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How child support is impacted by subsequent spouse income

After a California couple has divorced and there is a child support agreement, there are often questions as to when it can be modified and what circumstances are necessary to do so. The supporting parent and the parent who has custody and receives support will frequently start a new relationship with different individuals that result in marriage. Under the law this is referred to as a "subsequent spouse." Understanding how the child support guidelines address a subsequent spouse in the context of what is paid and if the agreement can be modified is important for both sides.

When the paying parent (the obligor) has a subsequent spouse, that subsequent spouse's income will not be factored in when the child support is determined or modified except in cases where the circumstances are deemed extraordinary and the exclusion would result in severe and extreme hardship to the child. The court will gauge whether the inclusion of that income would result in severe and extreme hardship to the child the obligor supports or those supported by the subsequent spouse. The receiving parent (the obligee) is in the same situation when deciding whether the income should be counted.

Experienced legal help is imperative with surrogacy

California individuals and couples who want to have a child, but are unable to will often think about their options to start a family. There are many ways for them to achieve their goals. One that is frequently used is to have a surrogate. Surrogacy is effective and can be successful. However, before moving forward with it, many couples and even the prospective surrogate will have concerns about how the law assesses these cases with legal rights, custody and more. A law firm that is experienced in helping people who are considering surrogacy is essential.

When a surrogate assists a couple by carrying the child, a contract is required to list the various aspects of the case. There is a litany of issues that should be mentioned in the surrogacy contract. To ensure that all the bases are covered, having legal assistance is a must. This can extend from determining who would be a good candidate to carry the baby all the way to disputes related to the agreement.

New California law addresses pets when a couple gets a divorce

For California couples who are at the end of a marriage and are planning to divorce, there are many issues that will be of concern. This can be part of an extended dispute and delay the process while costing money and leading to emotions being frazzled. While it might be considered secondary to some, a new law that will go into effect on Jan. 1 centers around how pets are handled when property division is addressed. Understanding how this law can impact couples as they divorce is an important factor in a case.

With the law, the judge in the divorce case will assess how the best interests of the pet are best served. No longer will the pet be treated as a piece of property. With this law, the judge will have the right to account for who will best care for the animal while also creating a shared custody situation. Whereas in the past, pets were treated as if they akin to a motor vehicle that needed to be considered in a property division, that is no longer the case. If, for example, one spouse took care of the dog's needs by taking it for walks, feeding it and playing with it, that will be a major factor in who gets to retain the pet.

Dealing with the consequences of divorce under the new laws

If you were not able to finalize your divorce before midnight on New Year’s Eve, you will have to face the new laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. You have many concerns to address, especially if you and your spouse are dealing with a high-asset divorce.

Whether you are a physician, CEO, public official, athlete or small business owner, divorce and the resulting property division may seem overwhelming. Here are four new concerns to keep in mind, courtesy of the new tax laws.

What are the options to respond when receiving a divorce summons?

If a California marriage is heading towards divorce, the process will often begin with one spouse serving the other with a summons and petition to move forward with the process. Once the person has been served, there will be various pieces of information including restraining orders as to what could be done with assets, property, money and debts. If there are children in the marriage, there will be an order not to move out of the state or for getting a new passport unless there is written consent. After reading and understanding this, it is imperative to know the options to respond. Having legal advice during this time is wise.

In some cases, the person is willing to end the marriage without dispute and concern over customary divorce legal issues and they do nothing. If that is the decision, then it means the judge will generally decide to grant what the petitioner requested in the filing. This is a true default divorce. In such a circumstance the recipient will not take part in the case. Another way in which a recipient will do nothing is if there was an agreement in place. This must be notarized and the couple has decided on the marital issues. It is a default since there is no response, but with the negotiation process, there is a written agreement the recipient is taking part in, so it is not a true default divorce.

What happens if a parent falls behind on child support?

The goal with spousal support and child support in California is for the former spouse to be able to survive and the best interests of the child to be met. With an order based on the child support guidelines, it is not a punishment against the supporting parent and a reward to the receiving parent. It is done so everyone can be supported. However, it is unavoidable that issues might arise where there is a child support dispute or the paying parent is not making the necessary payments on time and in full.

Falling behind on these payments can be serious and it is important for those dealing with this from either perspective understands how to handle it. After there has been an order to pay support, it must be adhered to unless it is legally changed by the court whether via an agreement or by termination. When the paying spouse falls behind on child support, spousal support or both, there will be an interest rate of 10 percent annually on what is owed. There is nothing that can be done to avoid this charge.

Understanding legal custody and physical custody in California

California couples who are getting a divorce will want to have a major say in how their children are raised. That can often lead to a child custody dispute. Even in cases where the couple is amicable and able to hash out their differences without a great deal of vitriol, it is still not unusual for there to be concerns about a child's living arrangements and which parent will be the primary custodial parent.

Understanding the two kinds of custody orders that the court can issue is an important part of these cases. Two kinds of custody can be awarded. They are legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody regulates which parent will be the final decision maker of all the key decisions about the child including medical care, how he or she is educated, and the child's welfare. Physical custody is which parent the child will reside with.

How is quasi-community property handled in property division?

At the end of a marriage in California, there will be many issues that could become the foundation for an extended dispute. People who are simply trying to move on with their lives and are hoping for a relatively quick and painless process could find that desire hindered by property division issues. While most people will have a basic grasp of community property and separate property, a frequent question asked is what will happen if it is not as simple as items either belonging to one or both based on the law. This is when it is important to understand the concept of quasi-community property.

If one spouse or both spouses acquired a piece of property when they resided in a different state and, had they resided in California when it was acquired, it would have been viewed as community property. It will then be quasi-community property. This can apply to any type of property such as real estate, artwork or anything else. During a divorce, it would subsequently be viewed as community property and subject to state law for that.

Prenuptial agreements are on the rise, for good reason

It has taken a while, but many couples have figured out that having a prenuptial agreement is a sound idea.

A prenup is not just for celebrities and the very wealthy. It establishes financial and property rights for couples in all income brackets and a path forward for both parties if there should be a divorce.

What kind of orders are possible with visitation rights?

When a California couple can no longer maintain their relationship and choose to part ways, having children and determining the custody and visitation rights can be one of the most difficult aspects to deal with. The primary factor is the best interests of the child, but both parents will have their own viewpoint as to what that entails. Parents should be prepared for these issues and have legal assistance to settle it to their satisfaction.

After custody has been determined, one of the next key steps is having a grasp on what the alternatives are with visitation orders. The parent who does not have the child for half the time will get visitation rights. There are the following options with granting visitation: there will be a visitation schedule; the order can be for reasonable visitation; there can be supervised visitation or there can be no visitation.

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