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Do Children Have Rights in California Child Custody Cases?

Nobody gets married thinking it will end in divorce. That unfortunately usually becomes the result. A break up in marriage is a rough time for everyone who is part of the family, specifically the kids. Both parents contribute to the benefits of their kid. When the mom or dad might be the top person to care for the kid, the other parent might be giving to the child monetarily. Both of these responsibilities are important for supporting a flourishing child. Usually assistance from a great family lawyer is just as essential to your life as a parent. You should not experience this break up by yourself. Obtaining a good lawyer to represent you is crucial. The California court system will have a great understanding of your point of view and how you care for your child when your attorney manifests your case. You should steer clear of expensive errors by  letting our experienced attorneys to secure your custody rights and represent you when it comes to the needs of your children.

When do California courts listen to what kids need in these cases? A kid may want to live with one parent over the other after the split. However, is it right to include the kids in the custody disputes in court? Specifically for kids, divorce cases can be extremely traumatizing. Is it okay for a kid to witness the pain and animosity of his or her parents during the trials? We think “occasionally.”

What the child has a say in

There are many laws in California that secure the rights for the kids. Usually the courts in California want both parents to contribute financially while having joint custody. The mother, father, and the court are responsible for making decisions on the best interest of the kids and ensuring that they have a healthy environment in the custody arrangements.

Kids have a great love for their mother and father. They would like both parents to be proud of them. However, it can become hard when kids are stuck in the middle of a nasty divorce. The mother and father usually disagree on who gets the child when, child support and visitation. All of these arrangements are already confusing for kids, so it may be best to not make children choose sides and cause a stressful situation. The laws in our state are cautious in getting what they need from the kid to make a decision.

How old does a child need to be to make decisions?

Even though there aren’t laws that say a certain age a child needs to be to make custody decisions, most courts in California think that the age of thirteen or fourteen is old enough to have a say as to why they prefer to live with the mom or dad. The court will consider that the adolescent age of the child is usually difficult and that he or she has a good chance of behaving badly to cope with the split.

Click here to learn who keeps the car in a divorce!

What if the young child wants to live with one parent over the other?

In a case where a child is young, the courts need to intervene. Children usually function on emotion. They might say they want to live with one parent instead of the other for reasons that have everything to do with the parents and not a lot to do with the child. 

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

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Who Gets to Keep the Car in a Divorce in California?

Which person will have the privilege of keeping the family vehicle during the divorce?  Many people have difficult financial choices to make, which makes budgets extra tight. Some family members in households only have one car or use the buses to get from one place to another. When a husband and wife decide to file for divorce, they both need to decide who will take the family vehicle. Dividing up the family property is one of the most fought over problems during a split. When it comes to custody issues, it all depends on California laws.  

Dividing Up the Property

Dividing up the property during a divorce can be a complicated issue since it is decided by the state of California. If the two divorcees agree automatically as to who gets what, they are welcome to agree on their own terms. We suggest that you retain a lawyer to get what you need in accordance with California laws. Our experienced family law attorneys will inform you about the roles of dividing your property during the break up and how to get you what you need!

Most states adhere to common law as a guideline. For example, if the husband bought and completely paid off the vehicle, then the husband owns the vehicle. If the former husband and wife have both of their names on title, each person is considered fifty percent the owner of the car. Items that are received throughout the marriage is divided up in half during the split. But this doesn’t include the things that were received as an inheritance prior to getting marries. Laws regarding community property see the couple as both contributing to the legal binding, so the courts aim to give our out the property in an equal manner. 

Although this distributions seems uncomplicated, it can get complex when one person wants to get the family car. Since California is a community property state, the husband or wife who makes the best case will win. For instance, one of the spouses could say that the car is important for them to have because they cannot take public transportation due to not being able to walk. A mother who works from home could say that they need the car to take the children to school or soccer practice.

Click here to learn sexual harassment laws in California!

If one spouse has made the most payments on the car whether it is bought or leased out, this could lead to the courts giving the car to the person who paid for it. If the car was owned by one of the spouses prior to getting married, then the car will more than likely be given to that spouse. But the opposing spouse might be able to get another item that it equivalent in value.

Arguments over the family car can get nasty, with one person taking it away and not giving it back. To prevent this issue from reaching this point, you should contact to our family law attorneys. We know how to handle the fair division of individual and marital property in divorce without the situation ending in an argument. 

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Pet Custody Laws in California

You may think of your dog as your fur child, but California law would not agree. In regards to the law, they are really no different than the precious items or the home. But in more and more homes in California, splitting the pets can get pretty contentious. When you put all of your expenses together, it is no wonder that we are beginning to see a higher number of custody battles involving companion animals.

In the mid-90s, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals overturned a decision of the trial court that granted Kathryn Bennett visits with her family dog Roddy. The dog was an asset before marriage and belonged to her ex-husband, Ronald Greg Bennett, who was then awarded custody, while his ex-wife was only given visits with Roddy every other weekend and every other Christmas holiday. Ms. Bennett went back to court contending that her ex-husband was not compliant with the visitation the court had ordered.

But instead of applying her rights as a dog parent, the appeals court denied that they even existed. Pets must be awarded pursuant to the dictates of equitable distribution statute.

This ruling goes on to say that determinations as to custody and visitation will lead to continuing enforcement and supervision problems. The courts were overwhelmed with the supervision of visitation, custody and support matters related to the protection of children. They could not undertake the same responsibility as to animals.

When a judge chooses who should get the cat or dog, these factors as who spends more time with the pet, who cares for it and takes it to the vet and who brought it into the relationship in the first place needs to be considered.

When a couple is divorced fights over their dog or cat, they might not be dealing with an underlying issue. An ex who takes his or her former spouse to court over and over in regards to getting to visit the dog or pay pet bills probably is not as concerned about the dog as he or she is about controlling an ex-husband or ex-wife. In a case of divorce, the dog or cat might become a symbol of power and control and might be seen as the one entity that still loves me unconditionally.

Click here to learn child abuse laws in California!

The legal battles that involve pets can be a large emotional investment with an uncertain outcome that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The split also makes an impact on the animal. A lively pet in the past might now become depressed, He or she might sleep more, consume food less and lose interest in activities such as walking and playing with his owner. He or she might start having accidents in the house or grooming himself excessively.

You should decide what is best for your pet. Put your own feelings aside to get to that decision. You will need to consider such factors as who fed and cared for them before the divorce and who can afford to pay for their veterinary care and other expenses.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

This is How Alimony is Determined in California in 2019

Spousal support or alimony during a divorce is one of the most difficult things to go through. California couples need to agree who will pay money to whom and whether a spouse is going to support the other.

What is the point of having alimony is California?

This is designed to assist the spouse who earns a smaller amount of money to make the change from being married to now being without a spouse. They need the time and money to get back on his or her feet to eventually rely on themselves again after the divorce. They need to agree on how much time this alimony will last. This usually depends on the longevity of the marriage. Alimony can last a lifetime.

Alimony guidelines are applicable to the momentary support payments.

When it comes to child support, there is a calculated way that makes sure the certain amount that each person needs to pay for child support. This guideline is very clear on when this will be done. Alimony is always up for final negotiation even though there is this guideline. This is a great starting point though.

Maintaining lifestyle and its cost

When you find that spousal support is not hard enough in California, there is also a different thing that you should bring in. The cost to maintain a person’s lifestyle if one of them. The cost can vary in California, since we have so many different areas. There is no set amount of time that alimony will last. 

Click here to learn about divorce laws in California!

What happens when kids are involved?

You may have found that our state’s amount is based on how much the paying spouse makes. When you have a minor child and you need to pay child support, this will decrease the net money coming in that is available for alimony. In some areas, the alimony should be agreed upon before the child support costs. It is the opposite in California. Child supports need to be decided initially.

Many people think of the check in the mail approach.

But there are more creative ways to resolve this because some people just do not like paying the alimony. For instance, you and your spouse can agree that in exchange for not getting that monthly check in the mail, one of you will take a larger share of the community property to offset the amount of support that would have been paid out over time.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

What to Know About Divorce Laws in California

Navigating through a divorce can be a challenging and stressful procedure. There are a number of laws in the state of California that deal with divorce, and many of them can have a lot of information for you to digest.

People often wonder how they can make divorce proceedings as stress-free as possible while retaining control over their finances. Here’s a few key elements to keep in mind when it comes to the different divorce laws in California.

State law lays out a few rules for eligibility. At least one of the spouses in a divorce must have lived in California for at least six months. Additionally, one of the spouses had to have lived in the country that the divorce is being filed in for three months before actually filing. All divorce proceedings in the state must be filed through the specific county, not with the state at-large.

When it comes to divorce in California, the law regards each of them as no- fault. This means a person does not have to give a reason or otherwise prove how they were wronged by the other party while filing a divorce proceeding.

Judges in the state do not look at fault when it comes to splitting property and otherwise figuring out child support. This means actions like adultery by one spouse will not come into consideration by a judge during a legal ruling.

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There are a few steps for getting divorced in California. This process can be long because there is a six-month period between the initial filing and finalization that is mandatory.

One of the spouses can start the process by filing in the proper county superior court. Whoever files must give the other spouse copies of the divorce petition and any additional information.

After this, there are a few different avenues. Spouses who work together easily can often come up with plans for property division and child support without the help of lawyers. Otherwise, spouses can go into mediation to get some outside help for when it comes to splitting property.

Mediators can be a big asset when it comes to working through tough situations. Otherwise, the most expensive option is a divorce trial. This means both sides hire lawyers and then a judge will have the final say when it comes to the terms of the divorce. This process can be very messy and time-consuming.

California is a community property state, so two people in a marriage are considered as a single entity when it comes to owning property. This means both assets and debts are community property.

Spouses in a divorce can either decide on their own how to split community property, work with a mediator, or go to a judge and have them decide in court. An appraisal might be necessary to assign value to property so it can be divided between two people.

If spouses do not want to figure out what pieces of property go to each person, they can also arrange where one party ‘buys’ the other out on different pieces. Alternatively, some choose to just sell all property and then divide up the assets accordingly. Sometimes, couples with children decide to retain joint property over something like a family home so their children can have access to it.

Overall, the divorce process in California can be a time-consuming affair. A good lawyer is a useful advocate to have during a case since they can help navigate people through the different divorce laws and offer input as to the best course of action.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Here Are 2019 Changes to Alimony Laws in California

Alimony law is often very confusing and comes with a lot of moving parts. There are a few changes in California alimony law that have come into effect for 2019 and should be taken note of.

One of the biggest 2019 changes has to with spousal support. Previously, spousal support was tax deductible for the spouse that way paying and was taxable income for the spouse that was receiving it. Now, alimony will no longer be tax deductible, and the recipient spouse will not have to pay any taxes on it.

This big change to alimony law came due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which scrapped a 75-year old spousal support payment tax stipulation. The new law came into effect on January 1st . Divorce agreements signed on or before December 31st, 2018, will not be affected by the new rules.

The change of the law relating to taxation and alimony means divorce negotiations will most likely become trickier, especially if the spouses were wealthy, since these types of people often benefited the most from the tax deductions pertaining to alimony.

Some think it will lead to smaller spousal support payments because the tax advantages with a larger sum are now lost. The alimony tax deduction before the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act change was a strong bargaining tool in divorce proceedings, but many see this advantage as a relic of the past due to the new stipulations.

If you signed an agreement of separation or divorce before the end of 2018, and the support order is modified after the start of 2019, the pre-2019 tax rules still remain in effect. The only exception to this rule would be if there is a specific clause in the agreement that says otherwise. You will want to have a lawyer review the separation or divorce agreement if you are not sure which tax law you will be subject to.

Click here to learn new the pet custody laws!

All payments must qualify as spousal support or alimony in order to be tax deductible under the pre-2019 legal standards. Payments that qualify as spousal support only are eligible if the spouses do not file a joint tax return, if the payment is made under a legal divorce agreement, and if the actual funds are in the form of cash, a check, or a money order.

Additionally, spousal support must not be treated as child support and is not able to be part of the settlement of any property.

Some have questioned if they are able to pay more in child support to offset any of the changes under the new alimony law. Child support is never deductible and it is not counted as taxable income by the person who is receiving it.

Divorce proceedings are a tricky affair that can often take a lot of time and energy to move through. A good lawyer will not rush the process but will make sure that everything is taken care of and both sides are satisfied with the arrangement. However, the changes to alimony law can be very confusing and can change a lot of the divorce aspects depending on your situation.

As a result, be sure to speak with an experienced and professional divorce and alimony attorney as soon as possible so you can get up to speed with the new changes, especially if your divorce agreement is dated on or after January 1st, 2019.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

 

This New California Law That Changes Pet Custody Options

Getting a divorce is a difficult situation for everyone involved, especially if two partners have children who are in the middle of the divorce process. Many people also have pets that are considered a member of the family, but their circumstances can be drastically different in the event of a divorce.

Traditionally, pets are viewed as personal property when it comes to divorce law. This means people must discuss where the pets will go once it comes time to divide up property. Unfortunately, this can mean that pets will go to a home that is not the best fit for them.

A new law in California has been put in place to change some of these practices. Pets are still considered property, but a judge will have the final decision about where a pet will live.

This creates a similar arrangement to how a child custody case is decided. The law also treats pets more like a member of the family and less like a piece of property or a household good, which is how it can often come across as under old legislation.

Under the new law, people will still have to decide how to split pet ownership rights since the law still considered pets as community property. If two spouses are not able to agree on a division of ownership, then the courts will step in to facilitate a decision.

Click here to learn what you need to know about collection laws in California!

The judge will have the chance to review a variety of factors and then come up with a solution that is the best choice for the pets and people involved. Each spouse will have ownership rights over a pet if it was adopted or obtained after marriage, unless something else is spelled out in a prenuptial agreement.

Judges will ask questions in order to get an idea of where the pets should go after a divorce. Questions could include inquiries into who spends more money on the pet’s food and toys, who actually adopted the pet, who takes care of it on a daily basis, and who spends the most time with the animal.

Judges will also review any allegations of domestic abuse or animal abuse as they come up with a decision about what spouse should have ownership rights.

Sometimes, a judge might decide to share custody of a pet, where one spouse would have a pet for a certain amount of time, and then the pet would go live with the other spouse for a while. The new law is designed to make pet custody cases easier to manage and speed up the process of awarding ownership.

Pets are a difficult kind of property when it comes to legal proceedings since it is hard to “divide” one pet up between spouses. It is also pretty hard to divide community property that is personal or of a high value, as many pets are to their families.

If you are in the divorce process and have at least one pet, you should seek the services of an experienced lawyer who is up-to-date on the new California pet custody law.

A good lawyer will help you navigate the process of securing or giving custody of a pet away and will be able to advise you on how the judge might look at your particular circumstances and what evidence they could review to make a decision about custody.

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

Courtesy of Cuselleration

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This is Why the Date of Separation is Important in California

Most people might not think it really matters when they separate from their spouse. However, the date of separation can play a big role in divorce proceedings, particularly when it comes to finances.

Officially, a date of separation is when a spouse decides they do not want to continue with a marriage. Separation comes into play when a couple starts breaking up financially. It does not technically occur when someone decides to move out of a house or apartment, or if a couple gets into a fight or argument. Dates of separation come into play when a couple decides their issues are too big and cannot be fixed or repaired, which means the marriage is significantly damaged.

Courts in California usually look at a couple’s living situation to see of they are actually separated. They will look to see if spouses are still living together, if they tell family and friends if they are together (or not), and if they maintain some sort of joint financial status, like filing joint tax returns. They will also see if a spouse has other relationships or partnerships to see if a couple has a clean break in their relationships with each other across all lines.

Cases get complicated when people list different dates of separation. This usually occurs when a couple splits up, but then reconciles and gets back together, only to split a second time. This becomes difficult because courts have to decide if there are two dates of separation, or if there was really just one.

This is a big deal when it comes to separate and community property because courts have to figure out if items bought, like a car, during a separated period should be seen as community property, or something that is separate.

Dates of separation are used in California to classify marriages as long or short term. The difference could mean a lot of money when it comes to spousal support, since long-term marriages in the state mean support can last until death or remarriage of the other party. In short term marriages, spousal support is usually just mandated for half of the total marriage time. This is a big difference, which is why the specific date of separation can be a big one.

Click here to learn 5 things about spousal support!

Those in California who are in the middle of a divorce settlement or process would be smart to enlist the help of a qualified attorney to help you decide when the actual date of separation should be. This will help classify the marriage as long or short term, which can make it a lot easier to figure out spousal support and what to do about other assets. It will also help you and your attorney figure out what items you own should be seen as separate, and if anything should be characterized as a community asset.

An experienced family law attorney will help you navigate through a divorce settlement and give you advice about what to expect in California courts. If needed, they can help you gather evidence to build a case for your side and represent you in court in a professional and expert manner. It is not smart to try to go through a divorce proceeding on your own since the legal rules and stipulations can be very confusing, making the potential for mistakes very high.

Do you have a question about separation in California? 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

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5 Things to Know About Spousal Support in California

Alimony is always a contentious subject to navigate, especially when it is in the context of a divorce. Most people understand the basics behind alimony, where a higher-earning spouse makes regular payments to the other partner, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about alimony and its presence in divorce proceedings.

Our experienced attorneys will be able to review the circumstances surrounding each divorce case and give advice and counsel about spousal support laws, and how they might be impacting a case.

One of the biggest points of confusion stems from the fact that each state has their own laws and requirements related to alimony. Alimony is commonly known as spousal support. Here are five things to know about spousal support in California.

1. Spousal Support Is Not Necessarily Set Forever

Circumstances surrounding spousal support can change, and one side can petition to make changes to the support that was originally ordered in settlement agreements. For example, a paying spouse who is in an accident and finds income being diverted to medical bills can work to possibly modify the terms of support. However, both sides will have to agree to any changes, or you might have to go to court to settle any disputes if an amicable change is not able to be reached.

2. Spousal Support Stops After Death

Spousal payment requirements terminate once either spouse passes away. This means a payor spouse’s estate will not be held responsible to keep up with payments. If the spouse being supported passes away, their estate is not allowed to petition the payor spouse for funds.

3. Spousal Support is Only Allowed for Financial Purposes

In California, spousal support is only awarded for purposes related to finances. It is not doled out due to misdeeds like adultery, and it can not be used as a tool to punish bad behavior. However, a judge is able to withhold support if a supported spouse carries out an act of violence against the would-be payor.

4. Spousal Support Is A Calculation of Multiple Factors

There is no set algorithm or calculation used to decide the amounts of spousal support. All instances are calculated based on the specific circumstances of a couple. Judges in a case will weigh multiple factors before deciding on amounts, like marriage duration, ages, health, income, employment ability, and ability to pay.

Generally, spousal support is set to be somewhat equal to the standard of living a supported spouse was able to have during the marriage. In California, spousal support is also able to be tax deductible for the payor, as long as they are not filing joint taxes with the supported spouse.

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5. California Has Multiple Types of Support

California divorce cases have the option of allowing temporary or permanent spousal support. Temporary support is one that might be mandated before a divorce is officially finalized, and will not carry over once the divorce is rendered official. It is used as a tool to make sure the lower-earning spouse has enough money to be provided for during proceedings.

On the other hand, permanent support comes in the form of regular payments from the payor spouse to the supported one. This is mandated for a specific period of time after a divorce is finalized, and is intended to help the supported spouse maintain a financial level they had during the marriage itself.

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

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