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20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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California family lawyerToday’s world is more connected than ever, and the internet provides us with the ability to communicate with others no matter where we go or what we do. For many, social media is an essential part of their everyday existence, giving them the opportunity to share their lives with friends, family, and even total strangers.

People who are going through a divorce may be tempted to post details about their situation on social media, whether they are asking others for advice, informing friends and family members about changes to their lives, or simply venting their emotions. However, it is important to understand that there may be legal consequences to doing so. Here are some ways social media can have an impact on a divorce case:

  • Negativity and over-sharing - Complaining about your ex, discussing the reasons your marriage has failed or laying blame for your divorce are all natural impulses, but angry social media posts can be taken out of context and used against you. In some cases, they could even be considered harassment, and they could affect the decisions made in divorce court.
  • Financial information - Even if you do not discuss your income, the information you share could affect financial matters related to your divorce. Posting photos of an expensive item you have purchased or discussing a lavish vacation could impact the decisions regarding the division of property. Mentioning income earned from a side job could affect the child support or spousal support you pay or receive.
  • Child custody - While you may feel that what you do on your own time should have no bearing on your relationship with your children, a judge may feel otherwise. Pictures of parties, nights out on the town, alcohol consumption, or other activities that could be seen as morally questionable could be used to call your judgment and parenting ability into question during child custody disputes.
  • Privacy and permanence - Anything you post online could eventually become a factor in your divorce proceedings. Even if you think a message is private, it could make its way to your ex (and their attorney). A post that has been deleted may still be accessible for people who know where to look. Never post or share anything that you would not want to have to defend in court.

Ultimately, it may be best to avoid using social media altogether during your divorce, but at a minimum, you should avoid discussing the divorce or sharing details about your life that may come into play during divorce proceedings.

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Posted on in Paternity

California divorce lawyerIn California, having a legal mother and father can be very beneficial to a child. But not every child is born to a family with a legal father. California recognizes a child’s legal paternity if the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, or if the father is living with the mother and child in a family-like situation and demonstrates a commitment to the child. But if California does not automatically recognize a child’s paternity, there are two ways to establish it.

Voluntary Declaration of Paternity

If a child’s mother and father wish to voluntarily establish the child’s paternity, they may sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) form, acknowledging that they are the child’s parents. If the mother gives birth in a hospital, the hospital will provide her with the form, and, if the father signs at the hospital, his name will be put on the child’s birth certificate. If the parents sign the VDP later, a new birth certificate, including the father’s name, can be issued.

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Posted on in Mediation

California divorce lawyerDivorce is rarely an easy decision, but when couples take steps to end their marriage, they are likely ready to leave a relationship that is not working and move on to the next stage of their lives. However, the process of divorce can be incredibly complex, and people are often unprepared for the costs involved in the legal process of dissolving their marriage. However, if couples are willing to work together to reach a resolution, they may be able to use mediation, which can allow them to complete the process more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Divorce mediation provides the following benefits:

  1. Cost savings - Litigating a divorce in court can be incredibly costly. Each spouse will typically need to hire an attorney, and they will be required to pay for the time their lawyer spends preparing documents, communicating with the other spouse’s lawyer, discussing the case with them, and attending court. When using a mediator, however, the couple will typically split the fees for mediation sessions or any other services the mediator provides (such as preparing documents), and mediation can result in savings of 40-60% over the costs a divorce completed through litigation.

  2. Time savings - A litigated divorce can be a lengthy process, requiring multiple court dates that depend on the availability of the spouses, their attorneys, and the judge. In contrast, mediation allows a couple to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce (including the division of property and decisions regarding child custody and visitation schedules) in a much faster and more efficient manner.

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California divorce lawyerThe end of a long-term relationship is often a difficult time for everyone involved, and during a divorce or break-up, couples will likely experience a great deal of emotional turbulence as they establish new living situations, separate their finances, and determine how to move forward with their lives. These situations often involve a high level of conflict, and disagreements can become even more contentious when children are involved.

The decisions made about child custody will affect parents’ and children’s lives for years to come, so divorcing parents should be sure they fully understand their rights and keep their children’s best interests in mind. Here are some tips to follow when working to reach a resolution in child custody disputes:

  1. Do not involve children in conflict - It is important to protect children from arguments between parents, allowing them to maintain good relationships with both their parents going forward. Never try to alienate your children against their other parent or use them to send messages to your ex.

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California family lawyerChildren deserve to have their health and safety protected, whether they are at home, at school, or under the supervision of a daycare provider, coach, or doctor. In order to safeguard children from the threat of abuse, the state of California has put legal measures in place to ensure that potential cases of child abuse or neglect are reported and investigated. When a person is being investigated for suspected child abuse, they should understand the processes that will be followed, their rights in the investigation, and the potential outcomes.

Reports of Suspected Abuse or Neglect

According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), a person who reasonably suspects that a child has been the victim of abuse or neglect can make a report to a law enforcement agency. Certain “mandated reporters,” such as teachers, doctors, therapists, members of the clergy, or day care center employees, are required by law to make these reports.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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