Category Archives: Child Support

What Makes a CA Certified Family Law Specialist Different?

What Makes a CA Certified Family Law Specialist Different?

Family law matters are often intensely personal and highly emotional. Dealing with families and relationships is always complex and much is at stake for everyone involved. You want more than an attorney when family law issues arise – you want a specialist. California Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger is a Certified Family Law Specialist who is able to handle complex personal cases through court petitions, negotiation, and litigation.

What makes a CA Certified Family Law Specialist different from run-of-the-mill family law and divorce lawyers?

A High Level of Specialization

Obtaining a law degree and passing the California State Bar exam to practice law is only the beginning. Certified specialists in any area of law must pass a rigorous set or requirements to demonstrate their exceptional knowledge, experience, and proficiency. Only after completing this extensive process does the state bar award the attorney a specialist certificate.

To become a Certified Family Law Specialist in CA, attorneys must satisfy the following prerequisites

  1. Pass a written examination
  2. Continuously practice law in their specialty area for at least five years
  3. Complete continuing education in their specialty area
  4. Receive favorable evaluations by other attorneys and judges
  5. Demonstrate experience in a variety of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, domestic violence restraining orders, property division, and more.

Becoming a certified family law specialist takes time, experience, and extensive knowledge.

Superior Experience in Family Law Cases

Certified Family Law Specialists must continue to demonstrate their expertise by handling complex family law cases to further broaden their knowledge and experience. Recertification every five years requires more continuing education while putting this extensive knowledge into action helping California families.

A CFLS will have considerable experience with:

  • Messy divorces
  • Complex business valuations
  • Sophisticated property divisions
  • Tense negotiations
  • Filing petitions with the court
  • Advising clients
  • Litigating difficult child custody and support cases
  • Ex parte hearings
  • Domestic violence
  • More…

Seasoned representation by a Certified Family Law Specialist like Judy Burger means the putting encyclopedic knowledge, extensive education, years of real-world experience, and measured expertise in your corner. She is vastly more qualified to help you get the results you need and want than other non-certified family law attorneys.

Why Should I Choose a Certified Family Law Specialist Instead of a Family Law Attorney?

Family law matters can be rough on you mentally and emotionally. The possible complexities and problems are legion and specific to every case. However, a CFLS has likely encountered similar cases before and has experience helping families find solutions. If you anticipate a difficult road ahead in your divorce, child custody, support, or related matters, choose a CFLS like Judy L. Burger.

Here are some examples of cases where we recommend a Certified Family Law Specialist:

  • Both parties have agreed to a divorce, but that’s all you agree on.
  • You have differences of opinion about matters like college debt, large real estate holdings, retirement funds, and other asset divisions.
  • You have small children still at home and cannot agree on a custody and support arrangement.
  • Both parties grew up in different cultures, so family rights and extended family concerns are involved.
  • Both parties jointly own a business.
  • One or both divorcing parties are active duty military.
  • You or your child’s safety is threatened.
  • You or your child are victims of abuse.

CFLS Judy Burger has trained for just these and many other situations so she knows how to help you. In fact, she’s been there with other families before. She can guide you through negotiations, difficult conversations, far-reaching decisions, and even embattled litigation with compassion and fortitude.

When you need stable counsel and steady legal representation through one of the most difficult times of your life, you need the services of a Certified Family Law Specialist. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger as soon as possible to discuss your case and next steps. We have offices throughout California for your convenience.

Your Top 10 FAQs Answered About Family Law in California

Your Top 10 FAQs Answered About Family Law in California

Family law deals with issues like divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If you are going through a family law issue in California, you likely have many questions about the process and your rights. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger answers the top ten questions we’re asked at our California practice about Family Law matters.

Of course, we can only provide the barest facts in an article. More complete explanations and answers to other questions are available in a complimentary consultation. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger to schedule your consultation.

Top 10 Family Law FAQs

Review these common questions clients routinely ask Attorney Judy Burger during initial consultations at her offices.

1. What is the process for getting a divorce in California?

To get a divorce in California, you must file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the court. You will need to serve your spouse with the petition and wait for their response. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on all issues, such as child custody and property division, the court will schedule a trial to decide these issues for you.

2. How is child custody determined in California?

California courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the child’s age, health, and relationship with each parent. Generally, the court prefers frequent and continuous contact with both parents as long as it is in the child’s best interests.

3. How is child support determined in California?

California law provides guidelines for determining child support. The guidelines take into account the net disposable income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Other factors, such as the child’s needs and the standard of living before the divorce, may also be considered.

4. What is spousal support in California?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial support paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Spousal support can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances of the case.

5. How is spousal support determined in California?

California law requires the court to consider various factors when determining spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living before the divorce, and the age and health of each spouse. The court has discretion in determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

6. How is property divided in a California divorce?

California is a community property state, which means that property acquired during the marriage is generally divided equally between the spouses. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the court may consider factors such as the length of the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse.

7. Can I get a restraining order in a family law case?

Yes, if you are a victim of domestic violence or harassment, you can obtain a restraining order to protect yourself and your children. The court may issue a temporary restraining order, followed by a hearing to determine whether a permanent restraining order is necessary.

8. Can I modify a child custody or support order?

Yes, if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss or relocation, you can petition the court to modify a child custody or support order. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding.

9. What is mediation in a family law case?

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties in a family law case reach a mutually acceptable agreement. It can be voluntary or court-ordered and can be a cost-effective alternative to litigation.

10. Do I need a lawyer for a family law case in California?

While you are not required to have a lawyer for a family law case in California, it is highly recommended. Family law cases can be complex and emotional, and having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can help protect your rights and interests.

Seasoned Family Law Representation in California

Family law issues in California can be challenging and emotional, but understanding your rights and the legal process can help alleviate some of the stress. If you have questions about a family law issue in California, contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, with eight offices across the state to serve you.


Top Questions Concerning Child Support and Military Personnel

Top Questions Concerning Child Support and Military Personnel

Child support is a critical aspect of Family Law. Thousands of military personnel and their families reside in California, so it is essential to understand how child support orders affect service members and their families in the state. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger addresses some of the most common questions concerning child support and military personnel.

Child Support and the Military FAQ

Every situation is different, so you need to consult with Family Law Attorney Judy Burger when questions or issues arise about child support and service members. Here are some basics to know about child support and military personnel.

  1. How is child support calculated for military personnel?

In California, child support is calculated based on several factors, including each parent’s income, time spent with the child, and other expenses. However, there are additional considerations for service members, including allowances and special pay, like Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), hazardous duty pay, sea pay, and more. Although some of these forms of pay are non-taxable, California law includes them all when calculating child support.

  1. Can military personnel be ordered to pay child support even if they are stationed overseas?

Yes. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active-duty military personnel from legal action, including child support proceedings, while on active duty. However, this protection does not apply to service members who are not on active duty or who are in arrears in their child support payments.

  1. Can military personnel be held in contempt of court for failure to pay child support?

Yes. Failure to pay child support can result in serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and loss of security clearance. It is essential to keep up with child support payments, even if stationed overseas or on active duty.

  1. Can military personnel modify child support orders?

Yes, military personnel can modify support orders based on a change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a change in the custody arrangement. However, it is essential to follow the proper legal procedures for modifying support orders to avoid potential legal consequences. The Family Court generally grants expedited hearings for service members who receive deployment orders and need to address child support or custody order modifications.

  1. What happens to child support payments if service members are deployed or transferred?

If soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines are deployed or transferred, child support payments must continue to be made. However, there are legal provisions that allow for modifications to child support orders in these circumstances. It is crucial to contact experienced Family Law Attorney Judy Burger to help you navigate the legal process.

Get Help from a California Child Support Lawyer

Child support can be a complicated issue, especially for military families. It is essential to understand the legal requirements and protections afforded to military personnel. California Family Code §3047 provides guidance for many issues that can arise when a military service member faces mobilization, deployment, or a temporary assignment that takes them outside the state or country and causes complications with following court-ordered support or custody agreements.

Attorney Judy Burger can provide guidance and support to ensure that child support obligations are met and that the best interests of the child are protected. Child custody and support issues are already challenging, and the pressure of unexpected changes due to military service adds even more complexity. Get the help you need in California from The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We have eight offices to serve you.

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