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When coparenting doesn’t work, try parallel parenting instead

Following divorce, many people hope to be able to co-parent with their ex and put the needs of the children first. Unfortunately this is not always possible. Sometimes an ex-spouse is passive aggressive or openly hostile, putting your kids in the middle and making life unreasonably stressful and chaotic as a result. So, what can you do if you are in the midst of one these situations?

Divorce when bankruptcy may be involved

Many couples in California find that finances are often at the root of their disagreements. In some marriages, financial challenges may be so extreme that they even contribute to the eventual end of the marriage. Anyone who is facing both a divorce and a serious debt problem at the same time may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Before this is done, it is important to understand how to decide when to pursue each of these major events.

As explained by My Horizon Today, one of the first things a couple or an individual should assess is what type of bankruptcy might be right for their situation. There are distinct differences between a Chapter 7 plan and a Chapter 13 plan. If a couple does not own a home and most of their debt is unsecured, such as credit card debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be appropriate for them as they may lose any assets.

Uncertain future for divorce settlements

As the end of the year approaches, spouses facing an impending divorce have historically tended to use the holiday season as one last opportunity to hold their families together. This year, however, things might be very different for divorcing or separated spouses. The reason for this potential difference is that the upcoming new year will usher in a dramatic change in how taxes are assessed on spousal support.

Instead of the spouse who receives alimony being responsible for income tax on the funds, Bloomberg indicates that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act shifts that responsibility to the spouse who pays alimony. At the same time, the paying spouse also loses the deduction on their income tax return that they would have enjoyed under the current law that has been in effect for multiple decades. 

Does your child's age matter if you are getting a divorce?

If you and your spouse are looking to get divorced in California, you may be overwhelmed with thoughts of how this dramatic relationship change will affect your child's well-being. Will he or she struggle to form healthy relationships in the future? Will your relationship with him or her struggle? Will you be required to share your child with your former spouse even during times when you wish to be spending time with him or her? 

What you may not have been aware of is that your child's age may play a critical role in how he or she reacts to the changes in your relationship with your spouse. According to Medical News Today, generally speaking, children who are raised in families where divorce has occurred, may have a more difficult time feeling secure in their relationship with each of their parents. However, the younger your child is when your divorce happens, he or she may feel even more insecure than other children about his or her relationship with you and your spouse. These concerns may carry into adult years. 

What are some challenges in co-parenting from different states?

If you are no longer with your child's other parent, then you have to learn how to co-parent from different households. This can be challenging, but it is made even more difficult when the other parent moves out of California and you have to co-parent from different states. While this is a less than ideal situation, you must learn how to deal with it and make the situation the best possible for your child.

Psychology Today explains that if a parent must move to a different state, it is best to do so when the child is three years old or older. At three, your child should be able to handle the situation. Under age three, your child may not be able to adjust as well and may have more difficulties with the new arrangement.

What factors are considered when awarding alimony?

Stories of alimony awards are so often cited in divorce cases that most tend to expect such a benefit if and when they seek a dissolution of their marriage. Yet if you are going into your divorce proceedings expecting alimony, you should know that it is not always ordered automatically. Remember that alimony is only meant to support you if you are not immediately able to afford the same standard of living you enjoyed while married. Even if you need time to work your way to that point, any alimony benefits you might receive might end once you secure gainful employment. 

How can the court assess whether or not you might be able to support yourself following your divorce? According to Section 4320 of the California Family Code, it considers a number of different factors, including: 

  • Your professional skills
  • Your age and health status
  • Your earning capacity
  • Your property and assets (taking into account those awarded to you during property division)
  • Your obligations to your children

Benefits of attending a co-parenting class during divorce

Negotiating a custody agreement during a divorce is oftentimes the most difficult step. It’s normal to feel anxious about sacrificing time with your child or about taking on full responsibility for him or her without help.

Attending a co-parenting class can help you and your ex-spouse determine a parenting plan and prepare to raise your child apart.

What are assets that you protect in a divorce?

Typically, a California court will consider all the assets you own when making decisions on the separating of property during a divorce. This could leave you in a bad position if you have to split your assets with a soon-to-be-ex-spouse. While there are many ways you can illegally protect your assets, there are some legal ways to do so. Trying to hide assets is a crime, so it helps to learn legal ways to protect the things you own.

According to Kiplinger, one asset you may be able to protect and keep 100 percent as your own is real estate that you owned before you were married. You would need to own it outright. You also would need to manage any upkeep out of only your income and not using intermingled income. In addition, only your name can be on the deed. Keeping the property completely separate can legally protect it in a divorce.

Involving your ex-spouse in your relocation

It is not unreasonable to think that following your divorce, you may want to move from Stockton to a new area. If you have custody of your children, then you would likely want them to accompany you on such a move. Many that have come to us here at San Joaquin Family Law share the same desire, yet they quickly discover that doing so can be difficult in terms of managing their custody arrangements. It is for this reason that you should involve your ex-spouse in any planning that involves moving with your children. 

Section 7501 of the California Family Code states that when you are awarded custody of your children, you have the right to determine where their residence will be. However, the same law also recognizes the court's authority to restrain a move if it believes it is not in your children's best interests. Yet proving that it is might be much easier of both you and your ex-spouse agree to it. 

Working through visitation issues

Many who are unfamiliar with divorce simply do not understand the obstacles that can appear throughout the process. In addition to this stress, California parents usually must map a child custody and visitation plan for children. Although each situation is unique, there are many different ways of viewing solutions for visitation disagreements. 

VeryWell Family understands the toll divorce can take on families, reminding readers that visitation issues are highly common. First, the family resource makes clear that child custody and child support generally fall into two distinct categories: child custody involves a parent's obligation to provide care, while custody prioritizes the best interests of the child. Again, each situation may come with different results, but VeryWell states that courts usually strive to maintain family balance and parenting time. 

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