Splitting up assets and liabilities during a divorce can be extremely taxing, but it can be even more difficult to determine who gets custody of the children. Although you and your future ex-spouse may be able to come to an equitable agreement amongst yourselves for how to share time with your children, it is common to have to go to court in order to have a judge decide. Here are some things to keep in mind during negotiations and court proceedings.
California Rules on Child Custody
Similar to courts in most other states, California courts prefer for children of divorce to maintain as much contact with both parents as possible. However, since the parents will no longer be living together, working out joint custody arrangements can become difficult. If one parent is unfit or incompetent or abusive, the court may award the custody of the children to the other parent. Although the parents are allowed to attempt to negotiate their own custody arrangement, a court will not honor a prenuptial agreement that specifies who gets custody of the children or that includes a waiver of or limitation on child support. These have been found to violate public policy.
Payment of Child Support
Both parents are required to support their children after a divorce, and the amount of the support can vary depending on the parents’ income and the agreed upon custody arrangement. Child support is included in the payor’s reported income for tax purposes. Child support is also unique in that even if the paying spouse declares bankruptcy, he or she will not be able to remove his or her obligation to pay.
Making Sure Your Children Get Your Assets
If you and your spouse have children or you have children from a previous marriage or relationship, you may want to consider how to make sure that these children do not lose out on access to your property following your divorce or in the event that you pass away before your divorce is final. Your spouse may automatically be entitled to a certain percentage of your assets depending on how long you have been married and how you obtained these assets. However, there may be ways to ensure that your children remain entitled to as many of your assets as possible, such as changing status of your property to tenants-in-common or creating a trust for them.
California Pets In Divorce
Lately, there has been a push toward courts determining who gets custody of pets in a divorce in a similar way to who gets custody of children. Although the court may look at who purchased the pet and cared for it initially, the court may also look at which spouse would be better equipped to take care of the pet and will also hear evidence on whether one spouse has abused the pet.
In addition to the issues mentioned above, there are many more financial and personal considerations to take into account when going through a divorce. If you need skilled legal representation in a divorce, custody proceeding, restraining order, civil union or any other aspect of family law , you can turn to the Law Office of Renkin & Associates for the expertise that you deserve. Our attorneys are prepared to zealously advocate for your rights and your assets. Contact the Law Office of Renkin & Associates today for representation in a custody issue or a divorce proceeding.