You have made the decision, your marriage is over. You want to start the process. What is the first thing you do? Contacr a lawyer. Every legal document you file with the court and every action you take has legal ramifications. You could hurt your case with one misstep. If wish to file the initial pleadings on your own, you will need to file the following documents: 1. Petition For Dissolution of Marriage (FL-100). This form can be found at the following link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl100.pdf 2. Summons (Family Law). This form can be found at the following link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl110.pdf 3. If you have children with the party you are divorcing, you must also file a Declaration Under Uniform Child Child Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (FL-105). This form can be found at the following link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl105.pdf If you are looking for a divorce attorney who will fight for your rights, feel free to contact Morales Law at (805) 845-5405 and speak to a lawyer today.
Are you thinking of filing for divorce? If so, the first step you should consider is consulting a lawyer. Most lawyers will offer a free consultation into your legal matter. A lawyer will be able to advise you as to your legal rights and responsibilities. Second, you should make a list of your assets and all your debts. You will need this information when you go through the divorce process. When making the list, consider if you acquired the debt before marriage l, during marriage and after separation. Third, consider your living situation. It can take a month or possibly longer before you receive child support or spousal support (or consider if you will have to pay, how will you pay). Will you and your spouse stay in the same home or will do someone move out? Fourth, if you have kids, what is the custody time share? Conversations with your spouse can help resolve these problems, but if your spouse is hostile, call a lawyer to help get the ball rolling. Call us at (805) 845-5405. We will help you start your new exciting chapter in your life.
An opposing party may take your deposition upon ten days notice (this time may extended by service i.e. five extra days for service by mail). An opposing party may also ask you to produce documents at a deposition, i.e. financial records, text messages etc. Know the basic rules of a deposition. First, consult with your Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyer. Second, go over the rules: do not talk over the other attorney, wait until the other attorney is done asking the whole question before speaking, only answering the question ask as short and concise as possible, do not volunteer information, do not guess, and always tell the truth. Read all the documents, declarations and other papers you have signed and given to the other party. Having this information fresh in your head will help at the deposition. One of the most important aspects of a deposition is consistency. Don't contradict yourself or something you have written down or said earlier. Remember, depositions are taken under oath, and have the force as if you were testifying in court before a judge. Relax, you will do fine if you follow the above rules. If you have any questions, call us at (805) 845-5405. We are your Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyers who are always on your side.
Interesting article regarding step parents and step children. As part of our Blended Family Friday series, each week we spotlight stepfamilies to learn how they’ve worked to bring their kids together. Our hope is that by telling their stories, we’ll bring you closer to blended family bliss in your own life! Want to share your story? Email us at email@example.com. As a child of divorce, Jamie Scrimgeour remembers all too well how difficult it was when her parents started dating other people. So when she began to date a man with children from a previous marriage, she tread lightly when she met the kids. “All the little things that my dad’s girlfriend did that bothered me were at the forefront of my mind when I met Darren’s family,” Jamie told HuffPost recently. “Things like sitting in my spot at the kitchen table or just being too affectionate with my dad when I was around. It was all harmless from her perspective, but I remember how angry it made me feel. I just wasn’t ready.” Keeping those memories in mind has helped Jamie gain her stepkids’ trust. Below, the certifed stepfamily coach, who blogs at Poptart Diaries, shares more of her blended family’s story. Hi Jamie! Please introduce us to your family. There are six of us. My husband Darren has a daughter and two sons, ages 13, 11 and 8, and together we have a daughter, Reese, who is a year and a half old. Darren and I have known each other our whole lives. In March 2013, our paths crossed at the right time and we have been together ever since. We dated only 15 months before tying the knot in June 2014. You mentioned that you’re a child of divorce yourself. How does that inform your approach to step-parenting? Growing up I was so angry about the divorce. Even though I tried, I wasn’t welcoming to anyone my dad tried to bring into our lives. Now, years later, I can see that was more about me and my anger toward the situation than it was about them. It’s definitely influenced me as a stepmom. Before I committed to meeting Darren’s kids, I had to be sure I was in love with him. The way I looked at it, the kids didn’t need more turmoil in their lives and having another woman come in, and then possibly out, wasn’t something I was willing to put them through. I made a huge effort to always put myself in their shoes, respecting their routines, traditions and the change they’d gone through. I didn’t want them to think another woman was coming into their lives with guns blazing! I wanted them to look at me more as someone they could have fun and make memories with. I worked on developing a strong relationship with them before trying to be any kind of “parental” figure. I always try to remember that they did not sign up for any of this, including another parent telling them what to do! What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while adjusting to life as a stepmom? I’ve often referred to the transition from being a bachelorette to stepmom as being similar to moving to another country where people speak a different language. I was used to a quiet and relatively neat and tidy way of living, and well, quiet and tidy isn’t exactly how you’d describe a household with three young kids! We’ve all had to accommodate each other from time to time. Darren and the kids have learned to appreciate my need for quiet and space and I have learned to appreciate the sound of children playing and embrace the mess and chaos that comes with this new life! It’s taken time and a lot of open communication about our needs, but we’re all finally on the same page… most of the time! What’s the best thing about being part of a blended family? If you would have told me five years ago that I would be a stepmom to three children and married to a man with an ex-wife, I would have said you were absolutely insane. But our blended family has taught me more about love and happiness and what’s truly important in life than I will ever be able to put into words. What makes you proudest of your family? Our ability to wake up and start every day fresh. Things haven’t been terribly challenging for us, but they have’t been extremely easy either. There have been periods of adjustment for everyone and times when the stress of being in a blended family didn’t bring out our best characteristics. What I love is that we are so forgiving of each other and recognize that we’re all just human beings doing the best we can. What advice do you have for other blended families who are struggling to make it work? No one family situation is the same but if I had to name one thing that can be a complete game changer, I would say it’s empathy. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and look at things from their perspective can change everything and I know this from experience. It can change your reactions to things and your beliefs about an entire situation. Empathy goes a long way!
People sometimes complain that technology is preventing us from talking to each other face-to-face. But there are moments when communicating at a distance is a good thing—like when a married couple is going through a bitter divorce and kids are involved. Sheri Atwood, the founder of SupportPay, a platform for managing childcare expenses, says keeping things as business-like as possible not only helps parents, it also keeps kids out of the firing line. And she should know. Her own parents went through a bitter divorce (Atwood ended up in foster care) and she also went through a divorce herself. ADVERTISEMENT Learn More "When we had our own divorce a few years ago, I swore it would be amicable, because I didn't want my daughter to go through the same thing I went through. And it was," Atwood says. "We went out for a drink and signed the divorce papers and thought everything was easy. But then I realized that child support is the one thing in life you don't get a bill for." Divorced couples need to agree a basic living budget for their kids, an agreement that's normally sanctioned by court. But then there are many expenses, like gymnastics classes, new shoes and summer camps payments, that are off-plan. Atwood found that when she saw her ex-husband, the whole conversation would be dominated with "you owe me $50 for this"-type discussions that inevitably turned into arguments. Estranged parents will often think the other parent is lying about how much things cost, that they've overspent for something, or that they're really using child support for their own needs, Atwood says. California-based SupportPay leads the parties through the whole post-divorce process. Parents agree on monthly payments for basic living costs, then they can add in items (including receipts) as they come up. At the end of the month, each side gets a notification saying what the current state of play is, and how much everyone owes. "It allows a transparency for both parents, eliminating the fighting over, 'Is this item really for the kid?'" Atwood says. Since launching, SupportPay has signed up 33,000 parents. The site has a freemium model: the basic services are free, but more sophisticated things, like downloading a report to present at court, costs money. The current price is $9.95 a month. SupportPay is one of nine startups on the Financial Solutions Lab program, a new program for socially-minded financial technology startups. It seems like a clever use of technology to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Interesting Article on why people get married so quickly. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban got married after just one month! You could be next! Long walks on the beach? Couples vacations? Meeting each other's parents? Plenty of couples mark many milestones together before deciding whether to take the leap from dating to mating. But with one bad marriage already behind her, Nicole Kidman wasn't having any of that wait-and-see nonsense. When she met singer Keith Urban in 2006, she grabbed the opportunity (and her man) and the couple was married less than a month after their first date. “I’m spontaneous. I jump in," Kidman recently told Elle magazine of her lightning-fast wedding. "I kind of like getting married and then getting to know each other; I know that it sounds incredibly strange, but to me, it’s a more natural process.” Get More Workout Tips! She's not the only woman who thinks love is a dish best served piping hot. Here are eight more real-life stories of love at first sight... and how they ended up. (Then, happily married celebrities share their romantic words of wisdom in 7 Secrets That Keep Celeb Couples Together.) ENGAGED AFTER 1 WEEK, MARRIED 18 YEARS MEGAN HALL Megan Hall How we met: Proving that a little act of kindness goes a long way, Spencer Hall first caught Megan's attention when he offered to clear her breakfast dishes at their dorm in college and then walked her to class. His smooth moves (and good hygiene—who doesn't love a man who does the dishes?) won him a first date. He proposed the very next weekend and within a few months they were married. How I knew: "I knew he was it because of how easy we talked about important things like money management, our faith, how similar/different our families of origin were, that kind of thing." My advice: "Focus on the important stuff. Everyone has a checklist of things you'd like in a partner, but decide which ones are the really important ones. Things like height or eye color don't matter in the long run but don't compromise on the big stuff or you will live with regret or be unhappy trying to change someone." DATED 4 MONTHS, MARRIED 13 YEARS AMY HILTON Amy Hilton How we met: Amy was barely out of high school when her sister introduced her to Thomas Hilton. The pair quickly hit it off, going on double dates with her sister and Thomas' best friend. How I knew: While Amy says she adored him, she wasn't sure if she wanted to be married that young. Yet the more they saw each other, she says she also wasn't sure that she didn't want to be married either. They decided to just jump and see what happened. Now Amy says the shortness of their courtship—just four months from first date to 'I do'—has been a blessing. "We've have had the opportunity to grow and learn together rather than marrying later when we were more set in our ways." My advice: "Being happily married is something you have to work at. It doesn't just happen." MET IN PERSON 3 TIMES, MARRIED 7 YEARS AMANDA SARBIN Amanda Sarbin How we met: Overcoming all the dating site stereotypes of awkward innuendos and embarrassing typos, Amanda met Travis Sarbin online. Their first conversation lasted eight hours, most of which she says was spent quoting Napolean Dynaminte (heck, yes!). But since they lived in different states, they had to fly to see each other. After the third time in two months, the couple decided it would be easier to just make it official. So Amanda moved to Colorado and they hosted a backyard barbecue where a few surprised friends witnessed their nuptials. How I knew: "We knew there wasn't anyone else out there who would put up with either of us," Sarbin jokes. My advice: Sarbin says it's all about overlooking small faults and keeping the playfulness in the relationship. "Lovingly make fun of each other!" (Before you tie the knot, make sure you and your S.O. have these 3 Conversations You Must Have Before 'I Do.') DATED 2 MONTHS, MARRIED 27 YEARS BARBARA JACOBS Barbara Jacobs How we met: When Target manager Barbara met K-Mart stocker Jim, their retail rivalry didn't get in the way of love. Their first date was a July 4th party—by September 4 they were husband and wife. How I knew: "Labor Day was the only weekend we both had off for the rest of the year!" So they marched down to the Justice of the Peace and made it official. My advice: "Treat each other with respect and always be honest," Jacobs says, adding, "Okay, sometimes I would go shopping and leave purchases in the trunk to avoid discussion, but if asked I would have confessed!" DATED 1 MONTH, DIVORCED JEN EMBRY Jen Embry How we met: Push-ups and rucksack runs don't typically inspire visions of romance, but when Jen met a handsome fellow recruit in bootcamp it was love at first sight. The two dated for a month then eloped. But not all of love-at-first-sight stories end happily ever—the two divorced after four years. Still, Jen says she learned a lot about herself and love from the experience. How I knew: "We were 18 and thought we were responsible adults in love." My advice: "If you can, wait. Marriage isn't going anywhere and while there are numerous lovely stories about runaway romance, most relationships don't end that way. More than half of all marriages end in divorce, and it's so much harder if you don't really know each other first." (Learn how to your bond happy and healthy with these 5 Relationship Tips from Divorce Experts.) ENGAGED AFTER 2 WEEKS, MARRIED 20 YEARS JANE MERONUCK Jane Meronuck How we met: Jane's and Chris's friends knew the two were a perfect match and had been trying to set them for months. When they finally met at a party, they realized their friends had been right all along. (Must have been some party!) They were engaged within two weeks. How I knew: "We decided to get married because we couldn't find a reason not to. Neither of us were really looking for a life partner when we met, but we were both a little freaked out by how right it felt." My advice: "If you feel it in your bones that he's the one, go for it. When you know, you know." DATED 3 MONTHS, MARRIED 11 YEARS VALERIE LANCASTER Valerie Lancaster How we met: Valerie and Nate first met singing in a choir for their LDS (Mormon) church, but they didn't have time to get to know each other—Nate was leaving to serve a two-year religious mission. But the spark was still there when he returned, and they were wed three months after they officially got together. Four kids and 11 years later, they're still singing together. How I knew: "I wanted to marry Nate the moment I saw him, before I ever even spoke to him." My advice: "Be more concerned for the happiness of your spouse above your own. If you are both striving to fulfill that, you will both be happy." TOGETHER 5 WEEKS, MARRIED 4 YEARS MANDY HERBET Mandy Herbet How we met: Mandy and Lee had grown up in the same South African town and even gone to the same school for three years, but had never actually met—until they found each other on an online dating site. She was living in Canada and he was in New Zealand at the time, so things stayed long-distance. But after just five (intermittent) weeks together, Mandy took a leap and moved to New Zealand, where they were married. How I knew: "I knew he was 'it' within a week of meeting him. There was no question. As he says, we kissed a lot of frogs to know that we had found the one." My advice: "Why waste time waffling if you know what you want?" (Learn the 6 Things You Should Always Ask for in a Relationship.)
Interesting article regarding finances and blended families. You’re not “The Real Parent.” How many times do stepparents hear that phrase? It comes from stepchildren, biological parents, friends, extended family, teachers and generally anyone in society who hasn’t had the first-hand experience of being a stepparent. It’s a verbal reminder of what every stepparent knows: that we often have most—or all—of the responsibilities a “Real Parent” has, but without the inherent or legal rights of biological parents. We are expected to give our love, time and often money, as Real Parents do; to understand and always put the relationship of the biological parent and child first (sometimes above the marriage); to provide our stepchild with a positive role model but defer to the biological parent on matters of house rules and discipline. It’s a constant balancing act of being involved, but not too involved; loving, but respectful of the biological parent’s role and our place in the parental hierarchy. Raising children in a blended family can be challenging, frustrating, and overwhelming at times. It can be a real test of endurance to manage to stay together through some of the tough times that can erupt with your stepchildren. It can also be a time of growth and lasting relationships—but as every stepparent we know would agree, it’s not always easy. Related: How to get on the same page with your mate. Stepfamily Conflicts? 5 Ways to Keep Issues from Escalating Many stepparents feel resentful because they can’t stand an “Ex,” guilty for not liking their stepchild’s behavior (or sometimes personality) and frustrated with a spouse who just won’t get “on the same page” about parenting. Statistics show that the most common type of family in America today—65 percent of us—are part of a blended family where there are biological and non-biological parents present. Complex and often misunderstood, it offers unique challenges—and the opportunity for rich emotional rewards. The truth is, whether you’re co-parenting in an “original” or “complex” family, conflict is going to occur. It’s natural. You can’t live together without some disagreements occurring. These 5 tips can help you keep issues from escalating: Be mindful of your expectations. When blending a family, everyone has expectations. Unspoken or unrecognized expectations can set you up for conflict. Your spouse/partner may expect you to discipline their child at times, but their child may not be expecting that. Now who’s caught in the middle? You may be expecting your stepchild to love and respect you. That child may be feeling confused or insecure and actually behave in a way that communicates the exact opposite. Unmet expectations can lead to disappointment, anger, hurt and resentment. If you find yourself upset about something, take a moment to identify what expectation you had that wasn’t met. Ask yourself these questions: Was the expectation realistic or fair? Did the other person have any idea you had that expectation? Is it an expectation you can let go of, or is it important enough to discuss as a family? Remember, you can only control yourself and your own reactions. When you have expectations for others to behave or feel a certain way, you have no control over that. Also, be mindful of the expectations you have of yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have expectations for ourselves as parents. Rarely do we always live up to them 100 percent of the time. If you don’t like how you’re responding to your stepchild, take steps to change things—within yourself. Related: Oppositional, Defiant child or teen driving you crazy? How to Parent more effectively. Give respect…even if you don’t always receive it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you respect a behavior, it means you respect your stepchild as a person. One biological parent said, “My son was always terribly disrespectful to my second husband. He would give dirty looks, ignore him if my husband said anything to him and in general just treat him with utter disrespect.” We recommend teaching your stepchild what you hope will be a lesson in morals and values, by remaining respectful toward them. This is extremely challenging and requires patience. When you’re responding, do not give in to requests that your stepchild hasn’t earned. Ex: This stepfather worked hard at treating his stepson with nothing less than respect. But when his stepson would ask for money or to get a ride to a friend’s house, this stepdad would simply reply, “You know, I’d like to do that for you. But you treated me pretty terribly earlier today, so I’m not going to be able to do that. Maybe next time.” Stay calm and polite but send the following message: In real life, if you treat someone disrespectfully, they don’t do favors for you. This is an excellent way to role model respect for both your stepchild and yourself. As in all parenting – with biological or stepkids – sometimes we don’t see the payoff in the short run, but these kinds of lessons last a lifetime. Identify your intentions. We’ve worked with couples where it’s clear there are different intentions. A biological parent may have the intention that “We’re all going to come together with everyone’s best interests in mind and build a family.” The new spouse may just plain dislike that stepchild and have the intention, “He needs to get out of my house as soon as possible.” These are competing intentions and expectations that will lead to conflict between everyone in the family, including within the marriage. If it feels like there are competing intentions occurring, communicate with your mate. You may need to speak with a therapist who can help you find common ground. Remember why you’re there. Many stepparents have expressed feeling trapped in a situation with a stepchild whose behavior is awful: the kids may break the rules constantly, be disrespectful, and possibly even physically aggressive. Whenever a child behaves this way, even biological parents can feel trapped and terrified. You’ve made the choice to come together with another person and form this family. Why? Most of the time it’s out of love. Remembering that you are choosing to be in this family—and focusing on the “why”—can help lighten feelings of resentment or helplessness and remind you why you stay. Related: Fighting with your spouse about parenting issues? Communication is the key. In blended families, you have the coming together of two sets of rules, discipline and expectations. If there isn’t some discussion ahead of time about things such as values and beliefs about limits and discipline, it can lead to conflict between parents down the road, which will trickle down to the relationship between children and their stepparents. These differences in parenting can have a very tangible effect. As one parent shared, “It’s hard to hold my son accountable for breaking a rule when my husband holds my stepdaughter to a different standard.” Agreeing on how you will discipline your kids—and coming up with a plan together—is a good way to go about getting on the same page. Many families have a system where the biological parent will discipline his or her own child, with the stepparent’s support. This works as long as the two of you agree on a fair method of discipline for all kids. But remember, all families are different and have different needs. One stepchild we saw in therapy actually complained about her stepfather never providing any discipline for her. She felt he favored her half-brother over her because he would discipline his own son, but avoided giving her consequences or setting limits with her. Although this is a rare case, it brings up the importance of finding what works best for you, your spouse and your stepchildren. Communication between you and your mate is essential for a successful family, in any situation. Do you agree on parenting styles, discipline techniques, rules of the house and expectations? If you can talk about these things before joining a family, that’s the best case scenario—but it’s never too late to start. Related: Does your ODD child or stepchild control the house? Blended and stepfamilies can be tough at times, but they can also be an opportunity for unique and loving relationships. If you’re lucky, you’ll get acceptance along the way. Sometimes, surviving through conflicts can bring people closer together, but it takes commitment, forgiveness and an open heart.
He looks wearily at her, shakes his head, and asks: "Whatever happened to us? We don't laugh any more; we used to always be laughing!" She looks at him, contempt leaking like a North Sea oil spill: "Yes, but not at the same time." This one line of comedy within a classic moment from the British sitcom Fawlty Towers illuminated an entire relationship. A happy long-lasting marriage: Really? Is it still possible? Well, I guess we'll have to wait fifty years to find out. Of course, no one should stay in an abusive marriage. If you're being abused and bullied then your spouse has defaulted on 'the deal' anyway (remember the 'to love and to cherish' part of the vows?). But our 'throw away society' may mean that perfectly good relationships are too quickly discarded because they don't seem ideal. The irony is that the modern obsession with 'personal fulfilment' - the importance of the self at the expense of the other - has left more people unfulfilled, sad, and lonely. Marriages crash and burn as spouses are updated for newer, 'better' ones. Have the ideas of commitment, duty, and responsibility been ditched at the expense of happiness? A happy marriage is healthy Marriage may seem as old-fashioned as sepia tone, but repeated research shows that people who remain married to one partner are the happiest (1) and that married people are statistically happier and live longer (2) than their non-married counterparts. Do we even know why some marriages work and some don't? Fortunately for this article, we do. We now know what happy marriages should avoid and also what needs to be encouraged to make marriages healthier and happier. Of course no marriage is perfect, but many are happy. Happy marriages have difficulties, but there is an abiding sense of 'us', not just 'you and me'. Follow these strategies (both of you) and who knows - maybe you'll be telling me fifty years hence of all the health, psychological benefits, and happiness you've enjoyed. So first: 1) Be realistic with your relationship expectations Romance is wonderful and seeing the best in your partner is a sure way to maintain love and intimacy. But you are going to have years with your spouse, so you need to be able to except some imperfections. In the first throes of passion, the object of our romantic focus may seem perfect but then we discover their 'feet of clay'. At this point, for the marriage to last we need to see beyond personal weaknesses and foibles - after all, no one is perfect. All marriages need work sometimes; expecting it all to be effortless or that it 'should' always be perfect creates disappointment (as unrealistic expectations always do). Idealize your partner, by all means - but remember they are human. 2) Sorry should not be the hardest word Ever noticed how some people can never apologize, never admit they were wrong, never say, "Sorry"? Yes? Well, those are the ones who are much less likely to become or stay married A survey conducted in San Francisco (3) found that people who stay happily married are twice as likely to be able and willing to apologize to their partners as divorced or single people are. The survey found happily married people are 25% more likely to apologize first, even if they only feel partially to blame. The harder divorced and single people found it ever to apologize or make conciliatory gestures, the more likely they were to stay single. Romance and passion may bring couples together, but compromise and respect will keep them there. Learn to say sorry. 3) Drive those relationship-ruining riders out of town Some couples argue passionately but still have a happy marriage. Others argue less but when they do, the relationship is severely damaged. What's the difference? It's not whether you argue but how you argue that determines the likelihood that your marriage will survive long-term. US psychologist John Gottman has spent almost two decades studying the interaction of couples. He can now reliably tell (with up to 95% accuracy!) which couples are destined for relationship breakdown and which are likely to stay together by listening to the first five minutes of a contentious discussion. Gottman highlights four factors that rot relationships. He calls these (dramatically) the 'Four Riders of the Apocalypse'. They are: 1. Contempt: Name calling, face pulling, cursing at and insulting your partner, and basically behaving as if you are revolted is 'contempt'. Gottman and his researchers in Seattle (4) found that if this was a regular feature in the start-up phase of a disagreement, then the relationship's days were very likely to be numbered. Women who looked contemptuous whilst their husband was talking were six times more likely to be divorced two years later. 2. Defensiveness: "Why are you picking on me? Don't look at me like that! What's your problem?!" "But I was just offering you a cup of tea!" Another major predictor of eventual relationship breakdown is over-defensiveness. If someone begins yelling as soon as their partner broaches a subject and feels overly threatened or attacked, and this is a continuing and regular feature of the couple's interactions, then the relationship is in crisis. Being defensive blocks communication and severs intimacy. 3. Don't criticize but do compliment Partners who criticize one another risk damaging their relationship beyond repair... This doesn't mean you should never complain if your spouse upsets you, but a criticism is much more damaging than a simple complaint. When you criticize, you attack the whole person (even if that's not what you mean to do); a complaint is directed at one-off behaviours rather than the core identity of the person. For example: "You are such a lazy £"*tard!" implies they are always like that and that it's a fundamental part of who they are. It's not specific or time-limited as is "I thought you were being a bit lazy today! That's not like you!" Some partners feel they are trying to 'improve' their spouse by constantly pointing out what is wrong with them. Even if the intention is good, the consequences are not. Criticizing partners publically is humiliating (for both partners), but saying nice things about them when in company is a wonderful thing to do. People in happy marriages feel appreciated, loved, and respected. Remind your spouse of their talents, strengths, and what you love and like about them much more. No one likes to feel they are under constant attack. 4. Withdrawal or 'stonewalling' Emotionally withdrawing or stonewalling, 'closing your ears' or 'shutting off' when a partner is complaining is another huge predictor of breakdown. Whilst criticizing was generally more of a female trait, men used stonewalling more. Men's biology is less able to cope with strong emotion than women's, so men may instinctively try to avoid entering arguments or becoming highly aroused by stonewalling. The partner may withdraw during conversations by 'switching off' or ultimately spend more and more time away from the relationship as a way of 'escaping'. The danger is that the stonewalling pattern will become permanent and the partner using this strategy will use it to isolate themselves from potentially positive parts of the relationship. Everyone needs space, but never responding to an emotional issue leaves the other partner out in the cold. Rather surprisingly, if even just one of these factors or 'riders' is present regularly in disputes, the outlook for the relationship is poor. Does your marriage contain any of these 'riders'? And how else can you make your marriage happier? 4) Know what not to talk about in your marriage Younger couples often want to 'dig deep' to unearth all their 'issues', to be entirely open with one another, and to 'talk everything through'. But studies of elderly couples who have been happily married for decades show that these couples often don't listen very carefully to what the other is saying when expressing negative emotion. They also tend to ignore their own feelings about the relationship unless they consider that something absolutely must be done. This threshold is set much higher than in younger couples. So the typical advice of agony aunts to 'air issues' and get 'everything out in the open' doesn't, after all, make for healthy long-term relationships. Agreeing to disagree and knowing which subjects to steer clear of is a key relationship skill. 5) Work out problems but keep a lid on them Another key factor in arguments within relationships that survive is the habit of changing the subject once the discussion has 'run its course'. This 'quick shift' lessens the amount of negative emotion experienced and decreases the likelihood of later rumination. It also conveys the message, "We can argue, and still get on with each other." Thus, the argument is contained and does not contaminate the whole relationship. Disagreements need to be 'one-off specials', not long-running serials. But fun is vital, too... 6) Laugh together, stay together Regularly revisiting romantic times from the past and alluding to them in conversation - "Wasn't it wonderful when we..." and "Do you remember..." - is a powerful way of staying bonded. But regularly laughing together may be even more powerful. According to recent research, couples who laugh together and regularly reminisce about funny times tend to be much more satisfied with their relationships (5). Create a reservoir of funny times and re-visit them often. Lack of fun can wilt a marriage like a flower denied water. 7) Ensure 5 good times for every bad time According to Dr Gottman, stable marriages need five good interactions for every not-so-good one. 'Good' could mean a loving hug, a fun afternoon spent together, or a nice chat about a movie, anything positive. A 'bad' interaction may be a row, disagreement, or disappointment. So make efforts to keep to the 5/1 rule. This will work even better if you follow the next tip. 8) Can you read (love) maps? Remember the old Mr. and Mrs. TV show? (I think it may have been updated.) Anyway, the idea was basically this: The host would ask one partner to go behind a soundproof screen whilst the remaining partner was asked questions about their partner's life and preferences. For example: "Where in the world would your wife most like to travel?" or "What drink would your husband most likely order in a restaurant?" The idea was that the more correlated the answers, the stronger the relationship. And research seems to bear this out: The more you know your partner's tastes, aspirations, whom they like and dislike at work, and so on, the better 'love map' you have. Knowing the details of your partner's inner and outer life (whilst allowing for some privacy) makes for a stronger bond. One woman I worked with didn't know the name of her (underappreciated) husband's company and one husband couldn't tell me the name of their family dog! (Much to his wife's consternation: "He shows no interest!") Strengthen and update your love maps to better navigate your relationship. Living within a happy marriage is one way to ensure long-lasting contentment for both of you. Follow these tips and ask your partner to read this, too. But if you want a fun way to learn how to have a happy marriage by seeing what not to do, watch Fawlty Towers reruns. - See more at: http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/happy-marriage-secrets/#sthash.n8yTYv4o.dpuf
After filing a petition or response for divorce in California, each party is required to serve preliminary disclosures. Preliminary disclosures include an income and expense declaration, a schedule of assets and debts, and other financial disclosures. Pursuant to California Family Code § 2104(f), the petitioner must serve their preliminary disclosures within 60 days of filing of the petition. The respondent must serve their preliminary disclosures within 60 days of filing the response. After serving your preliminary disclosures, you must file a declaration of disclosure with the court. Note, you don't file the financial documents with the court, only the declaration of disclosure. Here is a link to the declaration of disclosure to file with the court: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl141.pdf If a party fails to serve preliminary disclosures, a party can file a motion with court under California Family Code § 2107 to compel a party to serve preliminary disclosures. Cal. Fam. Code § 2107(a) requires a party to have actually served their preliminary disclosures before bringing such a motion. Here is a link to the Declaration of Disclosure, FL-140, which describes the financial disclosures which must be made: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl140.pdf Here is a link to the Schedule of Debts and Assets: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl142.pdf Here is a link to the Income and Expense Declaration: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl150.pdf If you have questions about preliminary disclosures, feel free to call Morales Law for a free consultation (805) 845-5405.
California Family Code Section 4330 (a) states, "the court may order a party to pay for the support of the other party an amount, for a period of time, that the court determines is just and reasonable, based on the standard of living during the marriage." California Family Code Section 4330(b) states, "When making an order for spousal support, the court may advise the recipient of support that he or she should make reasonable efforts to assist in providing for his or her support needs..." The later section is known as a Gavron Work Hardening Order. Essentially, if the court deems it appropriate, the court will issue a warning to the supported spouse that they must makes efforts to find work and support themselves, as the court intends to terminate or modify spousal support at a future date. See Marriage of Gavron (1988) 203 Cal. App.3d 705. It is the goal of California law that each party make good faith efforts to become self supporting and not need spousal support. Failure to make such efforts maybe be a reason for the court to modify or terminate spousal support. If you have a spousal support issue, call Morales Law today for a free consultation (805) 845-5405.