Although a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as 6 months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer! The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed. This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change. Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners. Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later. This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family. Continue reading
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.
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.
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
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
Although a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as six months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer! The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed.
This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change. Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners. Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later. This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family.
It is no secret that the San Diego Family Law Courts are overutilized, overworked, and overbooked. When a party files a motion with the court it can often take several months, or longer, to get a hearing date! This can be frustrating for litigants who want to move their case forward towards closure. But what happens when an emergency comes up in your case and you cannot wait months for a hearing date? Luckily, there is a procedure and solution to allow the court to hear an emergency issue within a day or two, and that is called an “Ex Parte” hearing. At an Ex Parte hearing, judges can make temporary emergency orders, when appropriate.
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 5.151(b), “[t]he purpose of a request for emergency orders is to address matters that cannot be heard on the court’s regular hearing calendar….[and] the process is used to request that the court: Continue reading
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all American’s lives and created a trickle-down effect upsetting aspects of our lives many did not originally anticipate. Federal and State governments have blown the metaphorical whistle signaling the changing of tides and ordering the closure of stores, schools, government offices, and generally life as we have known it.
The Department of Labor reported over 6.65 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. In California alone, almost one million claims were filed in the last two weeks.
Of the myriad of people facing loss of employment amid the pandemic, some will be fortunate enough to receive severance packages as they make their exit. Whether this feels fortunate or not will likely depend upon the following information regarding how severance pay is handled by the Court for support purposes. Continue reading
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
Family law courts across the nation adhere to “guidelines” and a statutory formula in determining appropriate child support awards. In actuality, the “guidelines” provide mandatory requirements intended to create uniformity in the calculations of child support that are presumed correct.
The guidelines take into account the general principles that (1) a parent’s first and primary obligation is to support his or her minor child consistent with his or her own circumstances and “station in life” (“station in life” meaning the parents’ social standings, i.e. lifestyle, work status, economic circumstances, etc.); and (2) both parents are by law mutually responsible for the support of their child. Continue reading
A new product has just come on the market that may have piqued your interest if you are going through a divorce: Divorce Insurance. That’s right, you read correctly, divorce insurance actually exists!
A man named Richard Zizian, a legal educator and holder of a California Juris Doctorate (not a licensed or practicing attorney), has collaborated with Great American Insurance Group to develop a new program called Marital Settlement Agreement Insurance, or “MSAI.” Zizian, after going through a divorce himself, understood the emotional toll that a divorce can take. An emotional toll which, he states, makes one more susceptible to be laid off from employment. Continue reading