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San Mateo California Family Law Blog

Planning makes coparenting through summer more manageable

Although parents and children alike look forward to the fun and relaxation summer brings, the longer days bring challenges for sharing custody. It may seem counter intuitive, but the best way to ensure a carefree summer is flexible planning for custody from both parents before the season arrives. With the end of the school year just over a month away, now is the time to start thinking about revising custody arrangements for summer months.

What does the custody agreement say?

Child custody suspended after infant tests positive for drugs

A small child remains in the custody of a family member after she tested positive for marijuana and alcohol at birth. Welfare workers went to work researching the parents' past and backgrounds to determine if they could care for the child. In California and other states, child custody rights may be suspended if parents abuse drugs and alcohol.

Authorities had been following the complex relationship between the couple for some time because of their reputation for violence towards others. They said the pair often wore masks or covered their faces, carried knives, and used pepper spray. Investigators had experience with them for many years and claimed they both have a history of mental illness and were heavily involved with the Department of Children and Family Services while growing up.

Property division during a gray divorce can be costly

Some couples who divorce later in life can run the risk of endangering retirement for themselves. Studies show that divorces among young people are less common, but for those 50 and older, the rate has nearly doubled, and it has nearly tripled for those 65 and older. In California and other states, the property division of 401(k) accounts, IRA’s and pensions can potentially come with healthy associated costs during a gray divorce. So planning ahead and carefully proceeding through this period could prove invaluable to one’s future best interests.

Experts agree that individuals who divorce later in life have less time to rebuild themselves financially. After age 50, employment opportunities become more limited, and those who are still working may have maxed out their earning potential. With the number of years left to work reduced and an individual’s peak earning years already passed, it can be difficult to make up for the loss and recover financially. 

Child custody and the nation's opioid epidemic

Children with parents who are battling an opioid addiction often find themselves in situations of neglect or abuse. State welfare workers and family court officials must determine whether to sever the parent's child custody rights. In California and other states, children are often the victims of the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Child welfare caseloads and foster care entries have increased with the number of children removed from homes because of drug abuse. Studies show that most children end up in the care of strangers because of the lack of social networks available to those most affected by drug abuse. It is reported that many who abuse drugs are uneducated, socially isolated and poor, but compassion for the parents cannot be at the expense of the children.

Will divorce impact my retirement accounts?

You and your spouse have been jointly planning on retirement for years. Now that you are filing for divorce, your future is unpredictable. While you may be ready for a fresh start, you may also be concerned about your future retirement prospects.

Are pensions, 401k accounts and IRA assets divided? Will you still be able to retire at the age you desire? If you are dependent on your spouse's employment, will you have to return to work?

Shannon Beador takes a luxury vacation during high asset divorce

Going through a divorce can be an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved, even if that person is a real housewife from Orange County. One California woman and her husband continue to duke it out over their high asset divorce details after 17 years of marriage. He footed the bill for a luxury family vacation in Mexico for his soon-to-be ex-wife and three daughters

Shannon Beador is one of the stars of the Real Housewives of Orange County. The family home and lifestyle is the backdrop for a peek into the lives of the rich and famous in upscale Orange County, California. She and entrepreneur husband, David, split in December 2017 amid rumors he had been unfaithful. Sources say the relationship had been in trouble for a long time before the affair.

Alimony versus manimony

Studies show that over the past ten years more and more women are in powerful positions in the workforce and are earning more money than men. Because of this surge in their careers, some women are also paying out huge amounts of alimony to former husbands. In California and other states, serious money deemed "manimony" is being raked in by ex-husbands.

Many women who have a demanding, yet rewarding, careers are still doing the lion's share of parenting and household chores as opposed to their husbands. They balk at the thought of handing over large sums of money to their exes in support every month. Most feel it is not their responsibility to sustain the lifestyle of an able-bodied man after their marriage has ended.

Co-parenting after child custody and divorce.

The end of a marriage takes its toll on everyone involved. Some stay married for the sake of their children, hanging onto the idea of a perfect family. Other couples often try to maintain a sense of normalcy for their children after a long, drawn-out divorce and child custody battle. In California and other states, couples are trying different ways to parent their children together.

Today, parents are trying everything they can to become the friendly ex. They are trying to create a sense of family for the sake of their kids. Being in a co-parenting relationship means the parents' children will grow up with both mom and dad co-parenting as a team. There will be separate holidays, two separate households and calendars to keep track of visitations and vacations. The children's childhoods will be spent being parented by the two people who love them most.

Regaining child custody after release from prison

Studies show that black women are more likely to go to prison than white women, and more than half who are incarcerated are mothers to minor children. In California, to better understand how black women cope with regaining child custody after prison, an 18-month study was conducted by a sociologist. The focus was to see how women who were incarcerated dealt with poverty, gender and race that makes them more susceptible to interference from the criminal justice system and Child Protective Services.

Black women who have been recently released from prison often develop strategies for dealing with the looming threat from state agencies. In a published article, the author outlined these strategies and termed them "decarceral motherwork." Women who want to resume parenting often struggle with state interference over child custody. They will hide their mental illness and drug addiction and anything else to prevent their children from being taken away.

Where should I live during a divorce?

You and your spouse have decided to divorce, and you are now dealing with many daunting questions. Who gets to keep your family mementos? Is it better to mediate your divorce, or litigate? How will you reach a custody arrangement?

One of the most pressing questions that you may face is where you should stay during and after your divorce. This is not a question to be taken lightly. When you are making this decision, there are several factors that you should take into account.

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