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10 Step Guide to Navigating Child Custody Issues During Quarantine (Coronavirus / COVID-19)

In San Diego County, effective March 17, 2020, the Superior Court has been closed to the public. The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has caused havoc in the majority of households, especially for separated parents. Irrespective of whether you have a Court order or not, the overall welfare of your child is each parent's top priority. We are living in an unprecedented time. We are taking directions from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The San Diego County and California Public Health Officialhas adopted the CDC directions.

However, what happens when the other parent is not exactly following the CDC directions?
What happens if the other parent is not taking COVID-19 as seriously as you are in your household?
What happens when the other parent is still hosting gatherings in their household, thereby potentially exposing your children to COVID-19?
What happens when the other parent disagrees about modifying the number of times you do exchanges during the pandemic?
What happens when the other parent disagrees about modifying child custody and visitation during the pandemic?
What happens if the other parent works in healthcare during COVID-19?
What happens if the other parent is identified as an "essential employee," and must work during COVID-19?
What happens when the other parent uses COVID-19 as a means to prevent you from caring for your child as agreed or currently ordered ?
What happens if the other parent stopped paying you child support during COVID-19?

The list of concerns are never ending. Here is a TEN-STEP GUIDE to assist those who are struggling through child custody and visitation issues during the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Am I ready to be happy again?

One of the most difficult things to go through in life is a death of a marriage, or a divorce.

When you have to think about the impact it has on your children, it is very difficult to take that leap for a divorce. Yet is it best for your children to grow up in 2 households, or to grow up in a toxic environment, teaching them that we need to tolerate unhappiness?

What if you don’t have minor children, and your spouse treats you poorly?

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Cryptocurrencies Affects On A Divorce

You or your spouse invested in a bitcoin (also known as a cryptocurrency), now what? Here are the questions you should ask to understand the impact it will have on your divorce.

Difference between Terminating Spousal Support and $0 Spousal Support

It has been 3 years since your divorce has been finalized by way of Entry of Judgment, and you've been consistently paying spousal support (or as others like to call it, alimony). You've been married for 12 years, separated for 5 years, and have 1 child that is now 16 years old. The ex-spouse receiving support is now earning double the income he/she earned at the time of Entry of Judgment. The marital standard of living is specified in the Judgment as lower middle class. 

Your request is now to either terminate spousal support or reduce spousal support to $0.00. What is the difference?

But first, we need to look at 3 important factors:

My Child is in Danger.

If you are looking for sole physical custody, then the first question to ask is: are the children currently in danger when in the care of the other party?

Often times, a parent answers “yes,” but when you ask that parent what the danger is, he/she has a hard time articulating it. Other times, the answer is related to having a poor co-parenting relationship.

So, what would the Court consider as "danger?"

Protecting Our Military Service Members From Child Custody Litigation

It is no secret that San Diego County is a military town. Often times, military families face very challenging and unique circumstances, especially when service members are subject to deployment. One of the most common domestic issues amongst military families is child custody issues. In California, service members are protected under Family Code Section 3047. In summary, a parent's deployment is not, by itself, sufficient to modify visitation orders. In fact, Family Code Section 3047 (e) provides: It is the intent of the Legislature that this section provide a fair, efficient, and expeditious process to resolve child custody and visitation issues when a party receives temporary duty, deployment, or mobilization orders from the military.


So, my ex's student loans are now community property?

At the time of marriage, your spouse had $30,000 in student loans. The general rule is that the student loan will always be the separate property debt of your spouse, even during a divorce.

However, at some point in your marriage, you both decided to refinance the student loan for a lower interest rate in both of your names. Is it your obligation to continue paying on the loan at the time divorce?

When is your emergency hearing?

"I have not seen or spoken to my children in weeks! Is there a way to fix this immediately?! I have tried to reason with the other parent, and he/she refuses to let me even speak to children! PLEASE HELP!"
Have you tried filing for an emergency hearing?

You're Mistaken

"We live in Del Mar, but I am filing for divorce in Spain because that is where we got married." This is a common thought: needing to file for divorce in the same place one married. 

That would make sense except what if you haven't lived there in years? No property. No bank accounts. No insurance policies. No club memberships. Nothing. You might go visit friends and family there once in a while though. 
As we know, a divorce cannot be finalized overnight, especially if the property and or support issues are contested. If it is a contested divorce, then court appearances are likely required by you unless you have a competent attorney in that county. It would be great expense to make continuous overnight trips to attend hearings for your contested divorce. For these reasons, it does not make sense to file for divorce in the county you married. 
However, what if the county you were married in has better divorce laws that result in your favor than your spouse? It makes the continuous overnight trips to attend hearings for your contested divorce worth it, right?
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