Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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Keeping a nest: Not just for birds anymore

Getting divorced may be one of the biggest challenges you face in life, especially if you have children. Like most good parents in California, your main concerns probably have a lot to do with your children's best interests, in particular, helping them maintain a sense of normalcy as much as possible as you move forward to a new lifestyle together. The thought of uprooting your kids and making them shuttle back and forth between two new homes (maybe a new school district as well) has you worried.

Understanding your right to spousal support after your divorce

Divorce is a difficult time for every member of your California family, and it is normal for even two amicable parties to feel the stress and strain of this process. If you are facing the prospect of a divorce in the New Year, it is likely that you have serious concerns over your financial well-being.

Is your marriage high-risk?

When you go to the doctor, you probably complete a family health history. You check the box if your mother had cancer or your father suffered from diabetes. To your doctor, these may be indicators that you are especially vulnerable to those conditions yourself. If your parent's heart disease was complicated by poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking habits, you may have worked hard throughout your adult life to avoid those additional risk factors. If heart disease is in your genes, you must redouble your efforts at avoiding it.

Establishing legal guardianship and what it means for your family

There are many ways to bring California families together, and establishing a guardianship may be one of them. You may be in a situation in which it may be necessary to seek either temporary or permanent guardianship of a child. These are often complex situations, and it may be necessary to secure legal guidance as you work to find a beneficial and practical solution to your family law concerns.

Which type of child custody is the right choice for your family?

California parents facing a divorce know that they have important decisions to make regarding child custody. Making life-altering decisions regarding child custody is never easy, and making the right choice will have a significant impact on your family for years to come. When faced with these difficult decisions, it can be helpful to know about the types of child custody. 

As a grandparent, do you have a right to visitation?

Grandparents have a special role in the lives of their grandchildren, and a divorce or other issue could threaten this important relationship. Whether it is because of a contentious divorce or unfit parents, grandparents are sometimes faced with the reality that they may have to fight to either have visitation or gain custody of their grandchildren.

Divorce: How do the kids feel?

At the end of a marriage, much of your focus will be on sorting out details of finances, housing, and property. The transitional hustle and bustle may keep you busy, and you will have a lot on your mind. One issue that concerns parents before, during and after a divorce is, how will the change affect my children? A recent news article pulled a few responses from a Reddit thread to get a sample of how divorce affects the children, straight from the kids themselves.

Undertaking the challenge of stepparent adoption

Chances are, you already consider your stepchild to be your own. However, in the eyes of the law, this is far from the truth. If you have been married to the child's biological parent for more than a year, you may be considering the benefits of adopting the child. Not only will taking this step solidify the bond between you and the child, but it will provide you with legal powers, such as making medical and educational decisions, which you may not do as a stepparent.

Partnering with your ex during the school year

The start of a new school year means a blank slate for you and your child. You may look at September as a time to make new resolutions that are even more meaningful than those made in January, especially if past years have presented stumbling blocks. If many of these struggles occurred because of miscommunication or resentment between you and your spouse, you may wish to amend that for the sake of your child.

Are you worried about negative reactions to your divorce?

After making the decision to end your marriage, you may feel as if you need to keep the news to yourself. This type of situation tends to gain negative attention, and you may fear that family members, friends or other parties will potentially make you feel bad about your choice. However, divorce does not have to live up to the negative stigma that society often places on it.

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