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Los Angeles Family Law Blog

What is parental kidnapping? How can you prevent it?

There is no worse feeling than knowing that you are in a position where you have to worry about your children while they're in the other parent's care. Whether there have been threats of withholding custody or you're wary of a long-distance trip overseas due to your ex-spouse's dual nationality, you're in a difficult position. You want to protect your children, but you also don't want to be an alarmist.

It is important for you to know that others around you will understand if you have legitimate concerns about parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping or abduction is when a child is kept from the other parent in violation of a custody order. When that kidnapping potentially involves multiple countries, it can be extremely scary for the parent involved.

With gaps in custody, you can get creative with child care

Developing a custody schedule can be difficult, but it's not impossible. You and your children's other parent are having a hard time because of how your schedules conflict, and that means that there will be days when your children won't have anyone to care for them.

In that situation, there are a few options you can consider. You can look for third parties to take care of your children when you're both unable to. Some people who you may want to ask include:

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Adult siblings of minor children
  • Local babysitters
  • Employers who may offer day care services
  • Schools and employees there who may have information on afterschool programs for children whose parents are still working

Court is for lawsuits; don't go there to exact revenge during a divorce

Celebrity divorces may be a mainstay of supermarket and online tabloids, but I'm always at a loss to why the stars aren't better guardians of their privacy. Yes, divorce can be private. The public - even your most adoring fans - never have to know the details of your family life and finances. No ugly laundry gets aired. Your children aren't exposed to social media exaggerations. Your career in the spotlight continues largely unhindered.

Paternity Leave: You Have Only Two Years to Contest Claimed Fatherhood

Wild oats can continue to grow long after they are sown. Take, for example, Spanish singing star Julio Iglesias, who allegedly had a highly productive fling with a Portuguese dancer in 1975, and has not escaped a Spanish judge's recent paternity ruling just because he refused a paternity test. The singer reportedly told his erstwhile sex partner that he wanted no part of what they had wrought, and he clearly thought he had outsmarted the system. The judge said lack of biological proof wasn't a problem: The alleged son looks remarkable like Iglesias.

Do I need a postnuptial agreement?

Marriage is hard. You don't know where life will take you in the future, how you'll change or grow or how having children will affect your relationship. While the U.S. divorce rate dipped to 46% in 2016, many couples still find themselves calling it quits.

For those who may be fearful of a future breakup, completing a postnuptial agreement can help avoid a painful, disastrous divorce, especially if you or spouse have significant assets.

Can you stop a parent from moving after divorce?

Sometimes, parents are in a position where they need to relocate for work or for school. When they're living together, a couple might work out a way to move for the betterment of their situation. However, when a couple is divorced, it becomes much more difficult to address sudden moves.

With children, it's not as easy as deciding to move and doing it. You'll have to talk to the other parent and work out a custody plan that takes the distance into consideration. While shorter moves (within a few miles of your current residence) might not cause problems, a significant move out of state or out of the region might cause issues.

How can you arrange a joint-custody schedule?

Child custody concerns often come up in divorce cases because parents want to do what's best for their children but may feel conflicted about leaving their children for any amount of time. The truth is that all parties involved will have some adjusting to do; Children will have to adjust to living separate from one parent from time to time, while parents will need to adjust to having their children visit and stay with the other parent.

Shared custody is common. Most courts prefer that couples work out joint custody agreements, where a child lives with both parents and sees them as regularly as possible. It's a well-known fact that children with access to two parents generally do better psychologically than children without access to one parent.

Why proper property valuation is important during divorce

During a divorce, you will be required to divide your property. In California, you will be expected, in most cases, to divide your property 50-50.

That may seem simple to accomplish, but if you don't know how much your assets are worth, splitting them can become problematic. For that reason, it's a good idea to work with someone who can accurately value your property and assets.

How Domestic Violence Should Not Be Storyline for Reality TV

In late June, Real Housewives of Orange County star Gina Kirschenheiter filed a restraining order against her soon-to-be ex-husband Matthew Kirschenheiter after, according to news reports, he was arrested and booked for alleged domestic violence. He was released without bail and not charged with a crime.

Gina filed for divorce in April 2018, but the dissolution stalled and the couple might have been attempting reconciliation, some reports say. But Gina tells a different story. On the night of June 22, the couple had a physical altercation. Matthew threatened to kill her, she says. Neighbors got involved. The police arrived and arrested Matthew. That was not the first time Matthew abused her, Gina says. Castmates and fans are shocked. This was the first they had heard about possible spousal abuse. Why hadn't she spoken up before?

U.S. State Department Surrogacy Citizenship Position Not in Best Interest of Family Bond

You'll notice I write a lot about international family law issues. The global economy has created more cross-border marital dissolution, child custody, adoption and now surrogacy issues than ever before. I am particularly interested in developing law, and my agenda is to ensure decisions are made with the best interests of the family as the priority.

The U.S. State Department opinion differs from mine, however, in its application of a law passed long before fertility treatments, surrogacy, sperm donors and same-sex marriage that determines citizenship born to Americans overseas through a noncitizen surrogate. Notably, the State Department decisions adversely impact children born to married same-sex couples. A heterosexual married couple with children -- even one in which one partner is a foreign national -- would not typically be asked to prove a genetic relationship because genetic relationship is presumed.

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