When a California couple divorces, the higher earning spouse may be required to financially support the lower earning spouse for a certain period of time. Also known as alimony, California law refers to these payments as “spousal support.” The purpose of spousal support is to ease the transition out of marriage to becoming an independent single person. Alimony is typically awarded in cases where one spouse has sacrificed their career and education advancement to devote time to domestic responsibilities.
Surrogacy refers to an arrangement when a woman agrees to carry a baby for a couple who is unable to do so on their own. There are two types of surrogate pregnancies: traditional (the surrogate provides her own egg, making her the biological mother of the child) and gestational (the intended mother or separate egg donor provides the egg, so the surrogate bears no biological relationship to the resulting child).
Adopting your spouse’s child is a wonderful way to show your love and devotion to your stepchild. It can increase a child’s self-esteem, sense of belonging, and family bond. The positive impact of a loving stepparent is even greater when the child does not already have a close relationship with both his natural parents. Studies show children with two active parents perform better academically and are physically and emotionally healthier. However, adopting a child is not a decision that should be made hastily. There are legal, financial, and emotional considerations to keep in mind before making this lifelong decision.
Separation and divorce are always more difficult when there are children involved. Although some basic child custody and family law issues are handled consistently across all states due to the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement act, custody laws can vary significantly by state. Child custody laws in California are determined by the California Family Code, Division 8 §3000-3465.