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Older same-sex couples: Ask these 3 questions when divorcing

When the United States Supreme Court repealed the Defense of Marriage Act in 2015, same-sex couples gained the right to legally marry everywhere in the nation. The move ended the patchwork of laws that subjected same-sex individuals to uneven treatment when it came to their right to marry the persons they loved.

Unfortunately, same-sex couples are subject to many of the same marital stressors as heterosexual couples. Just like heterosexual marriages, same-sex marriages break down and end in divorce. For many same-sex couples -- particularly those in their late 50s and older -- the legacy of those patchwork laws of the last few decades can make divorce complicated.

Don't forget these technical issues during your divorce

We live in a world that's increasingly technological -- which means that part of divorce includes disentangling yourself from your spouse wherever you're connected through tech.

Most of the time, people think that means changing the password on their Netflix account once they move out so their ex-spouse can't share the service from a distance. But that's only the start of the steps you need to take.

The toll of domestic violence on children is greater than feared

There's a lot of new research emerging that's focused on the effects of domestic violence on children. Researchers are finding out that abuse actually affects children -- and the adults those children later become -- in far worse ways than they ever imagined.

Here are some of the most important things researchers have discovered about domestic violence and its aftermath:

Dividing common household items in a divorce

When you get divorced, you have to divide everything up -- including all the household items that you've gathered over the years. That means the furniture, the things in your cupboards and the items that have accumulated in your garage.

Some of those household items are merely practical. Taking them with you means that you don't have to spend a lot of extra money right away to replace them. Other items may also have sentimental value.

Learn how to make joint custody feasible

You may not be happy to hear this, but today's family court judges seldom side in favor of either the father or the mother in the average custody battle. Most judges want to see a joint custody plan worked out between the divorcing parents. (Failing that, the judge will usually assign one.)

Yes, it can be a pain to try to coordinate schedules with your ex, especially around holidays, birthdays and other important events, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Here are some of the best ways to make joint custody workable:

Think only the weak get into abusive relationships? Think again

There's a popular perception that domestic abusers target partners that they perceive as "weak." There's some logic in that idea since abusers generally only feel confident and strong when they have control over someone else.

However, most abusers don't target people they see as vulnerable in the first place. There's nothing to be gained from it. Instead, abusers go after the people you might least expect to end up the victims of domestic violence: the beautiful, the confident, the strong.

'Divorce Day' opens the floodgates on new filings

Divorce attorneys have a name for the first Monday following the holiday season. It's been dubbed "Divorce Day" because it's the day the office phones start ringing as unhappy couples commit to a better future. If your marriage is stable, you have no reason to worry. If your marriage has been on the rocks for some time, however, you may have cause for concern.

There are a few different reasons that people tend to wait for Divorce Day to start the process of ending their marriage. Some of them are emotional -- and some of them are rooted in more practical concerns. The most common reasons that people wait until after the holidays to start a divorce are:

  • Not wanting to face the holidays alone (especially with all those family gatherings)
  • Not wanting to upset parents or children by giving them unhappy news about a divorce in the middle of the holiday season
  • Holding on to hope that the marriage can be salvaged, especially as the nostalgia and romance of the holiday season gears up
  • Not having the money to manage the holidays and the expense of a divorce
  • Not wanting to lose their tax filing status as a married couple

California's new divorce law treats pets more like people

Do you feel like your dogs are just like little furry toddlers? Is having a cat almost like having a four-footed child?

If that's how you feel about your pets, you are definitely not alone. Americans love their pets -- which is why it's a often a distressing reality for divorcing couples to find out that the family pet is treated like a piece of property that has to be assigned an owner. Over the years, this has allowed pets to become tools of revenge by one spouse over another and led to a lot of unnecessary grief.

Understand how the automatic temporary restraining order works

The moment that divorce papers are filed, the divorcing couple are bound by something known as an automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO).

ATROs are a type of court order, known as an injunction, put in place in order to maintain "the status quo" while a couple works out the details of a divorce. In general, ATROs are designed to prevent either party to a divorce from making a grab for the marital assets or doing something that could affect the other spouse's parental rights.

Domestic violence survivors run into trouble in San Francisco

When you're the survivor of domestic violence, you have immediate concerns that have to be addressed. Your ongoing safety is the number one concern you probably have -- followed quickly by trying to minimize the effect of domestic violence on other areas of your life.

If you live in San Francisco, you might not have a lot of luck getting the one thing that you need the most in order to obtain a restraining order and take advantage of your right to take off work in order to go to court, move or otherwise manage the situation: the police report about your case.

Find out how we can help you.

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