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Vista California Family Law Blog

Marriage setbacks: There are ways to work through these issues

It's not uncommon for people to run into setbacks in their marriages, especially if you're in the military. With long deployments and other related factors, it's no surprise that spouses may be frustrated or lonely. You may find that your marriage is struggling, even though you thought it would last.

No one goes into a marriage thinking about divorce, but divorce sometimes is the solution to a growing issue. Before you consider that option, it's a good idea to think of other ways to address the concerns in your relationship. How can you start addressing the problems you see?

What happens with custody if both parents are in the military?

When you and your spouse are in the military, it can be hard to know what to do about child custody during your divorce. You both face deployment, and that can strain your relationships. Custody rules are complicated in these kinds of situations, but one main factor is the same: The decisions that are made need to benefit your child.

When you create your custody plan, you need to account for the potential to be moved to another state, to be deployed or to move to an overseas military base. If you take custody, for example, while you and your spouse live in the same state but then have to go out of the country, what will happen to your child?

Military pensions are up for grabs during a divorce

A military divorce has many factors. When you decide to get a divorce and are in the military, you need to decide on how you want to move forward. Do you want to focus on getting or avoiding paying spousal support? Do you want to get the custody arrangement you prefer? Maybe you're most concerned with the pension. Whatever the situation, you need to develop a plan for your negotiations.

Money is normally a major issue in divorce. Depending on the length of your marriage, your spouse may receive a portion of your military pension. When service members retire after at least 20 years of active service, they are entitled to a retirement pension. Retirement pensions are marital property, so they can be divided in divorce.

Man accused of child abduction points out custody dispute issues

Child custody cases can quickly become contentious, and without the right mediation, they can turn into child kidnapping cases. While not all parents would turn to such extreme measures, those who feel they have no chance to be with their children might do so.

That appears to be what happened in this case involving a child and his or her father. This is a good example of why you should always take the correct legal path to getting custody of your children.

2 important facts about filing your military divorce

You never expected to go through a divorce, but the military lifestyle isn't for everyone. Your spouse has been frustrated with moving around the country, and over time, that frustration has caused a strain on your relationship.

Both of you want to get the divorce over with quickly and as kindly as possible, so you can move on with your lives. What do you need to know about military divorces?

A domestic partnership adoption may have benefits for your family

When you want to adopt a child, you might run into an issue where you're not married but want to adopt with your partner. Whether you're hetero or homosexual makes no difference; a domestic partner adoption requires you to have at least parent go through the adoption process if he or she is not related to the child but would like to obtain parental rights.

A domestic partner adoption secures two legal parents for your child, but it is a major step. It might be a good option for you if you adopted a child as a single person in the past, created a child with help from a donor or got remarried and would like your new spouse to legally have rights when it comes to raising your child.

Close to a 10-year marriage? Get to 10 years before your divorce

You've wanted to get a divorce for a while, but you're not sure if you want to talk to your spouse about it yet. It's a major step, and once you say you want a divorce, things won't be the same again.

While some people can discuss the possibility of divorce, grow stronger through it and end up saving their marriages, many find that once they state that they want a divorce, the end is coming. If you're preparing to end your marriage, keep in mind that there is a benefit to staying married at least ten years if you can.

Supreme Court ruling could change your military divorce agreement

In a landmark case, the Supreme Court determined that the spouses of military retirees who suffer from service-related disabilities may end up with a reduced share of the individual's pension. When a military member elects to receive disability pay from the Veteran's Association, it offsets what he or she owes to his or her spouse, and ends up gaining the military member a higher income in exchange.

The case that made waves for military couples started in 1991 with a typical divorce. The couple's divorce stated that the man's wife would receive half of his military retirement pay. In 2005, the man's ex-wife went back to court because he gave up $250 in retirement benefits to get that much back in tax-free disability benefits. As a result, the woman received less than she had before. She took the case all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court with her ex, and both that court and previous courts agreed that the man should have to pay her more to make up for the loss he accepted.

Make financial withdrawals before you file for a divorce

If you are considering getting a divorce, you may want to think about starting a separate bank account now. If you don't and only have a shared account when you file, you may be restricted to not using the account until your assets are divided. This could be difficult for you, especially if you have no way to reroute payments or don't have a job to support yourself.

In many marriages, it's still the husband who earns the most. Some earn all the money that comes into the household. So, the question is, do you have a right to take money out of the shared account, and if so, how long do you have to wait after you file for a divorce?

These tips are important for divorcing couples

Divorce attorneys have been through hundreds and maybe thousands of cases, so it's no surprise that they're familiar with the ins and outs of a divorce. Divorces aren't just legal paperwork; they require the parties to negotiate and to spend time and money focused on the end of their marriage. As such, there are often emotions involved in decisions and times when an attorney has to address real concerns with his or her client's plans.

Divorces can bring out the worst in both parties, but it's important not to let yours determine what you decide when you're negotiating a settlement. You should never accept an agreement just because you want to get your divorce over with. Your future is partially dependent on what you decide during the divorce negotiations, so you should take time to make sure you get everything you deserve.