What is a Marital Standards of Living Assessment?

The marital standard of living (often referred to as MSOL) is essentially a measure of the lifestyle enjoyed by a couple during marriage. It is most often used during a divorce case to help determine how much support one party should pay the other. 

Several things go into this evaluation.

Marital Standard of Living Assessment: Income

As you can imagine, the total income of the two parties is one of the most important factors. The lifestyle of a family with an annual income of $50,000 per year will be very different from one that makes $300,000 per year. 

That said, one thing to keep in mind is it’s rare for both parties to be able to enjoy the same standard of living once separated. That’s largely because living expenses are now doubled. Whether you have a $200,000 house or a $500,000, it’s always easier to just pay for one home than two. 

Another thing to consider is increases in income. Let’s say the standard of living used to be a lifestyle based on $50,000 a year. If the higher-paid party (who is the one giving support to the other) suddenly gets a huge promotion and starts making $125,000 a year, they won’t necessarily need to increase their support by a proportional amount, ie. 2.5x as much. However, the courts might make them increase support to help the other party reach that same lifestyle enjoyed at the $50,000 a year point. 

Marital Standards of Living Assessment: Savings and Retirement

Income isn’t the only factor that comes into play. The amount of money regularly contributed to things such as savings and retirement can also come into play.

For example, let’s say after taxes a family brings home $80,000. They are very frugal and like to save money, so they put away $50,000. 

In that case, they’re essentially living on just $30,000 a year. 

This will be considered during the MSOL assessment. It will be noted that the lifestyle didn’t include a lot of eating at restaurants, going on lavish vacations, owning expensive cars, etc. In this case, the amount of support necessary may be lower, since the lifestyle didn’t require as much cash. 

MSOL Assessment: Both Spouses Matter

Sometimes it seems like the party giving support to the other is the “loser.” They’re going broke just trying to pay the support deemed necessary so the lower-paid party can enjoy the same lifestyle they used to have.

This isn’t how it’s meant to be. Assuming one didn’t get a major increase in income, there shouldn’t be a huge disparity between their lifestyles. If one is able to comfortably live similar to how they used to and the other is almost bankrupt, there’s an imbalance that needs to be remedied. 

A material standard of living assessment isn’t a black-and-white thing that can be figured out in a day or two. It takes a lot of digging to understand how the family lived, and what kind of support is necessary to help both parties still be able to live as close to that previous lifestyle as possible. For more personalized guidance, click here to contact Von Esch Law today.

Courtesy of Cuselleration

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6 Reasons a Parent May Lose Custody of a Child

There are a number of reasons a parent might lose custody of a child. Some might be pretty obvious, while others may be a bit more surprising. In general, a parent will lose custody of a child in cases of abuse, neglect, or other findings related to domestic violence.

Here are six different reasons a parent might lose custody of a child.

Abuse: One of the most common reasons a parent loses custody is due to abuse. There are a variety of types of abuse. One is physical, which can lead to burns, wounds, and scars. Often, abusers will use their hands or other objects to cause injury to a child.

No matter the jurisdiction, the law is very clear. Abuse that is reported to the proper authorities is a legitimate reason for a parent to lose custody. Oftentimes, parents who have been convicted of child abuse can lose both physical and legal custody of children and might have their parenting time severely limited, or even cut off entirely.

Click here to learn facts about child custody agreements!

Abduction: Those who choose to abduct a child can also lose custody depending on the case and where the crime took place. Some parents who choose to abduct their children can lose legal or physical custody of them depending on the circumstances.

False Allegations: Even though abuse is a well-known way to lose custody of a child, false allegations of abuse can also lead to a loss of custody. A parent that knowingly lies about allegations of physical or sexual abuse can lose custody, depending on how serious the allegations are.

This is a serious issue because the law is very clear on punishing people who try to interfere with the other parent’s lawful contact with their children by making allegations of abuse. Courts have no problem taking custody away from a parent that makes false allegations to protect the health and safety of the children involved.

Neglect: Neglect is another reason a parent might lose custody. This type of abuse centralizes around a failure to act where a child might not be getting the food and care he or she needs. Parents can lose custody by neglecting their children if a court finds the child was endangered in any way, especially if the neglect is ongoing. However, neglect can be hard to prove since it can be difficult to pick up on unless someone regularly sees the children.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence can lead to a parent losing custody of a child if the court finds it appropriate. This topic is pertinent because it usually comes up in a family law case where questions about abuse and neglect of a child are already present.

Violation Of Custody Orders: Violating orders related to the custody of children can also be a way to lose further custody, depending on the actual mechanics of the case. Violations of these types of orders can be very mundane, like being late for an exchange, to something more willful, like making a decision without talking to the other partner.

Do you have a question about child custody in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

David V. Luu

Von Esch Law Group Welcomes Newest Attorney David V. Luu

The Von Esch Law Group is proud to announce our newest attorney, David V. Luu. His extensive knowledge and experience will be a great asset to our law firm and our clients.

David has been the recipient of the California Rising Star Award for two consecutive years on top of other honors and awards such as the Litigation Clients’ Choice Award, AVVO Litigation Clients’ Choice, AAA rating from the Business Consumers Alliance, and A Rated from Better Business Bureau. It’s clear that David is someone who goes above and beyond for his clients in order to ensure the highest quality of service. Along with his incredible work ethic, David is also well-equipped with the knowledge and experience of handling areas of business law and real estate law. Clients can rest assured knowing they are in the most capable hands as David believes in working with each client to ensure they fully understand the result that they want and giving them a legal strategy to get there.

Among the dozens of his five-star reviews, David’s clients have expressed how pleased they’ve been with his services. “David was a blessing…He gives me hope for humanity.” “He is the most careful and client-oriented attorney I’ve ever seen.” “I could not be happier with David and his great service and I am forever grateful.”

The Von Esch Law Group understands that dealing with legal cases can be tough, especially when handling personal matters or high-stake cases. Hiring the right attorney can make or break the results of a case. Clients of the firm can be assured that every case with the Von Esch Law Group is entrusted in the hands of attorneys with reliable litigation experience. With the addition of David, we can continue to ensure the utmost respect and care for our clients.

Please join us in welcoming David Luu to the Von Esch Law Group! We are excited to have him as a part of our team.

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How Does Age Play a Role in Child Custody Cases?

Parents dealing with child custody issues oftentimes wonder if the court takes age into consideration when deciding. Here is a break down of child custody rules by age.

Age 0-2

When it comes to infants and toddlers in this age group, the separation time from both parents should be very small. This will help reduce the child’s anxiety and maintain the bond between both the child and parents. The implication of extended separation time with children in this age group is related to the lack of long-term memory. An infant or toddler could lose an attachment with a parent fast if there is not a consistent and frequent level of contact. Contact days between the noncustodial parent and child needs to be consistent.

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5 Ways To Make The Best Of A Divorce

It seems like couples everywhere are calling it quits and ending marriages in divorce at an alarming rate. Thinking about the divorce of loved ones, or yourself, elicits a sense of pity, remorse, and even fear. The stigma of divorce can be even scarier than the actual process, preventing many couples from taking the steps necessary to achieve genuine happiness.

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The VON ESCH LAW GROUP is a business, construction, family law, and real estate law firm. The principal attorneys are Robert A. von Esch IV (“Rob”) and Amy M. von Esch. Both are highly respected members of the legal community that are known for handling difficult and high stakes cases.