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Law concerning custody of pets takes effect on January 1

California's community property laws can present unexpected issues in a divorce. How does a couple divide a valuable work of art? Or divide a valuable antique piece of furniture? And what about the family dog or cat or parrot? Until this past year, California judges treated pets as personal property and awarded custody of them as if the animal were merely an item of personal property. A new law becomes effective on January 1 that will change all this.

How mediation can ease the stress of getting divorced

Most Sacramento residents who are contemplating a divorce are aware that the process is often stressful, emotionally painful and exhausting. What many people in this position do not realize, however, is that using a divorce mediator can make the divorce process far less taxing than is commonly imagined.

Changing the terms of an order for child support

Many people in Sacramento who endure a divorce proceeding find that their financial circumstances change after the divorce is completed. One of the ex-spouses may become unemployed or suffer a demotion that reduces their salary. Occasionally, one of the spouses or a child will suffer a medical crisis that results in unexpected bills. Sometimes, a change has the opposite effect - an ex-spouse may receive an unexpected promotion with a significant increase in income. In all of these circumstances, the original order for child support may suddenly seem unfair. What can be done about it?

How a prenuptial agreement might be invalid

Prenuptial agreements serve many purposes, but in most cases they are used to provide certainty about the division of assets and payment of alimony in the event of divorce. California has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a statue that specifies the subjects that may be covered in a prenuptial agreement and the requirements for a valid agreement. While the statute answers many questions about prenuptial agreements, it does not speak plainly or loudly when the subject of invalidity arises.

The right legal approach to divorce

An impending divorce can create great amounts of stress, anger, sadness and grief. Many people in Sacramento who are facing the disruption of ending a marriage often wonder whether they need a lawyer to help them. Such doubts are especially common for younger people with short-duration marriages and little or no marital property. Nevertheless, the presence of minor children or joint involvement in running a family business, for example, can complicate any divorce.

Governor signs bill allowing courts to determine pet custody

Divorcing couples worry and wonder about many things, including the division of marital property, child custody and support and spousal maintenance. One thing that may not be considered until the last minute is the fate of a beloved pet. California Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed a bill that gives judges the explicit legal power to determine which spouse gets custody of a pet in a divorce and under what circumstances the non-custodial spouse can visit or have custody of the animal. Before the passage of this act, divorcing pet owners had no clear guidance about whether the court would consider a pet to be community property.

Two ways to avoid a court trial in a divorce case in California

Many couples in Sacramento who are pondering a divorce are concerned about the emotional strain and expense of an extended court trial. These concerns are increased if the marriage involves young children or if the couple has acquired significant assets to split during the divorce. The California court system provides two alternatives to a full-blown trial: mediation and collaborative divorce. The two processes can be very similar, but a knowledge of the differences may help a couple choose the process that works better for them.

Dealing with post-divorce loneliness

A divorce can be an extremely unpleasant experience. Relationships are broken and rearranged, money problems may arise and any divorced person may deal with loneliness and even depression. For many divorced persons in the Sacramento area, the road to restoring life may seem endless and hopeless. Yet, psychotherapists who are experienced in dealing with post-divorce loneliness have developed a number of techniques that help people.

Enforcing child support orders in California

The failure of a non-custodial parent to pay court-ordered child support can be one the most bothersome post-divorce issues imaginable. Usually, the custodial parent depends on these payments for food, clothing, medical care and other aspects of the child's care. In the frequent situation where the custodial parent is not financially well-off, one or two missed support payments can be catastrophic. California recognizes the importance of support payments by providing penalties for anyone overlooking the responsibility to pay according to the court order.

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