California Divorce: Family, Home and Children

California divorce family home and children

A lot of people who call us want to know about California divorce – family, home and children are among the most commonly asked questions.

Here’s what you need to know.

California Divorce: Family, Home and Children

Most people who get a divorce are primarily concerned about the effect it will have on their families. Fortunately, you and your spouse can make an agreement to co-parent your kids – and that can strengthen your parent-child bonds on both sides.

Related: How to work out a parenting time agreement

California Divorce and Your Family

Breaking up the family unit is one of the things that makes a lot of parents think twice about divorce – even when they’re in a bad situation or an emotionally toxic relationship.

Related: 5 signs you’re in a toxic marriage

The good news is that with a good joint custody agreement, kids can have the benefits of a healthy relationship with both parents.

Joint Custody

There are two types of joint custody: legal and physical.

In joint legal custody, each parent gets equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to making decisions about their kids’ health, welfare and education.

In joint physical custody, both parents share living quarters with their children for a significant period of time. It doesn’t have to be an equal 50-50 split, though; it just has to be close. The parents can also share custody in a way that one parent has the children more than the other; the parent with whom the child lives most of the time is the custodial parent, and the one the child visits (on weekends and holidays, for example) is the non-custodial parent.

No matter what type of custody agreement you have, though, you and your spouse can make the choice to co-parent.

What is Co-Parenting?

Co-parenting is cooperation between you and your ex-spouse to parent your children. It requires you and your ex to communicate regularly, make decisions about your children together, and share your schedules so that you can both put your kids first. You can agree on things like:

  • Discipline and rule-making
  • How you’ll handle last-minute scheduling changes
  • How to deal with emergencies
  • How you’ll manage extra expenses not covered in child support

The key is remaining consistent through both homes. If the rule is that at mom’s house, there’s no TV after 8 p.m., the rule should stay the same at dad’s house.

California Divorce and Your Home

One of the other major issues people ask us about is the house. In fact, for some couples, the family home is almost as important as child custody is.

During divorce, you can negotiate a property settlement with your spouse. Because California is a community property state, you both have equal rights to the house if you bought it while you were married. In that case, you have three major options – and a little flexibility, which your Stockton divorce lawyer can explain to you. Your options include a buyout, a deferred sale, or an outright sale.


You and your spouse may agree that one of you takes full ownership of the house. The one who takes ownership will also take over payments. That might include refinancing the home in only one spouse’s name.

Deferred Sale

Sometimes the court will order that you both keep the home because it’s in your children’s best interests. You and your ex will both stay on the mortgage, but the custodial parent gets exclusive use and possession of the home. You can sell it after a certain period of time.


You might also choose to sell the home outright and split the proceeds of the sale. A lot of people choose this option when neither spouse can make the payments on their own.

Related: California divorce: Who gets the house?

Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer About Family, Home and Children?

If you need to talk to an attorney about a divorce, we’re here to help you.

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Call us at (209) 989-4425 or get in touch with us online to talk to a lawyer who can help today. We’ll help you with every aspect of your divorce, from child custody and child support to alimony and property division.