Blog

1

SECOND-PARENT ADOPTIONS ARE ALSO SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS ‘CO-PARENT ADOPTIONS’.

 

Who Should Go for Second-Parent Adoption in California?

In this type of adoption, the biological or legally adopted child of one partner gets adopted by the non-legal or non-biological second parent (applicable to same-sex and heterosexual partners).

 

The legal parent gives his/her consent to the second-parent adoption and there is no change in the rights and duties of that parent. Second-parent adoption is quite different from traditional adoption. An idividual gets the opportunity for adoption even if he/she is not the child’s biological parent. This type of adoption is common among same-sex partners who may not be married or legal domestic partners.

 

Who Can File For Second-Parent Adoption?

In the state of California, anybody who does the active parenting for a child can file for a petition in the court to get legal rights. As mentioned earlier, same-sex couples are among the most common category of people to undertake second-parent adoption. However, you may also find close friends and family members wanting to file for second-parent adoption in case the single parent gives consent for the same. Typically, a child’s best interest is kept in mind in matters of second-parent adoption. In fact, the state of California now gives permission for a child’s birth certificate to have three parents if it is in the best interest of the child.

 

For those who aren’t legal/registered domestic partners or married partners, second-parent adoption is a brilliant way to enjoy the joys of parenthood. This is especially true for those living in states such as California where second-parent adoption is legally permissible.

 

Same-sex couples are often encouraged to consider this option. This is because if they decide to move to a different state which does not consider same-sex marriage to be legal, no recognition will be given to the legal duties and rights of the second parents with regards to adoption.

 

Benefits Of Second-Parent Adoption

It is important to understand that a second-parent adoption does not terminate the legal relationship between the child and the biological parent. Yet, the second parent enjoys all rights and duties associated with parenting in the state of California.

 

In a second-parent adoption, the child is able to enjoy both emotional and financial stability. It allows for an easier transition in the event that there is a mishap with the biological parent. In such a situation, the child would need the complete support of another parent.

 

Another advantage of second-parent adoption is that guardianship procedures are unnecessary when there is a second legal parent to take care of the child. Inheritance rights may also be affected by adoption and this can benefit the child as well as the state. How? It eliminates the possibility of a child acquiring a ‘dependent’ status.

 

The most critical aspect of adoption, whether standard or second-parent, is that the child’s best interest needs to be kept in the forefront of the process. This includes his/her safety and overall well-being. For instance, in case the child ends up in a life-threatening medical situation, wherein a quick decision must be taken, the second-parent adoption could actually help save the child since second-parents have the right to take medical decisions.

 

The Second-Parent Adoption Procedure

The process for second-parent adoption is quite simple. Once the legal/biological parents give consent, you need to file a petition in the court. This will be followed by a private or public agency social worker doing a complete investigation on the adoption case (including fingerprinting, parent and child interviews, getting letters of recommendation and other procedures). A full investigation report will be written and submitted to the court by the social workers and a court hearing will be scheduled for the adoption.

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment

International-Affinity-700x336

FOR A VERY LONG TIME, THERE WAS NO INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT OR UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED LIST OF RULES AND PROTOCOLS TO DEAL WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW BETWEEN MULTIPLE COUNTRIES CONCERNING DOCUMENT SERVICING RELATED TO COMMERCIAL AND CIVIL JUDICIAL ISSUES. THERE WAS A NEED OF SUCH AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION TO PREVENT COMPLICATION OF SERVICE PROCESSES.

 

What Is The Hague Service Convention?

The Hague Service Convention is the commonly used name for the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. It was adopted on 15 November 1965 at The Hague in the Netherlands. It is a multilateral treaty that was initially adopted by some of the Hague Conference on Private International Law members, but has been accepted by a number of nonmember states in the following years.

 

Why Was The Hague Service Convention Created?

The Hague Service Convention came into existence out of the need for uniform international norms on document servicing. Before the Convention was created, diplomatic and other international channels were used for servicing, although the processes and rules were not consistent over time and among states. States that have not accepted the Convention still mainly use diplomatic channels for servicing documents. The Convention sought to replace diplomatic and consular channels for document servicing and use set processes and rules for such requirements instead.

 

Even for the states that have accepted the Convention, the rules are not mandatory and can be superseded by other agreements among those states. This is the case with a number of states that are part of the European Union and have agreements that take precedence over the Convention for document servicing of commercial and civil matters. Some states in South America also have agreements that take precedence over the Convention rules for international document servicing. However, for most other states, the Convention is the only set of rules that exists for such servicing.

 

Modes Of Servicing Under The Hague Service Convention

Documents relating to commercial and civil matters of judicial or extrajudicial nature can be serviced using the rules and norms stated in the Hague Service Convention.

 

There are multiple modes of servicing documents under the Convention:

 

Central authority: This is the most accepted mode of servicing, although it can take weeks or even months for the processing to be completed by the authorities. However, this mode of servicing is completely free of cost.

 

Self-service: This refers to hand delivery of the judicial or extrajudicial documents to the concerned parties. The delivery is usually carried out by legal personnel such as a bailiff or an attorney. Documents may also be delivered using postal and courier services in this mode of servicing.

 

Service by mail: This mode is available only in some states that have accepted certain articles in the Convention. This mode can be used only if the judicial and legal authorities in the state receiving the service accept this mode of service. In some states, there is ambiguity concerning the use of this mode of service and should be used with caution.

 

How Many Members Does The Hague Service Convention Have?

As of 2017, the Convention has 73 members, which includes 61 member states from the Hague Conference on Private International Law and 12 non-member states. Most states in Europe and the Americas are members, as are many Asian states. Most African states, barring a few, are not yet members of the Convention; there are a few African states that are considering joining the Convention and have been discussing the details of the Convention.

 

Armenia, Columbia, and Moldova were some of the last countries to join the Convention in 2013, followed by Vietnam and Kazakhstan in 2016. Tunisia is expected to become a member state in early 2018.

 

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment

shutterstock_151089857

ADOPTION IS DEFINED AS A LEGAL PROCEDURE THAT ESTABLISHES A LAWFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A CHILD AND PARENT WHEN THE PARENT INVOLVED IS NOT THE BIRTH OR BIOLOGICAL PARENT. WHEN THE ADOPTION PROCESS IS COMPLETED, THE ADOPTIVE PARENT/PARENTS GET THE LEGAL RIGHTS AS WELL AS RESPONSIBILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH A PARENT-CHILD ASSOCIATION. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CHILD AND THE ADOPTIVE PARENT STANDS TO BE PERMANENT AND MIMICS THE RELATIONSHIP SEEN IN A TYPICAL BIRTH FAMILY.

 

A Simplified Adoption Procedure for Protecting Parentage

The state of California announced new legislation that permits couples (earlier married or legal domestic partners) who have child/children owing to one spouse/partner giving birth, to make use of a streamlined procedure for protecting the rights of the non-birth parent.

 

The law is only applicable if one out of the two partners/spouses has produced the child. Hence, for parents who have used surrogacy for child birth would need to adopt a different procedure. The new adoption law falls under the Modern Family Act (AB 2344) and became effective on 1stJanuary, 2015.

 

Under the new law, a non-biological parent would still need to adopt (or court parentage judgment) even if they are married and have their name on the child’s birth certificate. According to the state legislation, having your name on the child’s birth certificate will not necessarily grant you the status of a legal parent.

 

Although there are several protections offered to non-biological parents under the California law, other states might not have similar provisions. Hence, you would still need to adopt in order to travel safely or shift base from California to another state. This holds true even in those states which advocate marriage equality.

 

The new adoption law in California has helped in simplifying the process of adoption. You can now request for stepparent adoption by submitting documents in court and the adoption will be granted without the need for a background check, court hearing or home investigation. Under the new law, a judge has the right to order a parent to follow the additional procedures if there is a valid reason for the same.

 

Getting a New Birth Certificate

The Court Report of Adoption (VS 44) is considered to be the official form utilized by courts for reporting adoptions to key record offices. It is illegal for State Registrars to make new birth certificates for adopted children till an attested Court Report of Adoption has been received.

 

Once the adoption papers have been received, the CDPH-VR (California Department of Public Health) will work to make a new birth certificate for the adopted child and offer a certified copy free of charge (the fee for the certified copy is part of the court payment that was made when the petition for adoption was filed).

 

Adopting parents may also request the CDPH-VR separately for extra birth certificate copies after CDPHVR has granted the new child birth certificate. Parents can also fill in the application form available on the official CDPH website.

 

Important Forms to be Filed for Adoption

A simplified adoption can be executed by getting necessary forms provided by California courts. The ADOPT-050-INFO offers a comprehensive list of forms needed along with the instructions for filling out each of them (link to get the form:   http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/adopt050info.pdf).

 

It is important to note that every court offers guidance through a self-help center or family law facilitator. These services will help you review your filled forms and will also explain various court procedures in case you don’t have a lawyer on board. However, no legal advice will be offered at the center or by the family law facilitator.

 

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment

Poughkeepsie-Property-Division-Lawyers.fw_

Property Division In a California Divorce

According to the State of California, a couple seeking a divorce is allowed to lay down their own agreements and divide their property. As long as the agreement is reasonable and fair enough, courts generally accept it without questions. But if they are unable to do so, a court of law may decide for them through a judge or an arbitrator.

 

There are a few important notes you have to keep in mind while dealing with property in the case of a divorce in California. If you are aware of these points and processes, it will definitely help you in splitting property fairly and equally.

 

Community Property Or Separate Property?

Community property is any property that the couple accumulates in a joint form from the date of their marriage to the day their marriage is cut off. Unless both parties signed a written agreement saying a property is a separate property, the court presumes that it is community property. This also includes all earnings during the marriage and any property purchased using those earnings.

 

Separate property is any property that a spouse has owned before the marriage, or any gift or inheritance given specifically to one party during a marriage. It can also include any item that is bought with or exchanged for a separate property, as long as there is written proof.

 

Any property that is acquired before a divorce, but after separation is also considered a separate property. It is also possible for a couple to change a separate property into community, and vice versa. But make sure that there are written documents which clearly state the reasons and intentions of doing so.

 

Determining & Agreeing On Property Value

If a couple cannot come to an agreement on a property, the court will distribute it equally to both parties. From the total current market value of the community property or asset, subtract joint obligations of both parties involved. This will give the net community estate, which must be split equally, each spouse receiving one half. This is the procedure unless there is a special agreement made.

 

Agreement On Division Of Property

Both parties can divide properties and assets by agreeing to assign involved items to each spouse. They can also buy out or purchase the other person’s share, or agree to sell their community property and divide the money between themselves. Although less common and few desire it, a community property can be shared between two parties even after a divorce. Most couples, especially those who prefer not keep in touch, opt out of this as it requires them to continue a common financial affiliation.

If there are children involved, sometimes the parent with primary custody is allowed to live in the family home and take care of the children. If this is the case, the one who lives here usually pays the taxes, mortgage and insurance. But if he/she does not afford it and the other spouse has a significantly higher income, then they may be required to make these payments. The house can later be sold when the children can take care of themselves, unless there is another agreement.

 

Retirement & Pension Accounts

If either of the spouses acquires monetary profit whether in retirement, pension profit sharing, or any other benefit plan during the time of their marriage, then that is considered as community property.

 

Retirement benefits can be divided into two categories – defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans. On the other hand, pension plans can be divided either by reservation of jurisdiction or through a cash-out.

 

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment
THE TERM ‘ADOPTION’ REFERS TO A LEGAL PROCEDURE THAT INVOLVES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LAWFUL PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP IN THE SCENARIO WHEN THE PARTY ADOPTING THE CHILD IS NOT THEIR BIRTH/BIOLOGICAL PARENT. THE FINALIZATION OF ADOPTION IMPLIES THAT THE ADOPTING PARENT(S) HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH A PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP.

 

All states in the US have certain laws that decide on an individual or couple’s eligibility to adopt a child. As far as the laws and regulations in California are concerned, parents looking to adopt need to be at least ten years older in age to the child (there are exceptions for relative and step-parent adoptions). Further, adoptive parents need to participate in a home investigation which includes a thorough criminal background check, before they can adopt a child in California.

The different types of adoptions in California include the following:

 

  • Agency AdoptionsAgency adoptions are the most common adoptions seen in California. This kind of adoption may be done through a private or public adoption agency or even through a California Department of Social Services office. In such adoptions, the biological parents of the child have given up their official parental rights through a court order or by filing a relinquishment. The adoption agency then gets the legal responsibility for child care. A detailed investigation of the adopting parents is done by the agency before a final approval for the adoption is given.As far as the agency adoption process is concerned, your chosen private or public agency will likely guide you through the steps of adoption

 

  • Independent Adoptions: This is the second common adoption choice in California. An independent adoption usually involves the adoption of a healthy infant whose biological parents continue to retain complete legal responsibility till the court finalizes the adoption. It is the court, and not an agency, that grants the adoption. The biological parents take the decision regarding who will adopt the child. But they need to be provided with all the information related to their rights, options and responsibilities before taking the decision.

 

Some of the important steps included in such an adoption are:

1. Petition to Adopt

2. Investigation and Recommendations given to the Court

 

  • Intercountry AdoptionsIn the third type of adoption in California, prospective parents may adopt from a foreign country. It is important to know that children adopted via this method need to qualify for certain immigration visas mandated by the federal government. Further, these children must be classified as orphans by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. In California, adoptive parents typically “re-adopt” the child post international adoption. The procedure generally involves a minimum of one home-visit (after placement) in addition to a foreign adoption review by the state court. Adoptive parents would also need to submit some necessary documents in order to complete the re-adoption process.

 

These include:

1. A Petition for adoption

2. Attested translations of all official documents related to the foreign adoption

3. The home investigation report

4. Accounting reports

5. Final Order for adoption

 

The general procedure for all adoptions in California is as follows (in brief):

 

1. Filling out of court forms (Adoption Request, Adoption Order, Adoption Expenses) and other special and/or local forms

2. Reviewing of forms filled

3. Making copies of forms

4. Submitting forms to the court clerk

5. Setting up an investigation and interview (with investigator)

6. Request for a court date

7. Be present for the adoption court hearing

Note: Procedures will vary depending on the adoption route selected.

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment

Protection Of Parental Rights Worldwide

Families form an integral part of the society. And as unbelievable as it might sound, some of the most complex and difficult lawsuits out there essentially deal with conflicts between parents and their children. That being said, it is imperative to understand the very fabric of how a family should legally function in order to minimize disputes. And that is where parental rights come into picture.

 

As the name suggests parental rights all around the world refer to the legal rights of parents over taking important decisions and actions on the behalf of their child. In other words, the family laws in any given country dictate a few important terms that award the parents a legal right to exercise their discretion in the best interests of the child.

What Are The Different Parental Rights?

Regardless of whether they are a child’s biological parents, legal guardians, foster parents or adoptive parents, all parents typically possess the following parental rights:

 

1.  A legal right to acquire both physical and legal custody of the child

2.  A legal right to make important decisions for the treatment of an ill child

3.  A legal right to sign up contracts on the behalf of the child

4.  A Legal right to nominate the child as a legal heir form property   inheritance

5.  A legal right to child visitation in the event of a separation or divorce

 

It is important to note here that although the basic fundamental parental rights are the same worldwide, there might be subtle variations in the clauses depending upon the specific national or state laws.

The Need For Protecting Parental Rights

Active protection and preservation of parental rights are critical to minimizing parent-child conflicts and ensuring peace and harmony within families. It goes without saying that children are spiritually, mentally and emotionally closest to their parents. That being said, it is the responsibility and the right of the parents to invest their greater experience in life in preparing their kids to take on the world fearlessly and with great confidence.

 

It is the parents who essentially have the most comprehensive understanding of what is best for their children. And that is why it is their legal right to not only guide their child towards the path of virtue and success in life but also make critical decisions on the latter’s behalf when he/she is not mature enough to do so, on his/her own.

 

Studies indicate that a strong parental involvement can be extremely beneficial for the healthy development and emotional well-being of a child.

 

Here are a few reasons why protection of parental rights is equally important for the empowerment of the child as the parents:

 

1.  Parents can exercise their rights in guiding the lifestyle choices  (such as education, dietary habits) of their children and ensure that the latter grow up to be healthy and confident adults.

2.  Children who have deeply involved parents are likely to not only   secure better grades at school but also excel in their favorite   hobbies and extracurricular activities.

3.  Parents who exercise their rights in nurturing their child with  their experience and better understanding of the world are likely to have their children develop greater communication skills and be more socially competent in their adulthood.

4.  Protection and enforcement of parent rights has been found to  significantly reduce the chances of the teenage children straying  from the right path and developing addictive habits of drug or  alcohol abuse.

 

Most importantly, the protection of parental rights must be upheld worldwide to ensure that the children are able to benefit from the experience and social exposure of their parents for leading a happy and fulfilling life themselves.

 

Shulman Family Law Group

Maya Shulman, Esq.

SFLG

Leave a comment

The term ‘child custody’ indicates the rights and duties shared by parents with regards to caring for their children. The term ‘visitation’ on the other hand refers to how both parents will meet their kids and spend time with them.

It is suggested that a couple with children, filing for divorce in California, hire an experienced and reputable child custody lawyer. The attorney can have a detailed discussion with the client and analyze their specific case by focusing on the available facts.

These typically include:

1.  the nature of the relationship between each parent and the children (till date)

2.  a comprehensive analysis of any key issues that relate to the kids’ safety, health, education and overall welfare

3.  proof of neglect or abuse

4.  an assessment of the existing status quo and planning of the future by taking into consideration the best interest of the child

Visitation Orders In California

According to the California Legislature, the state courts shall prioritize the health, welfare and safety of the children while making custody or visitation related decisions. The state also has additional public welfare policy that guarantees consistent and frequent contact between children and both parents. This law encourages both partners to share all rights and duties associated with child rearing. It is important to understand that custody decisions are not dependent on a parent’s lifestyle, marital status, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

The state of California offers these 4 types of visitation orders:

Scheduled Visitation

According to child custody legal experts, it is a good idea for parents to create a comprehensive visitation plan in order to avoid any confusion and conflicts. This means creating a visitation schedule that has the date/time details for children to meet their parents. These types of visitation schedules generally include vacations, holidays and special occasions such as birthdays, father’s day etc.

Reasonable Visitation

Unlike scheduled visitation orders, reasonable visitation orders may not always have every single detail regarding the visits. These orders will probably be open-ended which means that parents have the liberty to work out timings and dates mutually and as per their convenience. Such plans work quite smoothly when separated spouses share a friendly relationship are comfortable communicating and being flexible with each other.

Supervised Visitation

The employment of supervised visitation is usually done in two kinds of situations. It is commonly used when the court is doubtful about the sincerity of the visiting parent and feels that they cannot be completely trusted as far as the safety of the child is concerned. The lack of trust might be because the parent has previously been charged with a sexual offense or violent crime. Other factors could also contribute to the court taking this decision.

In the second situation, there may have been an estrangement between the visiting parent and the child due to some reasons. For this reason, the two require supervised visitation, at least for a certain period of time, till they get comfortable in each other’s company.

A supervised visitation order may ultimately turn into a scheduled or reasonable visitation arrangement.

No Visitation

The option of no visitation is exercised when a visit to the parent, even under supervision, might prove to be emotionally or physically dangerous for the child. In such cases, the court decides that it is best for the children and parent to be in absolutely no contact.

Besides custody orders, judges also usually draft child support orders. Custody and child support orders are separate. Hence, a parent cannot refuse their partner from seeing the child just because they aren’t providing the child support ordered by the court.

Maya Shulman, Esq.

Shulman Family Law Group

SFLG

Leave a comment

 

Restraining orders are also often referred to as “protective orders”  and can help safeguard an individual from all types of physical/sexual abuse or harassment. The individual who files for a restraining order is referred to as the “protected person” and the individual against whom the order has been filed is called the “restrained person”.

Why You May Need A Restraining Order

There is no denying the fact that a divorce has the potential to bring out the worst in people. Typically, the bad/unacceptable behavior related to a divorce not only victimizes the other partner but could also have a negative impact on the children (if any). The actions of a resentful spouse could lead to significant financial and emotional hardship. The good news is that the effects of such behavior can be minimized with the help of a TRO or temporary restraining order.

 

There are certain conditions that qualify you to get a restraining order for domestic violence. You and the individual you wish to restrain should be:

1.   Registered domestic partners or married

2.   Dating or ex-dating partners

3.   Divorce/separated

4.   In a live-in relationship or former live-in partners

5.   Parents to a child together

Types Of Restraining Orders

The California Courts provide four main kinds of restraining orders to civilians. Out of these, two are applicable to spouse-related situations. These are:

Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVROs)

A person can request for a domestic violence restraining order in case they have suffered abuse from somebody with whom they share an intimate relationship (registered domestic  partners/married/divorced/dating/separated/live-in partner and so on). This type of restraining order can also be filed for other close relations like in-laws, parent, sister, brother, grandfather, grandmother and so on.

 

The court generally considers ‘abuse’ as physical assault, sexual abuse, serious threats of hurting someone, harassment, stalking, hitting and destructing someone’s personal life and peace. If you’re suffering any of these abuses and are afraid or feel controlled by someone (for example, ex-spouse, current spouse, ex-boyfriend, or ex-girlfriend), it might be useful to consult a counselor specializing in domestic violence in order to get a restraining order.

 

There are some key advantages of getting a domestic violence restraining order. The restrained person gets an order from the court with regards to the following:

1.  The restrained person cannot come near you or contact you or your relatives (including your children).

2.  He/she will need to shift out of the common residence.

3.  They would need to avoid your workplace and your kids’ schools besides staying away from the home.

4.  Offer child support and partner/spousal support (if domestic partners or married).

5.  Adhere to the visitation and child custody orders.

6.  Possess no weapons, such as a gun.

Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs)

There are some states in the United States, like California, that have adopted a very practical approach to maintaining the status quo between partners from the starting of the divorce proceedings. They use ATROs or Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders that automatically become effective as soon as the couple files for a divorce in the court.

 

What can an ATRO do? An Automatic Temporary Restraining Order is aimed to deal with potentially problematic situations and actions. Such orders could have terms related to whether or not a spouse can sell off a property, make changes to life insurance beneficiaries, take out money from joint bank accounts, move the children to another state before finalization of the divorce, and so on. The terms of an ATRO are equally applicable to both partners, irrespective of who filed for the divorce.

 

Maya Shulman, Esq.

Shulman Family Law Group

SFLG

Leave a comment

If you’re looking to adopt a foster child and became a foster parent in California, then the state will provide you with all necessary resources needed to parent a foster child effectively.

 

It is important to understand that a foster parent takes up the responsibility of providing temporary care to a child when they are removed from their natural family. Such kids are usually separated from their biological family because there might be concerns regarding their safety and well-being. The primary interest of the state is the foster child’s welfare. Therefore, it will undertake a thorough assessment of your residence in order to ensure that you have the means to provide care to the child.

 

If you’ve decided to become a foster parent while living in California, you would need to undergo a comprehensive education and training process along with extensive background checks before getting approval for foster child care.

 

According to the guidelines issued by the state of California, a parent may own or rent a home as long as it is safe and offers sufficient space to accommodate all family members. The most important requirement for adoption is that the child is given a lot of love, guidance and support.

 

Home Requirements Set by State Government in California

While there may not be very strict regulations regarding renting/ownership of property for foster parents, there are a set of requirements which the state would want to check before giving an approval for foster childcare. These include the following:

 

-A bedroom shall not be shared by more than 2 children.

-Opposite sex children shall not be put in the same bedroom.

-A bedroom cannot be utilized as a passageway to any other room in the house.

-Each child needs to have their own personal bed with clean linens and a mattress. There should be an appropriate distance between beds. Cribs or bassinets need to be arranged for infants.

-An all-purpose room cannot be used as a bedroom, e.g. an attic converted into a bedroom or a garage converted into a bedroom.

-Each child should have appropriate closet or drawer space inside his or her bedroom.

-Parents must take all necessary steps to ensure safety in home areas such as pools, kitchens and fireplaces.

-There should be proper disposal /storage of all waste in the house.

-The home should be installed with functional sprinklers and/or smoke detectors.

 

Broadly speaking, the responsibility of a foster parent is to provide a safe, stable and loving temporary environment for the foster child/children. They take care of the child till the issues with the biological parents get resolved.

 

Licensing Requirements for a Foster Parent

In California, the state identifies several different kinds of foster homes that offer varied care and services to children. An emergency foster home, for example, will provide temporary care to children under the age of 12 years when they are at a direct risk of staying in their natural home. The parents working in such foster care home are in direct contact with social workers so that they can analyze and stabilize the child’s requirements over a period of 59 days.

 

You will naturally require a license to become a foster parent in California. For this process, a licensing official will come to your house to meet you and your family members. As mentioned earlier, the law mandates minimum space and personal safety requirements. A foster parent will work in close association with members of a social service agency in order to decide what type of foster child is most suitable for their specific home situation.

Leave a comment

 

Understanding domestic violence in California divorce

There are millions among us in America alone that are subjected to some kind of domestic violence every year. And while the awareness is gradually increasing, a majority of the victims are still largely unaware of what exactly falls under the scope of domestic violence and continue to suffer in silence for years before finally opening up. To help you understand domestic violence better, we here have a discussion on the subject and its implication in a California divorce.

What is domestic violence?

 

Unfortunately, a common misconception among people is that they have not been abused until there is some kind of physical violence involved. The fact, however, is that domestic violence can involve all kinds of emotional, mental, physical and even economic abuse. According to Californian law, domestic violence is defined as any act that involves:

  • Sexual assault
  • Intentional or reckless bodily harm with the motive of hurting someone
  • Trying to threaten someone by making them afraid of some serious harm
  • Threatening behavior including stalking, hitting, harassing, disturbing peace of destroying property belonging to someone
  • Sending messages by text, email, telephone or on social media that are intended to harass or disturb peace of the targeted person

Abuse is considered as domestic violence if it is committed against the following relations:

  • Present or ex-spouse
  • People who are related by marriage or blood
  • Partners who have children together
  • Partners who have been engaged or are dating
  • Children in a family

What is Domestic Violence Restraining Orders?

 

Someone who has been subjected to domestic violence can request a restraining order from the court. These restraining orders are designed to protect the victims from any kinds of threats or abuse in their relationships. There are majorly four types of restraining orders:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order- Which can be used for people who have been abused in a close relationship such as a marriage or blood relation.
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders- Which can be used for coworkers, roommates, neighbors and distant family members including cousins, aunts and so on
  • Elder or Dependent adult abuse restraining order- Which can be used for victims that are either above 65 years or age or are 18 to 64 year-old dependents.
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order- Which can be filed by an employer to protect any of his/her employee against harassment or stalking.

How a restraining order can help you against domestic violence in California?

 

A restraining order is an order issued by the court that immediately goes into effect and prohibits certain activities of the restrained individual. The restraining order can order the restrained person to:

  • Move out of your house with immediate effect
  • Stay away from your workplace, home or your kid’s school
  • Refrain from initiating any kind of contact with you or your children
  • Stay away from your pets
  • Follow any instructions regarding child custody or visitation
  • Follow any instructions regarding child or spousal support and make all payments on time

However, contrary to popular misconception, a restraining order can neither:

  • Dissolve your domestic partnership or marriage
  • Nor establish the paternity of your kids with the person who has been restrained unless the victimized partner agrees to it.

When a restraining order is issued by a court in the United States, the information is entered into the CLETS or statewide computer system that is accessible to all law enforcement officers in the state. So, if you have been issued a restraining order in California and you plan to move to a different state, you can inform the local police officials of your new place of residence about the order and make sure that it works there as well.

Leave a comment