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Seal Beach Family Law Blog

How is stalking defined under California's domestic violence law?

The feeling that one is being followed or watched is a disheartening and disturbing sensation. It can make a person feel, at best, uneasy as they go about the business of their day or, at worst, in fear of their safety as they manage their everyday responsibilities. In California, a broad range of behaviors may be considered stalking and when stalking is properly alleged victims may seek protections under the criminal and domestic violence laws of the state.

Visitation rights for California grandparents

A separation or divorce can create strain in more relationships than just the one that exists between the dividing parties. It can cause tensions between parents and children, between spouses and their parents, and even between grandparents and their beloved grandchildren. In order to protect the important bonds that they have built between themselves and their grandkids some California grandparents seek to secure visitation time with the children they love.

As with all custody and visitation matters, California courts evaluate the best interests of the children before they allow grandparents legally mandated time with them. The courts will examine why the grandparents are seeking visitation, such as whether their contact with the youths has been limited by divorce, separation, the death of a parent or the disappearance of a parent. They will also consider the objections of the parents to extending visitation time to the grandparents.

Enforcing child custody orders in California

Child custody is an important issue for many parents in California. When parents break up, their children are often the most important issue that needs to be worked out. Unfortunately, not all child custody arrangements go as planned and child custody orders may need to be enforced.

If there has been a child custody order violation, there are certain qualifications in order for it to proceed with a contempt of court violation. First, there has to be a valid court order for child custody. Next, the accused needs to have known about the court order. Usually the accused was in court when the order was created or received a copy of the order. And third, the accused needs to have willfully violated the order.

Now is the time to end domestic violence in your life

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can cause people to act in unexpected ways, such as to subdue them into compliance or to acquiesce to unreasonable situations. California victims of domestic violence understand the power of fear all too well: fear is a common tool that domestic violence aggressors use against those they seek to control.

Fear is also a reason that many victims of domestic violence choose not to come forward or to seek the support of others. They may not believe that there is anything that can be done to help them or that if they do come forward, their aggressors will simply increase their threats and violence. Domestic violence is a serious legal issue, and the manner a victim chooses to approach it is dependent upon their willingness to instigate change.

How a prenuptial agreement may affect a future divorce

Right before a wedding is not when an engaged couple wants to think about how the partners will work out their differences in the event that their marriage ends in divorce. However, many California residents engage in just these sorts of considerations when they draft and execute prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that two people create to work out matters related to their wealth and property prior to entering into a marriage.

In general, a prenuptial agreement cannot settle matters related to the couple's existing or future kids. It cannot set child support amounts and responsibilities, and it cannot establish custody and visitation schedules. It can protect the parties' pre-marriage wealth and preserve their individual ownership in assets that they held separate and apart from their spouse.

How to avoid social media drama in your divorce

Social media has changed the way people interact with each other. In fact, it is common for people to put thoughts and feelings online that they would not dream of sharing in real life. If you are going through a divorce, you may feel tempted to share your feelings and details about your situation with your friends and family on social media. However, in California divorces, social media posts can become evidence and affect child support, child custody, alimony and more. 

If you must share news about your divorce on social media, consider the following mistakes to avoid. 

Can threats be enough for a domestic violence charge?

Readers of this post who are afraid for their safety or the safety of their dependents due to the actions of a domestic partner are encouraged to seek legal guidance and help. In California, an aggressor may commit domestic violence if they make threats or promises to their victims that the aggressor will cause them physical harm.

A domestic violence aggressor does not actually have to lay a hand on their victim in order to be guilty of the offense. This Seal Beach family law blog previously discussed how stalking can amount to domestic violence under the California state statute. One should note that threats of violence and harm are also non-physical actions that may result in fear for domestic violence victims and charges for domestic violence aggressors.

Maintaining legal custody after a split

Ask a California parent who has gone through a divorce or separation from their spouse or partner about the most stressful part of their uncoupling, and they may likely respond about protecting their kids from hurt and harm. Parents often worry that their children will be upset, damaged or otherwise affected by their relationship changes, but there are important steps parents can take to minimize the impact of divorce or separation on their kids. Those steps include remaining advocates for their children despite their marital dissolutions through the maintenance of their legal custody rights.

While physical custody rights pertain to a parent's right to have their kid live with them and under their roof, legal custody has little to do with the physical location of a child. Rather, legal custody concerns a parent's right to be involved in decision-making events about their child's upbringing, such as where they will go to school and if they will receive particular medical treatments.

Best interests of the child is an important custody consideration

California parents may often take note of just how different their kids are from those of others, and parents who have more than one child may even notice these variations between their own offspring. From an early age, children define themselves in particular ways and may have very different paths to approaching life. Though all children have the same basic requirements in terms of food, shelter and other necessary provisions, each may have different individual needs that they necessitate in order to thrive.

This is why California courts make the "best interests of the child" a matter of importance when deciding on issues related to custody and visitation. Children of different ages, genders, abilities and health may have incredibly diverse needs that could be better suited to the custody of one parent, both parents or even third parties.

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