Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Sonoma County Family Law Blog

What science tells us about predicting divorce

Nothing can predict divorce 100% of the time. You can find couples with all of the red flags and warning signs who, for one reason or another, decide that they're still going to stay together. You can also find couples who seem headed for divorce and then manage to turn the relationship around.

That said, studying relationships from a scientific perspective can help to predict which marriages will last and which ones will end. You can see trends over the years. You can see which red flags most often lead to the end of a relationship. This helps to identify marriages that are at risk. Some of the main signs are:

  • Dropping out of high school
  • Getting married after age 32
  • Getting married while still a teenager
  • Being too affectionate right after getting married
  • Struggling with employment
  • Viewing the relationship as at least partially a negative part of your life
  • Not being able to communicate
  • Always withdrawing and avoiding conflict

Preparing for the holidays as a co-parent

The holiday season may still be a couple of months away, but since you are a co-parent, you need as much of a head-start as you can get to prepare. In addition to all the ordinary preparations everyone goes through, you have other issues to work out.

You and the other parent need to work out your parenting time schedule for the holidays. More than likely, you addressed this issue in your parenting plan, but you may have some fine-tuning to do in order to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Co-parenting pitfalls to avoid

One would like to presume that most parents, despite divorcing their ex, genuinely love their children and want what is best for them. That often involves sharing parenting time with your ex, and that isn't always easy. Co-parenting successfully takes a lot of work across all of the years after the ink is dry on the child custody agreement. Here are a few key pitfalls to avoid.

One pitfall is a failure to communicate. You may want, in the immediate wake of your divorce, to limit communication to throwing shade at them. That, however, is not productive when there are children who need parents who are mature enough to communicate with each other. There is, after all, a lot to talk about regarding the children, including their happiness, their health and their schooling.

California man hopes to reform alimony laws

Is it time for the alimony laws in California to change?

Many people now see "lifetime" alimony for a former spouse to be unfair -- a relic of former times when men were usually the sole breadwinners for a family and women were expected to stay at home. Today, both spouses usually work and can provide for themselves -- but the law doesn't always change with the times until someone pushes the issue.

Why resolving your divorce out of court may be the right choice

Divorce is a difficult and emotionally challenging process, and many people start the process by looking for ways by which they can make the process simpler and more peaceful. If you want to do this, you may consider the benefits of resolving your divorce out of court. Divorce doesn't always have to be contentious and result in a high-stakes courtroom battle.

Many California couples are able to do this by filing for an uncontested divorce. This means that when you file, there are no remaining disputes you and the other party need to resolve. This is not an option in every situation, but it could be a reasonable way by which you and your spouse can end your marriage peacefully and move forward to a strong post-divorce future.

Why you should take the time to prepare for your divorce

Divorce will change and affect your life in many ways. Even in the most amicable of situations, it is not always easy to complete this process and reach a beneficial resolution. In fact, many people find themselves unprepared for how complicated this process will be and how it could alter their future.

If you are facing the prospect of ending your marriage, you can do a few things to prepare yourself for what is ahead. Not only will this allow you to avoid certain problems during the actual divorce process, but it will also help you lay the foundation for a strong post-divorce future. Preparation could be key in saving you time, helping you avoid stress and allowing you to pursue a final order that is fair, practical and sustainable.

Fighting over property? Let us help

When two people marry, they envision sharing a life together, which usually includes a home. Those visions of blissful harmony are a foundation upon which many future dreams are built. However, when one spouse files for divorce, those future dreams can shatter.

With California being a community property state, dividing up the spoils of a failed marriage can be tricky. It's important to be strategic about the items and assets that you seek in a divorce to leave you poised to lead your best life going forward.

Key terms of child custody

The single most important thing to determine when a California couple with children parts ways is with whom the children will live. Child custody can be a very contentious issue between separating or divorcing parents. However, it can be handled constructively. The parents can put together a parenting plan that works for them and for their children. In order to do so, it is important to understand some key terms about custody.

One is legal custody, which is about having access to information about the children and making decisions about the children. Regardless of with whom the children live, both parents may share joint legal custody. That means, for one part, that they are both entitled to get information about their children from schools, doctors and other sources.

Resolve divorce problems one issue at a time

No one can give you a specific format for avoiding all stress in divorce. The fact is that ending a marriage in court is seldom easy. It's understandable that you might experience emotional or financial distress, especially if you and your spouse were married for 10 or more years. There's a lot of history there and adapting to a new lifestyle after such a long time can be quite challenging. If you're a parent, it adds a whole host of other issues to the mix.

You've likely heard it said that you shouldn't bite off more than you can chew. This is definitely good advice when it comes to navigating divorce proceedings. It's best to build a strong support network from the start and to tap into available resources as needed if a particular problem arises.

Successful divorce starts with selecting the right lawyer

When you get married, your focus is on love, happiness, building a future together, and very possibly the honeymoon. When you divorce, your focus is on things like property division and determining what is marital property and what is separate property. The issues surrounding property division in California are very involved. For that reason, one of the first and most important decisions that you make in the process of divorce will be selecting your divorce lawyer.

The right divorce lawyer can do a lot of things for you when it comes to working through the division of your assets with your spouse. Your lawyer can:

  • Help you to understand the rules concerning marital property and marital debts
  • Give you guidance on what property you may be able to claim as your separate property to keep it from being divided in the divorce
  • Help you document the specific facts of your case in order to support any claims of separate property

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