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San Mateo California Family Law Blog

What is the healthiest way to grieve during divorce?

During and after a divorce, it’s natural to feel grief for the life you’re leaving behind. But, what is the healthiest way to experience that grief without letting it take hold of you?

Most of us have been told that bottling up our feelings isn’t healthy. But, you’ve probably also heard that ruminating over past events can be harmful too. Here are a few tips to deal with your feelings in a healthy way.

Jeff Bezos in a high asset divorce without a prenup

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are about far more than simplifying the divorce process or opening up new lines of communication. A carefully crafted pre or postnup can protect a person's assets, California business interests and far more. When it comes to dealing with a potentially high asset divorce, these protections can be essential for securing the best possible outcome.

Jeff Bezos might be most well-known as the CEO and founder of online retailer Amazon, but he has recently been in the headlines for his impending divorce. After 25 years of marriage to novelist MacKenzie Bezos, the couple are ready to end their marriage and move on separately with their lives. However, as the wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos has quite a bit on the line, including much of his business interests.

High asset divorce:W to seek a new financial adviser

Handling complicated assets, large bank accounts and financial investments is not for the faint of heart. When this much is on the line, California couples usually turn to professional advisers for help and guidance. But when it comes to a high asset divorce, should couples continue sharing the same advisers, or should they aim for a cleaner financial break?

Making a clean financial break from an ex-spouse might sound easier than it sometimes is. In many cases, one person continues to pay alimony to the ex. If children are involved, someone is usually paying child support. While these are necessary financial payments that can continue to temporarily tie a couple together, sharing a financial adviser does not have to be.

Want child custody protections? Establish paternity first

California fathers are sometimes unsure about the significance of establishing paternity. Many of these fathers see their children on a regular basis and even provide financial assistance to their child's mother without needing the intervention of a family court. Establishing paternity might feel unnecessary or like overkill, but without it, fathers do not have any legal rights when it comes to securing things like child custody or more.

Paternity is not always a given. This is especially true when unmarried parents have a child together. In general, mothers can list whoever she believes is the child's father -- or who wants to be the father -- on the birth certificate. While this is sometimes sufficient for establishing paternity, it is not always enough.

How can I protect myself from paying too much in alimony?

You may feel unhappy with the idea of making monthly payments to your ex, but spousal support is an important part of California family law. Spousal support -- also called alimony -- ensures the stability of a spouse who earned less during the marriage until such a time as they are able to create their own financial security. While it is essential that individuals who receive alimony get the right support, it is also necessary to protect the payer's financial well-being. 

California has two separate stages of spousal support. The first is called temporary spousal support and occurs after you separate but before your divorce is finalized. For this stage, courts consider both you and your ex's income, your future earning capacities and more. 

What to do with the home during property division?

A home is one of the biggest joint purchases that California married couples make. Despite this, many still end up mismanaging their real estate during divorce. Not only can making mistakes with the marital home hurt emotionally, it can also cost each person a significant amount of money. In order to better handle the home during property division, individuals should be aware of a few important matters.

Some couples decide that it is best for one person to maintain ownership of the house. While this might be a good idea for a number of reasons, it is essential to first determine whether that person can continue to afford the house. This means more than just paying the mortgage. What about taxes, general upkeep and homeowners insurance? If the individual cannot afford these costs or if it will create a financial burden, then keeping the home might not be in his or her best financial interests and could ultimately cause more distress down the road.

A private family law judge can make divorce personal

The decision to end a marriage is a deeply personal matter for many people in California. However, divorce hearings are typically held in public courthouses, which flies in direct opposition to most people's feelings on the matter. However, there is an alternative. You can hire a family law judge to provide a private judging. 

A private judging includes the judge, the divorcing couple and their respective attorneys. Couples can carefully select the judge based on qualifications and past cases that he or she has presided over. If you have extremely complicated assets or are dealing with unique circumstances, the ability to hire a judge who has experience with these matters can be very appealing. If you go through a public hearing, there is no guarantee that the official overseeing your divorce will have relevant experience. 

Shared child custody reaping benefits for children in one state

When divorce became more common place, family court judges tended to favor the mother when deciding what was the best situation for raising children. Over time, studies have shown that children who are permitted more time with both parents tend to fare better. While joint custody is favored in California, some other states start with a legal presumption of joint custody. A family law attorney can help a parent in this state to determine what arrangements will best meet his or her children's needs.

Recently, an advocate for parents' rights urged his state to consider implementing new laws that would require family courts to make shared custody the default unless doing so would place children in danger of abuse. Studies and surveys are showing that children are benefiting from this approach. Professionals say that it reduces the level of conflict. Many opponents to shared parenting assert that the best interest of the child needs to come first, though it is widely accepted that time with both parents is better for most children.

Seeking divorce to gain financial independence? Read this first

Many California spouses feel trapped in marriages where they have little to no freedom to make independent decisions. Especially where finances are concerned, many people would rather file for divorce than continue having to run every expenditure or financial move past their partner for approval. Some may be surprised to learn that, even after filing paperwork to end a marriage, spouses must still disclose financial information to each other.

Reality TV fans have been made privy to the details of numerous marital break-ups on certain shows. Several of these situations pertain to financial disputes, custody battles and property division issues. To avoid similar problems, non-celebrity spouses may want to learn from the experiences of their favorite Bravo stars.

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