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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

What a collaborative divorce looks like in California

Conflict resolution is never as important as it is during a divorce. With emotions running at their highest level, the chances of getting into arguments over every little issue are pretty good.

Going through the divorce process in court is not your only choice in California. Collaborative divorce allows parties to settle their differences with assistance and stay out of the courtroom. Deciding to go this route may mean the emotional focus shifts from combative to compromising.

Divorce, stepchildren and child custody

Parents who are going through a divorce may be dealing with various stressors, from financial concerns as a result of property division or child support to emotional worries regarding their children’s interests and their ability to spend time with their kids. For some parents, such as those who have recently adopted a child or have stepchildren, divorce can be especially concerning due to the custody process. If a bitter dispute arises, stepparents may worry that they will not have the ability to maintain a relationship with their stepchildren, and they may have uncertainty regarding other facets of family law (such as child support payments).

If you are a stepparent, it is vital to approach the custody process from the right angle. By doing so, you may be able to avoid problematic challenges and increase your odds of a more favorable outcome. There are so many factors that the court may take into consideration when trying to determine how child custody should be awarded, and if you are prepared for the process you may be able to present yourself properly and increase your chances of an outcome that is in your favor.

How can I improve communication with my ex?

Effectively co-parenting with your ex can seem like a constant uphill battle. While you both want what's best for your kids, you might also have a hard time finding common ground due to hurt and resentment caused by your split. Communicating effectively can make a big difference in this case, as explained by HelpGuide.org.

The way you frame statements to your ex can have quite an impact. For instance, instead of demanding your former spouse do something, try making it a request instead. You can also solicit his or her opinion from time to time. While you'll probably disagree, asking for your ex's opinion shows that your value their input when it comes to child-rearing. 

How can I get away from an emotionally abusive relationship?

Emotional mistreatment is often a component of abusive relationships. It can be challenging for many survivors to overcome the damage caused by their abuser, especially when it comes to rebuilding self-esteem and self-confidence. Very Well Mind offers the following advice on coping with an emotionally abusive relationship and the steps you can take to regain control over your life.

Boundaries are crucial when dealing with an abuser. However, you must be willing to stick with your boundaries when they're breached. If you tell your partner that you won't tolerate insults or belittling language in the future, be willing to make good on your promise. This is the first step in rending control from your abuser. Next, have an honest talk with yourself about the nature of your relationship and your partner. 

Why a Facebook divorce is a really bad idea

At Trabolsi | Levy | Gabbard LLP here in California, we represent many clients seeking a divorce. One of the main things we always counsel them about is the fact that they should be extremely careful about what they post on Facebook and other social media during their divorce.

Unfortunately, if you cannot get through your day without checking Facebook, et al numerous times, you, too, have become “addicted” to this modern way to keep up with your family and friends. While constant Facebook posting need not ruin your life, FindLaw cautions that posting too much of the wrong kinds of information can come back to haunt you during your divorce. Why? Because your soon-to-be former spouse and his or her attorney can, and likely will, use it against you in court.

3 ways to prepare a child to deal with a divorce

When couples in California are divorced, both individuals face changes to the future mentally, emotionally and physically. As they deal with their feelings, it is often easy to forget about the children in the marriage and how they are affected by the divorce. Although the Los Angeles Times states that the divorce rate in California is dropping, there are still many children who need help getting through their parent’s divorce.

1. Keep things consistent

High-asset divorce and spousal surveillance

Possibly, one or both spouses involved in a high-asset divorce may have an uneasy feeling someone is watching them. Technology can become a surveillance weapon in a competitive bid for advantage when a high-asset divorce is on the table.

If any part of divorce triggers the desire to make the other party look bad, child custody can be a lightning rod for a parent who wants to catch the other in bad behavior. A parent who engages in unsavory or illegal activities may cause a judge to think twice before granting equal or shared custody.

Keeping your divorce out of the public eye

Your divorce may be one of the most stressful and embarrassing life events you will ever face. After all, there are probably some sordid details that make neither you nor your soon-to-be ex-spouse look particularly good. Unfortunately, in California, divorce records are part of the public record. As such, anyone who wants to learn about the dissolution of your marriage may be able to gain access. 

Keeping your divorce out of the public eye may be an uphill battle, but it is not impossible. In fact, in certain circumstances, you may be able to convince a judge to seal some or all of your divorce records. Before doing so, though, you should understand the legal obstacles to securing your privacy. 

Preparing for a complex divorce

If the writing is on the wall and a California divorce is on the horizon, you may wonder how to prepare for the bumpy road ahead. The team at Trabolsi Levy Gabbard LLP has experience assisting clients with equitable distribution of property in high asset divorces.

According to Worthy Living, you can take some steps that help you protect your assets while smoothing the financial separation process. During a divorce, the court separates the marital property from separate property. Before filing the paperwork, make a list of property you owned before the marriage, any inheritance or gifts from third parties and payments from a personal injury lawsuit. This gives you a better idea of what you can keep after the divorce.

Joint-parenting may be beneficial for children

Going through a divorce can be a difficult process, especially if there are children involved. With strong emotions, it can be hard to determine who is entitled to what, the rate of alimony and child support, as well as who should be given custody of the children. In California, and in other states across the country, custody is awarded keeping the best interests of the child in mind. Sole-physical custody was traditionally thought to be advantageous for children, as they did not have to live between homes. However, studies show that joint-custody may be a better option, as the children are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents.

The study looked at children set in joint-custody, sole-custody and traditional family arrangements over a period of time. The results showed that kids who spent time with both parents had higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, higher school performance, stronger family relationships and less emotional stress. Over a long-period of time, kids who are raised by both parents have successful careers, stronger support groups, better marriages and are better adjusted than those who spend a majority of time with one parent.

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