Bankruptcy and Alimony in California


Alimony, also known as spousal support, requires one spouse to provide financial support to their former spouse in the case of separation or divorce. Declaring bankruptcy in California relieves financial hardships. It allows you to settle debts, liquidate assets, or set up a plan to repay creditors. But what happens when a spouse ordered to pay alimony files bankruptcy?

This situation can raise questions about how this will impact their obligation to pay alimony in California. This article will explore how bankruptcy affects alimony payments in California and explain how enlisting the services of a family law and bankruptcy attorney can benefit your situation.

Alimony in California

Alimony payments are ordered during divorce proceedings to help the lower-earning spouse transition from marriage to singlehood. They are ordered based on need and are gender-neutral, meaning that women and men are both eligible to receive them.

Types of Alimony in California

There are five types of alimony in California. Let’s take a look at each.

  1. Temporary alimony is paid while you are separated and lasts until the divorce is finalized. It uses a percentage of the higher-earning spouse’s income and subtracts a percentage of the lower-earning spouse’s income to determine the amount. The percentages used vary by county, and the amount of temporary alimony may differ from the long-term amount agreed on. 
  2. Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type of alimony issued in California and is paid until the recipient spouse can become self-sufficient. The recipient spouse has a set timeframe to bring their single lifestyle in line with their married lifestyle.
  3. Permanent alimony has no duration and is usually paid until one of the spouses dies or the recipient party gets remarried. The amount can remain the same throughout the term of the payments, or either party may request a modification.
  4. Reimbursement alimony is commonly used in California for one spouse to pay for the other to go to college and earn a degree. This will result in an income increase for the recipient spouse because they will then have a marketable skill, so the need for additional support may be reduced or eliminated.
  5. Lump-sum alimony is a sort of alimony “buyout.” Instead of making regular payments, the paying spouse can agree to give up assets or take on additional liabilities instead of making alimony payments. The problem with lump-sum alimony is that if the recipient spouse gets remarried after the divorce, the payment has already been made, and the paying spouse cannot ask for a modification.

Bankruptcy and Alimony in California

Alimony obligations are considered priority debts and cannot be discharged during either type of bankruptcy. However, the type of bankruptcy filed determines how it affects alimony.

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves selling assets to pay creditors. The debtor will still be required to fulfill their court-ordered alimony obligation.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to reorganize their finances and develop a repayment plan to repay creditors over three to five years. Alimony payments must be included in the repayment plan, and failure to make them can result in the dismissal of the bankruptcy case. 

Navigating Bankruptcy and Alimony in California

Understanding the legal procedures and obligations under California law regarding alimony and bankruptcy is essential. Both parties can benefit from seeking legal counsel to understand their rights and responsibilities.

Consulting with a family law attorney can help individuals understand their rights regarding alimony and how bankruptcy can affect their obligations. The attorney can also help negotiate alimony agreements and ensure that they comply with the law.

Consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand how it can impact your alimony obligations if you seek bankruptcy. They can assess your financial situation, advise you on the best type of bankruptcy filing for your situation, and help develop a strategy to address alimony payments during the bankruptcy process.

Turn to Azemika & Azemika, Trusted Family Law Attorneys in Kern County

Couples facing separation, divorce, and financial hardships face complex legal challenges. Understanding how bankruptcy affects alimony in California is essential for both the paying and receiving spouses. A qualified family law attorney can help you stay informed of your rights and responsibilities, navigate these challenges, and seek relief from overwhelming financial burdens.

At Azemika & Azemika, our partners have handled family law cases in Kern County for over 30 years. Focusing solely on family law allows us to handle each case with detail and expertise. If you are paying or receiving alimony and facing bankruptcy, our experienced team can help. When choosing our team of family law attorneys, you will receive knowledgeable, compassionate, and determined service.

Contact us today for a consultation.

California Divorce: Who Pays for College After Divorce?

california divorce

One of the most common issues when children are involved in a divorce is child support. While parents are expected to financially support their children until they finish high school or are 18, child support does not cover college tuition or expenses.

Unlike other states, California doesn’t have a statute that requires postsecondary education to be factored into child support. Similarly, no specific guidelines are in place to determine how divorcing parents should split college expenses.

So, who pays for college expenses after a divorce? This article will explore how college expenses are typically handled in a California divorce and provide tips for divorcing parents on navigating this aspect of their divorce.

How to Address College Expenses After a California Divorce

College expenses are typically addressed in the divorce settlement or court order. That means you and the other parent can agree on how to handle college expenses, and when you include this in your divorce settlement agreement, it becomes legally binding. Here are some of the ways you can accomplish this.

Set Up a Trust or Escrow Account

To do this, you can set up a trust or escrow account with existing funds or pledge payments in the future to provide money for college. This can prevent one parent from breaking the agreement in the future, and the funds will only be available once the child starts college.

Establish a College Support Structure Payment

Another way to handle this is to add a section to your divorce settlement that establishes a college support structure payment. This makes payments enforceable under the law. Be sure to address potential issues such as limits on tuition, when and how payments will be made, and what expenses can be covered.

Set Up a Prepaid Tuition Plan

You can also voluntarily set up a prepaid tuition plan or as part of your divorce settlement. This option allows you to lock in tuition at today’s rate using regular installments or a lump-sum payment. The only drawback to this plan is that you must commit to a particular university or college in advance.

Apply for Financial Aid

You can also apply for grants and financial aid to cover your child’s college expenses. Some examples include:

Financial aid is awarded based on financial conditions. Speaking to a family law attorney can help determine which parent should apply.

Tips for Navigating College Expenses During a California Divorce

Here are some tips you can employ to help make determining who will pay for college expenses smoother.

  • Plan Early — Planning for college expenses as early as possible, ideally before the divorce process begins, will allow you and your co-parent to review your options and agree on how to handle the expenses.
  • Open Communication — Communicating openly with one another can help you successfully navigate college expenses during your divorce. You should be open and honest about your financial situation and work together to find a solution that is in your child’s best interest.
  • Turn to an Attorney — Consulting with a family law attorney with experience in California divorce is highly recommended. They can guide you on the legal aspects of college expenses and help parents understand their obligations and rights under California law.
  • Consider Medication — Mediation is an excellent way to resolve college expense disputes outside the courtroom. As a neutral third party, your mediator can facilitate discussions between parents and help them reach a mutually agreeable solution.
  • Focus on Your Child’s Best Interest — Your primary concern should be your child’s well-being and future success. Prioritize your child’s educational needs and work together to support them to succeed.

Get All Your Questions Answered by the Award-Winning Attorneys at Azemika & Azemika

Although the legal framework for addressing college expenses isn’t as straightforward as child support, parents divorcing in California can work together to meet their children’s educational needs. Divorce can be challenging, but with the right approach and support, parents can navigate the complex issue of college expenses to help their child pursue their academic goals.

At Azemika & Azemika, we are ready to help you prepare for your child’s college career by setting up a financial arrangement to help fund their higher education. Our firm has provided quality legal representation for Kern County for over thirty years and has been selected as “Best of Bakersfield for Divorce and Family Law Attorney” for two consecutive years.

If you’re ready to work with an award-winning team of family law attorneys, contact us today.

Does Income Matter in California Custody Battles


Child custody is often one of the most controversial issues when parents go through a divorce. One of the biggest concerns that some parents face is how their income and finances affect their chances of getting custody of their children.

Understanding California’s custody laws and how the courts handle custody arrangements can help you know what to expect as you begin the divorce process. This article will discuss California law regarding how your income and finances can impact the court’s custody decision and parental finances, as well as other factors that can affect a custody case.

Types of Child Custody in California

The court will look at the evidence in the case when determining the type of custody in your child’s best interest. In California, the two main types of child custody are:

  • Legal custody gives the parent the right to make decisions for the child that will affect their life. Some of these decisions include medical, religious, and educational decisions. The only way a parent makes the decisions with legal custody of the child is if the decisions put the child at risk.
  • Physical custody establishes which parent the child will reside with. If the child lives with you at least part of the time, you have physical custody of the child.

The nature of the custody order will explain whether you will share custody with someone else.

  • Joint custody means you and the other party will share rights to the child. Both parents will have a say in making decisions about the child.
  • Sole custody means you are the only person with custody of the child. You have been given the sole authority to make all of the child’s decisions, and the child lives with you all the time.

How is Child Custody Affected by a Parent’s Income in California?

California family courts prioritize the child’s best interest when determining child custody. This takes precedence over any other factor. However, while income and finances aren’t expressly stated in child custody statutes, they can influence the court’s decision of what is in the child’s best interest.

During a child custody case, the court will examine the income of each parent and their ability to support the child. They will also look into the financial resources of both parents. If one parent makes significantly more than the other, they will more likely be able to provide for the child so that they may have an advantage in a child custody case.

Mitigating Financial Differences Between Parents

If one parent is a stay-at-home parent with little to no job experience, that doesn’t mean they will automatically lose custody of the child. Instead, the courts may award child support to the lower-earning parent to ensure the child is financially supported in the same way they were before the divorce. Alimony is also a way to even out each parent’s income level.

However, it’s essential to understand that if a parent’s lack of income prevents that parent from providing a safe, stable home for the child, that could affect the outcome of their custody case. Before the courts award custody, they must be shown that a parent can provide a safe home for the child.

Other Factors That Affect Child Custody in California

Child custody is never automatically granted to a mother or a father in a California divorce. The judge will review various factors to ensure the custody decision they make suits the child’s specific needs.

Physical and legal custody will be determined according to the child’s best interest, and a judge may consider the following factors.

  • The child’s age
  • If the child has special needs
  • Whether the child is established at school, church, or their hometown
  • If they are old enough, the child’s wishes
  • The child’s bond with each parent
  • If there is a history of domestic violence
  • Each parent’s history of substance abuse and their criminal history

While the courts won’t award custody to a parent only because they make more money than the other, money may become a factor when looking into other matters. For example, if financial issues stem from a substance abuse problem, the courts will consider that.

Turn to Azemika & Azemika for Expert Legal Representation for Your Child Custody Case

In child custody cases in California, while the court considers a parent’s income and finances, they are not the sole factor when determining custody. While the child’s best interest remains at the forefront, the courts strive to create custody arrangements that will nurture the child and their overall well-being. Seeking the assistance of an experienced child custody attorney can help parents navigate child custody challenges more effectively.

At Azemika & Azemika, our practice is exclusively devoted to family law cases. That allows our team of expert family law attorneys to handle all types of family law cases with efficiency and great attention to detail. We use extensive experience to customize each case to our client’s needs.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Thinking Of Delaying Your Divorce? Think Again!

delaying your divorce

Divorce is a life-changing event that is undoubtedly a hard, painful, and possibly traumatic end to a relationship that has lasted through a significant period of your life. Because of this, it is understandable many attempt to delay the inevitable as long as they can. Despite the divorce being put into action, the process can be dragged on for months, even years. 

It’s very common for those dealing with their old relationship’s issues to try and move on to rediscover themselves and make new plans for their life as a single person. Unfortunately, this may cause more trouble in the long run. It may be a way to delay the finality of the relationship. Still, it can affect many other parts of life, like finances, mental health, and other relationships.

Why You Should Push Forward With Your Divorce

As your divorce takes shape, it’s essential to move forward rather than have life stuck in one place. By not taking control over finalizing your divorce, it makes it increasingly difficult to heal and move to a more positive future. Regardless of your feelings about the situation, it would help if you acted quickly to avoid any proceedings snowballing into legal battles or complex arguments. 

We’ve gathered some important reasons to help you understand the effects of prolonging a divorce proceeding. This includes why, despite the difficult emotions, it can be healthier for your personal and professional life to end it promptly.

More Money Spent Over Time

Assets you earn after your divorce is filed are no longer considered marital property. With this said, without filing right away after deciding that divorce is the route you want to take, your spouse’s portion of your pension will continue growing as long as you are still married. This includes savings accounts, investments, work bonuses, or new properties that will be considered marital property.

Feelings Can Change

A once amicable split can quickly end in a hostile, messy divorce. Going through a permanent split can be an emotional time for both spouses, but despite the initial shock and sadness, many spouses can reach common ground after making the decision. It’s best to finalize a divorce when both spouses are amicable to one another, leaving less time for anger and other stages of grief to take hold. Over time, as a divorce drags out, the more likely it is for each spouse to look for ways to get even or possibly one-up the other. This tends to lead to exhausting arguments and bitter discontentment for both parties.

New Complications

It’s not unusual for people to seek out love and companionship, even while going through a divorce. Any relationship after a divorce can complicate proceedings and negatively affect how your spouse views you, your previous relationship, and what they are entitled to. Usually, for the best outcome in a divorce, the only people involved are the two getting divorced and their attorneys. It usually becomes more complicated when another family member or a new partner gets involved, leading to prolonged proceedings and unnecessary arguments over minor details.

Pour Into Your Personal and Professional Life

Even those in unhealthy marriages can have a hard time during divorce. The difficulties can vary from person to person, but issues can manifest differently in your personal and professional life. You can bring those hard emotions into your place of work, around family members or close friends, and it can be all-around challenging to manage in everyday life. Having a divorce hanging over your head can be exhausting, so it is best to finalize it as soon as you can.

Wearing Down

Most clients start their proceedings with a clear stance on what they want, with the drive to get it. Standing your ground is an important thing to do in your divorce, but as time goes on with the back-and-forth process, your strength and determination may start to waver. When divorce fatigue and exhaustion happen, you’re more likely to accept terms you may not have agreed to initially. 

Gain Closure

Getting closure is an integral part of divorce. Every family member may feel the weight of your divorce, and while it may be sad to have the divorce be final, it can also become a transitional moment for new beginnings with you and your children. You can finally start a new life with new routines and a fresh start. 

Family Law Attorney In Kern County

You should only delay your divorce if you and your spouse think there is any possibility for reconciliation and a healthy, happy future together. This can take a lot of effort with therapy, individual growth, and mutual agreement to strengthen your relationship. It is a big decision, just as much as divorce.

Azemika & Azemika is here for you during this difficult time. Our practice has been devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for you and your family’s future. Contact us today.

The Dangers Of Hiring A Cheap Divorce Lawyer

Hiring A Cheap Divorce Lawyer

You may be tempted to go for the cheapest option when stressed during your divorce, but a cheap divorce lawyer can cost you much more money in the long run. When it comes to your divorce, you want to ensure it is done right, with the paperwork properly done, to avoid any headaches later. The money spent upfront may seem worth it, but in the long run, there are many hidden costs when you decide to go the cheap route.

Why You Shouldn’t Hire A Cheap Divorce Lawyer

It’s important to know the possible risks when hiring an inexpensive divorce lawyer so you can steer clear, as tempting as it may be. We’ve gathered some important reasons you shouldn’t hire a cheap divorce lawyer so you can make an informed choice when finding a lawyer for your divorce.

Less Experienced

It’s important to consider why a cheap lawyer has such low prices. A family’s lawyer rate usually depends on their experience, skill, and reputation. With this in mind, a cheap divorce lawyer may be lacking in these areas, which is why they are so inexpensive. You’ll want more than just basic legal advice that can be found online, and an experienced family law lawyer will have more experience and understanding of the legal process. This can help you achieve better financial terms during your separation. Cutting corners isn’t worth it when it comes to decisions that significantly affect your case and for life afterward.

Can Take More Time to Finalize Your Divorce

Those searching for a cheap divorce attorney typically look for positive results as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and a cheap divorce lawyer may take longer than necessary to file divorce papers and possibly submit paperwork with errors. In the long run, this means missed deadlines, a drawn-out divorce, and higher legal fees.

Less Availability

A cheap divorce lawyer will often take on more clients to compensate for the lower rates they charge, meaning less face-to-face time with you and your case. They will likely be unavailable for questions you may have and be less involved in your case than a reputable lawyer would. Even the most simple of divorces can be complicated, and not being updated regularly can leave you in a difficult situation. While going through the stress of a divorce, the last thing you want is to be left in the dark.

Prone to More Mistakes

Experienced attorneys might charge more for their services upfront, but this is because they spend more time with their clients to avoid making little mistakes that a cheap divorce lawyer could easily overlook. Simple mistakes can slip through the cracks, causing your case to be dismissed and having to start all over again. You can have peace of mind when hiring a more experienced attorney, knowing there will be little to no complications or unexpected expenses.

No Paralegals or Associate Attorneys Aid

An experienced divorce lawyer rarely works alone and usually has a team of professionals behind them, allowing them to strategically assign portions of the casework to one of their associates at a lower hourly rate. This allows the client to have the advantage of a lower rate but with the guidance of an experienced attorney. Inexpensive lawyers tend to work alone and don’t have the support of paralegals, assistants, or associate lawyers to catch their mistakes or help with important tasks during the divorce filing.

Experienced Divorce Lawyers In Kern County

Cheap doesn’t only mean a lawyer has a lower hourly rate. It also can indicate the overall value of your case. Considering divorce is such a serious and permanent procedure, you shouldn’t take it lightly so it doesn’t have a negative effect on other areas of your life. An experienced divorce attorney is well-versed in all aspects of the law and will be able to lend you the best advice and representation. They don’t cut corners and do their due diligence to make sure there are no loopholes in alimony, child support, or when dividing property.

In the long run, a cheap divorce attorney proves to be the more expensive option. You want an experienced divorce lawyer who is efficient, detailed, and understanding of the law to help you quickly and effectively file your divorce. At Azemika & Azemika, we are here for you during your divorce. Our practice has been devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for you and your family’s future. Contact us today.

California Divorce And Business: What You Need To Know

California Divorce And Business

Divorces tend to be complex when it comes to dividing assets. After working hard and building up your business, it is understandable to be concerned about the fate of your business after the divorce. You’ll likely want to hold on to certain assets and maintain ownership of your business, so understanding what California divorce and business looks like can help you make important decisions for a desired outcome.

The Difference Between Separate and Community Property

California is a community property state, meaning if your business has become commingled or purchased during your marriage, it can be subject to being divided in half during your divorce. Considering the impact they have on what is divided during the divorce, it’s vital to understand the classifications of both separate and community property.

Separate Property

Any assets or belongings owned by one spouse before marriage or gifts given to one spouse is considered separate property. Separate property is safe from division, as the courts do not have any jurisdiction to give one party’s separate property to the other party.

Community Property 

Community property, or marital property, is when you:

  • Started or acquired the business during your marriage
  • Started or inherited the business before your marriage but made commingled property by contributing to the business using marital funds
  • Started the business before your marriage, but your spouse became the business manager

Dividing a Business During a California Divorce

In California, business assets that are community property are treated the same as personal assets during a divorce. Even if you started or owned the business before you were married, or more involved than your spouse was day-to-day, a judge will split ownership 50/50 if the court views the business as community property.

This changes if you started the business before you got together and never commingled the business with your spouse. If you never put your spouse’s name on any business documents or named them as co-owners, it is viewed as separate property. This may be able to protect your business from being divided with your spouse, but you still may owe your ex the increase in value of your business that happened while you were married.

Valuation of the Business

You’ll need to value your business if it has been considered marital property. Getting an accurate valuation is important to ensure a fair division of all assets. There are a few different factors that add value to your business:

  • Any fixed assets, ie. furniture or equipment
  • Debts or liabilities
  • Current and future profitability
  • Market value
  • Intangible assets, ie. financial statements or accounts receivable
  • Goodwill

Options for Handling a Family Business 

There are a few options when handling a family business when going through a divorce.


Spouses may negotiate a fair price and determine the term of payment if they decide to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the business. They may decide to pay in one lump sum or agree on installment payments.


Some spouses may be able to co-own and operate the business after a divorce. With this agreement, clear and consistent communication and cooperation are necessary. An explicit agreement on management responsibilities, decision-making, and profit sharing should be made.

Sell the Business

If it is impractical to keep the business, or both spouses decide they do not want to continue it, selling it and dividing the proceeds can be the best option. It’ll take a skilled family law attorney in order to navigate the sale of the business and to ensure a fair distribution of the sale.

How to Protect Your Business in a Divorce in California

  • Create a Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement: If you have already created a prenup or postnuptial agreement, you can go over how the assets will be divided when going through the divorce. While a prenup may be challenged in some scenarios, you can protect your business from being divided if you choose this type of agreement.
  • Use Alternative Dispute Resolutions: You can handle the division through an alternative dispute resolution like mediation. When you settle the matter outside of court, you’ll find you have more autonomy over what happens when negotiating with the other party.
  • Find Quality Insurance: When you invest in quality insurance, you may take advantage of their programs that allow you to accumulate cash value over time. This allows you to liquidate the funds later in order to buy out your partner.
  • Create a Trust: You are no longer considered an owner when your business is placed in a trust. The business is protected from being considered a marital asset because the trust technically owns the business.
  • Avoid Commingling Assets: Make sure you avoid commingling your business. Keep funds separate, and limit your spouse’s contributions and involvement in the business. 

Talk to a Divorce Attorney in Kern County, CA

It is difficult to go through a divorce as is but is especially stressful when you have a business or other important assets you’d like to protect. At Azemika & Azemika, we are here to help you protect those assets. Our practice has been devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for you and your family’s future. Contact us today.

Understanding Remarriage And Alimony In California


Some of the more common questions asked when going through a divorce are: who is receiving or paying alimony, and what happens to that alimony when the recipient remarries? Or how does cohabitation without being remarried work? While the answers are somewhat simple, there are some nuances to consider. 

This article gives an overview of alimony in California and how remarriage or cohabitation can affect any alimony obligations. For more detailed information or specific advice, you can seek support from an experienced family lawyer in California to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.

Alimony in California

In California, spousal support, also known as alimony, is usually a monthly payment that one spouse pays the other to help the lesser-earning or unemployed spouse maintain a living while gaining skills or education necessary to support themselves on their own. These payments can be short-term, long-term, or made in one lump sum, but the amount and terms can be negotiated and agreed upon between the two spouses or ordered by the court. 

Many couples include a provision in their marital settlement agreement or prenuptial agreement that details a specific date and year when the spousal support payments will end. If the parties fail to set up a particular termination date, the end of alimony payments will be determined by state law. If the marital settlement agreement and divorce order are not clearly stated, the parties must rely on California law.

How Does Remarriage Impact Alimony?

California Family Code Section 4337 states that spousal support is automatically terminated when the spouse who receives the alimony is remarried. This provision exists to streamline the transition and removes the need for a court hearing or an additional legal process to end alimony. Remarriage does not end the support if there is a past-due balance, vested lump-sum alimony payments, or property transfers. The ex-spouse receiving support is responsible for notifying the other about their remarriage. Not doing so can result in an order by the court to refund any excess alimony payments.

This regulation does not affect temporary support being awarded during separation. The law also does not apply where the two spouses’ agreement says no different. For instance, within a divorce settlement, both parties have agreed to continue paying alimony payments even if the recipient remarries. This agreement must be explicitly stated in the settlement to be effective.

Alimony When Cohabitating Without Remarrying

Under California Family Code Section 4323, cohabitation with a non-marital partner can be perceived by the court as a change in circumstances, which could lead to alimony being reduced or terminated. Unless the supported spouse can prove they still need alimony payments while living with someone else, the court can presume that the reduction or termination is appropriate. It is important to note that cohabitation is more than just a roommate situation; it usually requires a personal, romantic relationship, but the court may still find the need for support to modify alimony even with just a roommate if it affects the supported spouse’s new financial circumstances. The cohabitant’s income will not be considered at a hearing regarding cohabitation, but any new financial circumstance of the ex-spouse receiving support will be considered.

Modifications or Termination of Alimony

Suppose a supported spouse is simply living with someone new or has an increase in income. In that case, the paying spouse must file a motion to modify support and request a court order to lower or end alimony payments altogether. If you can, ask your ex-spouse to agree to lower or end alimony in their new circumstances. Still, if they disagree, you can file a motion to modify or terminate the alimony with the same court that granted your divorce.

You’ll need to show how the circumstances have changed and how it warrants the modification or termination:

  • Proof of their increase in income
  • Significantly lowered needs
  • Living with another person in a romantic relationship
  • Statements from family or friends about the cohabitation 
  • Evidence of the ex-spouse’s new address
  • Communication from the ex-spouse about their cohabitation

Kern County Family Law By Your Side 

If you are looking to consult with an experienced family law attorney about remarriage and alimony, Azemika Law is here for you, with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future.

Contact us today, and let us help you create effective resolutions and fair alimony agreements.

Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets In Your Divorce? Here’s How To Know

hiding assets

For your divorce to be fair, your assets must be fully disclosed and honest. Nobody wants to believe their spouse is hiding anything on top of going through the divorce itself, but it does happen, and it’s important to understand and be on the lookout for signs that your spouse may be hiding assets during your divorce. If your spouse successfully hides assets, it can have a negative impact on what you are awarded in the divorce because the hidden assets are unknown and unable to be divided correctly. 

Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets During Your Divorce

Divorces can be long, grueling processes with complex situations in each case. Dividing assets and making major financial decisions in court can take a long time, and one spouse might hide valuable assets to avoid splitting them in the divorce. We’ve compiled signs to look for during your divorce so you can protect yourself and your future after.

Maintaining Complete Control

With a desire to completely control bank account information and passwords and acting secretive or defensive, your spouse may be hiding something. You deserve to know as much as your spouse does about your financial situation and have the right to access joint accounts during your divorce. If something feels off by their domineering attitude, listen to your gut.

Changing Information on Accounts

To keep you and the court from accessing information about assets, your spouse might change the mailing address on accounts or statements to save them from showing up at your joint home. Similarly, they may open a post office box with the same strategy to keep statements and information from getting into your hands.

Unusual Spending

If a spouse suddenly starts spending more than usual, they may try to drain assets and convert them into possessions. For instance, you may notice a savings account, a piece of real estate, or a random investment you knew nothing about. Your spouse might try to drain the account, sell the asset, or use the cash to buy items that are more difficult to track (like art, jewelry, or clothes).

Making Overpayments

By overpaying taxes, credit cards, or loan payments, they can create a way to redirect hidden marital or separate funds. This means that once the divorce is over, your spouse will owe less on their post-divorce assets.

Giving Gifts

You may notice your spouse giving lavish “gifts” to friends, family, or even a new lover. This might be an attempt to remove assets from marital or separate accounts they don’t want you to know about. The family member, friend, or new partner might hold on to the asset and return it to your spouse once the divorce is final.

Traveling Out of the Country

You should investigate if you notice your spouse making frequent trips to countries with more relaxed banking laws or dealing with banks overseas. You or your attorney can send a subpoena to any bank you suspect your spouse has an account with and receive all the records under your spouse’s name. Taking trips out of the country can also move assets to places that are harder to discover.

Paying Unknown Loans

Your spouse may completely fabricate the existence of new loans to siphon money out of joint accounts or separate accounts you know about. 

Making Changes to Their Business

If your spouse owns a business, you should look out for any attempts made by your spouse to conceal the business’ assets or income so it cannot be accurately accounted for during the divorce; they might reconfigure the whole corporate structure, suddenly start buying and selling things, or change how they operate the business. Additionally, if a once thriving business suddenly experiences a downturn during the divorce, there is reason to suspect it as intentional as a way to shield income from the divorce.

Unusual Business Expenses

Your spouse can fabricate new or unusual business expenses, not seeking reimbursement for expenses from their employer, and then hold on to receipts to seek reimbursement once the divorce is over. This is a way to keep the funds from even being considered or divided in the divorce.

Open a Brand New Business

Opening a new business can offer an opportunity to redirect assets and create losses, which changes their true net worth and allows them to get more in the divorce.

Kern County Divorce Lawyers By Your Side 

If you find yourself suspecting your spouse of hiding assets after reading some of these signs mentioned, it is in your best interest to talk to your divorce attorney as soon as possible. Azemika Law is here for you, with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future.

Contact us today, and let us help you protect yourself and your assets. Don’t let your spouse take advantage of you. We’re here to help.

California Divorce And Adopted Children

adopted children

When children are involved in a divorce, things become more complicated. Whether the children are adopted or not, it’s an emotional and tricky issue. When a child is adopted, the parents become their legal parents, meaning certain legal rights and responsibilities are created. Adoptive parents have all the same responsibilities for their adopted children as they would biological children once the adoption process is complete. Parents must take care of their adopted child, providing for their education, housing, and medical care. 

It does not matter if you are the child’s biological parents or if you have adopted children. Your legal relationship with your adopted children will not change just because of a separation or divorce. Your divorce will be treated just like any other divorce by the court system, and you can create a child custody schedule that best suits your and your family’s needs. 

Who Gets Custody Of Adopted Children In A Divorce?

Some may think that a biological parent may be given custody over a former step-parent who adopted the child. Still, in California, the law is clear that regardless of the type of adoption, the adoptive parent is considered a legal guardian. There are no legal differences between an adoptive parent and a biological parent. There is a common primary concern that because one parent has the biological link, they may have an advantage in custody arrangements versus the adopted parent. Still, the adoptive parent has the same legal rights as the non-adoptive biological mother or father during the divorce.

It is important to note that every situation is different, and custody is determined on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, the child’s needs are always at the forefront of any decision. Decisions will be made regarding the child’s education, safety, and welfare.

Types of Custody

Both parents have the legal right to seek custody. In the same way the court would treat a biological child when determining custody, the court wants to ensure a stable, safe relationship between both parents after the divorce. Once both parents have created independent households, the time spent with each can be determined. Families can make their child custody agreements, but if this cannot be decided upon, the court can decide as a part of the divorce proceedings and in the child’s best interest.

There are a few different custody possibilities:

Physical vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody is physically having the child under your roof. Legal custody is having the right to make crucial decisions on behalf of the child, like with their medical care, general safety, schooling, or religion. The courts can award both types of custody to one or both parents or divide the types of custody between the two parents.

Joint Custody

They are also known as shared custody; this means the adopted child will spend part of their time with one parent and the rest with the other. The exact time division will depend on the case and will not always be a 50/50 split, as it needs to be practical and in the child’s best interest.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is where 100 percent of the child custody is given to one legal parent. In this case, which is typically uncommon in California courts, the noncustodial parent might have specific visitation rights.

After a custody settlement or court-ordered agreement is determined, both parties must obey the order, though it is possible to request a modification if you have valid reasoning. In the event of significant change, parents can seek out modification of the original order.

Concerned About Your Adopted Child During A Divorce? Let Us Help

Regardless of the biological relationship, when parents have taken on the legal responsibility of their adopted child, child support can be awarded based on state laws. The amount of financial support is decided by a calculator that considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. This helps determine the amount for the guideline child support.

With divorce being such an emotional and important pivot in life, it can feel scary to go at it alone. It can be challenging to navigate through all the proceedings, and having someone in your corner who can guide you with your and your family’s best interest in mind is important. At Azemika Law, we are here for you with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. We serve all of Kern County and want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Divorce and its Psychological Effects on Your Children

psychological effects

Deciding to divorce is never easy, and when there are children involved, parents may face an additional level of worry. They may find themselves second-guessing their decision, thinking it would be best to stay together for the kids.

While each child is affected differently by divorce, there are ways parents can help their children throughout the process and reduce the psychological effects on their children. This article will discuss how divorce can affect children psychologically and tips that you can utilize to help your children cope with this significant life change.

How Divorce Psychologically Affects Children

The first couple years after a divorce are typically the most difficult for children. They likely experience anger, anxiety, disbelief, and distress.

Most of the time, children bounce back after they get used to the changes to their daily routines. Sometimes, however, children may experience ongoing problems after a divorce. Here are some of the ways that children can be affected psychologically by divorce.

Mental Health Issues

Children of divorce are at greater risk of mental health issues. Divorce can trigger an adjustment disorder that typically resolves itself after a few months. However, some children of divorced parents can have ongoing issues with anxiety and depression.

Behavioral Problems

Children from divorced families are more likely to externalize problems such as delinquency, impulsive behavior, and conduct disorders. Children may also have more disagreements with friends and peers after a divorce.

Problems in School

A 2019 study showed that when divorce is unexpected, children tend to have more trouble in school. On the other hand, children who expected divorce were less likely to experience these problems.

Risky Behavior

Adolescents with parents who are divorced are more likely to partake in risky behavior such as early sexual activity and substance use. Children who have been separated from their fathers have also been shown to have more sexual partners.

10 Tips to Help Children Cope with Divorce

You play a significant role in how your children adjust after a divorce. Here are some tips on how to help your children cope with the psychological effects of divorce.

1. Peaceful Co-Parenting

Fighting with your ex-spouse has been shown to cause more stress for the children involved. Children who experience screaming and threatening are more likely to experience behavior problems. So, if you’re having trouble with your ex, professional help can help you find a way to communicate peacefully.

2. Don’t Put the Kids in the Middle

When you use your kids to relay messages between parents or ask which parent they like best, you’re putting them in the middle. This can lead to anxiety and depression in children.

3. Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Your Child

Positive communication, showing your child how much you love them, and ensuring minimal conflict can help children adjust after a divorce. A healthy relationship with your child can grow their self-esteem and academic performance after a divorce.

4. Be Consistent with Discipline

While you may want to do what you can to make your children happy after your divorce, it’s essential to establish rules and follow through with the set consequences when needed. Effective discipline can help improve academic performance and reduce delinquency.

5. Monitor Teens Closely

When parents closely monitor their teens’ actions, they’re less likely to show behavioral problems after a divorce. That means the chance of your teen having difficulties in school or substance usage is decreased.

6. Encourage Your Children

When children feel like helpless victims, they’re more likely to encounter mental health problems. Teaching your child they are strong enough to handle the changes they are experiencing can empower them.

7. Teach Children Skills to Cope with the Change

When children are taught cognitive restructuring skills and problem-solving skills, they can adapt better to the changes they are going through as a result of the divorce. Teach them to manage their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts healthily.

8. Help Them Feel Safe

Children of divorce can often have a fear of abandonment and be uncertain of what is to come, which can result in anxiety. Help your child feel safe, loved, and secure to reduce clinginess and mental health risks.

9. Educate Yourself

Many programs help parents understand how to help their kids cope with divorce. These classes teach co-parenting skills to help kids adjust.

10. Seek Professional Help

Your child can feel it when you’re stressed, affecting their actions and behaviors. Be sure to practice self-care and consider therapy to help you adjust to the changes you’re experiencing from the divorce.

When You Should Seek Professional Help for Your Child

It’s normal for children to struggle with their feelings after a divorce. However, if the issues persist or worsen, therapy can help your child sort out their feelings and emotions and learn to adjust.

Support groups are also a great option. They are a place for kids of all ages to meet other children going through the same changes.

Get the Legal Representation You Deserve with Azemika & Azemika

While seeing the effects of your divorce on your children can be difficult, staying in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children isn’t necessarily the best option. Children from homes with hostility, arguing, and seeing their parents unhappy can be at risk for behavior and mental health problems.

At Azemika & Azemika, our practice is exclusively devoted to family law. We understand that our clients are going through a difficult and emotional time. When you work with our team of expert family law attorneys, you are guaranteed knowledgeable, aggressive, and affordable legal representation for your family law case.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.