Child support is based on the assumption that paying parents have enough income to support both themselves and their children. But what if parents who once could pay support experience a drastically changed economic situation? What if they are now struggling just to support themselves? Child support payments can be modified to reflect a parent's changed income. The most common of these changes is job loss.
In everyday conversation, the words "divorce" and "separation" are often used interchangeably. Those who are getting a divorce may tell others that they are separating from their husband or wife. This is a mistake. In California, divorce and separation are two distinct legal terms. In fact, technically speaking, the term used in California is "dissolution." A divorce legally ends the marriage between two individuals and divides their property, assets, and finances. The process takes a minimum of six months in California. Also, at least one spouse must have lived in California for the preceding six months and the county in which he or she filed for divorce for at least the preceding three months. If this residency requirement is not met, a spouse can file for legal separation immediately-then later file an amended petition for divorce when the residency requirement is met.
Christmas and Hanukah are gift-giving holidays that only come once each year. But try telling this to children who are in the middle of their parents' divorce. Often, as a divorce unfolds, children find themselves receiving gifts on a regular basis from one or both parents. Every day may seem like a festive holiday-minus the good cheer and family unity. The dark side of receiving the latest video games, toys, or clothes during a divorce is that these gifts usually come with a price. Parents may believe that they can "buy" their children's loyalty. A divorcing parent may feel that the $99.95 spent on an iPod, for example, is a good investment if it gets the children to favor one parent over the other. Understandably, children can find it difficult to avoid being influenced by a parent who regularly showers them with gifts.
Divorce is not something to be rushed into. This is because divorce usually involves strong emotions, lawyer fees, time in court, the complicated process of dividing assets and the emotionally charged and sometimes heartbreaking allocation of a child's time between the parents. Spouses considering divorce should think carefully about whether this action is necessary or whether the marriage can still be saved. California law, for its part, helps spouses avoid rushing into divorce by imposing a legal residency requirement. In order to file for divorce in California, at least one of spouse must have been a California resident for a minimum of six months.
After the pain of a divorce, many people wish to move far away. A divorced spouse in Los Angeles, for example, might dream of moving to New York or even overseas, to start over. Clean the slate. Begin a new life. For adults without children, the decision to move is entirely up to them.