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Murrieta Legal Blog

Getting a child support court order

Divorcing California parents who are going through child custody proceedings may wonder how to get a child support court order. The laws vary depending on region, but most jurisdictions have laws that state a custodial parent is entitled to regular child support payments from the parent who does not have custody. In the United States, a court makes a determination of child support when the parents of the child obtain a divorce or are legally separated. If the parents were never married, the court first needs to establish the child's paternity.

A child support court order is automatically part of the divorce or legal separation decree whenever minor children are involved. However, prior to the final decree, the court may request financial information from both parents, such as current income and expenses. Most states require the parents of the children to complete a worksheet that gives the court a better idea of how much the non-custodial parent should pay. Child care will also be factored into a child support court order. This enables the custodial parent to work or attend school. Most jurisdictions credit the non-custodial parent for any time he or she has the children.

Financial steps you should take after a divorce

Going through a divorce is no easy process and what comes next might not be any less stressful. Your life after divorce will probably be significantly different, particularly in the financial department. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make this part of your life easier. Planning and organization can help you immeasurably.

What actions can you take to help set yourself up for success in this new chapter of your life?

Dealing with the holidays after divorce

The holidays are one of the most difficult times for California families going through a divorce. Children as well as their parents will be dealing with a number of difficult emotions that range from anger to sadness. However, parents need to deal with these emotions in a way that allows them to make the children their priority.

Therapists or friends and family can provide the emotional support that parents may need during this time. This can allow them to focus on the children. Parents need to have a plan for the holidays that they share with the children. This will reduce stress. In addition, parents need to encourage their children to enjoy their time with the other parent. To that end, they should avoid trying to prevent the other parent from spending time with the children or view the time as a competition.

Tips for dividing a 401(k) in divorce

In California, a 401(k) is usually considered community property in case of a divorce. This means it will be split between the couple. There are a number of ways this can happen.

The couple will need a document called a qualified domestic relations order in order to divide the 401(k). The QDRO must then be approved by the plan administrator. Therefore, it is important to understand the rules. The approved QDRO makes it possible for one spouse to take a distribution from the plan during a divorce without having to pay an early withdrawal penalty. This penalty is assessed anytime a withdrawal is made before the age of 59 1/2.

Birdnesting creates transitional period for children of divorce

When parents in California divorce, they have more than their own emotional well-being to consider. They must guide their children through the transition, and birdnesting has emerged as a strategy that eases children into the reality that their parents will be caring for them separately. The concept involves keeping the children in the marital family home. The parents typically split their time between the children's home and an apartment shared with the ex-spouse. The parents essentially live separately as they trade spots on a rotating schedule.

One family attorney said that the approach could offer benefits in the short term. Children experience little environmental disruption as they become used to the fact that their parents have divorced. Only people undergoing an amicable divorce have a chance at succeeding with this approach because it requires parental cooperation and shared living quarters. The attorney emphasized that parents should only view birdnesting as a temporary strategy before the parents establish two truly separate households.

Tips for fathers dealing with child custody and support

Some unmarried fathers in California might struggle to get custody of their children or pay child support. Although fathers are supposed to have equal rights along with mothers, over 80 percent of custodial parents are mothers. Fathers who don't pay child support might go to jail. Fathers may also be prevented from seeing their children because of protection orders or may struggle to get time with them because of paternity issues.

Experts recommend that fathers who are struggling with child support try to pay something even if it is not the full amount. Fathers who fall behind will still be required to pay back support, but in some circumstances, such as job loss, a judge may modify payments. Having an attorney could help with the modification process.

Divorce and finances

Getting a divorce can have a negative impact on a person's finances in many ways. However, California couples who are ending their marriage can take certain steps to avoid having their financial future adversely affected.

One important step to avoid during and after a divorce is spending extravagantly. Many people may be tempted to go on a shopping spree in order to celebrate the change in their marital status. Others may feel the need to spend in order to cope with their emotions. Before making any purchases, they should take into account that they will be solely responsible for the bills.

Why look for a certified family law specialist for your divorce?

You need an attorney prepared for several issues that could arise during your divorce proceedings. The lawyer should have sufficient knowledge on how to deal with custody, asset division, alimony or anything else that you and your spouse are having difficulties on settling.

Some family law firm sites let visitors know that they have one or more certified specialists on their team. Some viewers may not know what it means for an attorney to be a certified specialist and how being one can affect their case, so it is crucial to know the essential details about this role if you want further guidance on getting the best legal assistance in California for your problems.

Higher divorce risk for cohabiting couples, study finds

California couples who do not live together before marriage might be less likely to get a divorce if they make it through the first year of marriage. A study that appeared in the September 2018 edition of the "Journal of Marriage and Family" reported that cohabiting couples were actually at a higher risk for divorce in the long term.

This contradicted findings in other studies that living together before marriage led to a lower divorce risk. Researchers said this was due to bias by other researchers. They also said that those studies failed to look at the long term; in the first year, couples who had not cohabited were more likely to divorce. According to the study authors, this was probably because they had to suddenly deal with a number of negotiations and adjustments that were already in place for the cohabiting couples. However, for the years after that, the couples who had cohabited showed a higher divorce rate.

Common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements

Many California couples have a number of misconceptions about prenuptial agreements. In some cases, this lack of understanding leads soon-to-be spouses to avoid the topic. However, debunking misconceptions may eliminate some of the negative feelings about prenups.

For example, a prenuptial agreement that includes provisions that a judge is likely to consider unreasonable, ranging from stipulations on child support to one spouse getting all the property after divorce, can result in its dismissal. Furthermore, each partner should have adequate legal counsel from an individual attorney before signing a prenup. A prenuptial agreement that does not meet these standards could look coerced or as though a person was pushed into signing something without fully understanding it.

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  • OCBA | Orange Country Bar Associations
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit
  • State Bar Of California
  • Federal Bar Association
  • AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2014
  • AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability 2018
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization
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