Most Californians who get divorced think that the judgment ending the marriage is the end of the divorce process. However, divorced persons should attend to a number of matters that are not usually addressed in the typical judgment.
Marriages are generally regarded as times of celebration and optimism toward the future. Why spoil these good feelings with the suggestion that the couple execute a premarital agreement? Don't such agreements deal with the consequences of divorce, not marriage? And don't prenuptial agreements, by their very nature, conflict with the emotions that have led to the decision to marry? While the answers to the last two questions may seem like a "yes," premarital agreements can promote marital stability and happiness by eliminating questions about the division of property in the event of a divorce.
California laws contain several remedies for women whose ex-husbands do not pay child or spousal support. The state has an agency that helps locate ex-spouses and assists in seeking court enforcement of an existing order for child or spousal support. Unfortunately for women of an earlier generation, these remedies did not exist, and many women were forced to get along without the support payments that had been ordered by the court. One California woman who found herself in that situation was able to find her former husband and persuade him to pay what he owed her. She was successful in recovering child support payments from her ex-husband 50 years after they had been divorced.
The end of a divorce proceeding does not always signify the end of acrimony between the divorced parents. As many divorced residents of Sacramento have learned, anger at the former spouse may often disrupt post-divorce efforts by the parents to tend to the welfare of their children. A California judge and a California entrepreneur are attempting to combine their experiences to develop and market an app named coParenter that is intended to assist divorced parents communicate about their children and make necessary child rearing decisions.
The advent of social media has added a new dimension to divorces in California and elsewhere. Some angry ex-spouses have used platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to post harshly critical comments about the other party to the divorce. Courts have been crafting remedies to limit harmful comments without improperly limiting the First Amendment rights of ex-spouse who is doing the posting. The California Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling that reversed the order of the trial court that barred all use of Facebook by the ex-husband because the prohibition was unconstitutionally broad.
One of the most pervasive social changes that has occurred in California and the United States in the last 20 years is the increasing use of social media to begin, renew or maintain personal relationships. A person may think he or she are pursuing an innocent relationship with an old friend and suddenly, platonic feelings become romantic. Divorces that spring from information posted on social media are often called "Facebook divorces."
When married couples in Sacramento decide to end their marriages, they most commonly think that a divorce is their only option. In most cases, this assumption is correct. Other factors, however, may make an annulment a preferable option.
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.
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.
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?