Category Archives: Child Support

expenses; child support

What Expenses are Considered When Calculating Child Support?

Divorce is a stressful and emotional experience, but add children to the mix, and the process becomes even more complicated. If you have children, the child support agreement is one of the most critical parts of a divorce settlement. Child support is the amount of money one parent pays the other to help cover the expenses of raising their children. The amount of child support paid is based on a calculation that considers various expenses. This blog post will cover some of the different expenses considered when calculating child support in California.


Overview of What is Considered When Calculating Child Support


When calculating child support, it is important to consider many different expenses. California law requires that both parents contribute to the support of their child, regardless of whether they are married or not. The amount of support is based on a complex formula that considers several factors, including the income of each parent, the number of children, and how much time each parent spends with the child.


The Cost of Healthcare and Insurance for the Child


One of the expenses typically included in child support calculations is the cost of healthcare and insurance for the child. The child’s health insurance premium is included in the child support calculation.

Education Expenses for the Child


Another factor that is considered when calculating child support is the child’s cost of education. This can include tuition fees, school supplies, uniforms, and other educational expenses. These costs are considered an add-on to the child support order.


Extracurricular Activities and Their Costs


When deciding on the amount of child support, the Court may make an order on who is to pay for the child’s extracurricular activities.  These payments are considered an add-on to the child support order.


Calculating Travel Expenses Between Divorcing Parents’ Homes


Suppose parents live far apart from each other. In that case, the costs of transporting the child from one location to another for custody exchanges are also considered when calculating child support. The transportation costs are included in the child support calculation.


How Are Special Needs Children Supported Financially by Both Parents?


For children with special needs, extra expenses are sometimes necessary. These expenses could include extra medical care, counseling, and therapies. The Court may order how these costs are to be paid by the parties.


Calculating child support is a complicated process that requires careful consideration of many factors. Contact our California family law attorneys if you are going through a divorce and need help navigating the child support process. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we are here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities and ensure that you and your children are taken care of. The right legal representation can make all the difference in securing the financial stability of your and your children’s future. Contact us today to get started.

Common Ways Some Parents Try to Hide from Their Support Obligations

Common Ways Some Parents Try to Hide from Their Child Support Obligations

Child support to ensure the care and well-being of your children is a critical financial obligation. California Family Courts follow uniform guidelines established under state law to calculate a parent’s child support obligation. The court’s child support order is legally binding and avoiding or ignoring it has serious consequences.

Unfortunately, some parents try to avoid this obligation by employing various means to “hide” assets or defraud the system and their children. California Attorney Judy L Burger is a Certified Family Law Specialist who can help you if you suspect a former spouse is trying to hide from their court-appointed support obligations.

Examples of California Child Support Fraud

Providing incorrect information to the family court about your income is child support fraud. For example, a non-custodial parent may try to hide income from various sources and report a lower amount to the court in order to obtain low support payments. Also, a custodial parent may try to hide income to get more money from the other parent.

Here are some common examples of child support fraud:

  1. Underreporting Income: Reporting incorrect income amounts and sources on tax forms and other documents.
  2. Working for Untraceable Cash: Working a job that pays in cash so there is no paper trail to prove the income.
  3. Quitting a Job: Resigning from a job so you have no income to report.
  4. Opening Accounts In a Family Member’s Name: Hiding assets in accounts in someone else’s name so they do not appear in your personal asset list.
  5. Concealing Funds in Cryptocurrencies: Hiding assets in cryptocurrencies to complicate how these assets are tracked or reported.
  6. Transferring Funds to Offshore Accounts: Hiding assets in overseas accounts that are not subject to United States or California reporting obligations.
  7. Shielding Funds Through Shell Companies: Establishing complex legal entities to hide assets and avoid an accurate reporting of your income.

The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger uses sophisticated forensic accounting methods and other investigative techniques to uncover hidden assets and income sources. If you suspect your spouse is employing fraudulent means to escape their child support obligations, contact one of our offices near you to schedule a consultation.

Possible Penalties for Avoiding CA Child Support Obligations

California child support orders are legally enforceable under the law and carry stiff penalties when violated. Those found guilty of ignoring or committing fraud to avoid their support obligations may face several different enforcement actions that can include:

  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Suspension of driver’s license or passport
  • Revocation of professional and occupational licenses
  • Bank and property liens
  • Appropriation of tax refunds
  • Appropriation of lottery winnings
  • Asset seizures
  • Imprisonment (contempt of court is a criminal offense)

The Golden State offers several programs to help if you have legitimate problems meeting your child support obligations. Don’t wait until you get seriously behind in your payments; contact your local child support office immediately to inquire about your options. Attorney Judy Burger can also help you with support modification requests and other legal remedies.

A California Certified Family Law Specialist Can Help You Get What You Deserve

Attempting to hide assets to get higher child support payments from your spouse and hiding assets to prevent paying your fair share are both fraud. CA Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger fights tenaciously for the care and well-being of innocent children and hurting families. She and her team can help you get the support you deserve from offices throughout California. Ms. Burger can also help you if your circumstances have changed and cause problems meeting your child support payments.

Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger in Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Oxnard, San Rafael, or Santa Barbara to schedule a consultation.

extracurricular activities

Who Pays for Extracurricular Activities for Children After a Divorce?

Divorce can be a challenging time in a family’s life. It is an emotional and financial struggle, and one of the most complex aspects of separation is deciding about the expenses involving children. Among these expenses, extracurricular activities, such as sports, dance, and music lessons, can be costly. So, who should be responsible for paying the costs of such activities? This blog post will discuss all the necessary information you need to know regarding this issue.

Common Child Support Myths About Extracurricular Activities

Many myths surround the payment of extracurricular activities. For instance, some people believe that child support covers all these costs, which is not the case. Child support contributes to a child’s needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Payment for extracurricular activities is considered a child support add-on cost. On the other hand, others may feel that the parent who wants the child to participate should be responsible for the costs. However, this is not always how the Court will view extracurricular activities as many activities offer valuable opportunities for a child’s growth and development. 

Determining Who Pays Under California Law 

According to California law, both parents should be responsible for the necessary costs of raising a child. This law includes the expenses of extracurricular activities. This means that parents should find a way to share these costs. If the parties cannot agree on what extracurricular activities the child should engage in and their payments the Court will have to decide.

Presenting Your Case for Payment to the Other Parent  

It is crucial to approach the other parent and discuss the costs involved. It is best to approach this in an amicable manner and clearly state your child’s needs and interests. Present your case with facts and discuss the value of the extracurricular activity. If you reach a decision, make sure that you have a written agreement on the cost-sharing arrangement and that it becomes a Court order.

Modifying Child Support Orders to Include Activity Costs

If your current child support order does not cover the expenses of extracurricular activities, you can petition the Court to make orders regarding these issues. The Court will evaluate the family’s financial status and decide how the parties split the cost of the activity.

Negotiating Responsibility for Activities in Your Settlement 

Whether you are in the process of separation or divorce, remember to include extracurricular activities in your settlement. A written agreement will help prevent future problems and disagreements with your ex-spouse. 


Enforcing Extracurricular Payment Through the Court System


If one parent refuses to pay the cost of the activity, the other parent can seek the assistance of the Court to enforce payment. A California family law attorney can provide you with guidance and representation during the enforcement process.


Co-Parenting Strategies When You Disagree About Extracurricular Activities


Children’s extracurricular activities often cause disagreements between parents as different priorities, financial situations, or scheduling matters arise. Negotiation, compromise, and consideration of the child’s best interests are vital factors. 


Deciding who pays for extracurricular activities during a divorce is a complex matter. A California family law attorney could provide you with the necessary guidance and representation. Our team at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can guide you through every step of the legal process, ensuring your rights and interests are protected. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 


Can Child Support be Taken From Disability?

It is already a daunting task for a noncustodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. The burden becomes even heavier for those who are disabled and heavily rely on disability payments. Many wonder if somebody can take child support from disability, and if so, what their options are. This blog post will cover all the necessary information you need to know about this matter. 


Explaining What Child Support Is and How It Works 


Child support is a regular monetary payment the noncustodial parent makes to the custodial parent who cares for the children. The amount the noncustodial parent pays is typically determined by state law, based on the child’s needs and the noncustodial parent’s income. California determines child support by a guideline calculation, which is based on the income of both parents, time spent with the children, and other factors. 


Can Disability Payments be Garnished for Child Support Obligations 

Disability payments can be garnished for child support obligations. Disability benefits are considered income, and if the noncustodial parent is not meeting their child support obligation, the custodial parent can seek to garnish the noncustodial parent’s disability benefits. 


What Are the Exceptions to Garnishing Disability Benefits for Child Support Payments 


There are a few exceptions to garnishing disability benefits for child support payments. If the disabled parent’s income does not exceed the minimum threshold allowed under federal law, they will not garnish. Additionally, certain disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cannot be garnished for child support. 


How to Protect Your Disability Benefits from Being Taken for Child Support  


If you are disabled and receive disability benefits but also have child support obligations, there are a few ways to protect your disability benefits from being taken for child support. One option is to work with the court and the custodial parent to modify your support order to take your disability benefits into account. Another option is to request a hardship exemption through the court, which may reduce or eliminate your child support obligation. 


What to Do If You Feel Your Rights are Being Violated and Your Benefits are Being Taken Unlawfully 


If you feel like your rights are being violated, and your benefits are being taken unlawfully for child support obligations, you should immediately contact a family law attorney. An attorney will review your case and help you file a motion to modify your support order or request a hardship exemption. 


Questions to Ask a Family Law Attorney About Child Support and Disability Payments 


When seeking out the assistance of a family law attorney, there are several questions to keep in mind. You may want to ask your attorney about how child support is determined in California, whether California can garnish disability benefits for child support, and what options are available to protect your disability benefits from being taken. You also may want to ask about the attorney’s experience and success rate in handling cases involving child support and disability payments. 


Choose Us as Your California Family Law Attorney 


If you are struggling with child support obligations and disability benefits, having a qualified and experienced family law attorney in your corner is essential. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger in California, we have a team of skilled attorneys who are dedicated to helping clients navigate complex family law matters. We have experience in handling cases involving child support and disability payments, and we are committed to fighting for our client’s rights. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you find the best solution for your unique situation. 


How Does Paternity Work in California?

How does paternity work in California? In California, generally, when a child is born to a husband and wife, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father. If a child is born to a woman who does not have a husband, there may be a question as to who is the child’s legal father. In this situation, it may be necessary to establish the child’s paternity.

How do you Establish Paternity in California?

In California, establishing paternity involves having a court make a legal determination as to who is the father of a child.

Generally, there are two ways to establish paternity in California: Voluntarily or through a formal legal process.

1) Voluntary Declaration of Parentage—unmarried parents can sign a voluntary declaration of parentage form to establish a child’s paternity. To be valid, the declaration must be signed by both parents, in the presence of a notary public or certain other individuals, and filed with the appropriate California state office.

2) Petition to Determine the Parental Relationship—when the parties do not agree on paternity, someone seeking to establish paternity can file a petition to determine the parental relationship.

Once the petition to determine the parental relationship is filed, the petitioning party must serve the other and include certain required documents. The other party will then be given time to file a response. The case will be scheduled, and in all likelihood, the male party will be ordered to undergo genetic testing to determine whether he is the child’s father.

Who Can File a California Paternity Action?

The California Law provides that a paternity case may be initiated by:

· A man who believes that the child at issue may be his biological child

· The child’s mother

· The child (age 12 and older)

· The child’s representative

· Certain agencies

· Any other interested party

Without a formal paternity determination, someone alleged to be the child’s father will not be obligated to pay support or have custodial rights. In addition to custody, child support, and visitation, establishing parentage is important because it will allow a child to inherit from their parent and be eligible for certain government benefits. In addition, the child can access family and medical records, have health coverage through their parent, and be named a life insurance beneficiary.

Paternity cases can become contentious, especially if a party is denying parentage. Once paternity is established, the legal parents will then have to manage child support and legal and physical custody. In this situation, it’s in your best interest to work with an experienced California family law attorney throughout the process. Your and your California family law lawyer can review the facts and determine your next steps. In addition, your counsel can help you plan for support, custody, and visitation issues.

Contact a California Family Law Attorney

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced California family law attorneys who can answer your questions about paternity and other matters. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website.

Can You Have a Birth Certificate with Two Moms

Can You Have a Birth Certificate with Two Moms?

The United States Supreme Court upheld California’s decision to allow same-sex marriages in 2013. In another case heard two years later, a Supreme Court decision prevented states from banning same-sex marriage. But even so, these decisions did not iron out all of the legal wrinkles faced by gay couples. For example, spouses sometimes found they were not their child’s legal parent unless they went through a formal adoption. One reason for this is that it was difficult, if not impossible, to have a birth certificate with two moms or two dads. Continue reading

What Acclaimed TV Show Frasier Got Right About Child Custody

What Acclaimed TV Show Frasier Got Right About Child Custody

Frasier delighted its fans during its 1993 to 2004 run. This Seattle-based show followed the antics of a radio psychiatrist and his friends and family. In addition to his father and brother, Frasier had to forge and maintain relationships with his ex-wife, Lilith, and his young son, Frederick. But Lilith and Frederick lived across the country in Boston. Their living arrangements presented some problems with child custody and visitation. While the show presented these issues in a humane yet humorous way, there are some significant lessons to take away. Continue reading

What Are Ex Parte Hearings and How Do They Work

What Are Ex Parte Hearings and How Do They Work?

From the time a California divorce is filed until it is settled can take time.  But the parties sometimes require action from the court that just can’t wait. For example, ex parte hearings address emergency matters that need to be heard as soon as possible.

Ex Parte Hearings in a California Divorce

One or more parties may apply for emergency orders in family law cases.  

Courts might hold ex parte hearings for the following reasons:

  • Preventing danger or harm to another party or any children involved in the divorce.
  • Preventing immediate loss or damage to property.
  • Setting a hearing for a time that’s shorter than normal.
  • Shortening or extending the service time for notices of hearing and other court papers.
  • Rescheduling a hearing or trial.

Your attorney will know when ex parte hearings are needed and how to get them.

Applying for Ex Parte Decisions

Not every situation requires an expedited or emergency hearing. However, your attorney can ask for an ex parte hearing for the following basic reasons:

  • Request for an emergency order.
  • Ask to reschedule a hearing or trial.

Generally, applications must contain the following information:

  • Contact information for any attorneys involved in the case or the contact information for any party that does not have an attorney if known.
  • Declarations about facts supporting the request.
  • Lists of previous orders or applications made about the same issue.
  • A disclosure of any changes to the party’s status quo resulting from the order.
  • Specific information about child custody or visitation issues.

The law requires that most parties who request ex parte hearings usually must notify the other parties involved.

The declaration also contains details about how the filing party served the other party. If it was impossible to serve the notice, provide information about all attempts to serve. And finally, the person applying for an ex parte hearing can state any reasons that the notice of hearing should not be served.

We Can Discuss Ex Parte Hearings with You.

As our attorneys work on your case, they will identify any areas that might need emergency orders.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.


Understanding California Paternity Laws

Understanding California Paternity Laws

Divorce is fraught with sensitive issues. One of the most delicate involves the parenthood of children whose parents are divorcing. If you are thinking of ending your marriage – and you have kids — understanding California’s paternity laws is a must.

Why Paternity Matters

A child’s parentage affects child support, custody, and visitation. In some cases, courts will not sign orders related to a child when paternity is in question. Unless a person is legally established as the father or mother, that person has no rights or responsibilities regarding the child.

Confirming parentage is also important because children have the right to:

  • Financial support from mom and dad,
  • Legal documents that identify both parents,
  • An accurate birth certificate listing both mom and dad,
  • Insurance coverage,
  • Inherit from their parents, and
  • Receive social security, veteran’s benefits, and other government benefits based on their parents.

From an emotional standpoint, most people want to know who their father and mother are. Legally speaking, parentage makes a difference also.

When Courts Get Involved

Generally, children born during a marriage are assumed to be the husband and wife’s biological children. Family court judges usually establish parentage automatically.

However, fathers of children who are not married to the mother when the child was born must legally establish their paternity. Other situations where a man might establish parentage include:

  • The child was conceived while the father was trying to marry the mother or thought he was married to her.
  • The man agreed to serve as the father on the birth certificate or agreed to provide financial support to the child.
  • The man acted as if the child were his own, even though the child is not biologically his.

Family courts may be involved in any case where questions about a child’s paternity exist. For example, a married man who doesn’t believe he is the father of his wife’s child might ask for a determination in order to avoid responsibilities for someone else’s child.

What the Law Says

Some sections of the California Family Code specifically address the parent-child relationship. Frankly, most if not all of the laws related to parents apply to our topic. Before laws related to the rights and responsibilities of a parent take effect, parentage must be established.

We Can Help Decipher California Paternity Laws for You

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.