A divorce impacts the entire family, especially child custody and visitation rights. The divorce process is so very adult.  Parents and their attorneys, all well dressed in suits, meet in wood paneled courtrooms with all the formalities that come with appearing before a judge.  Even a suit isn’t formal enough for a judge, he or she needs to wear a robe. Should the child’s opinion play a role in such a process? How would a child fit into this proceeding?

Under California law, child who is at least 14 years old must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation, unless judge finds that it would not be in child’s best interests (if so. the reasons must be stated on the record). Children younger than 14 aren’t prevented from addressing the Court on these issues, if that’s deemed appropriate and consistent with the best interest of the child.  If barred from testifying, children must be given another way to voice their opinion, such as through a mediator or a psychologist.

There are pro’s and cons to getting input from a child.  This can put the child in a very difficult spot, especially if the parents not only are getting divorced, but one or both plan on moving away. If the child is mature, articulate and not too stressed out, given the serious impact on the child’s life, hearing from the child is a good idea.  If the parents are manipulative and the child is more interested in living with the parent who enforces the least rules, this can be a bad idea.

This is a very sensitive area where we tread with much care so we, and our clients, do not appear to ask a child to take sides in what can be a very emotional dispute. If the child’s opinion is for our client, all the better, but the judge is the ultimate decision maker on how the child voices his or her opinion, how much weight that opinion should be given and on the custody and visitation issues in general.

If you have any questions about visitation or custody issues, contact our office.

 

 

Carlsbad California and Move Away and Relocation Child Custody Attorneys

A common issue facing California parents and courts is the question of a parent’s right to move away, even out of the State of California and take the children with them. The issue has gone back and forth over the past decade between the courts and the State Legislature. Interpretations of recent rulings might lead some parents to believe if they have custody they have the right to move away. This is usually not the case. The court will want to hear the underlying issues, and will have an interest in what is in the best interests of the child or children involved. A moving truck operated by Piedmont Moving Sys... Today, many divorces in California are filed by the parties themselves and the terms of their child custody and parenting time agreements may or may not address this sensitive issue. This is one of the many reasons to consult with an attorney prior to filing your own paperwork in a child custody or divorce case in California. If you believe your former spouse is considering relocation and will be taking your child or children with them it is important to act immediately to protect your parental interests and the needs of the children.

Contact Experienced Carlsbad and North County San Diego Child Custody and Relocation Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Fischer and Van Thiel, LLP we work to protect our client’s interests and parenting rights. If you are considering relocating with your child it is important to ensure that you have the legal right to do so. If you are the parent remaining in California and you want to preserve and protect your ability to see and raise your children, there is a lot that can be done to protect your rights as a parent and relationship with your children. We are sensitive to the issues on both sides of this controversial subject, and work to help our clients accomplish their parenting goals. Contact us today at 760-453-0732 or contact us to schedule a confidential and free consultation with an experienced Carlsbad area child custody lawyer.

Enhanced by Zemanta

If you are going through a divorce, one of the things you must do is determine the value of all of your marital property so that it can be divided up fairly between you and your spouse. When it comes to the family home, establishing a fair and accurate value can pose a significant challenge.

The only way to be 100% accurate in valuing a home is to actually sell the property. However, people often have a deep emotional attachment to their home and one spouse may want to keep it. In that case, it will be necessary to figure out another way to appropriately put a value on the home.

Work Together to Determine the Fair Market Value

Sometimes it is possible to work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the fair market value of the home. One way to do this is by examining recently sold comparable properties. (Comparable properties are those with approximately the same square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same area as your home.) To find out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighborhood, you can go to www.zillow.com. Enter your zip code and filter the search results to show only recently sold homes.

Get an Appraisal

While some parties like to do their own research to determine a value for the family home, in most cases, you’ll want to get an opinion from a neutral third party, such as an appraiser. (Parties often find that it is difficult to come to an agreement with their spouse when discussing a home’s worth.) An appraiser will take measurements, look into the attic and basement, check the plumbing and electricity, as well as do a visual inspection of the siding, roof, and general condition of the home to write up an official appraisal.

However, keep in mind that appraisals can be subjective and it is common for different appraisers to come up with quite different assessments. Divorcing spouses may decide they want to get independent appraisals and, if there is a disparity in the appraised values, meet somewhere in the middle.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have any questions about how your assets may be divided, contact the Oceanside divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel today at 760-722-7646.

Getting married? You might want to avoid Alaska.

Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma aren’t good options either.

Not if your hope is to stay married, anyway. That’s because these states have the nation’s highest divorce rates, according to a study recently released by FindtheData.org.

Alaska ranked first, with 14 out of every 1,000 couples getting divorced each year. Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma tied for second, with 13 divorces per 1,000 couples.

The best states for married couples? New Jersey ranked last on the list, with only six divorces per 1,000 couples. Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New York and Minnesota rounded out the bottom, tying for second for the lowest divorce rate, with seven per 1,000 couples

The report, which was based on data compiled from the American Bar Association, Centers for Disease Control and 2011 Census Bureau figures, doesn’t offer an opinion on why the rates are as high (or low) as they are in each state. But based on some of the other figures the study reported – including ease of filing and minimum processing time (the shortest amount of time it takes for the divorce to be finalized) – each state’s divorce laws may play a role.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Alaska was the only state on the list that scored a perfect score of 100 for ease of filing. It also had the second shortest minimum processing time, with the possibility of a divorce being finalized in as little as 30 days.

New Jersey, on the other hand, was the polar opposite of Alaska – with a score of 23, it ranked second to last for ease of filing. And it tied for fifth in longest minimum processing time, taking a minimum of 360 days from the date of filing for the divorce to be finalized.

To find out where your state ranked, visit http://divorce-laws.findthebest.com.

Divorce mediation is often the most beneficial and least confrontational way to determine the specifics of your divorce. During a mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will meet with a neutral third party known as the mediator to work through unresolved issues so you can work out the details of your divorce in an amicable manner that is palatable to both parties.divorce mediation

You will likely discuss critical details such as child custody, parenting time, child support, property distribution, retirement support and even taxes. While the mediation process is less combative than going to court, it can still be stressful. If you are going through this process, please make sure you are prepared for the session and have a definite game plan.

  • Gather and organize your financial documents. It’s a good idea to list your assets including your bank account, retirement funds, real estate, vehicles, annuities, stock, mutual funds and any other asset that is of significant value. Also, list your debts including credit card balances, student loans, home equity loan, rent, mortgage, etc.
  • Check with your mediator beforehand regarding if you need original documents at the meeting.
  • It’s also important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Remember that this is a negotiation. Emotions may run high and that could affect your ability to think clearly. Refrain from using hurtful words and stay calm. Remember, the goal is to negotiate, not to argue.
  • Plan your budget. Think about how much money you need and what you can afford. Base your potential budget on expenses that you expect to have and bring that budget with you to the mediation. When calculating your budget, consider how much you will have to pay for housing, transportation, health insurance and other monthly expenses.

Last but not least, learn about your rights. Seek out legal guidance from an experienced California family law attorney and learn about all aspects of your case. Having a clear understanding of what to expect will help you get what you need from the mediation session.

If you are going through a divorce, one of the things you must do is determine the value of all of your marital property so that it can be divided up fairly between you and your spouse. When it comes to the family home, establishing a fair and accurate value can pose a significant challenge.

The only way to be 100% accurate in valuing a home is to actually sell the property. However, people often have a deep emotional attachment to their home and one spouse may want to keep it. In that case, it will be necessary to figure out another way to appropriately put a value on the home.

Work Together to Determine the Fair Market Value

Sometimes it is possible to work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the fair market value of the home. One way to do this is by examining recently sold comparable properties. (Comparable properties are those with approximately the same square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same area as your home.) To find out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighborhood, you can go to www.zillow.com. Enter your zip code and filter the search results to show only recently sold homes.

Get an Appraisal

While some parties like to do their own research to determine a value for the family home, in most cases, you’ll want to get an opinion from a neutral third party, such as an appraiser. (Parties often find that it is difficult to come to an agreement with their spouse when discussing a home’s worth.) An appraiser will take measurements, look into the attic and basement, check the plumbing and electricity, as well as do a visual inspection of the siding, roof, and general condition of the home to write up an official appraisal.

However, keep in mind that appraisals can be subjective and it is common for different appraisers to come up with quite different assessments. Divorcing spouses may decide they want to get independent appraisals and, if there is a disparity in the appraised values, meet somewhere in the middle.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have any questions about how your assets may be divided, contact the Oceanside divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel today at 760-722-7646.