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Oakland CA Divorce Law Blog

Problem of domestic violence

Although many California residents are aware of the problem of domestic violence, they may not know how prevalent it is, both in the state as well as across the nation. The problem impacts millions of people in the United States every year, and domestic violence victims include both women and men.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million men and women suffer abuse every year. Statistics show that 20 people are abused by their partners every single minute. Approximately one-third of all women and one-quarter of all men will suffer such abuse at some point during their lives.

12-year-old California boy abducted by his mother

According to authorities, a 12-year-old boy was abducted by his mother in Anaheim Hills. The victim's father reportedly has custody of the child, with the mother being granted supervised visits.

The boy's mother reportedly went to the supervised visit on April 6, assaulting the visitation monitor before snatching the boy and fleeing. Police reported that the woman's vehicle was found at LAX. They apparently learned that the woman and the 12-year-old boy had boarded a flight bound for Chicago.

Business ownership and divorce in California

If you are a business owner and are preparing to divorce, protecting your business interests may be of preeminent concern. Your business may be considered to be the community property of you and your estranged spouse, and if it is not handled correctly, your continued ownership could be in jeopardy.

You will need to have your business assets valued. In order to determine the worth of the assets, you may need to employ forensic accountants who specialize in business valuations and the determination of the portion of assets that are community property. You will also need to be able to prepare projections of your business's expected future profits.

Collecting unpaid child support from payor's Social Security

Sometimes, a parent who is ordered to pay child support does not make the payments, whether it is because they are having trouble coming up with the money or they are simply refusing to pay. No matter the reason, California parents who are not receiving the payments could collect from the payor's Social Security benefits.

Whether a parent can collect back payments is based on the type of Social Security benefits the payor is receiving. For example, Supplemental Security Income is a welfare benefit, not an earned benefit such as survivor, retirement or disability benefits. The federal government, therefore, does not permit the garnishment of child support payments from SSI.

Data shows mothers are less likely to pay child support

A father who goes through a divorce in California may be awarded full custody of his children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fathers accounted for 18.3 percent of custodial parents in 2011. Just like custodial mothers, custodial fathers are often entitled to an award for monthly child support payments from the other parent.

Statistics gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau show that non-custodial mothers are less likely to fulfill their child support obligations than non-custodial fathers. Thirty-two percent of custodial fathers who were awarded child support in 2011 never received any of the payments. During the same year, the same was true for only 25.1 percent of custodial mothers who were awarded child support payments.

Power of restraining orders

A California resident who is being physically or sexually abused, threatened, harassed or stalked may get a restraining order against the person who is allegedly initiating the damage or threat. The order is sometimes called a protective order and is issued by a court.

A restraining order makes it illegal for a person to go certain places or do certain things. If the restrained person violates the terms of the order, he or she may be punished with jail, fines or both. Personal conduct orders prevent the restrained person from contacting, attacking, destroying the property or disturbing the peace of the protected person.

Providing representation in child support disputes

Child support is one of the most contentious issues that California family courts deal with. Thousands of parents each year struggle to enforce child support orders or initiate the modification process. Though the best interests of their children are often foremost in their minds, many people find it difficult to get the support they need.

You may be a parent seeking child support after your divorce or from the unmarried parent of your child. A major change in your professional life may have occurred, leaving you unemployed or earning less money and struggling to make ends meet with your current child support obligations. You may have learned that your child's other parent recently got a better-paying job that would warrant a change in your child support order.

The different types of California domestic violence

Domestic violence is generally defined as any act or pattern of abuse that one person uses to control another. Actions intended to manipulate, isolate or humiliate another person can be considered domestic abuse even if there is no physical harm done to that person. For instance, an individual may attempt to control his or her partner by withholding access to that partner's bank account or by refusing to allow that person to work.

Emotional abuse involves any instance where a spouse or partner will threaten to hurt him or herself to control the other spouse or partner. It can also be threats of harm to family members or pets to gain emotional control over a person. Destruction of property may also be used as a controlling tactic. Isolating a spouse or partner from friends or loved ones may also constitute abuse without causing physical harm.

Dividing assets and liabilities after a California divorce

After a divorce, both parties are asked to go through their debts and assets to determine how to divide them. The goal is to divide everything as equally as possible. For instance, if one party gets the house, that same party may also be responsible for taking care of credit card debt that the couple accumulated. In the event that the couple has multiple bank accounts, the assets inside of the accounts should be separated equally.

For example, one person may be entitled to take the larger bank account while the other party gets the smaller account and the more valuable car. Another issue that needs to be considered when dividing property is whether or not property is community or separate property. If property is considered to be separate property, it is generally not eligible to be divided during a divorce settlement.

A child's opinion in California custody matters

When a couple with children divorces in California, one of the most important considerations the court or parents have to make is what parental rights each party receives. The 2015 California Rules of Court dictate how a child's opinion might influence child custody matters.

Children do not have to participate in custody and visitation decisions but could be allowed to convey their wishes under certain circumstances. A judge must consider a child's opinion and weigh its value while also ensuring the child is protected. The best interests of a child are the court's main concern, but all parties involved must also be given their right to challenge evidence.