DIVORCE / CUSTODY

Divorce
Divorce is an especially difficult time for everyone, parents, kids, relatives.  Make sure you hire an attorney who can help with the many issues facing you.  There are so many rules in court and so many uncertainties in your future.  You need knowledgeable, sympathetic representation  We know and understand the law and will provide suggestions for the emotional distress that goes along with divorce.

Child Support
How much child support is paid is determined by how often you or your spouse have visitation with your child(ren) and how much you both earn. Usually the parent with the least time pays the most according to their income and to a preset formula that accounts for income, insurance, and some expenses. Contact us for specific provisions and amounts based upon you and your spouse’s income.  Other considerations area applied by the trial judge, like payment of support for other children or seasonal type work.

 

Remember if you think you are going to collect child support, if you do not file a case and get a court order, you cannot collect for the past.  So don’t let years go by thinking you will file it when they are 17 and collect for all those past years.  You can’t come back with the child is 17 and expect to collect for the last 17 years.  It doesn’t work that way.  Without a court order, nothing is due.  So don’t put it off.  For the benefit of your child and yourself, file a case as soon as possible.

 

Community Property
California is a community property state, meaning that any income and assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital or community property (with just a few exceptions like inheriting money from you uncle). This community property is subject to division between spouses in the event of a divorce or legal separation. However, this does not mean that all property will be treated equally or evenly. The court will look to a number of factors to determine how to distribute marital property between spouses. If you are interested in learning more about property division and how property is divided in the divorce, please contact us. We can review the facts of your case and make a determination how we can help you and give you our legal opinion as to what the most likely outcome will be based on our experience. Property which was obtained prior to the marriage and maintained separate during the marriage may remain separate property after the divorce.  Property acquired during the divorce is generally community property and will be divided equally.

 

Child Visitation
How often you see your children and how often your spouse will see the children depends a lot on whether you can work it out on your own or “mediate” the child visitation issue.   The courts have changed a lot in how the time share is divided between parents.  Most parents who do not have the child during the week, the noncustodial parents, end up with every other weekend and maybe one day a week after school as ordered by the Court because they don’t fight for more time. You should try to get as much time as you are able to with your child(ren). That’s where having an attorney can make a huge difference.  Remember these judges handled 10 to 30 cases a day.  They won’t make a good decision if they do not have all the information.  And they won’t treat your case the same if you are representing yourself.  Hire an attorney and get your visitation set while your children are young enough for you both to enjoy the time together.

 

Spousal Support

On a long-term marriage especially, there is a presumption for spousal support.  It does not mean it’s automatic.  That’s why you need an attorney to fight for it on your behalf.  Even on short term marriages, 1 to 5 years, I have had judges award spousal support.  It is decided on a case by case basis.  You stand a much better chance of being awarded spousal support if you are represented by an attorney who knows and practices family law.

If you have questions about spousal support and whether it will affect your divorce, please contact us. California law provides for a number of scenarios for work at home mom, particularly if she has put her spouse through school or put off your own education or career.

Spousal support may be based on 20 different factors including ability to pay and standard of living pre-divorce. Other important considerations the judge weighs involve the health and age of the parties, tax consequences, and documented domestic violence.  Whatever you do, Don’t give up, or “waive” spousal support without talking to an attorney first.  Remember, most attorneys will talk to you for free the first time.

 

Restraining Orders and/or Domestic Violence
If you’re suffering from domestic violence, call the police immediately and get help from an attorney. If you’ve been wrongfully accused of domestic violence and your ex spouse is trying to get a restraining order, contact us immediately. The CLETS restraining order can affect your job and your future.  Don’t let someone manipulate the system.  Don’t try to represent yourself. They won’t take you seriously.  Contact our firm and make an appointment immediately.  You have a right to one continuance.  Go to court, tell the judge you want to hire an attorney.  Protect your future.  We need time to gather information, subpoena witnesses, etc.  Whether you being accused or accusing another, you need help in order to prevail.  Also we need time to do a good job.  A hearing is usually set within 21 days.  Don’t wait to the last minute. Call us today!  SEE OUR SEPARATE PAGE ON RESTRAINING ORDERS

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