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Bay Area Family Law Blog

Addiction can complicate child custody issues

Perhaps you knew when you married that your spouse had a substance abuse issue. On the other hand, you may have watched the problem develop and worsen as years passed. Addiction affects the entire family, and you certainly dealt with your share of the burden. You may have lost count of the times you rescued your spouse, made excuses or wondered how you would pay the bills after your spouse lost yet another job.

The time has come for you to start fresh, and that is what your divorce is about. Unfortunately, when you have children, it's not that easy to break free from your spouse. Even though your ex has an addiction, he or she still has the right to spend time with the children, and that may even mean sharing custody with you. If the thought of leaving your children with your addicted spouse is too much to bear, you have work to do before your custody hearing.

Negotiating can help you get the assets you want in divorce

With cases of property division in divorce, there can be many complexities to consider. You might have physical and digital assets, investments and unique property that you don't want to divide with your spouse. Under California's community property laws, spouses are intended to divide their marital property equally. Doing so is a necessity unless you can come up with your own agreement outside court.

Not all people are happy to share their assets equally, which is why a community property law is important. It guarantees that both people walk away with half of the marital estate. However, if you feel that you've put more time, money and energy into your marriage than your spouse, that can be a difficult concept for you to handle.

How can you parent best in a digital world?

Parenting can be hard when you are together with your spouse, but when you divorce, you may not know everything your child's doing every day. This is made even more difficult with the digital age, in some ways.

With digital technology, there is a whole different reality where your child may be "living." They interact with friends, share images and more. If you and your ex-spouse haven't talked about it, you should consider having a long discussion about your child's access to digital devices.

Divorce discovery: Getting your fair share

In a high-asset divorce, one important step is discovery. Discovery involves the exchange of documents and information that you'll need to identify all your assets and to negotiate.

The exchange includes information about your economic, personal and financial situation as well as the property you own, the debt you have and your income. Doing this allows both of you to begin discussing how you'd like to fairly divide your property and work through issues like spousal support or child support if you have children.

Press Release:MSF Lawers of Distinction

The Lawyers of Distinction is pleased to announce that Marisa C. San Filippo has been certified as a member. The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States. Lawyers of Distinction shall not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given state. Members are accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney's qualifications, license, reputation, experience, and disciplinary history.