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Vista California Family Law Blog

Does race play a role in a custody case?

As someone in a mixed-race marriage, you know that your divorce could make things complicated. Not only do you have mixed-race children, but you also have family on both sides to consider. Culturally, you and your spouse may be different, but for your children's sake, you need to make your cultures work together.

Your primary concern at this point is who will obtain primary custody of your children. While most courts do like to see children in shared custody or joint custody, that might not be possible depending on the situation. One thing you should know, though, is that your children won't be assigned to a parent based on skin color alone.

Military divorces: The differences you need to know

When you're in the military, the military tends to take precedent over other parts of your life. You may not want to place your duties over taking care of your family, but it's sometimes your obligation. Unfortunately for some, those military obligations can put a strain on their families and lead to divorces.

Military divorces aren't like civilian divorces in some ways. While the legal process for a divorce is primarily the same, some differences in property division and custody arrangements could impact your case. For instance, if you're living with your spouse and a child, your military experience and risk of deployment could put your right to shared or sole custody at risk.

Divorce and debt: What you need to know

If you are heading for divorce and you have been married for at least seven years, you probably had time to accumulate some assets and some debt. While you are probably aware that you will have to split your marital assets with your soon-to-be ex-wife, do not forget that the debt will play a role in your divorce as well.

Unfortunately, handling the debt aspect can sometimes be more complicated than simply splitting it down the middle. Furthermore, debt collectors typically do not care about your divorce decree, especially if you are still listed as a responsible party on their records. The following can help you manage the way divorce affects your debt.

Man flees with children, custody dispute possible

When you don't have custody rights for your children or you withhold custody from the other parent, you need to know that you could get into trouble with the law. You could end up losing your right to see your child or children, too.

If there's ever a concern about custody, it's important to talk to your attorney about it before you do something rash. Taking your children out of the other parent's custody or keeping them longer than the court order allows could put you in a negative position. You could end up facing charges for abducting your children or be accused of parental kidnapping.

Community property in California defines asset division

California is one of few states with community property laws. Community property laws differ from equitable distribution laws since assets collected during a marriage are split equally between those getting a divorce. Any property obtained during the marriage automatically becomes marital property.

In an equitable distribution state, assets are split in a fair way. For some, that may mean one person leaves the marriage with everything. For others, splitting the property equally is fair. In California, community property is always split 50/50.

How can you prepare for a divorce?

No one likes the idea of a divorce, but everyone knows they have to prepare if they want to get one. Preparing for divorce ranges from getting up the courage to ask your spouse for a divorce to putting away enough money to hire an attorney. Here are some of the best tips to help you be prepared.

First, make sure you're as educated about divorce as possible. Know the process and what steps to take. Before you talk to your spouse, start collecting important documents like bank account information and credit information. Take note of your assets; you may even want to take photos.

Get help with your military divorce to prevent mistakes

When you go through a divorce after you or your spouse has been in the military, one thing that will come up is your military retirement benefits. It's important that you work with an attorney familiar with military retirement, because there are a few kinds that could influence your divorce case.

Active duty retirement, for example, takes place in three ways. One is a final retired pay. Another is called High-3. The third is known as CSB/Redux. In some cases, people can receive their benefits at a young age as soon as they've completed enough time in the military. In other cases, they must wait until they are at least 60 years old. Knowing the kind of retirement you have is key to understanding how the benefits should be split during divorce.

Paying child support can be both a good and bad thing

These child support modification tips will keep you on track:

On the plus side, you know that paying child support money goes a long way in giving your child the life he or she deserves. And as a parent, there is nothing more important than that.

Why would you get an annulment instead of a divorce?

A divorce isn't always what a married couple needs. Sometimes, an annulment is enough. An annulment differs from divorce, because it makes it appear like you were never married, not just that your marriage ended. An annulment is used to show that your marriage was not legal and therefore, was not binding.

There are several reasons you could need an annulment. For instance, you can't get married to two people, so if you were previously married when you got married a second time, the result would be an illegal (and invalid) marriage. Incestuous marriages are also illegal.

Protecting yourself after divorce: Refinancing your home

After a divorce, it's usually a good idea to look into refinancing your home. Why? There are a few good reasons to do so, including that you will be able to protect your credit, could use your home equity for other purposes or buy your spouse out of the property.

One thing that people shouldn't do following divorce is allow the home to remain in both their names. If possible, it's a good idea to either sell the property or to refinance the home into one person's name. Why is that a good idea? It comes down to protecting your credit. If you both have your names on the mortgage and one person forgets to make a payment, the other one is still on the hook, even if you aren't supposed to be paying.