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Vista California Family Law Blog

Yes, you can begin a divorce during deployment

Military divorces are sometimes complicated, particularly if you're deployed. If you are deployed and want a divorce, you are able to file for divorce during deployment. However, you have to keep in mind that you still have time on deployment and won't be able to step into court any time soon.

For the spouses of deployed military members who are served with divorce documents, there are steps to take. Initially, the best thing for either party to do is to talk to an attorney about the situation. Deployment will likely draw out the length of this divorce, but that also means that the spouse who is not deployed has more time to get documentation together for the court.

What are the benefits and downsides to joint legal custody?

The laws in California favor joint physical and legal custody. What does that mean for you? It's a good question.

Joint legal and physical custody means that both parents have the child in their care a proportion of the time and both have the right to make important decisions about their child's life. For example, a parent with legal custody may determine where a child goes to school or what religion they study. Parents who do not have legal custody have no opportunity to make those decisions.

Pet owners rejoice: New laws address pet care in divorce

If you are divorcing with your pets in tow, then you may be happy to hear about a change that has just occurred. In California, pets are being seen as more than property by the courts.

That means that they won't simply be split up as assets in the future. No, instead, the care of the pet is going to be considered when people are divorcing.

Making the decision to divorce: Your options

Making the decision to end your marriage isn't easy, but it may be the right thing for you in certain circumstances. When faced with the reality that your marriage is not going well, you have two choices. You can try to make it work or you can end it. Whatever you decide, it's important that you take steps to think about what will happen next.

Should you decide to divorce, you will need to think about the ways your life will be negatively impacted. It's important to know how your job, relationships and health could be affected.

Going to trial for property division: Judges decide

Deciding how to divide your property is not always easy, but it's a good idea to try to do so without the court intervening. While you can allow a judge to make decisions for you, you have little control over the outcome when you do so.

If you and your spouse are in a good relationship and can be civil with one another despite the divorce, then you may wish to negotiate among yourselves and present your agreement to your attorneys to make them legal. Your attorneys will make sure that you have everything needed in your settlement.

Online divorces versus traditional divorce: A better deal?

There are two kinds of divorces, the digital, online divorce and a common divorce. Many people believe that they can complete their own forms and turn in an online divorce, but it's a complex process that you shouldn't take for granted.

The reason many people turn to an online divorce is that it allegedly saves money. Filing in California tends to cost between $139 and $149 online for simple divorces. Overall, it's a quick way to get a divorce, but it could result in costs down the line.

Prenuptial agreement invalidation: Is yours legal?

If you created a prenuptial agreement before you got married, you may be ahead of many couples in that regard. However, there is a chance that your prenuptial agreement could be invalid, leaving you with no protection at all.

There are a few different reasons why a prenuptial agreement could be invalid. For example, coercion invalidates it, as does fraud. Here's a little more to consider:

Divorce isn’t a DIY project

Divorcing spouses can hire a mediator to work through divorce disputes or represent themselves in court. Ex-spouses may even file for divorce without a lawyer using court provided documents. While these option may seem more simple and inexpensive, the result is more than likely to lead to a courtroom disputes later on.

Here are a few reasons why a "Do It Yourself" divorce is not a good idea.

Not married? Protect your right to see your child

Child custody is a complicated situation whether you're married or not. If you're the father of a child and aren't married to the mother, you're in a precarious situation. You need to make sure you establish paternity, or you could have little or no right to see your child if you and the mother separate.

Paternity is established in one of two ways. The first is through voluntary declarations of paternity. You can sign this when your child is born at the hospital. If you aren't sure if you're the father, then you can file a paternity action and seek a DNA test.