Family Law

Going through a divorce is unpleasant and always influences all aspects of a person’s life. Its importance can never be underestimated, and its importance increases the longer the marriage lasts. If you are separated from your spouse or thinking about it, you should educate yourself about the process. If you have anything worth preserving, you should retain an experienced divorce attorney.

No-Fault Divorces in California

California is a no-fault state. What this means is that if one spouse desires a divorce, the other spouse cannot stop the process. The court and the lawyers call a divorce a marital dissolution.

To get a no-fault divorce, one spouse must simply state a reason for the divorce that is recognized by the state. In California, it’s enough to declare that the couple cannot get along (this reason goes by such names as “incompatibility,” “irreconcilable differences,” or “irremediable breakdown of the marriage”). The spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong.

Factors That Affect Child Support

Child support is determined by a mandatory, complicated algebraic formula that is written into the California Family Code. In honesty, what happens is each parent’s income and the amount of time he or she spends with the child is entered into the judge’s computer program (your lawyer has a copy, too) and provides a support figure for each child. This is the “presumed correct” figure, and the circumstances under which the judge can change the amount are few. Few parents know that the critical factor is the parents’ respective incomes. Time with the child is weighted far, far less. Even so, many parents fight for custody time to reduce their child support obligations.

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What You Need to Know About Child Custody

Everyone knows what child custody is. Very few know who actually decides the matter in cases where both parties don’t agree. You may think it is the judge, but in most counties of the state (not in Orange County or Los Angeles County), that is not true. The judge is important in those counties because the ultimate power rests with him. However, the reality is that the judge follows the recommendation of a custody evaluator almost all the time. In Ventura County, for example, if the parties disagree, then the court will order them to mediate the dispute with a court employee.  

If the parties don’t agree during the mediation, then the court employee will make a recommendation to the judge. He or she will recommend the percentage of time the child spends with each parent, and the vast majority of the time, the judge adopts the recommendation of the employee.

Common Alimony Calculations

Alimony is called spousal support by the court and the lawyers. How much spousal support is awarded, if any, is not set by a schedule like child support. Temporary spousal support is often set by judges relying almost exclusively on a local schedule. But the judge won’t rely on a schedule at trial. The Family Code contains a long list of factors judges are required to take into consideration, including the parties’ income, earning capacities, expenses, and standard of living during the marriage. As a result, spousal support tends to take income and expenses into account.

Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

I have practiced law in Southern California for more than 25 years, and my highest priority has always been to put my clients’ needs first. I am willing to negotiate early, settle your case, and take your case all the way to court when needed. My unique approach has helped me receive top ratings from both Avvo and Martindale. If you have a family law matter that you’d like to discuss with an attorney, reach out to me today. I will analyze the facts and apply my strong understanding of the law to obtain the best result possible for your case.