Paternity

Paternity Custody Issues

Actions in which a party or parties seek to establish a party’s status as a parent of a child, obtain child custody and visitations orders and child support orders. A parent-child relationship can be established not only biological, but also by conduct and actions which have established a party’s position as a child’s parent. Establishing a parent-child relationship is essential to obtaining both legal and physical custodial rights, establishing child support orders, ensuring a child can inherit from you if you die without a will or trust, etc.

Divorce

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Cases in which the parties’ marital status is dissolved and issues pertaining to the character of assets and debts as community or separate property asset and obligations, the division of community property, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and issues of attorney fees and costs are resolved, as applicable to the particular party’s case.

Legal Separation

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Matters in which the parties’ marital status is changed to legally separated, but the parties remain legally married. Issues pertaining to the character of assets and debts as community or separate property asset and obligations, the division of community property, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and issues of attorney fees and costs are resolved, as applicable to the particular party’s case.

Child Custody and Visitation

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In making initial custody orders, the Court seeks to determining what custodial arrangements are in the best interest of the child, ensuring the health, safety, welfare and stability for the minor child, and frequent and continuous contact with both parents, as is reasonable. Parents who learn to respectfully communicate about and develop a parenting plan allow kids to be free to be kids.

Child Support

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California courts required to use California guidelines to calculate child support. In calculating child support based on California guidelines, the percentage of time the child is in each parent’s care, each parent’s income, the amount of income taxes paid by each party, the sum paid for health insurance premiums, union dues, and mandatory retirement contributions are determined and considered.

Spousal Support

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The Court has discretion in determining the amount of spousal support payable by a higher income spouse to a lower income spouse based upon a number of factors, including the payor’s disposable income after payment of child support, the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the assets and obligations of each party, the extent to which the supported party deferred income earning opportunities to attend to domestic duties, the time frame in which the supported party may become self-supporting and convictions of domestic violence in the last five years, among other factors.

Division of Community Property

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Assets and debts incurred during a marriage are presumed to be community property subject to equal division by the parties. However, dividing assets and debts is not always as simple as dividing by two. Several financial issues must be taken into consideration, such as it is best for a family residence to be sold or can either party afford to refinance the existing mortgage secured by the family residence into his or her own name and pay the other party for one-half of the community equity in the property? Disputes may also arise regarding whether or not an asset or obligation is community or separate property based upon when and how the asset was acquired or debt was incurred, such as when separate property was used towards the acquisition or improvement of an asset acquired during the marriage.

Post-Judgment Matters

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After a Judgment resolving all issues is obtained, a party may subsequently wish to change custody, recalculate child support orders, or modify or terminate spousal support payments and may do so if there has been a significant change in circumstances. Parties might also seek to divide assets or debts omitted from a Judgment or enforce terms of the Judgment to facilitate the transfer of title of assets to the party to whom the asset was awarded or collect support to assets or other funds due under the terms of the Judgment.