Articles Posted in Divorce and Children

It’s no secret that many divorces can be difficult and contentious (although they certainly don’t have to be). Between the raw feelings from splitting up, disagreements regarding how to deal with the children, and the inability to reach agreements regarding spousal support and property, things can be difficult. One case in particular, Sagonowsky v. Kekoa, illustrates what happens when a contentious case totally goes off the rails.

The appeals court, in somewhat of an understatement, called the underlying proceedings a “lengthy and acrimonious battle.” Here are just some of the ways this case was acrimonious: Continue reading

This won’t be the first, and probably won’t be the last, time that I post a blog about how dogs get treated in a divorce. Why? As a dog owner I know what a meaningful role the family pet plays in our lives. As an attorney, I have seen the emotional impact that this issue can have on my clients. Because pets play such a big role our lives, it can become a major issue when divorcing spouses don’t agree on what should happen to the dog when they divorce. In Part 1 of this blog, I examine a recent decision by a Canadian judge and in Part 2, new legislation in Alaska, which together make this topic more relevant than ever.

A decision of the Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan dated August 31, 2016 begins by stating “Dogs are wonderful creatures. They are often highly intelligent, sensitive, and active, and are our constant and faithful companions. Many dogs are treated as member of the family with whom they live.” True! I don’t think any dog or pet owner could disagree with that! Continue reading

 

We have discussed the issue of domestic violence and domestic violence restraining orders in many different contexts on our blog before. In this post, we will discuss an issue that just about every party with a restraining order faces: how to renew his or her restraining order. Continue reading

The “Right of First Refusal” is a concept originating from contract law that grants the holder of the right the option to enter into a business transaction with the owner of something before the owner may enter into a transaction with a third party.  Put more simply; before you can sell your widget to a third party, you must ask whether I want to buy the widget.  So why are we blogging about a contractual right on a family law blog? Continue reading

Much like Kleenex, Band-Aids, or Xerox (products that have become synonymous with the brands that popularized them), Uber has become synonyms with ride-share applications.  Even if you take a Lyft, most people will still say “taking an Uber.”  Having an on demand driver 24/7 at your fingertips makes it hard to imagine how we survived before Uber was created.  Uber has solved many problems people did not realize they even had.  There is one problem it has not solved…transporting your children in a co-parenting relationship. Continue reading

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that child custody and visitation are fluid orders as that often change with the needs of the child.  This makes a lot of sense because a 3 year-old  is very different from a 16 year-old and will therefore have a very different child sharing schedule.  Also as a frequent reader, you know that a change in the time sharing percentage of the children often justifies a change in the child support orders.  Small changes in the time share percentage are unlikely to make a big impact. Big changes in guideline child support require major shifts in the child sharing percentage.  Continue reading

My favorite holiday song is Andy Williams’ version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  Something about that song encapsulates everything that is special about the winter holiday season.  There are the lights, the food, the family, and the nostalgia of being a kid at Christmas.  Now that I have a family of my own, seeing this special season through the eyes of my own children makes it all feel that much more real and special. However, for many divorced or divorcing parents the winter break is a difficult time.  In this blog I want to address a couple common issues that divorcing parents face and with them provide some advice for enjoying the holidays in spite of the difficulties of a divorce. Continue reading

Change is a big part of any divorce. When you have children, dealing with change can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce.  No matter how many times people tell you that “kids are resilient and everything will be okay” it doesn’t make it any easier.  The truth is, most kids handle divorce well especially when their parents are able to successfully co-parent.  Nonetheless, there is one change that no amount of co-parenting can make easier.  That is changing schools.  Most families only have one residence which means that at least one parent will need to find a new home.   If that new home happens to be in the same neighborhood as the former family residence, then changing schools should not be an issue.  More often than not however, one parent moves to a residence that is zoned for a different school than the children currently attend.

So what do you do? Continue reading

If you have children and are currently going through the divorce process or have been recently divorced, you have probably already realized that the holidays as you’ve come to know them will be different from now on. The Thanksgiving holiday, as family-centered as it is, is one of the most difficult holidays to get through if you are just getting used to this idea.  What follows is a brief overview of custody issues during the holidays and some tips on getting through the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Continue reading

Child support in California can be very complicated and the changed circumstances rule is one of the reasons why. The changed circumstances rule requires a court to deny a request to modify child support if the court determines that there was no material change in circumstances since the time the last child support order was made.

First, let’s go over some basics. California, like every other state, is required to have a Guideline formula to determine what the proper amount of support should be. The Court is required to follow the Guideline, absent a few very narrowly construed exceptions (See Family Code section 4059). If a child support order is determined to be “above Guideline,” i.e. more than what the formula would provide, that child support order cannot be subsequently changed unless there has been a material change of circumstances. However, if a child support order is determined to be “below guideline,” no change of circumstances is required to increase that order to a Guideline order. Continue reading