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Riverside Family Law Blog

Divorce: How to get it done

Every year, numerous couples in California choose to end their relationships and move on to bigger and better things. If you are among that group this year, you probably have a number of questions about the divorce process and how to best go about it. The good thing about the divorce process is that there is more than one way to get it done.

What are my divorce options? How do I get the process started? Will I have to go to court? How long can I expect the whole process to take? All of these are great questions with both basic and complex answers.

Key domestic violence statistics and facts

One of the most difficult topics to discuss may be abuse and violence within intimate relationships. Sadly, reports of domestic violence have only increased over time and do not show signs of decreasing. California residents who are struggling with this serious problem are not alone in their suffering and can reach out for assistance.

According to recent statistics, an estimated 20 victims suffer abuse every minute of the day. This equates to approximately 10 million women and men suffering harm in one year's time. An estimated one out every four women and one out of every seven men will become a victim of serious physical abuse as a result of an intimate relationship in their lifetimes. In addition, an estimated 25 percent of women and 5 percent of men have been the victim of a stalker to the point that they feared for their safety or the safety of their loved ones.

Ex-spouse shares her experience with a military divorce

Those who are married to a military member often endure many changes in their lives as well as the sacrifices that come with deployments and relocation. This may make a military marriage more difficult than a civilian union. Furthermore, obtaining a military divorce when the relationship is no longer sustainable may require more effort than a non-military dissolution. California residents who are contemplating a divorce may benefit from the assistance of a professional who is knowledgeable about military procedures.

Recently, one former military spouse shared her experience after several years of marriage and a subsequent divorce. When asked what she wanted others to learn from her story, she encouraged other spouses to ensure that they work to obtain their own financial well-being. She lamented that she had not made retirement plans of her own, as she had simply relied on her former spouse's plans.

Musician settles divorce with ex-wife for more than $6 million

Those who are involved in the entertainment field are often envied for their opulent lifestyles. Unfortunately, when their marriages come to an end, they may struggle to work out a settlement agreement that allows them to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. California residents may be concerned about how the state's divorce laws will impact their own settlement agreements.

Recently, a well-known guitarist announced that he and his ex-wife have finally reached an agreement after having filed for divorce in 2014. Saul Hudson, also known as simply Slash, had offered to pay his now ex-wife several million dollars months earlier in order to bring the proceedings to a close. His former wife only recently accepted the terms of the agreement and will walk away with more than $6 million dollars.

Advocates claim Ohio State failed domestic violence victims

Media sources feature many stories concerning sports figures and coaches who have either purportedly abused others or have worked to conceal such actions. Advocates of victims of domestic violence are calling for more to be done to ensure that such abuse is eliminated from sporting programs. There are countless California residents who have suffered harm from this pervasive societal problem.

A top coach for a well-known university along with its athletic director were recently reprimanded for their purported failure to take early action over allegations that an assistant coach had abused his former wife for years. Urban Meyer, the school's popular head football coach, was suspended without pay for several weeks and is prevented from coaching the first few games of the season. The athletic director, Gene Smith, was likewise suspended. Both men offered apologies to the school's fans and alumni for their failure to take corrective actions when the allegations of domestic abuse first came to their attention.

Child custody disputes require much effort and time to resolve

The end of a relationship between parents often results in disagreements over who will have custody of the children and how the children should be raised. In many situations, parents are able to arrive at a workable child custody plan before the matter goes before a family court judge. California has its own laws regarding how custody will be awarded, but the majority of courts attempt to preserve a child's relationship with both parents whenever possible.

According to many professionals, the issue of deciding on custody can be an expensive and complicated process, especially when the parents are unable to work together effectively. It is estimated that 20 percent of the disputes that come before a family court judge involve allegations of domestic violence or other potentially serious issues. In these cases, judges are tasked with attempting to determine what arrangements will protect a child's best interest while still preserving a parent-child relationship. Unfortunately, judges may have limited information about the personality traits of either parent.

Workable parenting plans share several commonalities

Setting up a parenting plan that will give you, the other parent and your children the best possible start to your new lives may take some doing. You will probably spend the bulk of your negotiations attempting to make that happen.

The problem may be in determining what types of provisions will make your parenting plan successful. Other California couples before you have created workable plans, and many of them have certain commonalities. If you can determine what they are, you may use them in your plan as well.

End to anonymous reporting reduce false child abuse allegations?

The issue of child abuse has been a growing concern. Unfortunately, while there are children who are in danger of being harmed by their care providers, there are also families who have been traumatized by false child abuse allegations. Though California has its own laws guiding how these reports are made, anonymous reporting may be a contributor to these allegations.

Recently, a well-known activist for some social issues was the target of a child abuse investigation. According to reports, an anonymous caller contacted child welfare workers in his state and reported that the children were victims of undisclosed abuse. However, this particular individual was able to resist caseworkers' efforts to interview his children. Now, there are advocates who are calling for a change in the laws that guide how suspected abuse is reported. 

For many couples, it was the fight that ended in divorce

When a marriage comes to an end, there is often a pattern of behavior that may indicate the impending demise. For many couples, there may be a particular fight that they point to as the final straw for their troubled relationship. California residents who can see a divorce in their future may be able to relate to some of the experiences divorced couples shared.

Divorce is never an easy undertaking, and the emotions that proceed them often come out in disagreements that tend to be repeated. Several couples shared their experiences with recurring fights that led to the decisions to end their relationships. One of the fights that may be common to many couples is arguing over the need for counseling, which one partner sees no value in while the other sees such a tool as vital to communication. Another common point of disagreement is differing views over money. If one partner is the main breadwinner and the other enjoys spending, this may make the marriage untenable.

Grandparents still wait for more help under family law

Years ago, extended family members were often close, both geographically and physically. However, in many situations, grandparents are often unable to visit their grandchildren as frequently as they would like, and they may not have recourse under the current family law provisions in their states. While California does provide for grandparents to seek visitation rights, there are restrictions on the conditions that apply.

The issue of granting grandparents the right to petition for visitation is often a contentious topic. Many states have ruled that it is a matter of privacy and that parents have the right to choose who can have contact with their children. Three years ago, one state passed another law that was intended to bolster the right for grandparents to seek visitation. However, the law has not had the desired effect, as the woman who first sued for the right to see her twin grandchildren has still been unable to see them. In that case, the woman sought the right to be with the children after her daughter went missing.

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