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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

Financial abuse often accompanies domestic violence

No person should have to live in fear, yet thousands of people in California go through each day fearing for their safety and well-being. Although significant progress has been made in the fight to end domestic violence, it continues to be a very real and serious problem across the United States. Domestic abuse is known to have drastic physical, emotional and psychological effects on victims. However, domestic violence also has significant financial impacts. Gaining an understanding of the financial abuse that often accompanies domestic violence can help to curb this vicious cycle.

Financial abuse is not often talked about but is one of the most devastating aspects of domestic violence. Studies have shown that financial abuse happens in as many as 99 percent of domestic violence instances. Even if a victim physically leaves his or her abuser, the financial abuse can be felt for years. Common examples of financial abuse include theft, damaged credit and abusers limiting or controlling financial resources.

How to lower the cost of divorce

Sometimes, ending a marriage is necessary and the best course of action. However, regardless of circumstances, divorce is always expensive. California couples who decide to split often underestimate how big of an expense divorce actually is. For a traditional divorce, its not uncommon for the total cost to exceed $10,000. Here are a few ways to help reduce the cost of divorce.

Although its not typically thought of in this way, divorce is basically a financial transaction. It only makes sense to keep financial records organized. By keeping and organizing bank statements, tax returns and other financial records, those ending a marriage can save substantially on fees. Obtaining these records electronically will also save time as well as money.

Preparing your child for divorce

Divorce is a stressful event for families. You and your spouse have come to a point where staying together no longer makes sense. Emotions run high as you go through the process of separating your lives. This emotion affects your children as well.

Children become caught up in the conflict of divorce. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has a few suggestions for easing the strain on your child your divorce may cause:

Why divorce can be tougher on men

Obviously, men and women are very different. According to stereotypes, men are thought of as tough, resilient and steadfast. Conversely, women are typically thought of as emotionally volatile during times of crisis, thus needing more support. However, it can be surprising to find out that divorce may actually be tougher for men in California.

A recent study found that women initiate the divorce nearly 70 percent of the time. Most of the time, the person who wants the divorce has had time to plan and cycle through the emotional and psychological ramifications of this decision. This means that men are likely to be caught off guard, making the shock of a sudden divorce feel like a tidal wave. It’s much tougher to recover from an event such as this if a person is blindsided.

Know what to expect when seeking child custody

When parents divorce, both parents sometimes want primary custody of the children. This can ignite lengthy and even vicious child custody battles. Parents may be thinking they're doing it for the well-being of their kids, but really, nobody wins in a lengthy custody hearing. One of the best ways to prevent this is to be prepared. The following advice may be useful for California parents who suddenly find themselves in this type of situation.

If a parent is seeking sole custody, the better-parent standard may come into play. Basically, this means convincing the judge that one parent is better than the other, which can be extremely difficult to prove. It is advisable to do research and find out exactly what courts are looking for if sole custody is desired.

Financial mistakes to avoid during divorce

Marriages end for a myriad of reasons. However, one common thing about divorce is that it is expensive, especially for California residents. Here are some common mistakes to avoid for those who are going through a divorce.

For some, shopping can be somewhat of a cathartic experience and a form of stress relief. However, retail therapy should be avoided during a divorce now that financial situations have changed. Divorce not only means the loss of a spouse, but it can also mean a loss of income. It can be tempting to cash in investments to pay bills, but this should also be avoided. Selling investments can sabotage long-term financial goals, and taxes will be owed if appreciated investments are sold.

Advice for fathers seeking child custody

In traditional American families, mothers were the primary caregivers and typically raised the children while fathers worked. These days, fathers are taking a more active role in the lives of their children. However, child custody family courts in California still lean somewhat in favor of mothers. Fathers still have a stigma as being the bad guy during a separation, and it can leave many great fathers on the wrong side of a custody battle. Here are some tips for dads to increase the odds of obtaining custody of their children.

One of the most important things fathers can do during a divorce is to document everything. Providing proof of everything that is said and done in this situation can be very advantageous. During a custody hearing, judges place the needs of children first, so they will often inquire about the parents' relationship with their children. Make sure to always have a great relationship with children and be prepared to respond to these types of questions.

How to make divorce an easier transition

Ending a lengthy marriage can definitely be troubling and unsettling. Divorce is possibly one of the most difficult life transitions that a person can go through. However, about half of all marriages in California and across the country end in divorce, so this is something that thousands of people will experience this year alone. The following advice could make this a more peaceful and less stressful transition.

Before going through with a divorce, make sure that it is the best option for the situation. Sometimes, close friends and even family members can influence decisions and may even push spouses to split. Divorce is final, so make sure it is warranted.

How can I get a permanent domestic violence restraining order?

If you are in a relationship that has become dangerous, a domestic violence restraining order may help protect you and others from abuse. A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that can prohibit your abuser from contacting you and require him or her to abide by other terms appropriate to your specific situation.

A permanent domestic violence restraining order is not truly permanent. However, this type or restraining order can last much longer than an emergency protective order or a temporary restraining order. A permanent restraining order can last up to five years, and if necessary, you may apply to renew the restraining order after it has expired.

Child custody: Tips for successful co-parenting

Although marriages end for a myriad of reasons, the top priority for most parents who divorce is the safety and well-being of their children. It is not uncommon for both parents to want primary custody of the kids, which can cause child custody battles to erupt. However, more California parents these days are choosing co-parenting custody arrangements. Here is some helpful advice to follow for successful co-parenting.

Divorce can be ugly and emotions may linger. In order for co-parenting to work, parents must be a cohesive unit and put differences aside for betterment of the children. The marriage is over, so don't drag problems from the marriage into parenting. Leave the past in the past and never say negative things about the other parent in front of the children.

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