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Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

Can a Parent Permanently Lose Custody Rights in California?

Can a Parent Permanently Lose Custody Rights in California?

The family court system of California has a legal obligation to protect the best interests of the children affected by family court orders, including divorce cases and child custody determinations. Generally, the court upholds that a child thrives best with equal access to both of their parents. However, the court will only seek such custody arrangements as long as both of the child’s parents are fit and safe to raise their child. When a parent has engaged in criminal activity, especially any misconduct that involves victimization of their child or other children, the court is unlikely to grant much in the way of custody rights to the parent. It’s also possible for a parent to permanently lose their custody rights as a result of some behaviors.

Involuntary termination of parental rights is one of the most severe penalties a parent can face through the family court system. Additionally, when a parent qualifies for involuntary termination of their parental rights, their behavior could be severe enough to warrant criminal prosecution as well.

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Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in a Contested Divorce

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in a Contested Divorce

Your divorce is likely to be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. The outcome of your divorce is likely to influence your life in many ways for years to come. The majority of divorces that unfold in California are contested, meaning the divorcing spouses disagree on various aspects of their divorce and must resolve these differences before their divorce can be finalized. If you and your spouse are heading into a contested divorce, it’s vital to know what to expect from the process and what you can do to make it an easier experience.

Unfortunately, many people in this position make critical mistakes that dramatically affect the outcomes of their divorce cases. If you are preparing to divorce in California, review the following list of mistakes to avoid so you can approach your divorce case with greater confidence and understanding of the legal mechanisms in play.

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How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

Life can pose unpredictable challenges for anyone. When changes in your lifestyle occur due to forces beyond your control, some of these changes can have a material impact on any standing family court orders that you must observe. For example, if you have a family court order requiring you to pay child support and you lose your job due to company-wide layoffs, you may not be able to meet your child support obligation by no fault of your own. When these things happen, and you are concerned about your ability to abide by a standing family court order, it’s vital to understand how the modification process can help your situation.

Family law is unique in that it is possible to alter your family court order without a complex, time-consuming appeal process. Instead, modification allows any party beholden to a family court order to request reasonable changes to their family court order through a simplified process. While this may seem straightforward at first, consulting an experienced California family law attorney before filing your petition for modification is a wise choice. Your attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds for a modification, guide you through the process, and may even have suggestions for other alterations you could reasonably request that could make it easier for you to manage your court-ordered obligations in the future.

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California’s Community Property Law in Divorce Mediation

California’s Community Property Law in Divorce MediationDivorce is a notoriously arduous process for many reasons, one of the most commonly cited being property division. Unfortunately, California is one of the few states that upholds a community property statute, one that many people find to be too rigid and imbalanced when it comes to determining a fair distribution of marital property in a divorce. However, while the community property law of California may seem overbearing at first, it is actually more flexible than many people realize, and many California divorce agreements do not end with a completely equal division of marital assets and debts.

If you plan to end your marriage in California soon, it is essential to understand the state’s community property law and how it is likely to come into play in your divorce. This law essentially states that all assets and debts acquired during a marriage are the equal property of both spouses. However, the actual legal process of property division in California requires a close examination of various aspects of each asset and every debt involved in a divorce.

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Divorce Mediation Vs. Litigation

Divorce Mediation Vs. Litigation

The divorce process is never an easy experience, even for couples who have reached completely mutual decisions to divorce without any second thoughts. The formal steps required to end a marriage in the California family court system are more stressful and time-consuming than many people realize, and it’s vital to approach this situation armed with valuable information that will help you make informed decisions about your options. One of the most vital considerations you must make is how you should go about handling your divorce. You don’t necessarily need to prepare for a difficult court battle; alternative dispute resolution can potentially offer a more streamlined, less stressful, and ultimately less expensive divorce.

Alternative dispute resolution allows a divorcing couple to avoid the typical stress, expense, and time commitment divorce usually entails. Divorce mediation has quickly become the most popular form of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples throughout California, and it’s essential to consider the potential benefits this process may hold for you in your situation. It’s also necessary to understand what the divorce litigation process involves and how mediation can help you avoid much of the litigation divorce usually entails.

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Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

Important Steps to Take Before Filing Your Divorce Petition in California

The decision to end your marriage is likely to be one of the most impactful decisions you ever make, and it is not one you should make lightly. While it’s vital to take the appropriate time to consider your decision and its potential effects very carefully, it is equally important to consider the potential drawbacks of ending your marriage and the steps required for completing the process.

Many Americans have preconceived notions about divorce that do not entirely align with reality, and many others encounter unforeseen issues with their divorce cases they did not expect and did not know how to handle. Therefore, before you file a divorce petition, consider the following so you can approach this demanding situation with greater confidence.

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Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Navigating the court system can be exceedingly difficult for those new to the experience. In particular, many individuals are unfamiliar with the often-prevalent legal jargon—especially when it comes to the complex processes and legal documents this jargon can describe. Fortunately, the average person is not expected to understand each detail of our complex legal system or the nuances within the law. Skilled attorneys exist to demystify the legal system and guide their clients through their court proceedings successfully.

However, it is important to be aware of the most common legal terms, especially those that pertain to your case. To that end, one of the most asked questions our attorneys receive is regarding writs and appeals. These two legal petitions can dramatically affect how a case proceeds and the differences between them can make a major difference in the timeline of a case. Further, some legal proceedings require a writ, while others require appeals.

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The Legal Process for the Division of Marital Property: Identification, Characterization, and Valuation

The Legal Process for the Division of Marital Property: Identification, Characterization, and Valuation

The division of property in a divorce case can be a very contentious issue—and for good reason. People feel pride and ownership in the things they have worked hard to attain over the course of a marriage. It’s only natural that most prefer to keep the assets they have earned, or at least take the time to decide how to divide them fairly.

However, it is important to recognize that California is a community property state, which means that all income earned, debt acquired, and assets purchased during the marriage are considered “community property” owned by the couple, not the individual. Because of this distinction, it is important for both spouses to understand the legal process of property division.

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What Are Grounds for Annulment in California?

What Are Grounds for Annulment in California?

In California, divorces and annulments serve the same general purpose—to legally terminate a marriage between two parties. However, the two tools function in vastly different ways. While an annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage never existed, it is different from a divorce. Divorcing spouses recognize that they were once legally married but choose to terminate the marriage relationship and keep a legal record of the life event. By contrast, annulments allow the spouses to proceed with no record of the marriage because the marriage was not legal in the first place. This specific illegitimate aspect is known as “grounds” for the annulment.

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What Happens When a Parent Violates a Custody Agreement in California?

What Happens When a Parent Violates a Custody Agreement in California?

When divorced or unmarried parents have a child custody agreement in California, both of them need to abide by the terms of the agreement to the letter. While life is unpredictable, and a parent may have an emergency or other unforeseen issue that interrupts their regular custody or visitation schedule, these one-off events are typically easy to manage between the parents. However, if a parent repeatedly violates the terms of a custody agreement or violates the terms to an extreme degree, the other parent must know how to address the situation and prevent similar issues in the future.

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