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Alameda County Family Law Blog

Divorce more likely when wives fall ill

When women in California fall ill, they may be much more likely than their male counterparts to divorce after their sickness. A number of studies show that despite the oft-quoted marital vow to remain together "in sickness and in health," severe illness can have a serious effect on marital longevity. Equally concerning, however, is the fact that this increased risk of divorce only applies when the female partner in an opposite-sex relationship becomes ill.

While a number of studies have explored this topic, most of them have primarily concerned older couples. Much less research has been done on younger couples who have married more recently, and the results may be skewed as a result of the predominance of more traditional ideas about gender roles in a relationship. According to multiple clinical research studies, women with cancer see an elevated likelihood of divorce after their diagnosis. On the other hand, the illness of a husband seemingly has little effect on the likelihood of a separation. While women with cancer are more likely to divorce, they are still less likely to do so than wives who have strokes or develop heart disease, according to further research.

Getting a fresh post-divorce start with a new financial team

Some California spouses are perfectly happy to let their life partner handle all things financial during the course of their marriage. While there's nothing wrong with this arrangement, it could become a problem when a dependent spouse becomes a newly single individual with unique financial needs. Those needs may not be met if existing financial experts normally dealt with marital assets from the point of view of the other spouse.

A key team member a spouse may want to bring on board during a divorce is a financial adviser. This is the person who is often able to determine if a spouse can afford to keep the marital home. If a dependent spouse is older, retirement needs may be taken into consideration when determining how to allocate income and assets. Post-settlement, an adviser can confirm that all financial accounts an ex-spouse is entitled to have been properly transferred. They may also recommend changing beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts to remove the ex's name.

Know how to approach a divorce in California

You were surprised when your spouse decided to ask you for a divorce. You knew that you were having some trouble working together to raise your children and that money was tight recently, but you thought this was something you could overcome.

Despite your feelings, your spouse insists that a divorce is the correct path. Now, you have a few options with how you move forward. Taking the right steps can help you protect yourself during a divorce.

Men marrying "out of their league" may have higher divorce risk

According to online dating data, both men and women have a tendency to seek out potential mates who are about 25 more attractive than they are. Even so, research suggests most people have realistic expectations when it comes to the type of partners they can expect to attract, so they generally maintain relationships with similar matches. For men in California who want to marry "out of their league," the long-term outlook may not be so good.

This conclusion is based on research from a variety of sources suggesting that the odds of divorce are higher when there's a significant physical appearance discrepancy. One study found that women with less attractive spouses are more likely to flirt with others and admit to being not as committed to their relationship. However, other research suggests that a more significant contributing factor to marital splits among mismatched couples is jealousy on the part of the less attractive spouse.

Why fighting for joint custody is important

California parents who are getting divorced and negotiating custody might wonder what the best option is for all involved. People might consider joint physical or sole physical custody or shared parenting. While some individuals believe that younger children belong only with their mother, research shows otherwise, including very young infants.

According to experts and researchers, children, even infants, benefit from joint physical custody arrangements from the beginning. The research shows that children's emotional health, behavior, physical health, academic achievements and relationships with parents and others are positively impacted by joint physical custody. In a sole custody arrangement, the relationship between the other parent and the child usually suffers. This is particularly worrying because a third of noncustodial parents in sole physical custody situations sees their children at least once a month and another third never sees their children at all.

Dealing with divorce and the family home

For many divorcing couples in California, the family home may be one of the most materially valuable and emotionally resonant assets being addressed in divorce negotiations. Unlike bank accounts or retirement funds, there's no simple way to divide a home in two. This is one reason why couples decide to sell the home and each start fresh in a new place. If the couple sells the home during the divorce, they can pay off the remaining mortgage with the proceeds before dividing the excess between both parties. In some cases, especially when children are involved, one spouse may want to remain in the home to ease the post-divorce transition for the kids.

It is important to make sure that the spouse who wants to remain in the home can afford the house after the divorce. In the first place, that person may need to buy out the other spouse for the equity in the home. This can often be done through trading off other financial assets, but it can be a challenge if the house is entirely or mostly paid off or if the couple has few other substantial assets in addition to the family home.

Here are 3 ways to get your property appraised

One thing that many people who go through divorce deal with is deciding if they should keep or sell a home. Homes may contain many good memories, and some people want to keep them as a result. However, the value of the home may make it necessary to sell it to split profits or to sell it to avoid payments that you can't make on your own.

What you have to do is determine how you want to value the home, and then get an appraisal early on. Once you have this information, you can make a better decision about what to do with your home.

The relationship between debt and divorce

Getting out of debt could be the reason a marriage in California survives. Financial stress often plays a role in marital stress for many different reasons. In some cases, it's because individuals aren't sure how they will pay the debt off or fully understand the details of their outstanding balances. There are times when couples choose to get into debt in an effort to maintain their marriages.

However, in those situations, it's important to take a step back to ensure that the household can afford it. It's also worth looking at current expenses to determine if a couple is living a lifestyle that they can afford. In some cases, it may be necessary to choose between keeping up appearances and maintaining a healthy marriage. Furthermore, those who spend more than they can afford to could end up in bankruptcy court in addition to divorce court.

How parents can handle child custody and visitation

When parents in Alameda County make a decision to live apart from each other, both may need to come to an agreement about child custody and visitation. While each family has its own unique circumstances, several types of arrangements are some of the most common options to arrange shared parenting time. Among the options that are most popular are weekly joint custody schedules, weekend visitation options, vacation and holiday visitation, and supervised or third-party visitation.

Some families have one primary custodial parent with whom the children live during the week. That parent has primary responsibility for the children's educational, family and social activities and usually receives child support. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent will often have the children for the weekend. Other parents who live relatively close to one another may opt for an alternate weekly custody agreement. Children go back and forth between each parent's home on a weekly basis. This is a common arrangement when both parents have joint custody and are equally accessible to the children's educational and social needs.

Help your child emotionally cope with your divorce

If you're a California parent going through a divorce, you are probably concerned about how the marital breakup could affect your child emotionally. Fortunately, most child psychologists agree that kids usually recover from divorce and without suffering permanent psychological ill-effects.

That said, your child will likely go through some "growing pains" as they become accustomed to the new reality of no longer living with both parents in the same home. You can help your child recover from divorce in the healthiest way possible by employing the following tips:

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