Courts Consider These Factors When Deciding a Move-Away Case

Courts Consider These Factors When Deciding a Move-Away Case

Child custody arrangements often are delicate. Parents who might have gone through a difficult divorce now find themselves having to cooperate about raising their children. Disputes often arise. One difficult situation is when a custodial parent wants to relocate and take the kids with them. Sometimes the courts have to get involved, so it’s important to understand what factors courts consider when faced with a move-away case.

Details About the Move

In move-away cases, one of the most important factors is the reason the parent wants to relocate. Frivolous reasons for moving are unlikely to be approved. However, moving to be near family or to get a higher-paying job might sway the judge depending on the other factors considered in a move-away case.

The distance also plays a part. There’s a big difference between a parent that wants to move a few hundred miles away and a parent who wants to move across the country. Judges will consider the distance when making their decisions.

Custody-Related Factors

California courts award the following basic types of custody:

  • Legal custody, joint or sole; and
  • Physical custody, joint or sole.

Generally, a parent with sole physical custody has the “presumptive right” to move away. The other parent has to prove that the move will be detrimental to the children.

Courts will review how parents are handling their current custody and visitation before deciding a move-away case. The focus will be on maintaining stability and continuity in the custodial arrangements whenever possible.

Relationships Matter in a Move-Away Case

Another important factor considered when deciding a move-away case involves relationships:

  • Parents’ relationships with each other. Are the parents able to handle the current custody arrangements? More importantly, are they able to set aside their own wishes to put their children’s interests first?
  • The child’s relationship with each parent. Does the child have strong relationships with both parents? In some cases, the court may agree to let one parent move away from a parent who does not show any interest in maintaining relationships with the kids.

Because courts decide custody and visitation cases to support the best interests of the child, judges will consider the kids’ needs.

The Children Themselves

Ages might affect the judge’s decision. A younger child might have more trouble sustaining a relationship with a distant parent than an older child.

Do the children have strong community ties? If they live near close friends and participate in school, church, or extracurricular activities, judges might be reluctant to upend their lives.

Courts also look at whether children have any special health or educational needs. For example, relocating might be detrimental to a child currently undergoing treatment for a serious disease.

Finally, the children might have strong feelings about whether to move or not. Courts might take this into consideration when determining whether to grant a move-away case.

Handling Your Move-Away Case Can Be Exhausting. We Can Help.

The court’s decision generally comes down to one primary, all-important, fundamental principle: Doing what is in the child’s best interests.

Child custody issues are complicated. Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Diego, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.

Property Division in a California Divorce Is it Always a 50-50 Split

Property Division in a California Divorce: Is it Always a 50-50 Split?

When Grant and Amy divorce, Grant assumed their community property would be a straight 50-50 split. He was unpleasantly surprised to learn that this did not apply in his divorce. Property division in a California divorce can get extremely complicated. It’s critical to hire an experienced divorce attorney and to have a basic understanding of how property division works.

California, a Community Property State

Some states, like California, consider property in a divorce to be:

  • community property,
  • separate property, or
  • quasi-community property.

Most of the property and debts that a couple accumulates during their marriage is considered community property. During the divorce proceeding, community property usually is split between the parties.

However, it is not always easy to determine which category applies. Property might be separate property (owned by one party) going into the marriage, but then community funds are used to maintain it. This can muddy the waters if a couple decides to divorce.

Factors That Affect the 50-50 Split

When splitting property, couples can agree to divide everything in a roughly 50-50 split. Rather than selling property and physically dividing bank accounts, the parties might add up the value and then come up with an agreement that works.

In fact, sometimes spouses will agree to an agreement that is not an even split. Courts generally review agreements before signing a final order ending the marriage.

Adultery, by itself, generally does not affect property division. However, the situation can change if one spouse use community funds to support a new relationship. If proven, the judge might award the innocent spouse more than half of the marital assets as compensation for the cheating spouse’s misuse of marital funds.

Finally, sometimes what appears to be a 50-50 split to the naked eye turns out to be something entirely different. For example, appraisals of real property or collectibles could be wrong or have other issues. Title issues on real property could make it difficult or impossible to sell, leaving you with a piece of worthless real estate. That’s why it is so critical to consult with an attorney who has a deep understanding of property division.

Call to Learn More About Property Division in a California Divorce

Had Grant understood more about property division, perhaps his outcome would have been different. As with all divorce issues, it’s best to talk to a qualified California divorce attorney before getting started.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.

Women Are Happier Following a Divorce and Other Interesting Divorce Statistics

Women Are Happier Following a Divorce and Other Interesting Divorce Statistics

Everyone knows that divorce is stressful. But being married can be worse. Freeing yourself from a spouse surprisingly can put a smile on the faces of one gender more than the other. Studies show that women are often happier following a divorce. Happier than men or just happier in general? Probably a little of both. Women often find freedom for self-discovery and just being themselves in a post-divorce world. Roughly 61% of women claim to be happier even though they are not looking for a new love interest. Let’s look at some other interesting divorce statistics.

Divorce rates are decreasing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the divorce rate has dropped dramatically. In 2000, there were about 4.0 divorces per 1,000 people. In 2018, the rate had dropped to 2.9 divorces per 1,000 people. Some speculate this rate may rise in the next year or so due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

The over-50 crowd divorce statistics are surprising.

Gray divorce is on the rise. Baby boomers are hitting the divorce courts at record rates. In fact, the divorce rate for adults age 50+ has doubled over the past 25 years.

This increase may be caused, in part, because many baby boomers divorced as young adults. Second and higher marriages typically have a greater likelihood of divorce.

However, a surprising number of gray divorces involve people who have been married for at least 30 years. The reasons for divorce vary, but some people find they have drifted apart around retirement age or when the kids become independent.

The reason millennials have a low divorce rate.

This particular age has seen a 24% decline in marriage rates since 1981. Reasons for this low divorce rate include:

  • Fear of marriage because their parents divorced when they were young.
  • Deciding to delay marriage to pursue other interests.
  • Desire to be financially stable before tying the knot.

Obviously, they can’t get divorced if they aren’t getting married.

Who’s more likely to remarry – men or women?

According to most studies, men are more likely to remarry than women. About 65 percent of divorced men compared to roughly 50% of women. Perhaps this statistic is based on our first statistics – that women tend to be happier following a divorce

Divorce Statistics Don’t Tell the Whole Story if You Are the One Getting Divorced.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are well-versed in divorce and the dissolution of registered domestic partnerships. Judy Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. Please call our offices at 415-293-8314 to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.

Taking Care of Your Financial Future During Divorce

Taking Care of Your Financial Future During Divorce

Some people may find it difficult to imagine a future without their spouse. But if you are getting a divorce, your future is at stake. While you start considering where you will live and which friends will take your side, take a long hard look at your financial future. Will you flourish financially after the divorce is final? That depends on the steps you take before and during your divorce.

Protecting Your Financial Future Before the Divorce

If you are planning to initiate the divorce, you have a little more time to get ready. If you suspect your spouse is planning to make a move, you can avoid being blindsided. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Organize your financial matters. Know what you and your spouse have and where it is located.
  • Gather your records. Get copies of all financial records and try to store them away from home. If your spouse was the person in charge of finances, you might have to quietly search for tax returns, bank statements, and investment account statements. Don’t forget Social Security and retirement accounts.
  • Avoid adding any community debt. Buying a house or any other high ticket items might hurt your financial future if you think you will be leaving soon.
  • Consider applying for a credit card in your name only. It might be difficult to get new credit right after your divorce. However, that’s when you might need it the most.
  • Start a bank account in your own name. You can start depositing money to build up an emergency account.

As you start building your financial future, consider getting a P.O. box to protect your privacy.

We have to mention this: you cannot hide finances from your spouse during your divorce. However, your spouse is not allowed to do that either.

Watch for Financial Disclosures and Shenanigans During Your Divorce

California law requires that both parties to the divorce file full financial disclosures during a divorce proceeding. This information helps the court with property division, spousal support, and child support.

  • Carefully review your spouse’s financial disclosures. Is your spouse honestly declaring income, assets, and debts? Compare your spouse’s claims with your records to look for discrepancies.
  • Is your spouse hiding income or assets? For example, you may see signs that your ex-spouse spending above their income. Unfortunately, hiding income is common. Quietly reviewing your spouse’s social media can help.

Also, this is still a time to keep an eye on your own finances.

  • Watch your spending. Making a budget based on your current finances could help preserve your financial future.
  • Check your credit report. Take action immediately if you see unusual changes. You could be the victim of identity theft, or your spouse could be doing things that will harm your financial future.

It may seem easier to give in to your spouse’s demands instead of sticking up for yourself. But taking just a few precautions with the assistance of your divorce lawyer can help you have a better financial future.

Protecting Your Financial Future Is Possible.

After the divorce is final, make sure you remove your ex-spouse’s name from your financial accounts. Take time to review your current financial situation and make necessary adjustments to your budget.

Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys. Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.