What Can And Cannot Be Considered As Income For Child Support

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Divorce is always a difficult period for the couple going through the procedure. The proceedings, however, are much harder if there are children involved. Children below the age of 18 are involved in the unpleasant business of divorce despite their unwillingness. Divorce settlements often do not proceed smoothly especially when there are issues revolving around child support. Debates often arise when it comes to calculating the percentage of an individual’s income that goes into child support. Confusions can also arise when it comes to determining the type of income that can and cannot be considered as child support.

Income considered as child support

Generally, income is a broad term that encompasses the monetary benefits an individual attains from work, pensions, dividends, rental properties, trust funds, and so on. When it comes to divorce settlements for individuals who own businesses in Orange County, California, income is calculated by subtracting the expenses incurred in the business from the gross revenue generated by the business. Courts may also extend the calculated income to include any monetary benefits that are instrumental in reducing the living expenses of an individual.

Recent laws also classify financial gifts received from an individual’s parents as income.

Details on how much of a person’s income actually goes into child support are explicitly stated under the California Family Code Section 4050. Usually, the amount that goes into child support is calculated by taking into account the incomes of both parents, the time the child spends with each of the parents, and any tax reductions that are applicable. An estimate for the amount to be paid can be calculated using the California Guideline Child Support Calculator that is based on California Child Support Guidelines.

Income that cannot be considered as child support

Deciding income that cannot be considered as child support is a difficult task. It varies according to state laws and sometimes according to what the court decides. Despite uncertainties, there are certain types of income that are not eligible to be considered as child support according to Orange County laws. Benefits arising from life insurance policies, any income that is speculative, stock options that cannot be liquidated, and settlements from disputes relating to personal injury cannot be considered as income for child support. Gifts like cars and household items that are not monetary in nature are not considered income. These are a few situations where the resulting monetary benefits are not considered an actual stable income. Each of these situations is subject to change depending on the final decision taken by 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.

How to avoid unequal distribution of property during a California divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmProbably one of the most contentious tasks for any couple to agree on would be the division and distribution of property and assets during a divorce. Making through the assets separation in mutual agreement without the need for additional intervention is certainly a welcome situation for both spouses.

If in case you’re unable to settle the issue of property distribution with your spouse, a California family law judge will have to do it for you.

To begin with property distribution in a divorce agreement across the United States is conducted via state law. Asset division follows either community property or equitable division state laws. California is a community property state.

How is property divided?

Marital assets can be distinguished into Separate and Community property.

Community property is everything co-owned by a married couple, or all property obtained and collected during the marriage, regardless of efforts and skill put in by either spouse.

Separate Property on the other hand covers everything owned by a spouse before marriage. Generally not divided during divorce agreements, separate property is retained by the owner spouse.

Separate Property

Here is a short list of assets that fall under separate property

  • Any inheritance or a gift awarded to a particular spouse, even if received during the marriage.
  • Property obtained before marriage, for instance, a savings bank account, etc.
  • Pension earnings proceeds received before marriage.
  • Businesses owned before the marriage.

Community Property

In the state of California property and assets accumulated during the marriage is separated equally between both spouses.

Community Property State Law doesn’t call for division of each object, but an estimated net value of jointly owned property is divided equally. For instance, a spouse can be given the family residence, while the other receives the business.

Basically the couple shares everything equally, the property and the debts. At times, families have to sell the house and share the proceeds earned, of if a spouse would like to continue living in the house, they would then need to buy the other half.

There are cases where separate property can get muddled in with community property in something called commingling. In this case it is difficult to tell the difference between what once was separate property from community property.

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.

How To Get Back On Track After A Bad Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmA marriage or a relationship is a partnership where two persons lead one life. After a certain point in life each person can start to become dependent on the other. For individuals who are overly dependent on their spouse, the word ‘divorce’ is a nightmare.

In the wake of a divorce, it can be hard to get your life back on track but it’s very important that you do so, because getting back to living a meaningful and fulfilling life is what is most important at this point.

Let your emotions flow

Most individuals find it difficult to talk about their emotions after a divorce. Holding back feelings can have an adverse effect on your psychology and your health. Since, you are trying to move on and lead a new life it’s very important that you don’t drag extra baggage as you move away from your divorce.

Consulting and talking to a therapist helps if you feel severely depressed and lonely post-divorce. A therapist will help you identify the exact problems you are facing and provide a way to cope up with them.

Rework your finances

One of the worst parts of divorce is the financial problems that you must face due to property and asset division. Rebuilding your financial life should be a priority. You should start by calculating your assets and expenses. Make a list of your liabilities and what part of your income is saved at the end of each month. If you’re unemployed then it’s best that you get a job.

Keeping a track of your finances will shift your mind from negative thoughts and will allow you to focus on more important things.

Rediscover yourself

After a divorce, you’ll find plenty of time for yourself. So, rather than isolating yourself from the world, go out and discover a new side of yourself. Go for a vacation, get a new haircut or treat yourself to something nice. It is extremely important that you spend time with yourself and rediscover a new side that you haven’t experienced before.

Conclusion

Divorces are tough especially if you’ve lived with someone for a long time. It is obvious that going through a bad divorce will affect you both mentally and physically. It is therefore important to change your life and start afresh. Let go of your emotions and talk to people that matter. Focus more on your finances and building a new life through new and different experiences.

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.  

Methods of How To Proceed With Getting Your Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThere is a perception among many people that a divorce can be only obtained through litigation in the court.  However, in reality, here are four key ways to obtain a divorce from your spouse.

Mediation

This is an extremely effective way to resolve disputes, which may pop up when two people are all set to divorce and is a great alternative to litigation in the court. The role of a divorce mediator is to act as an unbiased neutral party and help the couples to resolve the issues that have come up due to the decision of a divorce so that they can reach a settlement that is agreeable to both. In order to make the process of mediation a successful one, both the parties should be ready to negotiate on all aspects of the divorce settlement.

Divorce litigation in court

When you as well as your support are unsuccessful to arrive at a consensus or fail to mediate on issues like spousal support, child support or property split, you may give to knock the doors of the court as a next step. However obtaining the divorce through a court can be pretty costly. Both of you will have to hire divorce attorneys to fight for your case in the court, Moreover, you gave to pay filing fees and court fees and pay the attorney you have hired. The fees of an attorney will depend on which part of the country you are residing.

Collaborative Divorce

When you and your spouse opt for a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse need to have a financial specialist for divorce, a child specialist if you have children from your marriage and redo attorneys. Though a Collaborative Divorce may be costly, it is less costly than a long and bitter litigated divorce in the long term. In this process, you need to pay all the specialists according to the hourly rate they charge. However, you need not pay filing fees or court fees unlike a litigated divorce.

Pro Se or DIY litigation

This kind of divorce litigation dignified that you will be doing a self-representation for your divorce case, in Pro Se litigation, you need to follow the same procedures that you would have followed had you hired a divorce attorney to represent your case. The difference here is that the responsibility of filing and filling out the legal forms rest with you. The only expenses that occur in this type of litigation are to pay the court costs and filing fees. In order to go through a do it yourself divorce, you should be well conversant with the divorce laws of your state. However, you need to note that getting a divorce without hiring a lawyer could mean a lot of hard work. But it is the best option for you when you are unable to afford the fees of an attorney.

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.  

5 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmSome people consider mediation fairly new, but it’s actually been around quite a while. The term mediation refers to an alternative dispute resolution process. It was first used by the ancient Greeks when there were difficult disputes between village members. The first recorded case of mediation occurred in 522 A.D. (or C.E.) When mediation became necessary, the two disputing villagers would turn to a village elder who would guide them to a resolution. The elder would lead them in a discussion ending in a solution they could both agree to uphold and then record the resolution so the parties could move forward peacefully.

Mediation and the mediation process has evolved since the time of the ancient Greeks, but it still aims for the same admirable goal: a mutually agreeable resolution. Today, mediation is used to resolve a wide range of issues from a simple dispute between neighbors to assisting world leaders in coming to agreements that would avoid war or other discord, but we see if used most often as a means of coming to a mutually agreeable resolution when two parties are getting divorced.

5 Benefits of Divorce Mediation:

  1. Mediation Puts the Children First: Divorce is hard. It’s hard on both parties involved. But it’s even harder on their children. They experience enormous stress about an uncertain future: worries about where they will live, feeling as if they are somehow at fault, being forced to be “in the middle” of a battle between parents. Every letter, phone call, text message, and demand sent back and forth between divorce attorneys can increase the adversarial nature of the divorce. Divorce mediation minimizes this negative aspect of divorce and can greatly reduce the amount of stress that the children involved need to handle.
  2. Mediation is Private and Confidential: Court is a public forum. Anyone can sit in the courtroom and watch the events unfold during your divorce case: friends, family, neighbors or strangers. When divorce is handled through the courts, it is a public show. Many greatly appreciate the fact that divorce mediation is not open to the public, but instead offers some privacy during a time of intense stress and personal upheaval.
  3. Mediation is Faster and More Efficient: The courts are busy. They have a lot of handle, not enough staff to handle it and an ever-increasing workload. Getting a court date to resolve issues related to your divorce could take up to a year in some cases. And that’s before you take into consideration that two different divorce attorneys need to be available and agree to meet on the specified date and time provided by the court. It is a scheduling nightmare. In some cases, getting divorced can end up taking years. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, offers the benefit of being much quicker and more efficient. This is not only beneficial, but vital in some cases as a long, drawn out battle in court simply may not be feasible.
  4. Mediation is Fair and Empowering: When taking your case to court, divorcing parents lose a lot of their power. The power is in the hands of the attorneys representing them and, in the end, the judge who hands down their final decree. With divorce mediation, parents are actively involved in creating the terms and are present during negotiations. They still hold the power in their hands.
  5. Mediation has a Higher Rate of Compliance: Possibly most beneficial in the long run, divorces handled through mediation typically experience higher rates of compliance. No one likes being told what to do. It could be as simple as that. When people are able to have a say in what is happening, they are more likely to accept it moving forward. This can avoid a lot of drama and stress (and potential expense) in the future as managing non-compliance after divorce can be even more contentious than going to court for a divorce in the first place.

If you want to hear more about the benefits of divorce mediation, get in touch with an experienced family law attorney at The Maggio Law Firm today so we can help you determine if divorce mediation is the best answer for you and your family.

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.  

How Long Should You Wait After Separation To Get A Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe answer to this question is not an easy one as it depends on several factors. The very first thing people should do is to check local laws in the state they are residing for knowing more about legal separation periods. The laws may be different from one state to another with respect to the time period for which you and your spouse should be separated to file for your divorce.

Thus, it makes sense to consult a lawyer or do some research on the state where you live beforehand. Apart from these reasons, there are emotional and psychological elements determining how long the couple would like to stay separately before taking the final step. There are many couples for instance who are legally separated for several years and do not intend to begin the divorce process.

Is your decision to divorce your spouse clear?

There could be several reasons for a couple to decide for a separation. Plus, there could be different outcomes coming out of a legal separation. On various occasions, couples decide that they should reunite and even find that their relationship has evolved to be stronger than ever before. On the other hand, there are couples who realize that the process of separation further escalated the stress and conflicts in their marriage. Some couples find out that the period of separation made them experience emotions like shock, denial or numbness.

Very often, it is natural for the estranged couples to go through a roller coaster of feelings during their separation when their divorce proceeding starts. Human temperaments can be quite volatile. So it is not unusual to lose emotional control. Thus, for some couples reaching a final decision may be a difficult one to make. You and your partner can take as much time as you both want to provided it is witin your state’s legal guidelines. On the other hand, some clients are known to complain that the process is too lengthy, particularly when somebody is clear about going ahead with a divorce.

It is important to take care of the logistics

It is another crucial factor, which has a role to determine how long a separation should last prior to start divorce proceedings. Some of the logistic factors, which may drag the time period of a separation include illness of a family member and when a spouse needs to stick to a certain healthcare plan.

Irrespective of how brief or lengthy a separation period is, it can be quite stressful for several couples. So, it makes sense to create or join new options for social support during this trying period.

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.  

Common Divorce Tips for Fathers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIf you are in the divorce process as a father, there are certain important points that you should try to follow so that the transition process is a smooth one. Here are some of the most common divorce tips for dads.

There should be an open communication between you and your soon to be ex-wife

When you and your wife divorce in an amicable manner, the process becomes a smooth one. When partners are able to treat one another in a civil manner, there are fewer miseries and heart breaks during the divorce process. Often, if there is emotional pain, it may have a deep impact on the ability to judge things and make decisions. It also ascertains how your life will be post the divorce. So, have a check over your anger and also try to be respectful towards your ex-wife. Kids may lose faith in their parents when they do not validate their emotions or refuse to share any concern Condole your child when they cry. Try to convince them that you emphasize with them though you may not agree with their feelings. It is natural for a kid to take sides and to show favoritism towards one parent when the divorce is going on. It is also not unusual that your children will go through a range of emotions like fury, fear and confusion while the divorce proceedings are going on. As a result, your kid can say certain hurtful things even though they may not mean them. It could be extremely painful for you to let your kid vent her/his emotions, especially about the divorce. However, it also means that it is an important step towards building trust. When children start trusting their parent, they also start valuing their relationships with their mothers and fathers.  Your children should be always in a position to trust you.

You should be ready to negotiate

You will have to negotiate the legal issues of the divorce with your life. But the process of negotiation with your former wife and your kids will continue for several years. If you can negotiate properly during your divorce process, you can sort things out of a divorce court. When you take the help of a mediator and do what is fair to all the involved parties, you can have a hassle free divorce. Irrespective of what kind of child custody is awarded to you, occasions will be there when you get to spend some time with the children and visit them. These occasions should of top priority to you. The ideal outcome should be when your kids get an opportunity to spend equal time with their mother and father.

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.  

Helpful Tips When Discussing Child Custody With Your Spouse

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Best Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn real world nothing is perfect and so a marriage that appeared perfect some years ago may crumble all of a sudden. When you and your spouse decide to split, there are several crucial issues to be tackled. Child custody is one of those major issues that you need to settle during your divorce process when you have kid(s) from your marriage. If you find yourself tangled in a child custody dispute, you should be careful about what to do and to refrain yourself from specific activities, which may otherwise have a harmful repercussion on your case. Read on to know some tips to follow while discussing child custody with your estranged partner.

Hire a good divorce mediator

It is quite possible that you and your former spouse do not share an amicable relationship with one another. Discussing any issue can actually be quite difficult as both of you know that you will end up fighting with one another with no positive outcomes coming out of your talks. So, if both of you want to sort out your child custody disputes in such a scenario, it is best to hire the services of a professional and unbiased mediator who can bring both of you together for discussion and negotiation. For maximizing the effectiveness of your child custody issues hire one of those Orange County divorce mediators who is acceptable to both you and your spouse.

Do not make any major solo decision about your kid(s)

It is important to understand that while your discussions on child custody is on, you should refrain from making any important decisions on your own when it is about your child. Make sure that all major decisions about the kids are made jointly with your spouse. Some of these decisions could be related to the kid’s religion, health. upbringing and education. To elaborate it further. It could be decisions regarding which school should you put your child in, which physician should be consulted for your child and so on.

Try to be courteous while discussing custody matters

While no one expects both of you to behave as of nothing has happened, at least try to be polite to each other while negotiating on child matters. After all, even after the custody issues get settled, you still have to coordinate with one another for your child’s upbringing. Losing your cool while discussing the custody issues will not yield any results. Rather your spouse could become more adamant and hostile and decide not to cooperate with you during the discussion. He or she may turn completely aggressive and oppose every suggestion or idea you put forward. Also stop indulging in blame game during the custody dispute as that may aggravate the situation further.

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.  

Understanding Palimony & “Marvinizers” In California Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Palimony may sound like alimony but there are subtle differences between the two. For one, Palimony is applicable for unmarried couples who lived together before getting separated. Both of them work in a similar fashion and both involve spousal support paid by one partner to the other.

Marvin v. Marvin

The word palimony was first used during a court trial involving two unmarried partners who split shortly after a live-in relationship. ended. In 1976, actor Lee Marvin from California had a palimony case against him by his girlfriend Michele Triola for failing to fulfill his promise of financial support. Marvin’s promise made Michele quit her career and move in with her boyfriend as a homemaker. Since the couple were not married, it was up to the California court to decide the division of marital property. The court did not require an agreement from the couple in writing and passed the judgment based on their implied contract.

Palimony later became synonymous with financial support unmarried couples. The famous case was used as an example in a number of different cohabitation separation cases.

Cohabitation agreements

The court did not require a written agreement during the Marvin case but now modern-day courts require a written agreement of some form during palimony cases. There are cohabitation agreements which ensures that both individuals in a relationship recognize the rights of each other. Cohabitant agreements exist to protect the individuals in a relationship against unfair treatment. It mostly includes property rights but there might be other rights included in the agreement as well.

Hire a lawyer

Palimony laws and agreements may not work in the same way as alimony laws and should be handled by professional lawyers. To understand when and where a palimony is used, hiring a good and experienced lawyer should be the first step. A good lawyer can not only tell you how to make the most of a palimony but can also help guide you through the necessary steps in a palimony agreement.

Conclusion

Unmarried couples should know palimony laws and rules before moving in with each other. A palimony is used to protect the financial assets of one partner against misuse by the other partner. To prevent the other partner from taking advantage of the palimony agreements, individuals should consult experienced lawyers. Lawyers and attorneys who know the agreement rules in detail can provide a better insight and prevent substantial damage against their clients.

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.  

How Prenuptial Agreements Can Affect The Lives Of Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmMarriage is an exciting affair especially when you know that you are going to spend the rest of your life with a special someone. Marriage is more than just a bond between two individuals. It is also a bond between two families. And as the bond strengthens, it is only likely that the couple will make plans for finances and assets to secure their future. But such plans are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Now, most couples want to secure their personal finances which include properties and other assets. And this has given birth to something called a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement made before marriage to secure personal finances during a divorce. As per divorce laws in California, properties must be divided equally among both individuals. Prenups can be helpful during property division, but it can also have neagative effects as well.

Prenups can be the result of divorces

A marriage is based on faith and trust and a prenuptial agreement is a proof of lack of both. The one who files for a prenuptial agreement doubts the other over property and assets. He/she does not trust that his/her partner will play fair if a divorce arises in the future. It is likely for a divorce to take place because of trust issues. The individual against whom the prenup is made feels cheated to some extent. A divorce in such cases can be initiated by either of the two partners.

Prenups can protect personal finances

Prenuptial agreements may sound bad but they were made for a good cause. Prenups protect personal finances and assets from unfair property divisions during divorce. A prenup prevents a California court from dividing a personal property which has been claimed by an individual in a prenuptial agreement.

Prenups can damage the relationship between families

As mentioned before, a marriage is a bond between two families. Sometimes, during prenuptial agreements, either of the couple’s families become upset. The reason for being upset is the same as that of the individual who must agree to the prenup agreement. Prenups make relationships bitter and most family members remember it long after the divorce.

Conclusion

Prenuptial agreements can be a good idea if you wish to protect your personal financial assets during a divorce. However, there are negative consequences and a lawyer should be hired to handle a prenup in the best way possible.

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.  

 
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