thinking is essential when negotiating this agreement. Careful consideration of each parent’s work schedule and the children’s school and extracurricular activities could help a person avoid agreeing to a schedule that proves unworkable and results in going back to court to make adjustments. The needs and best interests of the child should guide the parents’ choices. Courts want to see co-parenting proposals that present schedules that all parties can realistically live with. Although parents are often not on good terms when building

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Shared custody benefits well-being of children

Courts guided by old attitudes about children needing to be solely with their mothers continue to grant women full physical custody of children in over 80 percent of custody disputes decided by judges. Researchers, however, have identified shared custody as the ideal, and parents in California facing the possibility of a legal battle over their children should understand that children benefit from relationships with both parents. A professor of adolescent and educational psychology explored the effects of shared custody on children by examining 44 studies about divorce and children. The professor found that parent-child relationships mattered more than persistent conflicts

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Reasons to pursue mediation during family conflicts

Conflicts between family members are a normal part of life, and there may be many ways to resolve them. One option that California residents may wish to pursue to resolve a family conflict is mediation. A key benefit to mediation is that it is a voluntary process that strives toward a win-win result for all involved. All parties talk with a mediator openly and without feeling judged. In a divorce situation, this may help to achieve a result that both spouses may feel comfortable with. When a person engages in mediation, the goal is not to win or lose an argument.

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Prenuptial agreements can help couples plan for the future

Many California couples planning on marriage are also considering prenuptial agreements. As increasing numbers of people marry with strong careers and significant assets already on hand, a prenuptial agreement can seem to be a great way to protect both parties’ interests and cut down on lengthy and expensive legal disputes in the case of a future divorce. When both parties are coming to a marriage with significant assets, the draw of a prenuptial agreement can be even stronger. Both parties have a high level of interest in their individual assets and protecting them in case of divorce or directing their distribution for

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DNA testing plays conclusive role in establishing parentage

DNA testing has a good track record of identifying the father of a child. With an accuracy rate of almost 100 percent, California courts recognize the results as valid when making rulings about child support, visitation and custody. In cases in which a man questions his role as the father of a child, especially if the woman wants him to pay child support, a family court might order a DNA test. For legal purposes, the testing must be performed by a certified facility like a health department, hospital or clinic that follows chain of custody procedures. The test is noninvasive.

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