Divorce can be devastating on multiple levels—especially financially. Getting through the process and back on your feet can take time. In this situation, it’s not uncommon for family members to help out by providing extra funds. Depending on the circumstances, someone’s family support could be a temporary measure or ongoing. Additionally, some family “gifts” operate more like recurring income. If you or your ex are getting supplemental financial assistance from family, you will want to know: Can in-law gifts and support be considered during my California divorce? Continue reading
Keeping perspective during divorce can be challenging, especially when parents are fighting over child custody. Sometimes, when parents get very angry with one another, they may inadvertently say and do things that negatively impact their kids. In this situation, a California family court may determine that a Guardian ad Litem (minor’s counsel) needs to be appointed to provide the court with insight into the child’s situation. If you have a disputed California custody matter involving a Guardian ad Litem, you will want to know: What is the role of a Guardian ad Litem in a California child custody case? Continue reading
When a California court needs to make decisions regarding child custody, the judge will consider multiple aspects of the child’s life. Ultimately, what the court decides or the parties agree to must be in the child’s best interest. If you are involved in a California divorce or other child-related case, you may be wondering: What does the “Best Interest of the Child” mean in a California custody case? Continue reading
When you file for or are served with a divorce, it can immediately impact your daily life, including your living situation. Once your case begins, you and your ex may decide that you no longer want to live together. While living apart during divorce can provide each person with the physical space they need, it can also raise certain practical issues that will need to be addressed. Having temporary orders in place while your divorce case is pending can help clarify each person’s responsibilities and minimize conflict. The good news is that it’s possible to get temporary orders during your divorce. However, temporary order issues can be just as complex as those raised during divorce. Therefore, it’s important to understand temporary orders and how they may operate during your California divorce case. Continue reading
In a previous blog, we talked about finances for women going through a divorce. Now, it’s the men’s turn. The divorce experience is as different for men and women as, well, men and women. Nowhere is that more apparent than in family finances. Even though men tend to fare better financially than women post-divorce, it is still important to consider some financial tips for men who are going through a divorce.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Finances
It may be difficult to negotiate a reasonable divorce settlement if you don’t know what’s involved. What bank accounts do you and your spouse have? How much debt do you have? Did you or your wife take the leading role in financial decisions. Make sure you know where you stand.
Make an Inventory of All Property
At this point, don’t worry about whether it is community property or separate property. Account for cash, bank accounts, real estate, personal property, and other assets. Prepare a list that is as complete as possible. Then put it in a safe place.
Explore Spousal Support Options
Some men resist paying spousal support. The reasons vary. Sometimes the husband took a greater role in financially supporting the family while the wife focused on home and children. Others may be worried they won’t have enough money to live on.
Some men resist receiving spousal support. In divorce cases where the wife makes more money than the husband, or where the husband takes an increased child custody role, the wife may pay spousal support to the husband.
Prepare for Child Support
Whether you will pay and how much depends on a number of factors. The judge hearing your divorce case will enter an order for one or both parents to provide a certain amount to cover a child’s living expenses.
Make sure you provide complete and accurate financial disclosures. The court will consider both parents’ net disposable income when deciding on child support.
Hold Off on Impulse Buying
Depression or even a sense of freedom sends some men over the financial deep end. This may not be the best time to buy a boat, go to Vegas, or move cross country. If possible, wait until after the divorce is final before making any big decisions.
Divorce is HardAn experienced California divorce attorney can help you achieve the best outcome possible. Judy Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist, and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. Please call our offices at 415-293-8314 to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys. We assist clients along the Northern to Central California Coast.
Marcia’s career skyrocketed during her seven year marriage. In fact, she had become the couple’s primary source of income and handled all financial matters. Brittany had decided to provide 24/7 care for the two children she and her husband had during their five year marriage. And Sandra worried that her divorce from Rick after 22 years of marriage would leave her destitute. She had never worked outside the home and trusted her husband to make financial decisions. Though their lives are very different, each of these women would benefit from learning some financial tips for women going through a divorce.
Assess Your Combined Financial Situation
As soon as possible, start looking over your financial accounts and property owned. You can do this before you file the divorce petition or if you even suspect your spouse is considering divorce.
- Gather all documents related to your finances. Review them carefully. Look for any hidden expenses or evidence of hidden assets.
- Know what you and/or your spouse own. Prepare a list of assets and store in a safe location. List everything, even property you think might be your spouse’s separate property.
- Prepare post-divorce budget. This step will help you make informed decisions about your divorce settlement and prepare for your new life.
For women who did not participate in their family’s financial decisions, this step may be difficult. They must learn how to handle finances on their own sooner rather than later.
Build Your Own Credit History
Most women find their credit is intertwined with their husband’s. Some may find it difficult to get a credit card or sign a lease within their husband’s backing. You can take the following steps as you prepare to be single again:
- Get a copy of your credit report.
- Open at least one bank account in just your name.
- Start opening credit cards and applying for credit.
Building your credit history takes time. It may be particularly tough for spouses who have given up a career to care for children.
Think Carefully About Child Support, Spousal Support, and Retirement
In addition to their own concerns, some women may have to worry about providing for their children, supporting themselves after years of being out of the workforce, or having a short window of time to rebuild retirement accounts.
- Women with children need to focus on child support during negotiations. A consent order may provide temporary child support during the pendency of the divorce.
- Some women just don’t have the training, experience, and education to find work that provides a sustaining wage. Vocational experts may be needed to assess their earnings potential. Spousal support can help, especially in long-term marriages.
- Finally, women involved in a gray divorce may have expected to live on hubby’s retirement accounts. Or they built a nest egg that they now have to split with their spouse. Even if they have worked, refilling retirement accounts takes time they may not have.
Get the Advice You Need
Your divorce attorney can help you get through the financial maze. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Our new Beverly Hills office will be open soon.
Often a party to a divorce may be eligible for temporary spousal support, temporary child support, or both. Calculating the amounts due can be a complicated process. Though this is not a comprehensive list, courts may consider some of these factors when calculating support:
- Earning capacity, including employability and ability to work without harming dependent children;
- Future earning capacity of a party who chose caring for family over pursuing a career,
- Contributions made by one spouse toward the education or training of the other,
- Ability to pay spousal support while maintaining a standard of living,
- Community and separate obligations and assets,
- Length of marriage,
- Age and health of each spouse,
- Domestic violence claims,
- Tax consequences to the parties,
- Criminal convictions, and
- Any other factors the court considers to be important.
One thing to remember is that temporary spousal support and child support are not granted automatically. You have to ask for them.
Applying for Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support can be requested if you have an open case for divorce, legal separation, or a domestic violence restraining order. Your attorney can help you complete and file the following forms to request temporary spousal support or child support:
- Request for Order, and
- Income and Expense Declaration.
After filing your papers, you will have someone else serve a copy on your spouse, along with two other documents:
- Responsive Declaration to Request for Order, and
- Income and Expense Declaration.
Then you and your attorney will file a document stating that your spouse was served. At the hearing, the judge will sign an order stating whether you get temporary spousal support and how much.
Applying for Temporary Child Support
You must have opened one of the following cases to request temporary child support:
- If married or a registered domestic partner – a divorce, legal separation, annulment, domestic violence restraining order, petition for custody, or local child support agency case.
- If not married or a domestic partner –a parentage (paternity) case, domestic violence restraining order, petition for custody and support of minor children, local child support agency case.
This process is similar to requesting temporary spousal support. However, make sure you serve copies with the local child support agency if they are involved.
As with spousal support, the judge enters a court order. After the hearing, the process is slightly different. You’ll need to prepare a Notice of Rights and Responsibilities – Health-Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures. Each parent will also complete a Child Support Case Registry Form
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone.
Navigating divorce court can be distressing. We’re here to help. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Our new Beverly Hills office is opening soon.
Some of the most difficult and heart-wrenching decisions to make during a divorce involve children. Who will provide a home for the kids and money to care for them? Regardless of where the kids live, both parents are expected to be financially responsible for their children. This expectation may lead some people to question why they have to pay child support if the other parent has physical custody.
California courts require every parent to be financially responsible for their children.
Child support is the law, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to calculate. Courts will consider several factors when calculating who should pay child support:
- Both parents’ financial circumstances,
- The children’s needs,
- Whether additional support is needed for special expenses, child care costs, etc. and
- The amount of time each parent has physical responsibility for the children.
Custody arrangement can make a difference.
“Time-share” – the amount of time the parent spends with the children – typically takes three forms:
- One parent spends more time caring for children. The other parent usually pays child support. Occasionally, though, there’s a great discrepancy between the parents’ income. Generally, the parent with the greater income will pay child support to the parent with lower income. This scenario can be tricky. It is best to consult a family law attorney.
- Parents spend about the same amount of time with the kids. The parent with the higher income may pay some child support to the other parent.
- Parents of multiple children ‘split’ up the children. For example, in a family with two children, one child lives with mom and one child lives with dad. Child support may be paid depending on the parents’ income or special needs.
What’s best for the children?
It really comes down to taking care of the children’s needs, regardless of their address. Maybe you have questions about child support or are considering separate or divorce. Give us a call at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Cost, including San Francisco, Marin County, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.
Couples in the middle of a divorce face many tough decisions. None may be more difficult, though, than issues involving children. The courts attempt to make custody decisions that are in the best interests of the child or children involved. However, children may want to choose where they live. How will the courts take the child’s preferences into account?
When is a child competent enough to choose where to live?
In California, that’s a bit of a gray area. The Family Code states:
3042.(a) If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation, the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.
It can be difficult to determine if children are “of sufficient age and capacity to reason.” One 12-year old might be able to make such an important decision, while another is overwhelmed.
Is there a specific age where children can choose?
The California Code specifically states:
(c) If the child is 14 years of age or older and wishes to address the court regarding custody or visitation, the child shall be permitted to do so, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests. In that case, the court shall state its reasons for that finding on the record.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prevent a child who is less than 14 years of age from addressing the court regarding custody or visitation if the court determines that is appropriate pursuant to the child’s best interests.
Will a child’s choice make a difference?
Children definitely can state their preferences. At the end of the day, however, children don’t always know what’s best for them. Courts look at several factors, including the child’s expressed wish, before deciding the best arrangement for the child.
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney.
Divorces are never easy. We’re here to help. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment.Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Cost, including San Francisco, Marin County, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.
It is difficult being a child these days, and it is equally difficult being responsible for the care and maintenance of a child. The responsibility for the care and maintenance of children falls equally upon both of their parents, whether either of them have actual custody of those children or not. There are times when one or both parents neglect this responsibility, and in those cases, the courts will often be required to step in and order the neglectful parent to perform their parental duties.
California courts have many tools available to them to meet their responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of the child. Either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support for their children. If necessary, the courts can get creative to ensure the obligation has been met. In specific circumstances, for a person who has been ordered to pay support who has not paid that support, the court can order the deposit and sale of assets. Cal. Fam. Code § 4610 et seq.
Under California law, if an individual who is responsible for paying child support does not do so for over 60 days, the court can order the deposit and eventual sale of that person’s assets to cover the cost of delinquent child support. This action of the court is one that can be taken if the parent is unable to show that the failure to pay support was not willful or in bad faith, and that the parent did not have the means to make the required child support payments. Cal. Fam. Code § 4611.
An order requiring the deposit and sale of assets is a serious measure for a court to take, but it is not done without the responsible parent having the opportunity to respond to the order and to take actions to convince the court not to enter the order. There are numerous grounds whereby an individual can convince the court not to enter such an order, such as illness, disability, or other circumstances that would make the order unjust, and there will always be a hearing prior to such a decision by the court. Cal. Fam. Code §§ 4610, 4612.Having children is not a decision to take lightly, and doing so creates a responsibility that stays with you for your lifetime. If you or someone you know is faced with a failure to receive the child support to which you are entitled, a good attorney can help make sure the children you are responsible for are supported as they are entitled to. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger will provide authoritative legal support tailored to your specific situation. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys can help: (415) 293-8314.