Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
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Oceanside California Divorce and Estate Planning Blog

Study: Bitter divorce might hurt children's immune systems

Families across the country struggle when the parents decide a divorce is the right choice, and in California, this is no different. Yet divorcing couples with children have been looking for a more peaceful way to maintain the family bonds for the sake of the kids. 

According to USA Today, ex-spouses without significant roadblocks, like abuse, are increasingly working out amicable parenting solutions to make sure their children still feel supported and part of a single family. Whether this means celebrating the holidays with everyone together or talking regularly on the phone to ensure both parents are on the same page, parents are trying to work through their emotions in an effort to stay friendly for the kids. Since both parents want to remain in the lives of their children, and both parents need help and support, maintaining contact can help to ensure the children are well taken care of. 

There is a better way to resolve your divorce disputes

The end of a marriage usually involves difficult feelings regarding important matters such as property division and child custody. These are emotionally charged issues, and strong feelings can lead to disputes, which in turn lead to costly and stressful litigation. While many California couples who are divorcing do end up in court, that is not the only way to divorce.

Through alternative dispute resolution, you may be able to resolve your divorce disputes faster than you would through litigation, reaching beneficial outcomes that are better and more sustainable for every member of the family. If you are facing divorce, you may find it useful to learn more about the benefits of mediation.

Child support in California

Many Americans might assume that all states hold identical child custody laws, but there is a surprising amount of legal difference from one state to another. California is one of many states that have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, a Uniform Act intended to discourage child kidnapping by non-custodial parents. The state also holds other regulations involving divorce and children, and many parents experience confusion due to legal complexities. 

The Judicial Branch of California provides information on child custody and parenting time. According to the Judicial Branch, parents seeking joint legal custody each have the right to make decisions for the child alone. When it comes to the exact amount of time a child spends with each parent, courts consider the child's age, necessary routine and general interests. Deciding specifics regarding child support, however, is another matter. In California, every county offers a family law facilitator, who can assist parents with the following:

  • Required forms
  • Court procedures 
  • Details involving the court's child support decisions
  • Calculating child support 

Prenups for protecting property interests

A premarital agreement, as defined in the California Family Code, is a contract made before marriage by the persons who plan to marry. These “prospective spouses” are parties to the contract and as soon as they marry, their agreement becomes effective. A prenuptial agreement is another name for a premarital agreement and in California it must be written and signed by the future spouses.

The subject matter of a premarital agreement can include the property of the parties, provisions regarding life insurance, the future disposition of property and generally any matters that concern the duties and privileges of the parties. The parties, however, are not permitted to contract in a way that would violate public policy or a criminal statute.

Managing a visitation schedule in the summer

When California parents are divorced, making summer plans for their children can be more complicated than usual. However, parents can still find ways to organize their summer so that each of them gets quality time with the kids.

To keep things peaceful, it is important for parents to discuss summer plans before the kids are out of school. The Financial Planning Association says that this can help them find a schedule which suits everyone. Parents should typically determine how much time they will each have with the children. Sometimes this may be different from the regular visitation schedule; when this is the case, parents may also want to discuss how their child support will be affected by the summer arrangement. If the kids will be going to camp, both parents generally should agree about how they will split the cost and how the kids will get there every day.

What are beneficiary designations?

When it comes to your financial accounts, ensuring that beneficiary designations are accurate and up-to-date is hugely important. To this end, residents of California must know the facts when designating beneficiaries for their accounts to ensure their estate plans reflect their final wishes. offers some vital information on beneficiary designations and what you should know when estate planning. For instance, you can designate beneficiaries for a wide range of financial accounts. This includes things like retirement plans, life insurance policies, annuities, etc. You can name primary and secondary beneficiaries. In the event that the person named primary beneficiary is deceased, your financial accounts would go to the secondary beneficiary.

How is spousal support determined in California?

Stress over finances of one the leading causes of marital strife in Oceanside. Many people see such issues end their marriages. If this is happening to you, then you should understand that your financial considerations regarding your spouse may not end with your divorce. One of you may still end up having to pay spousal support to the other.

Many mistakenly assume that such support is automatically awarded to one party in a divorce, yet that is not the case. Rather, the court takes a number of different factors into consideration to determine if alimony should be awarded at all. These factors are outlined in California’s Family Code. Cases where alimony may be denied include:

  •          Your ex-spouse has sufficient separate, community or quasi-community property to support him or herself
  •          He or she is currently working to support his or her own livelihood
  •          You have been awarded custody of your children and are currently supporting them

As a military member, do you face a high and tight divorce rate?

The majority of California residents know that jobs can play a considerable role in people's lives. If you have a particularly stressful job, such as serving in the military, you may feel the impacts more keenly than individuals in other professions may. Unfortunately, many marital relationships have a difficult time withstanding the stress and other aspects of military life, and serious issues could arise.

Though you may have landed your dream job, it may begin to feel like more of a nightmare if you find yourself facing marriage problems. Of course, various other factors could also play a role in whether your relationship may end up facing divorce proceedings. However, you may wish to better understand how your profession may come into play.

Funding college after a divorce

It is typical for California parents to feel concerned about how they will fund their children's college educations. After a divorce, parents might be even more concerned about this as each parent individually might be struggling a bit more financially than they were prior to getting divorced. Understanding how to accommodate this reality with the desire to provide a higher education for one's children is important and ideally requires a bit of foresight.

Fast Web explains that there are no laws mandating either parent to pay for a child to go to college. When getting divorced, these costs are not standard in a divorce decree and are not part of a typical child support order. Some couples do choose to create a separate formal agreement about how to pay for college as part of their divorce proceedings. It is important when doing this that all of the potential costs be considered.

What is a probate referee?

Several responsibilities come with being named the personal representative or the executor of an estate on Oceanside, many of which you are likely not familiar with. One of these may be to appraise the value of all of the estate’s non-monetary assets. Fortunately, the probate court has resources in place to help with this process. All estates that go through probate in California must be valued by a probate referee.

A probate referee will coordinate with you to determine which non-cash assets must be appraised. These can include:

  •          Real estate
  •          Collectibles
  •          Business holdings
  •          Stocks, bonds and other investment
  •          Furniture and appliances
  •          Vehicles
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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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Del Mar, CA 92014

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