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Ventura California Family Law Blog

Restraining orders will impact divorce negotiations

There are few things that impact a divorce’s format more than a restraining order. In many situations involving divorce, the two sides and their lawyers can sit down and draft an agreement, negotiating the details that they do not agree upon. However, the unfortunate truth of the matter can be considerably more acrimonious, perhaps even to the point where a restraining order is in effect. Despite the fact that “no fault” is California’s standard grounds for divorce, a restraining order will likely have a major impact on divorce and other family law matters.

Complicating the process of negotiation

Does your ex-spouse disrespect your parenting time?

As a parent, you face many difficulties that demand your immediate attention, even when life seems to be going well. Unfortunately, many divorced parents sharing custody of their children with an ex-spouse must also deal with unfair or illegal interference with their time with their child. While not all divorced parents seize on child custody as a way to punish their former partner, many do, unfortunately.

If you find yourself dealing with frustrating behavior from your child's other parent, it is wise to examine whether they are violating the law. Interference with your parenting time is forbidden in most parenting plans, and courts expect parents to obey custody orders rather than take them as strong suggestions.

Protecting parental relationships with children during divorce

The goal of the court is to award custody and draft parenting plans based on the best interests of the children. This generally means that both parents have a close ongoing relationship with their children. Nevertheless, fathers may feel like they are fighting an uphill battle to gain custody or maintain access and involvement in their children’s lives, particularly if the mother seeks physical custody and wishes to remain in the family home.

Many believe that fathers play and important part in the nurturing and development of both boys and girls, particularly in traditional roles involving sports and outdoor activities, but many dads are much more involved in their children’s lives on a day-to-day basis. This is thanks to support and understanding of employers, or by necessity because mom works too.

How do I support my children after divorce?

When you're going through the trials and tribulations of the divorce process, if you're a parent, your children will be the first things on your mind. So the question is: How do you keep the divorce from causing your children to suffer emotionally, and how do you support them through the process?

According to general wisdom from family psychologists, when parents tend to the needs of their children after divorce -- even when the stress seems to get overwhelming for the kids -- the children will come back to balance eventually.

The nest approach to coparenting

The best parenting plan is one that addresses the unique needs of the children and the parents. Of course, there are typical formats that are commonly accepted, these include alternating weekdays with weekends, rotating blocks of days, or perhaps it is one that focuses on summers and holidays if the parents do not live near each other.

One format that has become popular in recent years is the “bird nest” or “nesting” approach. This coparenting arrangement eschews shuttling the children between the two residences in favor or the parents switching in and out of the family home at their prearranged time. This arrangement can also include a second apartment where the parents stay when they are not with the kids. 

University professor caught hiding retirement egg is sentenced

It is our goal that every divorce can be handled in a professional, honest and forthright manner by staff and clients. However, the client or their spouse may have difficulty in dividing such assets as real property, bank accounts, investments and possessions. This can lead to the temptation to deceive, hide or otherwise mislead the other side.

We wrote about a University of Minnesota computer and electrical engineering professor back in September, discussing how he was caught attempting to hide the actual amount in one retirement account and omit the very existence of a second account. His wife thought the numbers were low and reported the man to police, which led to forgery charges as well as accusations of theft and swindle. A jury convicted him of three felony charges in September.

Some of the various places your spouse could hide marital assets

Figuring out how to split up your assets is one of the most challenging parts of a divorce. What you want and what your spouse wants likely won't match up exactly, leading to arguments and increasing the potential for a difficult court process. In the heat of a divorce, one or both spouses may do things that they would otherwise think of as unethical.

Those unethical actions may include intentionally hiding assets both from one spouse and from the courts. Hidden assets unfairly skew the outcome of your divorce because the courts can only split up the items they know about. Knowing where to look for hidden assets is a first step to ensuring the outcome of your divorce is fair.

Making a binding postnuptial agreement

Postnuptial agreements can serve a variety of purposes. One common use is to sooth tension over a disagreement a couple may have. It can apply to different matters, but couples commonly use it to address disagreements over finances or control of certain assets.

Since disagreements over money are a top cause for divorce, a postnup can provide a solid financial foundation for the marriage and help assuage fears that one spouse may have. Common examples of this would be a wife who is uncomfortable with her husband’s choice to leave a well-paying job to start a new business, or her wish to have her name on all bank accounts and financial documents.

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