Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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Ventura California Family Law Blog

Arguments in favor of-- and against—divorce

When you and your partner are going through a rough time, you may be wondering whether you should continue working through it, or pursue a divorce. Sometimes, it is best for couples to work out their marital problems and stay together. In other cases, a divorce may be the better solution.

But how to know which solution is best for you and your partner? Both options have strong arguments in their favor. Today, we’ll look at three arguments in favor of staying together, and three in favor of divorce.

Divorce should lead you to create a property division checklist

There is nothing simple about divorce. Not only is your personal life changing forever, but you also need to take into consideration the financial impact.

As soon as you realize that divorce is the only answer to your marital problems, it's time to create a property division checklist.

Three things you may not know are covered by child support

Raising children is expensive. Paying for a child’s everyday necessities like food, clothing and medical care adds up quickly. And then there are extraneous expenses—things that are not essential for survival, but are nonetheless important for a child’s development and happiness.

When a child’s parents are no longer together, one parent is often required to send child support payments to the other. Many parents mistakenly believe that child support can only be used for a child’s bare-bones essentials. In fact, child support payments can cover a range of childrearing expenses. These are three things covered by child support that you may not have realized.

The new tax law has big implications for alimony payments

Many divorce decrees require one spouse to pay spousal support, or alimony, to the other. For the past 75 years, alimony payments were tax deductible. This was a boon for spouses who were responsible for making payments, as it considerably lightened their financial burden.

However, the recent tax overhaul passed by the Trump administration will have dramatically different implications for alimony payments. Under the new law, the spouse who provides alimony will no longer be able to deduct it from their tax return. This could be a major challenge for future divorce settlements that involve spousal support.

How does the court decide on a child custody arrangement?

You and your spouse -- soon to be your ex -- can't agree on how child custody should get divided.

You hope that both parents can stay involved. You've advocated for joint custody, with a plan that simply moves the kids from your home to your ex's home every other week. It's simple, you both get to see the kids and you hope this lowers the amount of stress the children feel about the split.

Don't forget these details in your prenuptial agreement

When you and your partner are planning a wedding, you are probably paying attention to the small details as well as the big picture. The big picture is obviously important, but it's the details that hold everything together.

You and your future spouse should also consider the details when you are creating your prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements can address very big things--the house, the car, the bank accounts--and they can also take care of small things that are often overlooked. These are a few of the details that you will not want to forget when you are drafting your prenup.

Can grandparents file for visitation rights in California?

It can be difficult for grandparents to accept that they may not be able to visit their grandchildren. After all, most grandparents absolutely adore their grandchildren and would heartbroken if separated from them for too long. For many grandparents, though, being unable to visit their grandchildren is an all-too-painful reality.

In these situations, grandparents often wonder whether they have a right to remain a part of their grandchildren’s lives. The laws regarding grandparents’ rights vary widely by state. While some states tend to be restrictive about grandparents’ rights, California is more permissive. That means that grandparents may still be able to exercise their rights to visit their grandchildren.

Dividing the art collection in a divorce

When a couple begins an art collection, they rarely anticipate that they may someday have to divide it. For many couples, however, it is an unavoidable reality. Dividing property is usually a significant challenge for spouses who are divorcing. For spouses who are also art collectors, there are several additional questions to consider. Is it better to keep the collection intact, even if one spouse must relinquish ownership? If the collection is split up, who gets to keep which piece?

Couples who are thinking about how to handle an art collection in a divorce should consider these important factors.

5 key considerations for a gray divorce

A so-called "gray divorce" is one in which the couple is over 50 years old. These splits have been getting more and more popular over the years.

Maybe you got married right out of college. You had kids in the first few years. You and your spouse knew the marriage wasn't ideal, but you stuck it out so that the kids could grow up with two parents in the home. You didn't want to think about child support, child custody and all the rest.

Common myths about divorce mediation

Divorce does not exactly have a friendly reputation. Many couples who are about to divorce brace themselves for a painful, acrimonious process. It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. There are alternatives to a contentious divorce for couples who are committed to remaining amicable-- or at least polite.

One of these alternatives is a process called mediation. Mediation is when divorcing spouses sit down with a neutral mediator to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Because mediation is not as well known as litigation, there are several persistent myths that surround it. If you are divorcing, you should know these common myths about the mediation process.

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