Whether you’re contemplating a divorce filing or you’ve been served with papers, there are a number of items to focus on. Here is a quick summar of the two biggest concerns when dealing with divorce.
If you have children and you made more money then your spouse then you can most likely expect to pay child support. For an idea of what that might look like you should take a look at our Child Support Calculator post on the subject. Child support generally lasts until the children turn 18 or the recipient spouse remarries. Most states use the income share model, which considers the income of both spouses to determine the amount of child support. As you can see from the child support calculator article I mentioned in the previous sentence, California’s system takes a number of factors into consideration including income, the amount of shared custody you have, and other expenses.
California is what’s called a community property state which in short means whatever a husband and wife own together. However, it also includes anything earned from the start of your marriage until your separation. So any investments, bonuses, 401K, retirements funds, etc., for the most part belong to the both of you. Separating these assets can be a huge source of disagreement for many people and rightfully so. However, understanding that this is part of the process here in California may help you swallow that bitter pill.
Unfortunaley legal fees are also an important consideration. While many people look to mediation to provide cost savings and maintain more control over the outcome mediation works only if either of the parties is ready to come to the table to compromise. If you want to keep your legal fees down, then you should approach a divorce ready to comprise.
When the lawyers talk about “child custody,” they’re actually talking about two things: physical custody and legal custody. Many times, the two are closely interwoven, although that’s not necessarily the case.
In California, the courts use “the best interests of the child” as their direction when deciding questions about physical custody. While you may have heard or learned anecdotally that there are certain ages where a child finds more benefit with a given parent, the research is still out on this topic. What’s more is that the modern family doesn’t always have gender specific rules. It is most likely that a California court is going to provide some amount of joint physical and legal custody for divorcing parents. There are exceptions of course but it would be wise to start your expecation with a ruling that will include some amount of joint custody. Most divorce orders still include the standard every-other-weekend, every-other-holiday and three-months-in-the-summer visitation package, and also add language to the effect that the parents can agree on any and all other visitation times. California has essentially abandoned the old divorce orders in favor of parenting time plans, which are a more customizable divorce order that accounts for individual situations.
The parent with primary physical custody, or the place where the children spend most of their time, usually has legal custody as well. Although the other parent gives input into decisions such as where to attend school, what doctor to see and what activities to engage in, the parent with legal custody has the final say in these matters.
More Questions? Speak to a Divorce Attorney Today.
If you have more questions on this topic or any other, be sure to contact us today. We have helped hundreds of clients through the difficult process of divorce with great attention to detail, a calm demeanor, but strong aggresive representation. Let one of our Whittier divorce attorneys help you today.
The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum is experienced in family law and can provide you with effective and compassionate legal representation through each stage of your case. We have helped thousands of clients resolve their legal issues. Call us at (877) 765-3798 today.