Family Law

Custody arrangements and divorces can be emotionally and financially draining for everyone involved. At TLG, we can help you weather the storm and keep your best interests at heart during divorce, custody arrangement, spousal support, or child support modification proceedings.

Divorce

It is a misconception that divorce cases must go before a judge. In fact, most cases don’t end up in court. Custody arrangements, spousal and child support arrangements, and property division can all be negotiated and agreed upon between the spouses and settled out of court. Doing so can save money and emotional energy.

Community Property Division

California follows a community property division of marital assets, which determines how family assets that were acquired during the marriage will be divided upon divorce. The key to a successful division of community property in your favor is the proper valuation of community property. Separate property interests, whether kept separate by contract or individually owned premarital property, will not be considered community property.

Spousal Support

Determination of spousal support considers numerous factors such as the income of spouses, the lifestyle and standards of living during the marriage, a spouse's ability to work, the length of the marriage, and health limitations, if any, of each spouse, and other special needs. In California, like other states, spousal support is both deductible for the paying spouse and taxable as income to the recipient spouse. Our spousal support lawyers can advise you on what you can expect in the way of spousal support payments and help you determine the factors that best represent your interests before the divorce court.

Child Custody/Visitation/Support

The child's best interests will generally determine the custody arrangement. While most issues of child support and child custody are settled in conciliation prior to a court proceeding, the ongoing best interests of your family largely depend on how you present your case in conciliation before a counselor or in court litigation./p>

An initial order for child support in California is calculated according to guidelines that consider such variables as:

• Each spouse's income and resources
• The custody of the child
• The number of children in the family
• Other support obligations
• Day care costs
• Special needs of the children
• Any other expenses of the child

Generally, the non-custodial parent, or the parent whose income is the highest, pays support to the other parent for the time period that the children are not in his or her custody. In other words, the more time the non-custodial parent spends with the children, the less child support s/he will be ordered to pay to the custodial parent. Child support may not be waived by agreement of the parties.

Child support orders are always modifiable upon a showing of a change in circumstances. The custodial parent may seek an increase in support payments upon a showing that the non-custodial parent had a pay raise. Conversely, the non-custodial parent may seek a decrease in court ordered child support payments upon a showing that s/he lost a job, had a decrease in pay, became disabled and unable to work, or other compelling circumstances. In order to have court ordered support payments modified, the requesting party must go to court and request a change. This is done by the filing of an order to show cause. Thus, the change is not automatic, and the court will not make the adjustment on its own.

Spousal Support

In addition to Child Support, a California court may order that one spouse pay support to the other, both during the dissolution proceeding in order to maintain the status quo, and after the final judgment of dissolution has been entered. Generally, if the parties have been married for less than ten (10) years, support will be ordered for one-half (½) the length of the marriage. If the parties have been married for more than ten (10) years, the court has the power to order support until the payee spouse either re-marries or dies.

When ordering permanent support, a judge will look at the factors that include: the standard of living during marriage, the income of both parties, the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, their health, their earning capacity, education, job skills, their assets and liabilities, and the ability of the non-earner spouse to obtain the skills necessary to become self-sufficient. However, unlike child support, the parties may agree amongst themselves to waive spousal support.

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219 N. Indian Hill Blvd #201, Claremont, CA 91711
800-563-4144