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Bay Area Family Law Blog

Documenting your petition for sole custody

Even if you were able to negotiate most of the terms of your divorce settlement, it is not uncommon for spouses to reach an impasse when it comes to matters of custody. In recent years, family courts in California and across the country favor custody agreements that allow both parents to share in the parenting process as equally as possible. If this is not a plan that makes you comfortable, you have some work to do to convince the court.

Seeking sole custody carries two important burdens. You must prove to the court that your former spouse is unfit, or you must demonstrate that you are the better parent. The key is documentation. Before you even set foot in the courtroom, you must submit ample documentation to support your petition for sole custody.

How is net disposable income computed for setting child support?

According to the State of California, the primary duty of a parent is to provide financial support for his or her children. In some cases, a parent's financial obligation to the children may take precendence over the obligation to care for a child. For parents who are separated or divorced, a parent may be required to provide their children with financial support through a court-ordered child support plan.

Why collaborative law can be a cost- and time-effective option

If a San Francisco resident has any experience with the traditional courtroom process of seeking a divorce, then they probably know that it can be a lengthy experience. It can take many months or even years for a couple to litigate the many issues that must be resolved in order to bring a marriage to its end. Litigated divorce can, in some circumstances, make contentious relationships even more disagreeable.

However, litigated divorce is not the only option that Californians have to end their legal relationships. They may use party-driven options like collaborative law to divorce. This choice eliminates some of the waiting that goes with litigating the terms of a marital dissolution. This is because in collaborative divorces the parties work together to establish settlements for their property, custody and support needs.

How does the state enforce child support orders and agreements?

There are two ways that California parents may find themselves subject to the mandates of a child support plan: through their own work in the creation of a child support agreement or by order of a court. In either case a child support plan may carry the weight of judicial power once it is entered into the legal record and made binding on those a party to it. Once a plan has judicial authority it may be enforced through state-endorsed methods.

Child support enforcement tactics are important because they help ensure that children receive the financial assistance they deserve from their parents. Without enforcement options a parent may never feel compelled to send their monthly child support checks. The enforcement methods available through the state affect parents in different but important ways.

Providing options for different paths to divorce

It may sound crazy, but not every person who plans to divorce their spouse hates or despises their soon-to-be ex. In fact, in California and jurisdictions throughout the country, many divorces involve individuals who simply have grown apart from their partners but who wish them no ill will. For people who only want to end their relationships and are able to do so on good terms with their partners, a litigated divorce may not be the best option.

In a traditional divorce litigation, the parties will use the court system to work through divorce-related matters, such as the custody of children and the division of property. However, if the partners to a couple agree on all such matters and others, are on good terms with each other and want to remain so after their divorce is finalized they may benefit from choosing an alternative process to litigated divorce.

Protecting an inheritance during a divorce

At some point practically everyone dreams of receiving a financial windfall. It may come in the form of a lottery win or the sale of an unexpectedly valuable item. Others may dream that somewhere in the world they have a long-lost relative who has identified them as the individual who should inherit their substantial end-of-life estate.

While many Californians do receive inheritances from their relatives and other loved ones, in most cases those items bestowed upon them are sentimentally valuable rather than financially gratuitous. From time to time, though, a person may receive a sizable inheritance that has the power to alter their financial future.

The age of a child and its role in custody matters

When actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ended their marriage, Californians watched closely to see what would happen to their wealth, their careers and their children. While Jolie apparently retained custody of their kids in the following months, Pitt continued to play a role in the children's lives. Recently, though, a court has ruled that changes must be made to the structure of the former couple's custody plan to ensure that the kids continue to have a relationship with their dad.

The former couple has devised a plan that breaks down when the kids will be with each parent week-by-week and when they may have contact with each other. Notably, though, the plan only applies to five of their six children. Their oldest son, age 16, has been left out of the new custody arrangement.

Your children are counting on you to make the right choices

Your children may have heard the two of you arguing and knew that something wasn't right. These days, your children may already be aware of divorce and understand what it means because they have friends whose parents divorced. If that's the case, then they have probably heard both good and bad stories about how it affected their friends' families.

Even as your marital relationship ends, your children need to know that both of you will remain in their lives. They will want to know that you will makeĀ choices regarding custody and visitation that make that happen. For these reasons, you and the other parent decided to put aside your feelings about your marital relationship in order to focus on your parental one. The problem is you aren't sure how to proceed.

Pop star subpoenaed in child support matter

Prior posts on this California family law blog have discussed how child support arrangements may be modified in the event that the parents or children experience changes in their circumstances. For example, if a child is diagnosed with a medical condition and requires more support than they did in years past their custodial parent may petition to have the noncustodial parent contribute more to the child's care. Additionally, if a parent suffered a financial setback and became unable to pay the child support they are bound to provide they may request a modification to lower the amount they are due to provide.

Recently Kevin Federline subpoenaed pop star Britney Spears to provide current information on her financial situation. Federline and Spears were previously married and together they share two young sons. Spears pays child support to Federline for the care of their children but Federline and his lawyer claim that the amount she pays should be increased.

When after my divorce can I stop paying my ex spousal support?

Most spousal support agreements and orders contain in them provisions that address how and when payments from one party to the other may be terminated. It is for this reason that California residents should first start with their own divorce documents to find out how their particular spousal support cases may be treated when it comes to ending a payment obligation.

Generally, though, a spousal support obligation will endure for a set period of time. That time period may be established to allow the recipient spouse to get back on their feet financially after their divorce, or to allow them to gain important and necessary skills to allow them to reenter the workforce with the capacity to earn what they need to survive.

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