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Legal custody versus physical custody: What’s the difference?

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Friday, October 27, 2017. As a California parent, you may be concerned about how your decision to end your marriage could impact your children. This is a normal concern, but you are not powerless to do anything about it. In fact, with a full understanding of your parental rights and experienced guidance, you can draft a custody plan that helps your children have stability and security during this difficult time. In your effort to minimize the impact that your divorce will have on your children, you may be wondering the best way to approach the difficult issue of child support. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to learn more about your parental rights and the types of child custody. What does custody have to do with your rights? There are two types of child custody that you may wish to consider as you work toward a beneficial child custody arrangement, physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody refers to anything pertaining to the following: Education preferences and school choice Religious upbringing Medical care and health care decisions Extracurricular activities Special decisions and other matters Legal custody refers to the parent's right to make important decisions on behalf of his or her child. In many parenting plans, just one parent will retain legal custody while sharing physical custody with the other parent. Physical custody pertains to the time that a child will spend with a parent, including during: Weekend visitation School breaks Christmas and other major holidays Summer vacation No two custody plans are exactly the same. You may find that it is possible to share both legal and physical custody with your spouse, but this doesn't work for all families. Your family is unique, and you have the [...]

Protecting your children from your post-divorce frustrations

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Children often understand more than adults give them credit for. When young, their vocabulary may be limited, but research has established that children can pick up a great deal of information from body language and tone. Simply put, it can be difficult for parents to keep secrets from their kids. You may know this; indeed you may have experienced it when you and your spouse decided to divorce. Discussions and disagreements you'd wanted to conceal were, instead, somewhat plain to your kids. At the very least, they knew 'something was up.' The tendency to conceal discord arises from a good place. Namely, you want to spare your children from the pain of seeing their parents fight. But when they're left to figure out things on their own, the pain children experience becomes all the more exquisite. Instead of speaking about it, they feel they must keep their suffering secret, too. What this dynamic underscores is how difficult it can be to protect children's interests during divorce. Efforts to protect have, instead, the opposite effect. And so, with this article, we would like to share some ways to keep your children's feelings proactively front-and-center. Children at the heart of the matter Although you and your former spouse have gone separate ways, your children continue to bind you to each other. Still, you may try to avoid your ex, even where it concerns the children. The exigencies of visitation and custody may make this a challenge, and many parents resort to coping methods that unfairly burden their children; for example: Making your child a messenger between you and your spouse Changing parenting schedules at the last minute Choosing the least convenient options for your ex Bashing your ex in [...]

You may need to rethink what you know about child custody

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. California parents often find it difficult to decide to file for divorce. Although the move may be for the best, many couples are understandably worried about how the split will affect their children. Indeed, when parents do part ways, resolving issues concerning child custody usually figures as one of their top priorities. It is no secret that a divorce will have a pronounced impact on any children involved. Research indicates that children of divorce are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than their peers, and are prone to acting out in the months following their parents' break-up. But emerging studies suggest that there are steps parents can take to minimize the incidence of such outcomes. The science is in: 50/50 custody may be best New research that focused on preschool-aged children indicates that joint custody is less emotionally stressful than other custody options. The study involved 3,656 children of divorced parents, all of whom were aged three to five years old. Researchers found that, after a divorce, children who were able to alternate living with their parents exhibited fewer behavioral and psychological problems than their peers who were part of sole custody arrangements. The joint custody children spent approximately the same amount of time with each parent at their respective homes. Past research agrees Many of the previous studies on 50/50 custody focused on older children, mostly adolescents and school-aged kids. While these studies demonstrate that older children greatly benefit when their parents share physical custody, researchers did not believe that the results could translate to young children. Experts presumed that preschool-aged children would require higher levels of stability and continuity than older kids. However, this more recent study seems to suggest that children excel emotionally when [...]

Will you have to pay a penalty when dividing retirement savings?

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Financially conscious couples tend to start saving for retirement early on in their marriages. Individual retirement accounts -- IRAs -- are popular choices when saving for the future, and they provide many benefits to future retirees. Divorce can complicate these savings though. Most California couples understand that they must divide retirement funds, but many are unsure of how to do so. Failing to consider the implications of improper withdrawals could result in both parties shelling out hefty penalties and/or taxes. Why can't we just withdraw the money and split it up? Savings and checking accounts can be emptied and split much easier than retirement accounts when necessary. You might feel tempted to do the same with your IRA to speed up the asset division process. Unlike IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement savings, regular banking accounts rarely have associated penalties for withdrawing money. IRAs, on the other hand, have early withdrawal penalties that tend to be steep, as these intend to discourage people from dipping into their retirement savings. In almost every situation, early withdrawal leads to these penalties. Is there a way to receive payments from an IRA without facing penalties? Qualified domestic relation orders allow you to withdraw from your IRA without the typical associated penalties. Divorcing couples create QDROs during asset division, and may then make pursuant withdrawals and payments. On top of having a QDRO in place, you must pay any withdrawals directly to the intended individual. Paying off a debt on behalf of the other person will usually not qualify for penalty exemptions. This means if you purchase something, pay off a creditor or use the funds for anything other than a direct payment, you will pay penalties and any resulting taxes. Can I [...]

2020-03-02T23:33:45+00:00Categories: Blog, Divorce, High Asset Divorce|Tags: , |

From beginning to end: A divorce checklist

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Sunday, December 24, 2017. You have reached the conclusion that divorce is inevitable. Now that you have made the decision and your feelings are out in the open, you may even feel as though a huge weight has lifted from your shoulders. For many, finally making the choice to divorce is the most difficult part. However, the process is far from over, and on the other hand, you may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of what the coming months may bring. Regardless of your feelings, you're likely wondering what to do next. Where do you begin? While each divorce is different, there are certain steps that, if followed, should help you to remember the essentials and thus make the entire process smoother from beginning to end. Divorce to-dos No matter what emotions you may have regarding the end of your marriage, the legal aspects of extricating yourself from a partnership may have you feeling a bit confused or frazzled. If you can take a step back from the emotional side of your divorce and, instead, address each part of the process in as calm and logical a manner as possible, you may find it easier to concentrate on practical matters. With the knowledgeable guidance of your attorney, you can if you concentrate on key issues, such as: Separating your finances Saving and budgeting for your new expenses, including the divorce Obtaining necessary documentation Securing your own health insurance and updating other insurance policies Determining child custody Severing financial ties with your ex may be one of the most complicated steps, but it's important to set up your own bank account and credit cards as soon as possible. While looking at finances, you'll also want to begin saving for the expenses that [...]

2020-03-02T23:14:26+00:00Categories: Blog, Divorce|Tags: |
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