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

Protecting your rights and role as a father

Fathers play a critical role in the lives of their children. It is clear that children benefit when they are able to maintain a strong relationship with both parents; yet, if you were unmarried at the time your child was born, it can be difficult to establish and enforce your parental rights.

If you are facing issues regarding your rights as a California father, you would be wise to take quick action to resolve these matters effectively and as quickly as possible. Your relationship and time with your child is on the line, but with help, you can fight to protect your role as an active, caring and present father.

How can parents resolve disputes about education?

After you and your wife get divorced in California, you sometimes still need to make decisions about your child's education together. This issue can quickly become complicated if your child needs special education.

Making a decision about your child's education can be complicated if you and your ex-wife share joint legal custody. says that in this arrangement, both of you can view your child's progress reports and receive the dates of team meetings so you may both attend. Additionally, you are both able to voice your opinion about the educational plan laid out for your child.

Unique types of trusts

If you are like many people in California, you may think that a trust is basically just a will that may differ only in how estate taxes are handled. While there may be some truth to this at a rudimentary level, the reality is that a trust may offer you a wealth of flexibility that would quite simply be impossible with a trust. This may happen largely due to the fact that there are so many different types of trusts from which you can choose. 

Before deciding on how to structure your estate plan, it is wise first to identify your goals. From there, you will be able to appropriately review the estate planning tools that most appropriately help you meet those goals. For example, you might be concerned primarily about making sure your grandchildren receive some money from your estate. Alternatively, providing for your spouse after you die might be your primary concern. As CNN Money explains, you may use different trusts to meet these very different goals.

How do your children handle divorce?

A divorce affects the lives of everyone who is close to you, especially your children. This can be a difficult time for a while, and it is understandable that you might worry how your children will fare in the long run. This worry is not unfounded for you and other Californians who are going through a divorce. You want the best for your kids, and you do not want them to suffer when you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse begin your new lives apart.

Not surprisingly, children can be significantly affected by their parents’ split for years, explains the Huffington Post. In numerous examples where children explained the impact of divorce themselves, you can see how varied the responses are. Nearly every child will experience pain and shock, at least at first, but some will quickly adjust and go on to do fine academically and socially. Some children, in fact, may have expected for some time that their parents would split and may be relieved.

Factors that affect California spousal support

When you get divorced in California, one aspect of the proceedings you may not think about is spousal support. At Palmer Rodak and Associates, we understand it is important for you to know how this kind of support is determined.

There are several factors a court evaluates when determining spousal support. California Legislative Information says that the length of your marriage and your age are both taken into consideration. Your health is also a factor, as are the skills of both you and your ex-spouse. If you will need to learn new skills to support yourself or have not been working because you and your ex-spouse agreed you should stay at home to take care of the family, you may be more likely to receive this financial support. If your children are still dependents, a court also considers whether you will be able to support yourself and still take good care of your children.

Understanding elder financial abuse

California residents who have loved ones approaching their later years have good reason to be concerned not only about their physical care and well-being but also about their financial protection. Elder abuse can come in many forms beyond physical abuse, sexual assault or neglect and lack of proper health care. Financial abuse is a serious problem for elderly people and their family members and understanding it is important.

As explained by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, there are different varieties of elder financial exploitation. Contrary to what some may think, it does not always require overt theft of money or assets although it may. One form of financial abuse is perpetrated by people who find ways to gain the trust of elderly persons and then use that trust to be given access to bank accounts or other financial assets. Another type of elder financial abuse is when a person coerces an elderly person to provide a signature on an estate planning document. Unbeknownst to the signer, they may be naming the financial abuser as the beneficiary of their estate.

Military divorce versus civilian divorce: what you need to know

No matter what kind of jobs the two parties have, divorce is always hard for a California couple. Even an amicable couple may find that they struggle with the emotional difficulties that come with the end of a marriage, even if both spouses agree to all divorce-related issues. However, there are certain factors that can make a military divorce particularly complex.

In fact, there are multiple factors that can make military divorces different from civilian divorces. If you are in the military, or your spouse is, you would be wise to know what you need to do to protect yourself and your post-divorce interests. While military service could affect child custody and the division of retirement benefits, it is still possible to secure a sustainable and workable divorce agreement.

Can co-parenting work through the holidays?

Soon Californians will be falling back the clocks and along with that comes looking ahead to Thanksgiving and the holiday season that lasts all the way through New Year's. If you are one of the many people for whom this holiday season represents your first post-divorce set of holidays, you will be painfully aware of the differences you will experience. If you have kids, they too will be facing a new type of holiday. How can you help them?

Psychology Today suggests that you and your former spouse work together to help make this time of year positive for everyone. One way to do this is for the two of you to make essential decisions ahead of time. These choices might include when the children will be with each of you and what traditions you will each carry on with your kids. You and your kids' other parent should also consider syncing up on gifts.

Prenups as estate planning tools

For many residents in California, when they think about estate planning tools they think about things like wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, credit shelter trusts and more. Certainly these things can be vital ways of helping people control the future of their estates and provide for their family members after they die. However, there is another tool that might also be an asset when it comes to estate planning - the prenuptial agreement.

As explained by AARP, a prenup does not necessarily have to outline your wishes for what might happen if you and your spouse get divorced but what might happen if one of you dies first, which happens more often than spouses dying at the same time. A prenuptial agreement allows people to make plans for the care of each other after the death of the first spouse.

Divorce may be hereditary

Parents across California who decide to divorce are always concerned with the way their children will be affected, especially in their future relationships. A new study shows that while children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves, the reason why may be surprising.

As reports, researchers have uncovered new data showing that the likelihood of divorce may be passed down genetically. The study traced the marital history of 20,000 Swedish adults who were adopted as children. The researchers used information from the Swedish national registry to see whether adopted children followed either their adoptive or biological parents' footsteps in relationships. They were surprised to see that the adults who were adopted were more likely to have a marital history that resembled their biological parents and siblings, despite what happened in the relationship of the parents who raised them. 

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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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