Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Orange County Family Law Blog

How does child support work if we share custody?

A popular trend both in Orange County, California, and throughout the rest of the country is for parents who do not live in the same homes to agree to each have their children half of the time. Indeed, a California parent can probably see how, in most cases, it is healthy for a child in most cases to see each of their parents as much as possible and to be able to watch their parents get along.

Nevertheless, California parents should be aware that the fact they share time equally with the other parent does not mean that they will either pay no child support or the child support obligations will offset. In fact, one parent may still wind up paying the other parent support.

How does a prenuptial agreement help you in divorce?

Prenuptial agreements are known for their negative connotations. Feelings of mistrust and anxiety may arise when this topic is addressed by engaged couples. For many, creating a prenuptial agreement implicitly suggests a marriage may end in the future. Speaking of this before a marriage has even begun is uncomfortable and difficult.

However, marriage is not an infallible institution. In the event of a divorce, if that ever happens, a prenuptial agreement can save a lot of hassle and money in the long run. As long as the agreement is legally binding and lawful, all states will most likely find a prenuptial agreement valid.

Advice on how to help children involved in a divorce

It is not uncommon for spouses involved in an unhealthy marriage to stay together solely to protect the wellbeing and happiness of their children. While this is, of course, a noble gesture, the fact remains that children generally will lead a happier and healthier life in an environment free of arguments, resentment and negativity.

In fact, research has shown that as much as 80 percent of children who are involved in a divorce have absolutely no lasting negative effects in their mental health, social interactions or grades following a divorce. This is also applicable to the parents themselves, who are generally stronger and better parents involving discipline, stability in their environment and providing affection and love when emotionally stable. Without the distraction of an unloving spouse to get in the way, each parent can focus on spending quality time with their children, without the threat or fear that the unhappy relationship with their spouse will get in the way.

How child support helps children

As we have stressed before, the importance of protecting the best interests of the children during and following a divorce cannot be understated. The courts understand this as well, and will make decisions regarding child custody and child support to assure that the child's best interests will always be met.

When it comes to child support, both parents should understand what child support can be used for. This will alleviate the potential for arguments or even for disagreements to wind up back in court.

When to consider a legal separation before divorce

For many people who are in an unhappy marriage, the prospect of divorce may seem to be the only option. When emotions often run high during these unhappy times, it is not uncommon for a spouse or both spouses to let their emotions get the best of them; this can lead to words exchanged and things done that are not in anyone's best interest.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a decision to be made during these troubling times that could negatively affect the marriage or the divorce further. One option that can be overlooked during these trying times is a legal separation. A legal separation can act as a break from the marriage. The couple is still legally married, but may be able to spend time apart in order to clear their minds, gain a different perspective on their relationship and ultimately make better decisions, whether it is to get back to together or to end the marriage.

How the courts look at the fight for the home in a divorce

For someone who is entering into a divorce for the first time, things may become overwhelming and seemingly unbearable at times. Emotions are running high and it is often difficult to think straight. There are many myths and assumptions out there regarding a divorce. It is important to understand what to expect in order to make certain your decisions are sound and in your best interests.

As you may suspect, who gets the home is often one of the most contentious of issues. While sentimentality often plays a role, there are a few myths that first need to be debunked. Contrary to what many believe, even if one spouse leaves the home it is still considered an asset of the marriage and therefore will be split accordingly, depending on the state's laws regarding property division. It is also worth noting that both assets and debts are split by the spouses, including mortgages. This is generally true even if the mortgage only lists one spouse on the paperwork. The home is still considered an asset of the marriage and will be split accordingly.

How is spousal support determined?

It is not uncommon for married couples to split up family responsibilities. This often means that one spouse earns money for the family while the other spouse stays home to take care of the house and children. While this arrangement may suit both sides well and will help maintain a happy and healthy relationship in many cases, when a marriage turns south and a divorce is on the horizon, this could make life after a divorce especially difficult for the non-working spouse.

What counts as income in a child support calculation?

Like other states, California's child support guidelines rely heavily on income with respect to determining the appropriate amount of child support. The idea is that a child should enjoy the standard of living he or she would have had if the child's parents lived in the same household, and a standard of living for a child ultimately depends a lot on each parent's income.

Although one might think it is pretty easy to figure out what amount of income should go in to the child support calculation for each parent, such is often not the case. For instance, while many people in Orange County work for an employer and make a salary that stays constant from week to week, many other people are self-employed or otherwise have no regular income. Others get income from sources other than work.

What child support payments can cover

Last week we spoke about child support enforcement in the state of California. This week, we will take a step back and look at what child support payments can be used for. Despite what many people believe, child support payments can extend well beyond that of just the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing.

As we have spoken about in the past, one of the primary focuses of the courts is to make certain that, during and following a divorce, the best interests of the child or children are given prime consideration. This philosophy extends into child support.

How is child support enforced in California?

As we have stressed many times before, the courts want to protect the best interests of the children when making all decisions related to a divorce. This includes both child custody decisions as well as child support.

The courts want to make certain that changes in a child's life are kept to a minimum and that the child or children from the marriage still receive all the necessary care needed. While many non-custodial parents who owe child support make certain to adhere to the decisions of the courts with regards to child support and will make all necessary payments, there are also many, for various reasons, who do not fulfill their obligation.

Kevin Qualls Family Law
625 The City Drive South
Suite 470
Orange, CA 92868
Toll Free: 800-783-1934
Fax: 714-750-5983
Map and Directions