How to Help Your Kids during Your California Divorce

How to Help Your Kids during Your California Divorce

Looking for expert advice about how to help your children cope during your divorce is a solid first step. When children learn that their parents are divorcing, it can feel like their world is spinning out of control. Fortunately, as parents, you have a great degree of influence and can help your children adjust to this new chapter in their lives.

The single most important thing that parents can do to help their children cope with divorce is to keep the kids out of the conflict. Research has shown time and again that it is not divorce itself that leads to so many of the negative consequences for kids; instead, it is how the parents handle the divorce that is the best predictor of how kids fare.

Here are some ideas to help you avoid drawing your kids into parental conflict:

  • Don’t tell your children the details of why you are divorcing or place blame on the other parent.
  • Store important documents and communications, such as letters and emails, in a place where your kids won’t see them.
  • If it is safe to do so and abuse is not an issue, encourage your kids to stay in contact with the other parent and his or her extended family through phone calls.
  • Don’t vent about or discuss adult issues when your kids are around, and counsel your friends and family not to do so.
  • Don’t ask your kids to choose with whom to spend time; follow your custody and visitation schedule.
  • Don’t ask your children to spy on the other parent or to deliver messages or payments on your behalf.

In addition to keeping your kids out of your conflict, it’s important to spend time with your children, to listen to them, to reassure them of your love for them, and to validate their feelings.

For compassionate legal counsel during this difficult time, contact the experienced family attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We will provide legal support tailored to your specific situation. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys can help: (415) 293-8314.

What Happens When Bankruptcy and Divorce Occur Together?

What Happens When Bankruptcy and Divorce Occur Together?

Divorce is a stressful, life-changing event precipitated by many different causes, including financial difficulties. Indeed, the mere process of separating into two households can create irreparable financial fractures in a family’s budget. Unfortunately, separation and divorce sometimes lead one or both parties to consider filing for bankruptcy while their divorce case is pending.

Divorce proceedings are held in family court, which is a California state court. Family court judges preside over the proceedings, including matters involving spousal support, child support, and property and debt division.

Bankruptcy cases, on the other hand, are filed and heard in the federal court system. In fact, bankruptcy courts are specialized federal courts set up to deal with these issues.

If one or both spouses file for bankruptcy while their divorce proceeding is pending, it is wise to get legal advice right away. These dual proceedings present special issues and can impact the outcome of the divorce, including the property rights of both parties. Here are some examples of issues that experienced counsel can help you understand and protect:

  • whether it is best to file for bankruptcy separately or together, assuming both spouses wish to file;
  • whether it is better to file for bankruptcy before or after a final divorce decree is granted;
  • the effect of the discharge of a community debt on a spouse who does not file for bankruptcy; and
  • the effect of a final divorce decree on a spouse’s ability to discharge a debt in bankruptcy.

At a minimum, if a bankruptcy case is pending, that court will have to approve any proposed division of community property in the divorce case. Additionally, it is important to note that neither spousal support nor child support may be discharged in any type of bankruptcy.

In some cases, when only one spouse files for bankruptcy, it is in the other spouse’s best interest to file a special type of complaint in the bankruptcy case.

If you need assistance in a family law proceeding, you should consult with an experienced California lawyer, especially if bankruptcy is or may become an issue for you or your spouse. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger will provide authoritative legal support tailored to your specific situation. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys can help: (415) 293-8314.