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Pleasanton Family Law Blog

What principles does the state use with child support guidelines?

Child support can be an issue rife with emotions and disputes as a California couple moves forward with a divorce. There is a seemingly endless list of factors that are considered in the context of how much will be paid, and it is essential for both parties to understand how the state determines the amount. To ensure that there are basic principles to adhere to, there is a statewide uniform guideline. Before a case starts, it can be helpful to understand these principles to avoid surprises and to be fully prepared.

The parent's main obligation is to provide support to the children. This is based on the situation and position in life. The responsibility to provide support is mutual for both parents. With the guideline, various factors, including income and how much responsibility the parents have will be considered. The parents should pay for the support of the child based on their ability to do so. The best interests of the children are prioritized in the guidelines.

Can a child support agreement deviate from state guidelines?

In California, when a couple gets a divorce and there are children from the marriage, child support will be a common issue in dispute. Still, there are circumstances where the parents are able to come to an agreement on how much will be paid. Since there are basic state guidelines for child support, the agreement is generally expected to fall within the guidelines. However, some people want to deviate from the guidelines.

To do this, there is a relatively narrow list of reasons why it will be allowed by the court. Parents can avoid the guidelines in the following circumstances: they are completely aware of their rights to child support; they understand the guidelines used to determine child support; they have not been pressured or been forced to agree to the amount deviating from the guidelines; they do not get public assistance; they have not filed an application for public assistance; they agree to an amount that will provide for the child's needs; they believe that the amount is in the child's best interests; and the judge approves the amount.

What is the order of preference for granting child custody?

Emotions can run high during a child custody dispute. In general, the parents will seek custody of the children, but others who claim to have the child's best interests in mind might also wish to be granted custody. The courts will focus on that previously mentioned phrase: the best interests of the child. Knowing the law regarding who can be granted custody is critical to a case.

The court will prefer to give joint custody to the parents or sole custody to one of the parents. When the order is made, the court will consider which parent has the greater likelihood of providing ongoing and frequent contact with the other parent. There can be no preference for one parent over the other based on gender. The court has the right to require the parents to provide the court with a plan to implement a custody order.

What is a Summons and Complaint in a child support case?

When a California couple reaches the end of their marriage and children are involved, they will likely disagree on many factors. Once the child custody is determined, it is important to decide how much the child support payments will be. While most people are undoubtedly familiar with child support generally, the basics can sometimes be confusing. As they deal with the emotions that arise during a divorce, worrying about technical details can add stress to the situation.

The Summons and Complaint is an important part of the child support process. The Local Child Support Agency will file the Summons and Complaint for child support. It will then be sent to the parent from whom child support is requested. The parent's response must be made within 30 days of the service date.

Don't let your business fail when your marriage does

The last thing that you need while trying to extricate yourself from a failed marriage is for your business to go belly-up at the same time. Yet, that is a surprisingly common scenario for those couples who operate family businesses.

Why does divorce so often lead to business woes? While there can be various factors at play here, one key appears to be the lack of an airtight shareholder agreement that dictates how the company will manage when a business partnership goes south. Below are some tips to keep your business afloat in the wake of a divorce.

What is a deferred sale of home order in a California divorce?

In a California divorce, there are scenarios where property division and child support intersect. In cases where a family home must be sold, the sale of the property may be temporarily delayed so the custodial parent can reside there, regardless of whether the parents have sole custody or joint custody. This is called a deferred sale of home order. Understanding what the law says about this in the context of divorce and property division is critical to a case and can help the child adapt to the new circumstances.

If a party has asked for the deferred sale, the court will decide if there is sufficient economic feasibility for the payments of the residence to be continued, including taxes, insurance and other costs. The home's condition will also be considered. The following will be factored in: the income of the resident parent; the availability of support; and if there are other available sources to make the payments. The goal when making the determination is to: avoid defaults and subsequent foreclosures; avoid insufficient insurance on the home; prevent the residence from deteriorating; and prevent other situations that could negatively impact the equity the parties share in the property.

What principles do courts follow regarding child support?

Some of the most difficult factors in a California divorce center around children. Child custody, visitation and child support can lead to major disputes. With child support, there are certain guidelines in place that the state uses to make decisions regarding how much support should be paid.

It is wise for parents to have a grasp of these guidelines. Legal assistance from the beginning is also beneficial.

What must be part of the child custody mediation process?

When a California couple ends a marriage, one of the major concerns they will face is how to deal with child custody. For situations where the parties might be able to come to an amicable agreement, mediation could be a wise alternative to litigation. It is important to understand the mediation process from the beginning. It is also advisable to have legal representation.

Mediators who act in connection with the court must adhere to the law. They will review the files and the intake form prior to beginning mediation. There will be an orientation or parent education that will inform the parents about the following: the disputed issues mediation will seek to settle and the potential outcomes; how the process works and the role of the mediator; circumstances under which the mediator will make specific recommendations; limits to confidentiality; who has access to information that is in the file; how the information from research and experience will be used to settle the case; and how the child's best interests will be served.

Appeal over art and real estate in high-asset divorce denied

In California and across the U.S., divorce is common. Disputes often arise in divorce cases, especially when they involve a large amount of assets.

A prominent couple with substantial assets has had a continuing dispute over their art and real estate and how it will be divided in their divorce. Recently, an appeal as to the valuation of their property was denied. The couple, Harry and Linda Macklowe, are from New York. Mrs. Macklowe asserted that experts were hired by each side to assess the value of their real estate and art and each came to different conclusions as to what these properties were worth.

What should I know about medical child support in a divorce?

In a California divorce, those with children should be aware of various issues related to child support. Most will think about the monthly payment as a means to ensure that their child's best interests are met and their basic needs are provided. It is easy to forget that in addition to a home, clothes and other important items for the child's well-being, medical support will be needed. With any concern related to family law and support, legal help can be critical to an effective resolution.

There are key points about medical support that parents should understand. If there are disagreements, it is also imperative to understand these factors. When health coverage is provided, the law states that it must include vision and dental coverage. When the cost is assessed, it will be categorized as "reasonable" if adding children to the parent's policy costs no more than 5% of the providing parent's gross income.

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