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The other day I was asked, “Why do I need to pay child support to my ex-wife if we care for our children equally?”  This is a great question that requires some understanding of both California law and public policy.  At first blush it may seem unreasonable and unfair that one parent must pay the other parent child support even though both parents equally care, house, feed, and pay for their children’s livelihood and well-being.

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Let’s start by looking at California Family Code section 4053, which is the statute that provides courts with overarching principals to consider when implementing a child support order.  This statues states, in part, that “a parent’s first and principal obligation is to support the parent’s minor children according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life.” (emphasis added.)  The statute also states that, “the [child support] guideline takes into account each parent’s actual income and level of responsibility for the children” and that “each parent should pay for the support of the children according to the parent’s ability.” (emphasis added.)  The statute also explains that child support “should minimize significant disparities in the children’s living standards in the two homes” and that “children should share in the standard of living of both parents.” (emphasis added.) Continue reading

One of the hot button issues in any divorce case is spousal support.  Standard questions that might float through a party’s mind include, but are not limited to, “what party will pay support?”, “how much support will I pay/receive?”, and “how long will I pay/receive support for?”  This blog will focus on spousal support duration and termination.  For information regarding how spousal support is calculated, please review one of our other blog posts or call our office for more information.                AdobeStock_28412700-300x292

In California, “except on written agreement of the parties to the contrary or a court order terminating spousal support, the court retains jurisdiction indefinitely in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties where the marriage is of long duration.” (See California Family Code section 4336(a)(emphasis added.)  Pursuant to Family Code section 4336(b), a marriage of long duration includes any marriage (from the date of marriage to the date of separation) lasting 10 years or longer.  Therefore, in California, the court generally retains jurisdiction to make spousal support orders for marriages lasting 10 years or longer. Continue reading

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Parties in the middle of a divorce often long for that light at the end of the tunnel when they can finally say that it is over!  Although it may seem like you will never reach the end, everyday parties are finalizing their divorce judgments and moving on with their lives.  Once a divorce judgment has been entered with the court there are several steps that must happen at the conclusion of a case to ensure that all items are appropriately wrapped up.  If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the end of your case, you should contact your attorney immediately. Continue reading

AdobeStock_151263740-300x200Once the initial paperwork in a divorce proceeding is filed, both parties must complete what is called a “Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure.”  This disclosure mainly consists of two documents, the first is the party’s “Schedule of Assets and Debts” and the second is the party’s “Income and Expense Declaration.”  Just as the names imply, these forms are designed to gather information related to each parties’ assets, debts, income, and expenses.  In addition to being mandatory, these disclosures are due early on in the case and are extremely important as they will be the framework for which a settlement, if possible, is reached. Continue reading

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The infamous comedian-actor Robin Williams once said, “Divorce is expensive.  I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’”

Alimony, or more commonly now called spousal support, may be awarded to either spouse during the pendency of a divorce proceeding, or in some cases after Judgment has been entered.  There are two types of spousal support: (1) Temporary; and (2) Permanent. Continue reading

Often a parent’s biggest concern during a divorce proceeding is what will happen to their children; specifically how custody and visitation will be addressed. shutterstock_524178382-300x150

In the ideal world, parents would be able to agree on a custody and visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of their children, without the need to go to court.  However, if the parents cannot agree on a custody plan then one party, or both, must file a motion with the court to have the judge decide on the issue.

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More often than not, one oshutterstock_548814919-300x200f the first questions our office receives when someone is inquiring about a divorce is “how long will my divorce take?”  This question, like so many other legal questions, often depends on the circumstances of the case.  While it is our hope to get you through this process as swiftly as possible, there are certain obstacles that must be passed before your judgment is entered and your divorce is finalized. Continue reading

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The global spread of COVID-19 (a.k.a Corona Virus) is affecting millions and has been deemed by the United States government a national pandemic.  Both the Federal and California state governments are calling upon citizens to do their part in assisting with slowing the spread of this novel virus, which has given rise to sudden deviations from all of our normal routines.

As experienced Family Law attorneys, we anticipate the current state of affairs may be especially difficult for separated or divorced parents trying to navigate through these peculiar times.  The following are general guidelines, based on our experience, that we believe all co-parents should be cognizant of: Continue reading

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In this era it is hard to meet any young adult who does not have some amount of debt, with the most common form being student loans.  These loans can be hefty, as college, graduate school, and living expenses are incurred.  But what happens when you marry, and then separate from someone who has student loans?  Is the community entitled to any reimbursement for helping pay those loans down during the course of the marriage?  Does it matter if the loans were incurred during marriage or before marriage?  The answer is, it depends. Continue reading

Ex-Union-Tribune owner Douglas Manchester has divorced from his second wife, Russian immigrant Geniya Derzhavina.  Douglas, a wealthy real estate developer, filed for dissolution of marriage in October 2019 and the parties settled their divorce just two months later.shutterstock_448851367

Douglas married his first wife, Betsy, in January 1965.  They divorced in 2013 after 48 years of marriage.   Douglas and Betsy’s divorce lasted four years and Betsy highlighted the couple’s lavish standard of living throughout the proceeding.  Betsy claimed, amongst other things, that in 2007 the parties threw a birthday party for Douglas that cost over $200,000.  The parties then flew on a private jet to Costa Rica where they spent a week on a private chartered yacht.  Betsy claims the Costa Rica trip cost more than $350,000. Continue reading

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