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Child Custody (35)

Parental Rights

Parental Rights

As a parent, it is understandable to want to be involved in your child’s life as much as possible. This can include spending time with your child and having the right to make decisions that will affect his or her life. Unfortunately, a parent’s rights can be challenged in some instances, threatening their right to one or more of the following:

  • Child custody
  • Visitation
  • Consenting to medical treatment for the child
  • Have property inherited by the child and vice versa
  • Approving certain decisions, such as military enlistment

These rights are most often extended to biological parents. Foster parents or legal guardians may also be afforded parental rights in certain circumstances. Obligations can also be included, such as:

  • Financial support
  • Care and/or supervision
  • Legal liabilities for the child’s actions
  • Providing a safe living environment

If your parental rights are being threatened, or if you feel that you are being held responsible for things that should not be your responsibility, there are legal options available to you. Any legal disputes regarding parental rights and obligations should immediately be handled by a skilled litigator.

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The articles below may help in understanding how parental rights are handled in family law.

Child Custody

Child Custody

It is understood that the divorce process can be difficult and emotionally draining. Dealing with the division of property or assets can overshadow what is most important: your children. Children, especially those of a young age, can be deeply affected by their parents’ separation. For this reason, it is important to ensure that matters of child custody fully take into account the child’s well-being.

Child custody is a common concern in divorce proceedings. Children tend to do best when their daily routines are interrupted as little as possible. Preserving the life they have grown accustomed to is important in allowing for adjustment to their parents’ divorce. Depending on the cause or circumstances surrounding the divorce, either one or both parents can remain in the child’s life. An attorney’s services will play an invaluable role in the process of determining custody, visitation rights, and other custody-related concerns.

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Common Mistakes People Make During Their Divorce

Common Mistakes People Make During Their Divorce

Most people pursuing a divorce hope to move through the process as quickly and easily as possible. However, it isn’t uncommon for the husband or wife to use tactics that could do more harm than good. Although both sides can use effective strategies to fight for what they seek, such as a possession of certain assets, child custody, or child support, individuals pursuing a divorce must take caution not to use schemes that will undoubtedly harm their chances in receiving what they want or compromise what is in the best interests of all parties involved. The following tips may be able to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes made by individuals during their divorce.

Never Use A Child As Leverage

Your children are likely the most important thing in the world to you. There have been instances where one side will attempt to influence the other to get what they want by utilizing dirty tactics such as threats of limited visitation. It’s understandable to be enraged if placed in such a position. However, don’t lower yourself to that level and attempt to do the same. Your attorney’s assistance and guidance will be invaluable in this instance, so trust them. If you have been a responsible parent, the evidence will speak for itself.

Avoid A Romantic Relationship Until After The Divorce Is Settled

Depending on the couple, a divorce may last months. During this time, it is common that either party may begin to move on and start a new life. A new life is usually signaled with a new romance. If possible, put off any romantic relationship until the divorce has been settled. The reason being that your soon-to-be ex-spouse may use your new relationship as grounds for adultery, making the situation for you and your lawyer much more difficult.

Never Neglect Having Representation

In a divorce, your attorney is your best friend. Always be 100 percent honest with your attorney and never leave any information out as it may arise during proceedings and be used against you. If any incriminating information should exist about you, your attorney will use the best of their ability to redirect focus and concentrate on what is important.

Remain Even-Tempered

Verbal confrontation is no stranger to divorce proceedings. When your credibility as a capable parent or if your chances of receiving certain assets are challenged, then it’s understandable to become upset. Losing your temper, however, won’t help anyone, especially you. Allow your attorney to negotiate terms of child custody or asset distribution, and do your best to stay calm.

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Divorce can be a difficult situation to deal with. However, the guidance of an attorney from San Diego’s Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, can help significantly. Contact one today at 858.935.6211.

The Relationship Between Child Visitation and Child Support

The Relationship Between Child Visitation and Child Support

When reaching a divorce settlement, many aspects of your divorce will influence one another. There is often a relationship between child support payments and child visitation, though this relationship can vary from state-to-state. Because the relationship between child visitation and child support is regulated statutorily, it is important for those seeking a divorce be aware of their own state’s regulations.

If you are concerned about child visitation or child support arrangements, contact the experienced San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 858-935-6211. Our skilled and experienced attorneys can help you to better understand your legal rights in this situation.

California’s Establishment of Child Support Payments

While some states do not factor in a parent’s visitation schedule when calculating child support, California does. California considers what are called “timeshares” when calculating child support payments, which simply means that a non-custodial parent’s time spent with his or her child is factored into his or her payment for child support. California also considers the following when calculating child support payments:

  • Best interests of the child
  • Educational and physical needs of the child
  • Incomes of each parent
  • The number of children involved

As you prepare to go through this complicated legal process, it can be valuable to preliminarily understand that there is a formal, statutorily established relationship between child support payments and child visitation in California.

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For legal counsel and representation in this matter, do not hesitate to contact the experienced San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211.

Legal Custody

Legal Custody

When it comes to child custody, it is not just about determining which parent or guardian the child will live with or the amount of visitation awarded to the other parent. One of the most important things that will be decided in a divorce involving children is whether one, the other, or both spouses will have legal custody of the child. Legal custody is the right and responsibility of the parent to make decisions about the child regarding their upbringing. This includes decisions on what school they attend, what religion they observe, and which hospital they go to in the event that medical treatment is needed.

If you and your spouse have decided to divorce and have minor children, the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, are highly experienced and skilled divorce and family law attorneys who can provide committed and aggressive legal representation. Contact us by calling 858-935-6211 to discuss your case.

Definition of Legal Custody

The different types of custody in family law can be confusing. Some important things to keep in mind about legal custody include:

  1. Legal custody does not determine who the child lives with. Physical custody decides that, and it can be joint custody, sole custody with visiting rights, or sole custody without visitation.
  2. Legal custody gives the parent the right and obligation to make decisions that regard a child’s upbringing; things such as schooling, religion, and medical care.
  3. Most states award joint legal custody, which means each parent has equal influence over the issues and they both must work together to resolve disputes
  4. If one parent attempts to undermine the other parent’s legal custody rights in joint legal custody, they may be found in contempt of court and be forced to go through another custody battle

If you have been awarded joint legal custody, it is best to try to work together with your ex-spouse in order to avoid having to return to court to settle the issues once more.

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If you and your spouse are separating and you have concerns about child custody, contact the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP. We can help you understand your options and provide strong legal representation if necessary. Contact us at 858-935-6211 today.

Changing a Child’s Last Name after Divorce

Changing a Child’s Last Name after Divorce

When minor children are involved in a divorce, there are many different issues such as child custody and child support that must be addressed. One thing that is not often talked about is the issue of the child’s last name. Children in a divorce typically keep their last name, and divorce courts do not grant a name change simply because a divorce has been granted. However, some cases may warrant a change of the child’s last name, and in these cases a parent, usually the mother, can file for a name change for their child.

If you are going through a divorce or considering divorce and have concerns about how it will bear upon your child, the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, can help. We understand that divorce is a difficult time in a person’s life and are committed to helping our clients get through the process and secure the terms they desire. Contact us at 858-935-6211 today.

Conditions for a Name Change

When it comes to decisions about children in a divorce, the court will always try to consider what is in the best interest of the child first. Therefore, if you wish to change the name of your child after a divorce, it must be for a valid reason. Some of the conditions where it is appropriate for a child to have their last name changed include:

  • If the child has been adopted by a step-parent
  • If the biological parent has no interest in maintaining a relationship with the child
  • If the biological parent has terminated their parental rights
  • If the biological parent was abusive or engages or has engaged in criminal activities

Granting a name change will not affect other decisions made about the other parent’s relationship to the child such as custody or child support.

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If you and your spouse are considering divorce, the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, can provide experienced and skilled legal representation. Contact our offices at 858-935-6211 to discuss your case with a one of our respected divorce attorneys today.

Sole Custody

Sole Custody

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time for any couple. However, some people may not realize that divorce is often more complicated than simply parting ways and moving on. The issue of child custody, for example, can keep people involved in a divorce for a long time, and may lead to bitter disputes. This is especially the case when one parent is attempting to gain sole custody of a child.

If you are going through a divorce and dealing with a struggle over child custody, it is important to have an excellent lawyer on your side to protect you and the best interests of your children. The San Diego child custody lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can help you get the terms of divorce that you need. Contact our offices today at 858-935-6211 to speak to an experienced attorney.

Reasons for Sole Custody

There are a number of different conditions in which sole custody of a child may be deemed necessary by the court. These include situations where a spouse has:

  • Put the child in dangerous situations
  • Demonstrated a history of violence
  • Engaged in destructive behavior
  • Suffered from mental instability/illness
  • Suffered from a drug addiction or alcoholism

These and other extreme conditions may convince a judge that sole custody is necessary to protect the child.

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If you need more information on sole custody or help with your divorce proceedings, look no further than the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP. We are an extremely knowledgeable group of legal professionals that understand the struggles involved in child custody disputes and are dedicated to helping our clients get the best terms possible. To speak with a qualified member of our legal team, contact our offices today at 858-935-6211.

Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult time for all members of the family, but it can be particularly difficult for children and teens. When going through a divorce, the pain and frustration of dealing with the conflict can feel overwhelming, but often parents must also deal with worries of how the divorce and related child custody issues are affecting their children. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to help your children throughout this process.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to have the experience and knowledge of a good lawyer on your side. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel LLP can help you get the terms you want. Contact us today at 858-935-6211.

Tips for Helping a Child or Teen Through a Divorce

Although it is impossible to totally protect your child from getting hurt during a divorce, there are some things that you can do which will greatly help your child adjust to this difficult time. These include:

  • Avoiding speaking of your spouse in a negative or hostile way while around your children
  • Trying to keep conflict between you and your spouse from occurring in front of the children
  • Reducing the disruption to your child’s normal routine as much as possible
  • Staying involved in the child’s life
  • Not using your child to communicate information to the other parent
  • Listening to your child and acknowledging their feelings when they express them

These are just a few of the things that you can do to help make the divorce process as painless for your children as possible.

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Divorce is hard for parents and children alike. If you need a skilled and compassionate attorney to help you through this trying time, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, today at 858-935-6211.

Joint vs. Sole Custody

Joint vs. Sole Custody

For parents, one of the most important and emotional aspects of a divorce is deciding child custody and visitation rights. When these matters are determined in a court setting, the court will always hold the children’s best interests in mind and will make its decision accordingly. However, custody issues can be settled outside of court so that a fairer agreement can be reached between the two parents.

If you need help deciding child custody issues, an experienced San Diego child custody lawyer can help you protect your interests and those of your child. To learn more about your legal options, contact Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211 for a consultation about your case.

Things to Know About Joint and Sole Custody

There are two basic forms of child custody, known as joint custody and sole custody. Ideally, joint custody aims to have the maximum involvement of both of the parents in their children’s lives. In joint custody, both parents continue to share the decision-making authority of various aspects of their children’s lives, such as medical decisions and education. Additionally, in joint custody, the non-custodial parent gets the same amount of parenting time as they would have in sole custody.

In sole custody, one parent, the custodial parent, has all the decision-making rights while the other parent has nothing. Still, sometimes the custodial parent can grant the non-custodial parent visitation rights with the child.

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We understand that divorce is very stressful and emotional for many couples, which is why we are here to help make the process as smooth as possible. Please contact the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211 for more information about child custody.

Mental Illness and Child Custody

Mental Illness and Child Custody

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 26.2% of adults in the United States have at least one clinically diagnosable mental disorder, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. When parents are involved in a child custody dispute, the mental stability and health of the parents can make a sizeable difference in the court’s decision of who becomes the primary caregiver.

If you or someone you know has a mental illness and is currently involved in a child custody dispute, you need a qualified and experienced family lawyer on your side. Contact a San Diego custody attorney from Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, today at 858-935-6211.

Mental Illness and Child Custody

When the court becomes involved in a child custody battle, the court will attempt to have the child continue his or her relationship with both parents, if possible. However, if one of the parents has a mental illness, it can complicate matters. Sometimes, parents with a mental illness can retain custody of their child, but oftentimes, this is not the case.

Sadly, the court typically views individuals with mental illnesses as less stable and fit to raise a child. If the mental illness is too severe for a parent to care for their child, they may be granted only visitation rights rather than joint custody of their son or daughter.

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We understand that child custody disputes are emotionally trying, and we want to help you through this unfortunate situation as painlessly as possible. Contact our San Diego custody lawyers today at 858-935-6211 to get a dedicated attorney from Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, on your side.

Fathers and Sole Custody

Fathers and Sole Custody

Marriage and parenthood is different today than it was in the past. As women continue to become more involved in the workplace and have more career opportunities, fewer women are choosing to stay home full time with their children. Additionally, divorce is different today than it was in the past, and while mothers used to almost always get custody of their children in child custody battles, it is becoming increasingly common for fathers to be awarded joint custody, or even sole custody, of their children after a divorce.

In modern day child custody disputes, courts rarely take a parent’s gender into consideration when awarding custody, and instead, make decisions based on what would be in the best interests of a child. If a mother is considered unfit to care for her children, custody of the children is often awarded to the father. For example, if a mother has a mental disability that makes it difficult to care for children, or if a mother has certain criminal offenses on her record, a child’s father will often be given custody.

However, fathers can still receive sole custody of their children even if the children’s mother is capable of raising the children as well. For instance, fathers who have provided more for their children or who have acted as primary caretakers may be awarded custody.

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Unfortunately, some prejudices still exist, and in some instances it may be harder for a father to be awarded sole custody, but an experienced child custody lawyer can help. Contact the skilled San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211 to learn more.

 

How Child Custody is Determined

How Child Custody is Determined

All parents want the best for their child. Unfortunately, divorcing parents rarely agree on the living situation that will best suit the child’s needs. Therefore divorces involving child custody disputes oftentimes end up in the court room. In these situations, a judge will determine the final custody arrangement.

If you are going through this emotionally difficult period, it is important to have a passionately committed legal representative who will vigorously fight for your custodial interest. No one wants to lose precious time with their child. The San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, can help you to seek the custodial arrangement you desire. Contact us today at 858-935-6211 to schedule a free consultation.

Factors in Determining Child Custody

In a contentious child custody battle, there are many different factors that a judge will evaluate before issuing a final determination. Some of the issues that will be weighed with regard to the best interest of the child include:

  • Ages of children and parents
  • Desires of parents
  • Relationship between parent and child
  • Health of family members
  • Home environment
  • Living Accommodations
  • School
  • Community
  • Quality of life
  • Presence of abuse
  • Criminal history

Observation is often a key to deciding child custody. A professional may speak to both children and their parents about their relationships. These discussions will influence the court’s decision regarding child custody arrangements. In-home evaluations may also be made to ensure that the children are being brought up in a safe environment.

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For legal assistance in a divorce where child custody concerns are present, contact the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 858-935-6211.

Physical Child Custody

Physical Child Custody

There are many different disputes that may occur during the process of a divorce. When children are involved in divorce proceedings, the arguments between the spouses suddenly involve the future happiness of their loved ones. As a parent going through a divorce, child custody is a large part of reaching an agreeable divorce settlement.

If you have questions regarding the physical custody of your children during a divorce, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 to discuss your situation with a legal professional.

Types of Physical Custody

There are several kinds of physical custody that can be settled upon during a divorce proceeding. Reaching an agreement can be a difficult process, however. Both parties want what is best for the children. Since the happiness of your child is likely the most important thing to you, choosing the right kind of custody arrangement is essential to both you and your former spouse. The types of physical custody may include:

  • Joint
  • Sole
  • Non-parental

Depending on the individual circumstances of the children and parents, typically one of these types of physical custody is granted during a divorce case.

Whether you are going through a divorce or have recently been through a divorce, we would like help with your pursuit of happiness. As a parent seeking a fair and reasonable settlement in the custody of your child, it is important that you have an experienced attorney working to help you. Laws regarding child custody can be complicated, and an experienced divorce attorney can help you reach a fair arrangement.

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Child custody cases can be challenging for everyone involved. For the dedicated legal help you need at this time, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.

Visitation Modifications

Visitation Modifications

After a couple settles their child custody issues, the non-custodial parent will usually be granted visitation rights by a court. Visitation is based on a set schedule that allows a non-custodial parent to see his or her child during certain times of the week. However, parents sometimes find that they need to modify their visitation schedules, which can happen for a variety of reasons.

If you or someone you love would like to modify your visitation schedule with your child, it is important to understand the legal process. Contact the San Diego child custody lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.

Basis of Modification

Usually, non-custodial parents cannot apply for a visitation modification with the court without reason. There must be some reason to modify the visitation schedule. Common bases for visitation modification are:

  • Changes in circumstances for either parent or the child
  • Relocation of either parent
  • The child’s preferences

While these conditions are not necessarily guaranteed to make the visitation modification be granted, having at least one of these conditions apply to the situation will usually help justify changing the existing schedule.

Individuals wishing to modify their visitation schedules have to bring their cases before family law courts, so it is important for these individuals to enlist the help of an experienced San Diego child visitation lawyer.

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The San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP may be able to help you if you are trying to modify your visitation schedule. Contact us today at 858-935-6211 to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.

Regaining Custody

Regaining Custody

When you and your spouse decided to divorce one another and dissolve the marriage, you may have to make determinations about custody. Sometimes, this can be a smooth process where both spouses agree on the arrangement and other times, the judge must make the final decision, leaving one parent in an unfavorable situation. However, it is important to understand that all hope is not lost regarding child custody and you may be able to regain partial or full custody pending certain circumstances.

If you or someone you love is looking to regain or change an existing custody arrangement, it is important to employ an experienced attorney to assist you with your claim. By working with them, you can ensure your case is presented in the best light possible and increase your chances of a positive result. To discuss your case today, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.

Factors in Custody Decisions

The following circumstances may be considered in a court of law regarding the reassignment of custody:

  • Violation to the custody terms
  • Threats or injury to the child from the custodial spouse
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Illness or disability to the custodial spouse
  • Instability in the custodial parent’s home, such as frequent relocation or changes in employment/economic status
  • Remarriage of one or both parents

Laws regarding marriage and divorce vary from state to state so it is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with your individual situation and how it could affected in your given place of residence. In some circumstances, there is a waiting period of 1-2 years before requesting a change of custody, so it is important to understand those criteria as well.

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If you are looking to regain custody or change a custody arrangement following a divorce, contact the San Diego child custody attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 today.

Joint Custody

Joint Custody

When a couple decides to dissolve their marriage through the legal process of divorce, one of the issues that may be addressed is the subject of child custody. Based on California law, the judge who determines the custody of the child must determine an arrangement that “seems necessary or proper”. In doing so, there are several different factors that may come into play about the future wellbeing of the child. Joint custody, which is the preferred arrangement amongst most capable couples, occurs when each spouse has physical and legal custody of the child.

Divorce can be a complicated process that one should not have to go through alone. If you are currently considering a divorce from your spouse and would like the legal counsel of an experienced, compassionate attorney, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211.

Common Joint Custody Arrangements

The following list outlines various joint custody arrangements that the judge may determine:

  • Pure joint custody: Neither parent has the sole legal or physical custody of the child.
  • Joint legal custody: Both parents have the right to make legal decisions regarding the child’s health, education and welfare.
  • Joint physical custody: Each parent has “significant periods” of custody. This is done to make sure that each parent has “frequent and continuing contact with each parent”.
  • Divided or “split” custody: There is no code for this specific arrangement but it typically means that the child has custody with a certain parent for a finite amount of time, with cross rights of visitation. This could also occur if a couple has more than one child and wants to split custody among the siblings.

The circumstances of each divorce are unique. Because of this, you should consider hiring an experienced attorney to handle the details of your individual case. That way, you can help ensure that your rights are well-represented and a favorable custody arrangement is reached.

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To learn more about family law in California or to speak with an experienced attorney about your individual divorce circumstances, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211 today.

Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children

Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children

If you and your spouse are considering divorce, you may have questions about how this may impact the lives of your children, both now and in the future. The good news is that with proper counseling during the divorce itself, some of the negative effects can be minimized in the future. However, if the divorce is especially traumatic or involves abuse in some way, the results could last for the rest of the child’s life.

One way to minimize the trauma that is linked to divorce cases is by hiring an experienced lawyer to help with the court proceedings and negotiations. If you are considering divorce, you need a lawyer on your side. Contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 for more information.

Potential Effects of Divorce on Child Development

Long-term consequences of a divorce that could affect children in their future development include the following:

  • Self-esteem issues, such as feeling that they did something to cause the divorce or make the parents mad
  • Anxiety about the feeling of abandonment
  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Future relationship issues, such as trust and honesty
  • Overall social adjustment issues

Early and intense counseling may be beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of these issues. It never hurts to have your child speak to a professional about his or her feelings. In addition, you and your spouse can help make this transition as easy as possible with the help of an experienced attorney. That way, everything can be handled fairly and clearly, reducing the chance for future conflict.

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Divorce can be a stressful time for all involved. To employ the help of an experienced lawyer, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 today.

Divorce And Religion

Divorce and Religion

Several religious groups look down upon divorce and some even ban it. However, divorce rates in the United States suggest that religion is a negligible factor among divorced couples. Even if divorce is prohibited by your religion, it is important to keep in mind that an unhealthy marriage is not good for you or your spouse, and it may be your only course of action.

If you or someone you know thinking about a divorce, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 to learn more about filing for divorce.

Religious Complications

Many popular religions have rules against getting divorced. Different denominations of Christianity have different rules for divorce. Most tend to accept it, but only as a worst case scenario. Catholicism allows divorce but has rules against remarriage. Judaism and Islam both accept divorce. Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, do not have a concept of divorce.

Regardless of your religion’s views on divorce, the United States government as well as every state government recognizes divorce. When you file for a divorce, your state government does not ask for your religious affiliation; any married couple in the US is eligible for a divorce in most cases.

No matter what your religion may be, you should always consult with an experience divorce lawyer before you file for a divorce, as it can be a complicated matter.

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Divorce is a complicated subject that may be further complicated by religious beliefs. Let the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP worry about the legal difficulties. Call us at 858-935-6211 for more information.

Child Custody

Child Custody in Divorce

Divorce is a complicated process involving the splitting of lives, assets, and finances. When children are produced by the marriage, the course of a divorce becomes trickier as innocent lives hang in the balance of the court proceedings. To make matters worse, divorcing spouses sometimes use their children as leverage in the divorce to get an upper hand in an unpleasant situation. To avoid this additional emotional struggle, parents can educate themselves about custody issues and make decisions in the best interest of their child.

With divorce occurring in nearly half of all marriages in the United States, children suffer major changes when their parents part ways. In addition to emotional stressors such as fear, anger, and resentment, children usually experience change in their family’s financial situation as well. In order to lessen this shock, parents should make custody decisions that ease the transition into the new lifestyle. Various custody options exist including full custody, partial custody, and visitation privileges. The custody preference of courts is generally to award both parents jointly, then to either parent, and finally to the person in whose home the child has been living or to any other person deemed by the court suitable to provide adequate and proper care and guidance for the child. Courts typically decide the matter based on factors such as the preference of the child, the ability of each parent to allow an open, loving, and frequent relationship between the child and the other parent, the child’s health, safety, and welfare, any history of child or spouse abuse, and any continued use of alcohol or controlled substances by anyone seeking custody.

With parents as highly influential figures, the parent-child relationship is critical. Judges seek to maintain stability and fluidity as much as possible in the child’s life. The judge considers which parent can meet the emotional and physical needs of the child through the divorce and post divorce. If the child has already become more attached to one parent than another, judges will protect this relationship and not disrupt it.

If you have any questions concerning child custody in your divorce, call a San Diego divorce attorney from the Fischer and Van Thiel law firm at 858-935-6211 today.

Impact Of Divorce On Children

The Impact of Divorce of Children

Divorce is a group problem; it is not just an issue between man and wife, but for their children as well. The impact of divorce on children is different for every family, but there are many similarities between most cases.

Most children are afraid of the new situation. Without mom or dad, what will life be? Some children are often afraid of being abandoned themselves. If they feel like one of their parents is getting rid of the other parent, what is keeping them from getting rid of the child? Children need their parents’ love and support, which is why the feeling of the loss of one parent can be devastating.

Even if you are the parent that is keeping the children, you need to include both parents in the transition to the new life. If you want is best for your children, you will work together with your ex to allow your children to heal.

Unfortunately, the logic behind the arguments of adult is often not the same with children. One of the first impulses of children is to try and get their parents back together. This unrealistic goal can backfire and cause the children to become depressed and angry when their plans fail. They might then blame themselves for the failure of the marriage and become withdrawn.

Help your children developed a new life routine to get on the road to a healthy recovery from the painful divorce.

Contact a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved one is contemplating a divorce and needs legal advice or representation, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel at 858-935-6211.

Relocation Following A Divorce

Relocation Following a Divorce

When a couple decides that they can no longer honor the commitments they made in marriage, they may turn to divorce to legally separate their lives. While individuals may wish to immediately relocate following a failed marriage, the issue may become complicated if children are involved. In many cases, individuals who wish to relocate after a divorce will have to file a petition with the court to grant the move.

There are many reasons an individual may want to relocate following a divorce, including new job opportunities, a desire to be closer to family and familiar surroundings, or a desire to start over somewhere new. When children are involved, the court may have to decide whether the move is justified and how it will affect the child. The San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP are here to help you with your divorce case. Contact us at 858-935-6211 today.

Relocation Petition Considerations

When considering a relocation petition, the court will usually take into account:

  • The age of the child
  • The desires of the child if he or she is of a mature age
  • The nature and stability of the child’s relationship to each parent, siblings, and other family members
  • The intent of the individual seeking or opposing the relocation
  • Whether or not the individual seeking relocation is doing so to cause difficulty with child visitation
  • The impact the relocation may have on the child’s emotional and physical development

The non-custodial parent may be forced to relocate themselves or see the child only on holidays or summer visits if the court determines that relocation is in the best interest of the child.

Contact Us

The San Diego divorce lawyers of Fisher & Van Thiel, LLP are here to help you if you are considering filing for divorce from your spouse. Contact us at 858-935-6211 to discuss your legal options.

The Rules Of Visitation

The Rules of Visitation

If you didn’t get main custody of your kids in the divorce, then you can look forward to years of visitation rights and custody bickering. However, although the horizon may seem bleak, there are many things you can do to help the time you do have with your children be the best it can be.

The first thing that usually comes out is something negative about your ex. This is not the way you want to start out your visit. Think positively so that you and your kids can have fun, no pressure, and always want more time together.

Secondly, if you have found yourself in a less prosperous position than your ex, you should spell it out to your children. Explain that, although it may not be what they are used to, it can still be fun. Take them on adventures, and make the memories that they will never forget.

Lastly, you need to talk to them and let them talk to you. Sometimes it is not all fun and games. Divorce is extremely difficult on children. Sometimes they do not have anyone to talk to at home, so seeing the signs of depression can let you help your children in a way your ex cannot.

Contact a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

If you or someone you know is involved in a divorce and needs legal advice on child custody and visitation, contact the San Diego child custody lawyer of Fischer & Van Thiel at 858-935-6211.

Sports Kids

Sports and Kids

One problem faced by many recently divorced dads is that they have a hard time connecting with their
kids following a divorce. It can be very hard: going from seeing your children on a daily basis, being
tied in with everything going on in their lives, to seeing them maybe every couple weekends. Some fathers
find it so daunting that they can’t connect with their children when they do see them. Fortunately,
there are some things you can do to reconnect with your children and ensure that you have common ground
to bond over.

One of the best ways to do this is to get involved in sports with your kids. There are lots of programs
all over the country which offer kids a chance to get involved in all sorts of sports, like baseball,
football, soccer, basketball, even less ubiquitous sports like tennis, lacrosse, and water polo. Sports
can be a great way to for kids to be involved in teams and the camaraderie they bring, to learn how
to set goals and accomplish them, to work well with other people, to build trust and self-confidence,
and to be as gracious in victory as they are dignified in defeat.

Best of all, these programs are usually in need of parents to help run them. While not everyone can
be a coach, there are plenty of positions for assistants of all stripes. Even if you’re just helping
drop kids off after the game, or bringing them orange slices, it can be a good way of being involved
in something that’s important to your kids.

Contact Us

If you’re going through a divorce and are worried about the time you’ll be able to spend with your kids,
contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211
today.

Custody Adoption And Divorce

Custody, Adoption, and Divorce

Divorce is never a clear procedure. There are so many things involved in dividing two people from the one life they used to live. Whether deciding who the house belongs to or who should pay the debt, things can get ugly and distorted.

One of the most important issues in divorce is the children. Many families that get divorced have children, or adopted children. There is no question how divorce affects children. It usually isn’t good. However, to add more stress to the situation is that the law can sometimes be unclear about adopted children.

In many situations, the adopted child has already gone through some intense emotional strain, and the fact that their new family splitting apart is not going to help. Legally speaking, you and your spouse are responsible for the child and must decide who will be their guardian. While it is encouraged that both parents remain in their co-parenting roles, it often falls to come parent to be the full custody holder.

It is extremely important to help your adopted child readjust to the new situation, and assure them that it is not their fault. Most doctors recommend children be sent to therapists, just to make sure the have someone to talk to during this painful time.

Speak with a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved on is involved in a divorce case and needs legal representation, Fischer & Van Thiel can help. Contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of at 858-935-6211 today to get legal advice and professional help.

Paternity Testing Dna Options

Paternity Testing: DNA Options

It used to be that the only ways to test the paternity on a child was through blood. Now, however, we have the ability to determine the paternity of a child through the use of DNA. This can be a minimally invasive procedure that requires nothing more than a cheek swab.

There have been a number of DNA tests put into practice by forensic labs and paternity testing sites everywhere. Recently, there have been advances that have sped up the entire process while also increasing the accuracy of the testing being done.

One of the most recent advancements, implemented during the early 1990s, allows for a strand of DNA to be expanded and replicated which gives scientists a better chance of accurately identifying who the father is. The DNA is acceptable through this method even when it is a very small sample that has been damaged being used.

Another DNA option is for use only through males. It allows for analysis of the Y chromosome. By analyzing the Y chromosome (which boys get only from their fathers), researchers are able to determine if two people are related through their father. So while it doesn’t guarantee a match, if a boy and his reported father share Y chromosome features, there’s a very good chance that the reported father is the father.

Mitochondrial DNA does the same but works to identify the mother. The mother passes on mitochondrial DNA to all of her children so by analyzing mitochondrial DNA, it is possible to determine if people are related through the maternal side.

Contact a San Diego Adoption Lawyer

If you were adopted through a closed adoption and would like to learn more about DNA testing to determine who your birth parents are, contact the San Diego adoption lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel at 858-935-6211.

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a phenomenon in which a child refuses to maintain a relationship with one of his or her parents. It needs to be distinguished from parental alienation syndrome (PAS), a term that was coined by psychologist Richard A. Gardner in 1985. PAS is defined as one parent’s attempts to deliberately turn a child against the other parent, while parental alienation can have different causes.

While PAS is not recognized as a formal diagnosis and has been widely debated in the psychiatric community, parental alienation is a recognized dynamic in some families. If you are concerned about maintaining your rights as a parent during your divorce hearings, the San Diego child custody lawyers at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can help. Call us at 858-935-6211.

Parental Manipulation or Justified Fear?

A child who is experiencing parental alienation will generally fight to avoid spending time with the alienated parent. The child may also insult or criticize that parent, either to others or in the parent’s presence. If the child is old enough to speak at the custody hearing, he or she may request that the preferred parent receive custody.

The main controversy lies in the different potential reasons behind this alienation. It may be deliberately or accidentally provoked by one parent. For example, some parents will insult their ex-spouses, leading their children to share their negative opinions. In extreme cases, parents may try to convince their children that the other parent abused them as a tactic to win custody.

However, some children have good reasons to feel anger or fear towards their parents. A child who is genuinely being abused may understandably do whatever he or she can to avoid his or her abuser. The challenge for family law judges is to distinguish between children who are being manipulated by one parent, and children who are trying to escape real abuse.

Whether you have been accused of alienating your child from his or her other parent, or you are trying to protect your child from abuse, our experienced San Diego child custody attorneys will fight for you.

Contact Us

Child custody hearings can be extremely complex, both legally and personally. For the knowledgeable, effective legal assistance you need, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.

Talking To Your Kids About Divorce

Talking To Your Kids about Divorce

If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you might already know what a profound and devastating effect this can have on your children. Because kids have a difficult time understanding adult relationships, they may be confused as to why this is happening and if the event is because of something they did. Though this conversation is never an easy one to have with your child, it is imperative to communicate with them effectively in order to prevent rebellion or resentment down the road.

Divorce can be a tricky, complicated procedure that takes a lot of time and money to complete. It is especially hard trying to navigate this road alone in such a fragile emotional state. If you would like to seek legal representation with a compassionate, experienced attorney, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211.

Important Conversation Tips

Even though this conversation might be daunting, there are a few tips a parent can employ in using the right language to speak openly and honestly with their children.

  • Ask them about how the divorce makes them feel and truly listen. Use emotion words that they are used to and ask them to explain how this process is affecting them.
  • Don’t get upset if the child is angry with you. This is a natural response and it does not reflect on your abilities as a parent.
  • Reassure them that this is not their fault and that both parents still love them. Tell them that they did nothing wrong. This is one of the first concerns a child normally has.
  • Try to establish routine in their lives, despite the irregular circumstances.

These tips should help the entire family get through this troubling time. Understand that children do not understand the complexities of love or marriage and may need counseling to help deal with these sudden changes in their family life. Embrace the help of professionals as they are well-equipped in handling these issues.

Contact Us

If you are looking to pursue a divorce and would like the help of an experienced lawyer, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211 today.

Teenagers And Divorce

Teenagers and Divorce

In teenagers, the line between adult and child is blurred. In some scenarios, a parent may treat a teen more like an adult, and in other situations, more like a child. During a parent’s divorce, teenagers will react differently to the coming household changes than will a younger child. When revealing and dealing with your divorce, it is important to understand the different actions and emotions that your teen may display.

It is recommended that parents take the following steps to ensure that their teenagers deal with divorce in a healthy way:

  • Do not use your teenager as your own source of emotional support. Of course it is important to talk about emotions and feelings, but it is advisable to seek outside emotional support from friends, other family members, or a counselor rather than load your own problems onto your teenager.
  • Seek emotional support for your teenager. Your teenager may not want to speak with either you or your ex-spouse about feelings and emotions during this time, and may display a wide range of emotions, from anger to depression to ignoring the whole situation. It is important for you to encourage and allow for your teen to maintain existing relationships with friends and family and other trusted adults with whom they can talk about and deal with their problems.
  • Speak with your ex-spouse about maintaining similar disciplinary rules in each of your new households for the benefit of your teenager’s emotional well-being. A sudden transfer from a well-disciplined, two-parent household to a split between one parent’s strict environment and the other’s rules-free zone can be harmful to your teen.

Contact Us

Our San Diego divorce lawyers are committed to helping your divorce move along as smoothly as possible so that you and your loved ones can move on with your new lives. For help with your divorce, contact the offices of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at 858-935-6211.

Steps To Help Children Through The Divorce Process

Steps to Help Children through the Divorce Process

Many studies have shown that divorce can have a far-reaching impact on affected children, and the overall effects of divorce can stay with children for a long time. However, parents can take steps to ensure that the divorce experience is not too difficult for their children. Fortunately, children are very flexible and can adjust to new situations relatively easily, especially if there is parental guidance.

The first thing that parents should do is talk to their children openly and directly. Communication is extremely valuable, as it allows children to understand what is going on around them. As their parents’ marriage falls apart, children can become lost and confused. If parents take the time to talk with their children, however, then they can make them understand what is going on and why. Moreover, talking with children allows the children to voice their own fears and concerns. By simply talking to their parents, the children will feel more comfortable. When their children open up, parents will also be able to address their children’s apprehensions better.

Another step that parents should take is to make life go on as normally as possible. If parents make the divorce seem like a traumatic event, then children will react accordingly. If, on the other hand, parents treat the divorce as only a small hurdle, then children will be less affected. To do this, parents should make sure that children play with peers, go to school, and live a normal life.

Speak with a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

To make divorce easier for children, parents can do a third thing: ensure that the legal process of divorce is not long and drawn out. For help in making the divorce process as speedy and trouble-free as possible, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211.

Grandparents Rights

Grandparent’s Custody and Visitation Rights

The relationship between a child and his or her grandparents can be very special and important to both parties. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances that can interfere with it. When parents divorce, pass away, or become estranged from their own parents, grandparents may find themselves fighting a legal battle just to spend time with their grandchildren.

If you need assistance protecting your right to spend time with your child or grandchild, the San Diego child custody attorneys at Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can fight for you. To schedule an initial consultation, call our offices at 858-935-6211.

Grandparents Rights

As a general rule, the courts recognize parents’ right to make choices about who can spend time with their children. However, grandparents can petition for official visitation rights if:

  • The child’s parents are currently undergoing custody hearings
  • One of the child’s parents has passed away
  • A third party has received custody of the child
  • They are the parents of the child’s non-custodial parent

In order to receive visitation rights, grandparents must be able to demonstrate in court that:

  • They have an established relationship with the child
  • Continuing this relationship is in the child’s best interests
  • They will not interfere with the child’s parents’ custody or visitation rights

In some cases, a child’s grandparents can also petition for guardianship or custody of the child. If the courts agree, the grandparents may eventually be allowed to adopt the child and obtain full parental rights with regards to him or her. Grandparents may receive child custody if:

  • The child’s biological or adoptive parents have both passed away
  • The child’s parents are found to be abusive or unfit
  • The child’s parents voluntarily relinquish custody to the grandparents

Unfortunately, cases involving child custody can often become highly complex and frustrating for all parties involved. For the experienced guidance you need during a custody hearing, call our San Diego child custody lawyers today.

Contact Us

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP are knowledgeable and committed San Diego divorce lawyers. Contact our offices at 858-935-6211 to discuss your case today.

Choosing The Right Type Of Custody Arrangement

Choosing the Right Type of Custody Arrangement

One of the most difficult choices to come out of any divorce arrangement is the one which determines who will get custody of the children. The decision is a tough one because the outcome may very well decide the future health and happiness of the children, and it’s understandable that it can be a contentious issue. There are a few different options you can consider, and it can help to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney before you come to any final decision.

If you are going through a divorce and you are concerned about how the outcome will affect your children, the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP may be able to help. Contact us today by calling 858-935-6211 to learn more about what we can do for you.

Custody Arrangement Options

While there are a large variety of different options you can consider in determining custody of your children following your divorce, there are three main types most people consider:

  • Sole physical custody. The most common type of physical custody arrangement, sole custody involves a child living full-time with a single parent. This parent is responsible for making the daily decisions that affect the child.
  • Joint physical custody. An option rapidly gaining in popularity, joint physical custody arrangements allow the child to split time living parts of the year with each parent.
  • Joint legal custody. Many child custody arrangements, including sole physical custody arrangements, allow for joint legal custody. Both parents share the responsibility of making the large decisions affecting the child – decisions regarding religious upbringing, education, and medical treatment.

No matter what arrangement you settle on, your child may benefit from the consideration of several different options.

Contact Us

If you are considering a divorce and wondering how it will affect your custody of your children, the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP may be able to help. Contact us today by calling 858-935-6211 to find out how we can help you.

Keeping Up With The Kids

Keeping Up with the Kids

One of the hardest parts of a divorce is trying to protect your children during it. Going through a divorce is hard enough when you’re an adult who goes into the proceedings with your eyes open. But when you’re a child, it can feel as though your whole life is coming to a crashing end.

As the parent of a child of divorce, it’s your job to make this scary time of their lives a little less terrifying. It can be hard to deal with the ramifications of a divorce and to have the same relationship with your children when you see so much less of them. But it’s because of this that spending quality time with them becomes even more important.

Share Your Lives

Make sure you make time for you children. Plan activities you can do together based on their interests. If your son is a big baseball fan, you can take him to see a game, or if your daughter is interested in animals, you could take her on a trip to the zoo. Ask them about their lives: what they like in school, who their friends are, and what they do for fun. Tell them about your life. It is important that they feel connected to you.

It is also important not to try to make your children feel like they are in the middle of a conflict between you and your former spouse. The divorce process is hard enough for them without feeling like they are being competed over.

Contact Us

If your former spouse is not honoring your visitation rights, or if you have any other divorce-related questions, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 858-935-6211.

Child Abuse Statistics

Child Abuse Statistics

Child abuse is one of the biggest problems facing the American family today. While we’re almost all familiar with news stories of kids being beaten and abused, we are often blind to it when it happens closer to home, without the dramatization of the news story. The only people who can prevent child abuse are well-informed and responsible adults. If you suspect that your spouse is abusing your children, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211 today.

The Statistics

Every year, about 3 million reports are filed concerning child abuse and other forms of child neglect. However, these reports can concern multiple children. In 2007 alone, 5.8 million children were involved in 3.2 million reported cases of child abuse. And these numbers do not even tell the whole story, as there are numerous cases of child abuse and neglect that go unreported every year.

Additional, shocking child abuse statistics are as follows:

  • Approximately five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • A report of child abuse occurs every ten seconds.
  • About 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their attacker; approximately 68% are related to their attacker.
  • Over 60% of the people in drug rehabilitation facilities were abused as children.
  • About 80% of people in their early 20s who had been abused as children have at least one psychological disorder.
  • Child abuse costs taxpayers over $100 billion every year.
  • Children who have been the victims of sexual abuse are several times more likely to develop alcohol or drug dependency problems.

Contact Us

If your spouse or partner is abusing your children, it is your duty to do something about it. If you’re interested in finding out more about your divorce options in this situation, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211.

Divorce And Children With Special Needs

Divorce and Children with Special Needs

Divorce can be a difficult time in a child’s life, because it can be difficult for them to understand and it signifies a life-altering change in their lives. This is particularly true for children who have special needs, and divorce can be especially difficult for their parents. Couples who have a child with special needs probably spent much of their marriage caring for and worrying about their child, and this concern will continue even after the marriage ends. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs and you’re worried how your divorce will affect him or her, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211.

Coping with the Change

If you’re considering a divorce and you have a child who requires special care, you’re probably concerned about how he or she will receive that care after you and your spouse split. The following tips can help you make it through the transition and beyond:

  • It’s important that your child get the care he or she needs. While this may be a painful decision to make, you need to decide which parent will be better able to provide that care.
  • Work to create a safety net of friends and family. Odds are that you won’t be able to do it all alone, and the people close to you are your source for help, inspiration, and balance. Don’t be afraid to ask favors.
  • As with almost any divorce, you should make sure that the child continues to have a good relationship with the non-custodial parent. Except in cases of abuse or addiction, it’s better for a child to have both parents.
  • Make sure the child support payments are sufficient to cover the needs of your child. If you are the one paying the support payments, it’s important to realize the responsibility you have to the child.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is going through a divorce that affects special-needs children, contact the San Diego divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 858-935-6211 today.

Kids And Divorce

Kids: Coping with Divorce

Your children belong to both you and your spouse, no matter how messy a divorce is or becomes. Kids need the support and reassurance from both parents so that they can be less confused about the complicated divorce situation.

With divorce comes a whole new life, a new living situation, and new emotions. A once happy, complete family is now one that is splintered and filled with many new emotions and tensions. You need to sit down with your children and discuss the following things:

What are we going to do now?

Children have insecurities of the future and may be wondering where they will be going to school, will they see their friends, or if they can see their other parents. Why not put those fears to rest. Prepare the answers to any number of practical questions that would children may ask you, and keep your answers consistent.

Emotions

Children have just as many emotions as adults. They may think that they hate you, that they are depressed, sad, angry, or scared. Whatever the case may be, you need to let your children know that you understand what they are feeling and they can talk to you when they need to.

Keeping a Stable life

Come up with ways to keep your life as stable and consistent as possible. Your children need this to move on from this traumatic situation.

Speak to a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

Taking any steps towards a divorce is a difficult thing to do. For information on how to take those first steps, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP. Call us at 858-935-6211.

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