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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

How do I bring up the topic of divorce with my kids?

California couples considering divorce have many tough decisions to make and telling your children about the separation is one of them. How you handle the initial discussion, as well as those still to come, can alter the way they see themselves and the rest of the world.

Psychology Today explains that cooperative co-parenting during and after a divorce is essential to helping your children deal with conflicting feelings that can include grief, anger, confusion, anxiety and more. Consider the following when determining what to tell them.

What expenses can child support payments be used for?

Divorcing parents in Los Angeles will still need to raise and provide for their child, and usually joint provision is the best way to go about this. More often than not, this involves child support payments of some sort. Not only can it be difficult to determine what those payments should be, but it can also be hard to decide what they should be used for.

According to FindLaw, child support payments don't just cover the bare necessities of a child. Food, shelter and clothing should be a given. Child support payments are also used for enrichment, or non-essential things that will bring betterment to the child's life in some way. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Afterschool activities 
  • Clubs or sports
  • Dances such as prom
  • Field trips
  • Application fees
  • Medical fees

How to Communicate With Your Ex About Co-Parenting

At the heart of any healthy co-parenting arrangement is communication. Unfortunately, many divorced people in Los Angeles find it difficult to make decisions with their exes about things like schooling, medical care, or even residence. Because good communication is so important, HelpGuide.org offers the following tips to help you and your ex co-parent successfully.

Don’t Let Your Feelings Dictate Behavior

3 tips for making a custody arrangement that lasts

While you are going through a divorce, child custody is one of your main concerns. If it looks like you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are going to have some sort of joint custody, you may have concerns about how this will work. After all, co-parenting may sound like a difficult task. 

Thankfully, it is possible to create a custody agreement that lasts. Here are some tips for coming up with a parenting plan that works.

Negative emotions during the divorce process

Going through a divorce can be difficult for so many different reasons, such as the financial strains that some people experience as a result of alimony or property division and moving out of a home they have lived in for many years. Moreover, those who have kids may have an especially difficult time during their divorce due to a custody dispute or concerns about not being able to spend as much time with their children. With all of these hurdles, divorce can certainly generate very strong emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and even anger and it is essential for parents to handle these emotions properly.

There are a number of ways you may be able to lessen the emotional impact of the divorce process. For example, you could find that by going over all of your options and the laws that are relevant to divorce issues you are facing, you are able to relieve some of your stress and have a better idea of what may lie ahead. Talking with your marital partner or former spouse can help, although some people do not have these open lines of communication while they are working through a divorce. Moreover, it might be very helpful to discuss what is happening with your children.

Can you move away with your kids?

A major part of getting through your divorce is moving on in your life with your ex-spouse no longer being a part of it. That may mean moving away from Los Angeles to find a new job, be closer to family or just pursue new opportunities. Yet how are you able to do that if you and your ex have children together? 

The law recognizes the importance of children having continued contact with both of their parents. However, if you have primary custody of your children, California's Family Code states that you have the right to determine where their residence will be. This allows you to move away with your kids if you so choose. Your ex-spouse may dispute the move, but in order to modify your custody agreement to accommodate for it, he or she will have to show that you moving away would be harmful for your children. 

Keeping the 401k in a divorce

When preparing for a divorce, Los Angeles couples would be wise to sit down and take stock of the assets they possess that will be subject to property division. One asset that many often fail to include in such an assessment is a 401k. At first, it may seem odd that a 401k could be viewed as a marital asset, especially since its capital is drawn from an individual's paycheck. Yet the money earned from that paycheck while one is married is marital property, which explains why his or her 401k would be also. 

When contemplating how one's soon-to-be ex-spouse will get to benefit from his or her 401k (or vice versa), the first thing one should know is that only the contributions made during the marriage as well as any growth its funds experience during that time is divisible. Next, one should also consider how the funds will be divided. According to the website SmartAsset.com, 401k funds are divided in the manner dictated by state law. In equitable distribution states, the court would consider the contributions each party made to the growth of an asset when determining how to divide it. This may certainly seem to favor the contributing spouse. However, California is a community property state, and as such, considers marital assets to be jointly owned. Thus, minus a prenuptial agreement which protects one's 401k, those funds subject to division would likely be divided equally. 

Co-parenting after divorce

Divorce has become less taboo and more of a common procedure in recent decades -- so much that a large majority of California households involve blended families. With this turn in family structures comes a need for new schedules, visitation times and other demands of everyday life.

Many parents new to split households may feel overwhelmed at the process, as it can involve a great deal of time and planning. What are some ideal strategies for this major life change, and how can newly divorced parents make the best out of an unfortunate situation? 

Quit social media during a divorce

Attorneys, judges and other legal professionals have had to decide in recent years how exactly to use social media during court proceedings. The American Bar Association has determined that social media posts and pictures are admissible as evidence in trials for everything from criminal acts to divorce. 

The things you post on social media, which includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, can come into play during your divorce. Your ex can use posts to assert that you deserve less custody time or that you should not receive as much in alimony. Therefore, you need to be extremely careful of what you post. 

What Are the Signs of an Abusive Relationship?

Not all relationships are blissful. In fact, some are downright abusive, which is a commonly cited factor for divorce in Los Angeles and all over the nation. Because it can be difficult to determine whether your marriage is healthy on your own, it helps to know some of the common warnings that can accompany an abusive relationship. YourTango.com explains what you should be on the look out for if you suspect your relationship is abusive.

Your Partner Tries to Control You

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