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Alameda County Family Law Blog

For marital success, initial happiness and finances matter

Many people assume that contentment in a marriage changes and possibly declines with time. However, this may not be the case. California residents might like to know more about a study concerning socioeconomic status and martial satisfaction.

Studies already exist showing that couples can experience lasting happiness and satisfaction in a marriage, but these studies have typically surveyed middle-class and white couples. A study conducted by the University of Georgia and the University of Texas focused on low-income marriages in Los Angeles County.

Gray divorces: Get help with this complex divorce

You and your spouse have been together for many years, and you spent them raising your children and growing your assets. Now, your children have left home, and you've found that you have little left in common.

You're not alone in this situation. Many people have found themselves unsure about the path forward after their children have moved out. Today, some older adults choose to go through a divorce at this stage, though there are some complex concerns to take care of if you do choose to divorce over the age of 50.

Common myths about child custody, property and divorce

Some people in California who are considering divorce might feel that the end of the relationship is the fault of one person or the other. This is a common misconception. In most divorces, both people usually bear some measure of responsibility. If people do not examine why it has happened, this could be one reason that second marriages are even more likely to end in divorce.

Another common misunderstanding is that having separate accounts means that property will be considered separate throughout the divorce process. However, this is not usually the case, particularly in a community property state like California. People should also not assume that the end of the marriage means an end to their problems. A reduction in the standard of living is not unusual after a divorce, and parents must continue to raise their children together.

Why divorce is more common in August

Research has found that August is a prime month for marriages in California and throughout the country to end. One reason is that many couples believe that the summer months will be the key to fixing their relationship. However, in most cases, this does not happen. Therefore, many couples choose to end their marriages as opposed to spending more time trying to fix them.

For some, the summer months actually put a brighter spotlight on their marital issues. This is because they can't use their daily routines as a reason to ignore their problems. With the children out of school for several weeks, parents are forced to spend more time together. This extra family time could lead to disagreements or other disputes that simply can't be resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Choosing the right custody schedule: There are many options

You love seeing your kids, but you know that their other parent needs to see them, too. That's why you're both trying to work out a fair custody schedule.

You spoke with your children, who are between the ages of 7 and 14, and they agreed that they'd like to go between homes together. That's resolved one concern you had, but now you need to figure out what kind of custody schedule would work best for three children who may be going to different events or activities.

Dealing with divorce later in life

In California and across the country, a growing number of people are choosing to divorce later in life. The phenomenon is often referred to as a "gray divorce". In the past 20 years, divorces involving couples aged 50 and older have more than doubled. While only 10% of divorcing couples were older than 50 in 1990, that figure had reached 25% by 2010. It has continued to increase since that time. The vast majority of divorces continue to involve younger people, but there are a number of reasons why people are more likely to end their marriage at a more advanced age.

Americans are leading longer, fuller and healthier lives at a more advanced age, and people still expect to enjoy personal fulfillment and love in their older years. In addition, social mores have changed over time. People who are over 50 today or even over 65 are members of a generation that changed the country's approach to divorce, normalizing the end of a marriage and introducing no-fault divorce laws. In addition, only a minority of gray divorces involve long-term couples; many older couples divorcing are on their second or third marriages.

Getting a paternity test

When a baby is born to an unmarried California couple, complications can arise if the alleged father does not believe he is the father or want to pay child support. Before an unmarried mother can seek child support, however, paternity of the child will need to be determined. Several methods can be used to establish paternity.

One way that paternity can be established is to initiate a legal paternity test with a laboratory. If a man believes that he is the father of the child, the two parents can voluntarily sign an acknowledgment of paternity document. In some cases, the child and family services agency may initiate a court-ordered paternity test. Finally, if there is a dispute over child custody or child support, a judge may order DNA paternity testing or even DNA maternity testing.

Study discovers four most common reasons for divorce

Couples in California and elsewhere split up for many reasons, but a new study finds that the most common causes of divorce revolve around a lack of emotional fulfillment. The study was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

For the study, researchers polled nearly 2,400 straight people who had recently divorced. Of those participants, who had an average age of 45, 44% said they initiated the divorce, 40% said their partners initiated it and 16% said it was a mutual decision. Meanwhile, 40% said their split had low or very low conflict, and 29% said there was a lot of conflict.

Divorcing? Get the assets you're after with the right help

When you're divorcing, one of the most frustrating things is that you'll have to divide your assets. Whether you have many properties or vehicles, works of art or boats, the reality is that you and your spouse need to decide who will walk away with which items.

To be able to divide property, you need to know how much it is worth. Both you and your spouse may need to hire your own professionals to evaluate and place a value on your property. It is usually a good idea to hire your own and to have your spouse hire their own appraiser.

How families can adjust after divorce

While divorce can be difficult for the pair experiencing it, any children involved face their own set of challenges. However, there are some ways parents in California can help their kids handle divorce.

Cutting back on expenses is often a necessity after a divorce as one's financial situation changes. While parents may worry about the things they can no longer afford to give children, a temporary budget could help one get back on track after divorce.

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