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Offering divorce and family law options to fit
your needs, and focused on reducing the emotional
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Bay Area & Sacramento Area Family Law Blog

A few things to know about child support

Going through a divorce in California is an emotional process. When there are children involved, the situation becomes even more complicated. The state understands that raising a child is expensive. For this reason, child support is usually given to one of the ex-spouses so that they will bear the brunt of financially supporting the children.

Individuals who are going through the divorce process and have children may be interested in learning about the considerations that are looked at when it comes to child support. It could help them frame the conversation. For one thing, it is good to know that child support is usually modifiable. Even with guidelines set out, there is definitely flexibility when it comes to child support. The courts may listen to parents as they lay out arrangements that they would like to make.

The factors that are considered during child custody hearings

Parents in California who are considering divorce may be interested in understanding the impact that living accommodations have on child custody decisions. Courts will often make decisions about child custody and child visitation based on the conditions that the parents are living in. Different judges and states may have their own criteria, but there are a few universal things that will likely be considered.

The age and gender of the child are often factored in. If the child is of the opposite gender as the parent, the courts will likely want the child to have as much privacy as possible. This could mean having their own bedroom and bathroom. The older the child is, the more space the courts likely want the child to have. For example, the courts may not have a favorable impression of a circumstance where a teenage child is forced to share a bedroom with a sibling who is in elementary school. Courts could take the financial circumstances of the parent into consideration when making their decision.

Amazon couple gets closer to finalizing divorce

California residents might have heard that Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are making progress when it comes to finalizing their divorce and have agreed on a settlement that still needs court approval. While divorce can sometimes take a toll on one's finances, both people involved in this split will still be billionaires after the divorce is finalized.

As the chief executive and founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos will be worth more than $110 billion if his divorce settlement proceeds as planned. He will still be the wealthiest person in the world while Bill Gates is in second place with a net worth of around $99.5 billion.

The role of life or disability insurance in alimony

When California spouses have unequal incomes or earning potential, a divorce court order might include spousal support. This might result in a permanent obligation for one former spouse to pay the other former spouse or a temporary support arrangement known as rehabilitative maintenance. Because low-earning former spouses might rely on this income, the agreement could require a payer to purchase life and disability insurance to cover the expense in the event of death or disability.

Although death ends a spousal support obligation, the parties might want to prepare for financial security in case the payer suffers an untimely demise. A life insurance policy solves this problem as long as the person is able to obtain a policy. Similarly, disability insurance provides a payee with peace of mind in case a payer becomes unable to work because of an accident or illness.

Mother is awarded child support decades after divorce

Because California has no statute of limitations on child support, a 74-year-old woman was awarded $153,090 in back payments after being divorced from her ex-husband for five decades. Her ex-husband, who now lives in Oregon, moved to Canada after the divorce and never paid the court-ordered support.

The payments were supposed to be $210 per month for 30 months and then $160 per month until their daughter was 21. Without these payments, the woman says she struggled as a single mother. She was forced to work long hours and spend time away from her daughter while working, and she still struggled to make ends meet.

Child custody modifications

California parents are required to comply with their current custody arrangement whether they like its terms. However, there may be valid reasons to request one or more modifications to an existing child custody arrangement.

The family court will make decisions regarding the custody of a child based on what is in his or her best interests. It will typically not change a custody arrangement and alter a child's way of life unless there are serious reasons for doing so. In considering whether to order a modification of a current custody order, the court will carefully examine the reasons why the parents want the order changed.

What to do with the family business in a divorce

Couples in California who are getting a divorce and who own a business will have to get that business valuated for the purposes of property division. They can either keep the business or sell it.

Some couples are able to continue running a business together despite getting a divorce. In most cases, this is not possible, but one person might want to keep the business. That person would need to buy out the other spouse. A person with sufficient liquid assets can do so by directly purchasing the other spouse's shares. This is usually not considered taxable since it happened as a result of divorce. However, if the person cannot buy out the spouse up front, it might be necessary to use a settlement note or have the company buy the spouse's shares. There may be capital gains tax to pay.

R. Kelly returns to court in child support case

As singer R. Kelly faces a firestorm of sexual abuse allegations after a documentary on his life and relationships, he will continue to face an order to pay $21,000 monthly in child support obligations. His lawyer told newspapers in California and across the country that the payments were kept at their current rate after a closed hearing on the case. The hearing came a week after the singer was put in jail for missing a deadline to pay over $161,000 in overdue child support payments to his ex-wife Andrea Kelly. She is the mother of his three children.

Despite Kelly's numerous highly charted songs, he claimed that he had only $350,000 in the bank. As a result, he said he was unable to pay his child support obligations. He was arrested for owing $161,000 in back child support, a felony in Illinois. He was released after three days in jail after he paid the full amount due. He claimed that he was able to pay the $161,000 in a matter of days due to support from family and friends.

Divorce and cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies became part of the financial landscape in 2009 with the launch of the Bitcoin. It has since become a factor in many divorces in which one or both spouses have cryptocurrency assets. California residents with cryptocurrency holdings who are considering getting divorce should be prepared to endure a lengthy and complicated divorce process.

There are few family law firms with the understanding of or experience with cryptocurrencies to handle divorces in which cryptocurrencies feature as high-value financial assets. It can be very difficult to value a cryptocurrency asset as their prices tend to change often. It is also easy to conceal cryptocurrency assets.

Necessary documents for child custody hearings

When parents in California decide to get a divorce, they tend to be understandably concerned about who will get custody of the children. After all, child custody hearings can be scary, and being prepared for them can make all the difference between getting custody and fighting for visitation.

Individuals who want to maximize their chance of receiving a favorable outcome in a child custody hearing need to show up with all the relevant paperwork. As a matter of fact, it is important that each parent submit his or her documents to court before the hearing as judges tend to review written submissions and familiarize themselves with cases before overseeing them.

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Miller & Associates, Attorneys LLP
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Phone: 916-780-0848
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