Riverside Family Law Blog

Who gets the engagement ring after a divorce?

Some of the biggest issues in a divorce are provoked by the littlest things -- like engagement rings.

Engagement rings have both financial and emotional value -- which can drive a conflict between a divorcing couple that can't be easily settled. If it's an issue in your divorce, here's what you need to know:

Usher's ex-wife requests jurisdiction transfer of custody case

The popular singer Usher has been in the news a lot lately because of his marital troubles.

After a very brief separation, his current wife filed for divorce -- ending any speculation that the two were going to reconcile. Now, his ex-wife wants the custody and support agreement that covers their 2009 split transferred from Georgia to California's jurisdiction. They have two children together.

What challenges are faced by the partners of abusive officers?

Is it harder for an domestic abuse victim to seek help when his or her abuser is a police officer?

Experts say that it is. They say that, unfortunately, the same skills of intimidation and control that officers have to use in order to manage suspects on the street make them skillful are psychological abuse at home. They say that an anger issue can be amplified by the officer's need for dominance and authority. The fact that the officer is trained for combat and has access to a gun makes the mere threat of violence very effective. That psychological and emotional aspect of abuse is often the most difficult for the victim to overcome -- and what may tie him or her to the abuser even after the violence turns physical.

How can a court declare someone an unfit parent?

Threatening your relationship with your children is one of the worst things your spouse can do to you during a divorce. Unfortunately, it isn't that uncommon for one spouse to swear that he or she will gain full custody by any means necessary. You may even hear your spouse declare, loudly and to anyone who will listen, that you're "unfit" to be a parent.

Fortunately, what your spouse believes isn't that important. What's important is what the court believes -- and family courts aren't usually in a hurry to sever the parent-child relationship. In order for your spouse (or ex-spouse) to get a court to declare you an "unfit parent," there has to be substantial evidence of at least one of the following things:

  • You have made no attempt to stay in contact with your children and provided no support. Actually having contact with your children isn't necessary. If the other parent blocked your attempts, you can't be considered unfit.
  • You physically abandoned your children to the care of others for some reason.
  • You repeatedly abused or neglected your children. Even if you made a serious mistake as a parent, the court won't generally declare you an unfit parent for one incident unless it is extreme.
  • You sexually abused your children or were convicted of other sexually-related offenses.
  • You have a chronic mental illness that is not treatable and it prevents you from acting as a parent to your children.
  • You have a long-term drug or alcohol addiction that interferes with your ability to parent.

Pay close attention to joint accounts when splitting up

If you and your spouse are at the end of your relationship, one of the first things that you need to attend to is your joint bank account.

While it may seem a little cold or calculating to be thinking of finances at this time, it's an unfortunate necessity. The only way to protect yourself financially is to get that account closed. Otherwise, your spouse can legally drain the account. If he or she overdrafts it, you're also on the hook -- and not just for half. Both people listed on a shared account are considered liable for the entire debt if it goes into the red. The bank does not care who actually incurred the debt.

Same-sex couples should consider mediation

Same-sex couples continue to feel the long-term effects that are still being caused by a bitter fight over marriage equality throughout the last decade or so.

Now, instead of facing extra hurdles to tie the knot, same-sex couples may face a few unique issues when getting a divorce.

When can you ask for a change in child support?

Child support is one of those issues that ex-spouses often disagree about from the day it's ordered until the day it's done. If you're unhappy with either the amount of child support you have to pay or the amount that you're receiving, you may consider asking the court for a change. Before you do, however, you should understand just what goes into a successful request for a modification of support.

1. You cannot make a request too often.

How do you build financial resources to escape a violent home?

Financial concerns can keep the victim of domestic violence tied to his or her abuser long after he or she is emotionally able to flee the home. No one should have to stay in an abusive environment.

One way to gain back the control over your own life as you plan an escape route out of the abusive household is to start quietly establishing access to credit on your own.

Could divorce actually benefit your children?

Everyone hears all about the trauma suffered by the children of divorced parents. Is there any possibility, however, that a divorce could actually be beneficial to your children instead of damaging? Believe it or not, the answer is yes.

There are times where divorce is really a better option than staying together, especially when you think about your children's future. There are many potential benefits your children can realize through a divorce.

California medical professionals respond to domestic violence

Who is in the best position to really identify the victims of domestic violence and help them? It isn't a social worker or a police officer. It's probably a doctor.

Experts believe that domestic violence will factor into the lives of almost 1 out of every 4 women. Many of those women will eventually seek medical care for injuries -- which means that doctors are uniquely in a position to address the issue.

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