What Role Does A Parent’s Income Play In Child Support?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child support attorney Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmDuring a divorce that involves children, one of the parent ends up having custody over the children while the other parent pays a certain amount as child support. It is important that parents earn a substantial amount of money each year for child support. Parents with low income have often found themselves losing child custody battles. In some cases, child custody has been awarded to a third party due to low income by both parents.

Calculating the amount for child support

It is very important that parents calculate the amount of child support they need to pay. Parents should first work out where and with whom the children will live. Once that is sorted out, both parents should decide on a certain amount that must be paid for child support. The parent who loses custody battle usually become the primary child support payer. It is usually the parent with the higher income.

To calculate the gross annual income, parents need to look at their income tax return and the amount that is given. It will give a fair idea of what each parent earns in a month. Additionally, they should contact the Department of Child Support Services to help them chalk out the best plan for child support if they want their county to help seek and enforce a child support order.

During a shared parenting arrangement where the child has lived with both parents equally for a year, the paying parent becomes one who earns more. The child must have spent at least 30% of his/her time with each parent before the parents can be termed as joint custody.

Split parenting can occur when there are more than two children involved and when each parent becomes the primary caretaker of each child. In such cases, it becomes the duty to each parent to contribute equally for child support. But that again it depends on the annual income of each parent.

There are many child support calculators available online and the best ones are DissoMaster and XSpouse.

Conclusion

Parental income is very important for child support decisions because it determines how much each parent should pay for supporting their child. A child support calculator considers important factors like annual salary and expenses and determines the exact amount for each parent.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

What Role Does Parent’s Income Play In Child Support?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDuring a divorce that involves children, one of the parent ends up having custody over the children while the other parent pays a certain amount as child support.  It is very important that parents calculate the amount of child support they need to pay. Parents should first work out where and with whom the children will live. Once that is sorted out, both parents should decide on a certain amount that must be paid for child support. The parent who loses custody battle usually become the primary child support payer. It is usually the parent with the higher income.

To calculate the gross annual income, parents need to look at their income tax return and the amount that is stated. From that amount they must minus union dues if present. It will give a fair idea of what each parent earns in a month. Additionally, they can contact a Child Support Services officer to help them chalk out the best plan for child support.

A split parenting can occur when there are more than two children involved and when each parent becomes the primary caretaker of each child. In such cases, it becomes the duty to each parent to contribute equally for child support. But that again it depends on the annual income of each parent.

There are many child support calculators available online. Such online calculator which has been created by the state gives an relatively accurate idea about the amount each parent need to spend each year for child support.

Conclusion

Parental income is very important for child support decisions because it determines how much each parent should pay for supporting their child. A child support calculator considers important factors like annual salary and expenses and determines a guideline amount to be paid.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

What Violations of Divorce Orders Justify A Contempt Filing?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIn the event of a violation of an order stipulated in the final decree of divorce, the court has the right to take immediate penal action against the party held in contempt of court. A contempt of court can result in either civil or criminal penalties, in accordance with the seriousness of the violation and its impact on the well-being of the other party. There are several scenarios wherein you can file a motion for contempt of court against your ex-spouse.

Child or spousal support orders

In case your spouse refuses to make a contribution towards the child or spousal support ordered by the court of law in the final decree of divorce or makes late payments on a regular basis, you can report the issue to the legal authorities as a contempt case and request adequate corrective action. In addition to this, a spouse who only pays a portion of the amount ordered as a contribution to the child or spousal support will also be held in contempt of court and instigate a penalty of some kind. 

Child custody and visitation

Child custody and visitation are two of the most frequently violated aspects of a court order. There are several cases wherein one parent intentionally tries to violate the other partner’s right to exercise his or her share of the joint custody or parental visitation schedule. A failure to adhere to the parental plan crafted by the court of law as a part of the final custody arrangement is a major offense that is viewed as a contempt of court and commands stringent punitive actions. However, it is important for you to gather substantial evidence in the form of documents or soft copies of emails, text messages or other communications that might prove the violation. 

Failure to seek employment

More often than not, when a court instructs a partner to seek employment for earning their livelihood, it is viewed as a mere suggestion and not a full blown order. If an individual intentionally fails at finding a job or means of livelihood as directed by the court in the final decree, he or she is liable to be tried in a contempt of court proceeding. In other words, a person’s willful failure to obtain some kind of work or training to fulfill his/her obligation of supporting his/her children will be held in contempt of court.

If you find that your ex-spouse is violating any court orders mentioned in the decree of divorce, you can seek legal consultation from an attorney and file a contempt action with the court.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Myths About Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top divorce attorneys Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmPrenuptial agreements are designed to take a major chunk of the sting away from most divorce cases, by preserving the interests and expectations of both the divorcing parties and keeping the surprise element away from the trial proceedings. In California, a prenup agreement is referred to as a premarital agreement, and governed by the statutes of the state’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. However, there are a lot of myths and preconceived notions about the prenup, courtesy popular culture and belief. We are here to debunk a few such myths, and provide you with the correct facts regarding a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements are meant for wealthy celebs only

The fact here is that it does not really matter whether or not you have a large estate or property. A prenup agreement will not only provide you clarity of how to manage your finances with your spouse, but also prevent unnecessary conflicts and dispute regarding the same. Having a discussion about your finances, before taking your relationship to the next level will be an effective way of avoiding everyday arguments. 

Prenuptial agreements are biased towards the wealthier spouse

As per the law, a prenup is supposed to be designed in such a way that it conserves and enforces the rights and interests of both the partners involved. An agreement which is biased towards either spouse, will be recognized as unconscionable, and will not be enforced by the court of law. The basis of a prenup is that it should be signed voluntarily by both the parties by their own free will. Furthermore, it is the obligation of both parties to ensure a comprehensive disclosure of their assets and debts to each other. 

Premarital agreements are created to address each and every issue related to a divorce

There is no such law that compulsorily requires a prenuptial agreement to carry instructions for each and every issue that crops up as a byproduct of a divorce. However, since it is largely a private contract, it is up to the partners to decide upon the level of intricacy they want out of the agreement. If you wish to limit your prenup to the protection of your finances, so be it. On the other hand, if you wish to incorporate other aspects such as the execution of a will or a trust, you can create your prenup accordingly. 

A cautiously crafted prenuptial agreement not only provides a measure of peace within the relationship, but also strengthens the bond between the partners by minimizing everyday conflicts over petty issues.

Getting married and divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself about California law before you get married to fully understand why a premarital agreement makes sense.

What To Know About A 4-Way Divorce Settlement Conference

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIn divorce cases, the parties and their counsel can arrange and meet to do a ‘four-way informal settlement conference.’ Here’s what you should know about how these settlement conferences work during divorce, and what to avoid during the process to get the most out of such meetings.

Use your commitment to get results

A four way meeting involves four parties during the divorce, typically you and your divorce attorney, and your spouse and his divorce attorney. Going into such a meeting during the divorce process, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to listen. If you have decided to take the route of divorce to work through your differences on things like division of financial assets and custody of the children, then a four way meeting is an important milestone.

Prepare!

Don’t go into a four way meeting unprepared, that is the single worst thing you can do for your case. Have all the information related to finances, work schedules, assets to be divided, custody or whatever else relates even remotely to the details you hope to discuss in the four way meeting. Have your set of goals in mind and be clear on what you want out of this meeting. Come with alternatives and your ‘next best’ option if you aren’t making headway with getting to your ideal outcome.

Speak up

This is a unique opportunity for you to sit across the table from your ex and work through your differences to a level where you are able to arrive at some kind of arrangement that you can both live with. Because both attorneys are also present, you can go over legal aspects and whether the solutions will hold in court. Unlike a regular divorce mediation meeting, a four way meeting may not involve a mediator, so you will not be ‘given’ a chance to speak, you will have to take it.

Be realistic

Don’t expect miracles in just one four way meeting. See it as a stepping stone to your ultimate goal of working out a mutually agreeable divorce settlement through the course of the divorce process. You may discuss only some aspects in this meeting, and deal with others later or through your attorneys.

Don’t show your weakness

Avoid getting too emotionally charged up, this will show your hand to your ex and give them a window to what matters most. If they’re bitter or vindictive, they could use your weakness to do you out of some other financial assets, by using this weakness as leverage.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

10 Suggestions On How To Develop A Parenting Plan

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmFor parties with children going through a separation whether they are married or not, there are many things to keep in mind when preparing a parenting plan for their children.  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Be detail-oriented when preparing your parenting plan.  Make sure you are specific about the dates, times, locations and arrangements for which parent will be providing transportation for all of the exchanges.  Children handle things better if they are able to trust and rely on a specific and consistent plan.  A specific plan can also help to avoid arguments between the parents.
  2. The child’s relationship with each parent and their siblings.  If a parent has been out of their life for a long period of time, visits should start slowly and supervised until the child feels comfortable with that parent.
  3. The child’s age, developmental stage and any specific needs.The child’s temperament and how they deal with change.
  4. Parents’ work schedules and where they reside.
  5. Consider that the child will also want time with their friends and extended family members.  
  6. The location of your child’s school, sports, hobbies, tutors, doctor and dentist.  Who is going to be responsible for transporting the child to these events?  
  7. Make the child’s schedule and transitions as consistent and smooth as possible.  Avoid conflict at this already heightened time of anxiety.
  8. Help your child keep their school work, sports equipment, etc. organized between transitions.  
  9. Allow the child to contact the other parent whenever they feel the desire.  If there is a high level of conflict between the parents, a more detailed parenting plan can help.

Make sure that your child’s safety and well-being is your top priority.  If you have any concerns about child abuse, mental or emotional disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence, or anything else that could harm your child physically, emotionally, or mentally, seek professional help.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

OCCourts.org – A Guide to Your Orange County Divorce Case Online

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOnce an Orange County divorce case has been filed and you have case number, the parties and their attorneys can access their case online.  Www.occourts.org is the website you can go to for information on your case. This website highlights your case information such as status of your case in the court, anything and everything that has been filed in your Orange County divorce case, a detailed list of all the hearings that have happened and the parties and attorneys in the case.  It will also highlight the date set for the next hearing.

Interesting Facts about the Website

  • While the document list is there for you to view, you cannot view the original document. For that a trip to the court is necessary or you can order any documents from the case online and pay the processing fee by credit card.
  • Mistakes can sometimes happen and if you think there has been a mistake make sure you call up your Orange County divorce lawyer to confirm.
  • The website, despite being updated regularly, is not always up-to-the-minute accurate. There is often a delay in between receiving, scanning and getting the information posted online.

A Few Key Features

  • The case can be searched on the website using the name of case or its number. A name search will also require to enter a code to notify the system that not a computer spammer.
  • The initial screen of the case will highlight you the status of the case, the date of filing and the number of the case.
  • There are a number of different tabs on this screen and one that says “Register of Actions” tab will be the one that gives you a lowdown on what has been filed in your case up until this point. Whatever you may feel you miss here can be gotten by you through the family law clerk’s office.
  • Another section known as the participants will tell you the people involved in fighting the case. This will usually lay down you, your spouse and your lawyers.
  • There is also the hearings section to keep you updated on the dates that you need to be present in court on and the dates that have already gone by.
  • If you are interested in any document filed in your Orange County divorce case, the use of the shopping cart section will allow you to order it home. Of course the document you get will be a copy. The turnaround time is typically 3-5 days.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Should You Divorce or Attempt Reconciliation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMarital relationships can sometimes last a lifetime, but only if the people that are involved in it are in it with love, commitment and dedication. Yet sometimes, especially in relationships between a husband and a wife, things just don’t work out. There may be a variety of reasons for things not working out which may include a lack of intimacy, misunderstanding, lack of compatibility, etc. Whatever the reason though, when things aren’t working with your spouse, you have only two real options in front of you:  to repair your marriage and reconcile, or otherwise proceed with divorce.

The decision of whether you should go for Orange County divorce or reconcile with your spouse is an important one since it will dictate the kind of future that you will have. But the fact that divorce has a social stigma attached to it means that even if a spouse is not willing to live with the other spouse it is not a decision that they can take willingly.  That however should not be the case. If you are not able to live with your spouse, divorce may seem a viable option.

Reasons to go for Reconciliation

·         Giving it another chance

Anybody can make a mistake. One mistake or even a few mistakes should not spell the end of anything, much less a marriage. If you think that things are not working between the two of you, you can always talk to your spouse and go for a therapy session where both of you can work on your marriage instead of opting for an Orange County divorce.

·         For the children’s welfare

For a child one of the worst possible things to experience in life is to have their parents go through an Orange County divorce and see to their family break apart. This will change the way life has been for them altogether.

Reasons to go for a divorce

·         Start afresh

If you feel that your life is stagnant and any and everything that you try between you and your spouse is not working, you need a fresh start that start will be given to you by an Orange County divorce. Getting a divorce will rid you of your spouse and the shackles of being married. Once you out you can start new and single, doing all things you wanted to do and achieve.

·         For the sake of the children

There is reason in the reconciliation section that is for the children. In most cases an Orange County divorce is also for the best interest of the children. The worst thing for the child to witness and one that can ruin their life forever is witnessing their parents fight out against one another, leveling allegations and displaying open hate. The only way to put a stop on it is to go for a divorce.

·         For safety and security

If you can prove that your spouse is an illegal drug addict or that they abuse you or the children or both mentally, physically and emotionally either or all, you can and should opt for a divorce. No relation is bigger than human life and well being. If you and your children fear for your safety with your spouse, an Orange County divorce is your protection from all such problems.

Good Co-Parenting Should Not Occur Just During the Holidays

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmToward the end of the year, many publications offer tips on how to survive the holiday season as divorced parents. Although such annual articles provide useful advice on holiday arrangements for children, divorcing parents should aim to develop effective co-parenting strategies that extend all year long.

The holiday season is a major, emotional period of the year, but it is important to remember that co-parenting should sustain beyond Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Communication between both parents is the key to successful co-parenting. Just like during Christmas or New Year’s, children should regularly have the opportunity to spend quality time with both parents. For example, working together to set a schedule with consistent drop off and pick up times will help kids feel more secure.

Divorce is a stressful process that can make it challenging for even well-meaning parents to cooperate. However, divorced spouses must set aside any feelings of bitterness or anger in order to develop a co-parenting plan that meets the needs of their children. Modeling respect, cooperation and polite behavior sets a positive tone for co-parenting. When children see their parents getting along, they are more likely to adjust easily to divorce.

Additionally, co-parenting plans should be geared toward the age of the child. Younger children need reassurance that they have two parents who love them no matter what. On the other hand, teens might require more flexibility and freedom in their schedules to accommodate their many activities.  For some divorced spouses, even thinking of their co-parent might be painful. However, it is important to compartmentalize such feelings and commit to communicating with your ex for the benefit of your child. Co-parenting ensures that children share a close bond with both parents.

Life Insurance Considerations & Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce lawyers in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmMore and more people are getting life insurance these days, and that’s a good thing. Yet there are very few people who understand the intricacies of this in connection with divorce.

Here is a list of a few “life insurance” considerations before you get into a divorce proceeding and what you need to consider if life insurance coverage is needed in the divorce agreement.

·        The Insured Spouse Should Go Through Any Underwriting Process Before They Sign the Settlement Agreement if Possible

If there is chance of the coverage not being available to the spouse as a result of health issues or if the premium is prohibitively expensive, the settlement needs to have other provisions included that ensure protection against a premature death. Some of these measures that can be used in an Orange County divorce settlement are trusts and other planning tools for estate.  If you and your spouse don’t have coverage as of now, it is best that any coverage you apply for is based on a rate and policy comparison for your situation.

·        You Shouldn’t Name Your Minor Children AsBeneficiaries, Even Via a Custodian

This is one of the most common errors made by parents going through an Orange county divorce. The reason for this mistake can either be a lack of knowledge or contemplation. Any payments made with such a designation of beneficiary will go straight into the UGMA account if the child has not yet reached an age of maturity. Even if you don’t list a beneficiary the court will be quick to appoint one. While this may not be problem per se, it can be when the child will have complete control to the account once they mature, which will usually happen once they are 18.

·        The Beneficiary Can Receive Notices for Premiums

The ownership of the insurance or who makes the payment does not matter. Irrespective of these intricacies, the beneficiary needs to be notified of about the status of the policy, which is also known as the proof of insurance. The insurance company is obliged to provide the beneficiary with a prior notice before the policy can lapse on non-payment giving them enough time to take appropriate action.

 
No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.