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Westlake Village California Family Law Blog

Musician Chris Brown sued for child support

If a California court issues a ruling, the parties involved must fully adhere to its terms. With regard to child support, both parents must act in accordance with their co-parenting and payment plan that the court has issued or approved at its discretion. It is never a good idea to obtain a settlement, then not follow through on the agreed-upon terms. This appears to be what is happening in the case of R & B music star Chris Brown.

The mother of Brown's young daughter says she has made repeated attempts to achieve an amicable agreement with her former partner regarding financial care of their child. She said it is frustrating that Brown agreed to mediation, then failed to respond when notices were sent to him regarding upcoming session dates. Brown's ex also said the court ordered him to pay more than $17,000 in owed child support this past February, but he has apparently not obeyed the order.

People who use divorce mediation often have these goals in mind

California is a community property state. This means that all marital property is typically split 50/50 in divorce. Spouses who wish to avoid lengthy litigation processes are often able to use divorce mediation as an alternate form of dispute resolution to achieve fair settlements in an amicable fashion. There are ground rules to which both parties must agree before this option can be exercised.

Many people who agree to mediation have common goals in mind. Often, one of the main goals is to avoid confrontation and courtroom conflicts. To enter mediation, both spouses must agree to discuss all pertinent issues in a peaceful manner with a willingness to cooperate and compromise to protect the best interests of all involved. 

You can go it alone in court, but do you really want to?

Like most California parents, you've likely encountered financial challenges during marriage. In fact, you may be one of many who are constantly juggling your financial books to try to stay afloat. It's definitely not an uncommon scenario in most households these days. When you decided to divorce, you might have started worrying about money right away, which is understandable, especially concerning your children's needs.

California is a community property state, which means the court typically splits all marital assets 50/50 in divorce. It's no secret that it costs money to divorce. Many people make the mistake of thinking they'll walk away with more in the end if they act alone in the courtroom. In reality, doing so often means a spouse won't get as much as he or she might have if there had been an attorney involved.

Divorce mediation: When you're ready to move on in life

The types of issues that prompt divorce for California married couples may vary greatly from household to household. Some spouses say they simply grew apart over the years, while others place disputes about finances or child-related issues at the top of their lists. No matter what the main problems were in a marriage, spouses who are tired of fighting and simply want to move on in life may wish to consider divorce mediation as a way to avoid litigation.

Since this is a community property state, you will likely be splitting all marital property 50/50. You may still have to negotiate certain issues, however. If you have children, their best interests will no doubt be a central focus of discussion in your mediation sessions. While you may have heard horror stories about contentious child custody disputes in the past, there are also plenty of spouses who are able to develop solid co-parenting agreements without getting into long, drawn-out battles in court.

How California courts handle unpaid child suport

Thousands of California parents and others throughout the country make regular monthly payments to help provide for their children's financial needs. Many such parents have been ordered to do so by the court in conjunction with divorce proceedings and child support agreements. Once a judge issues an order, both parents must fully adhere to the terms, although this does not always happen.

There are typically several ways to arrange payments. Some parents come up with their own payment plans and agreements without going through a local support agency. Other situations involve the paying parent's employer, who is notified and told to take support payments out of the parent's employment wages. In many cases, regardless of the type of payment arrangements that have been agreed upon, court-ordered payments are left unpaid for weeks, months or even years.

Child Support: Judge orders Tristan Thompson to pay up

NBA fans in California and across the country are likely familiar with Tristan Thompson. His prowess on the court became recognized when he was in college, and he entered his professional career as a fourth overall draft in the National Basketball Association. Parents who are currently struggling with child support issues might relate to Thompson's personal situation regarding a recent court order.

Thompson is the father of two children. Khloe Kardashian is the mother of one, and Jordan Craig is mom to the other. The latter filed a petition in a civil court, stating that the $15,000 per month her child's father was paying was far lower than recommended state guidelines. As a result of that lawsuit, the judge overseeing the case ordered Thompson to pay $200,000 in back payments.

Los Angeles County child support system has made some changes

When a California family law judge issues an order stating a parent must provide financial support to help in his or her children's upbringing, both parents must adhere to the terms of the court order. Such orders are often issues in conjunction with child custody proceedings in divorce. However, not every parent paying child support was, at one time, married to his or her co-parent.

In the past, Los Angeles County has had a backlog of cases regarding parents who have not made good on their child support payments. Any number of issues might cause a parent to miss a payment. For some, unexpected financial crisis may be a causal factor. Others may simply disregard existing court orders. If a financial problem or other issue has arisen, a parent must petition the court for modification of the court order but must continue paying until such modification is granted.

School's out -- is that going to cause you co-parenting problems?

Like many California parents, you might have mixed feelings when your kids finish their last day of school for summer break. On one hand, you likely look forward to having more time with them, perhaps even taking a short vacation together. On the other, thoughts on how to juggle the logistics of it all, especially now that you're divorced, might cause you to lose sleep at night. Who will drive the kids to day camp? Do you have childcare set up, as needed?

Summer break can cause unexpected conflicts to arise between co-parents, as well. It depends on how thorough you were when you crafted your co-parenting plan. Even if a problem surfaces, however, there's not necessarily reason to panic, especially if you're well aware of your rights and know where to seek support to help protect them. Like most parents, your highest priority is your children's best interests.

Collaborative law or mediation? Which option is best for you?

By the end of 2019, many people in California and throughout the country will decide to divorce. In some cases, there will be nasty, lengthy court battles regarding various topics, such as property division, child custody or alimony. However, many other spouses will want to avoid court if possible, in which case they might choose to achieve settlement through alternate means, such as collaborative law or mediation.

There are ground rules for these alternatives to litigated divorce. Both processes require spouses to agree to settle their differences in a nonconfrontational manner. In fact, the ultimate goal of collaboration or mediation is to peacefully resolve differences of opinion in order to obtain a fair and agreeable outcome that serves the best interests of all parties involved.

Judge gives man 10 days to pay child support or face jail time

Some California parents are famous or, at least, well-known in their own communities. It can be difficult for them when they experience family problems because word travels fast and it might feel like everyone knows details about their private lives. A man who is known as a former political candidate, as well as a radio commentator in another state is making headlines these days. He probably wishes he wasn't since they concern a family court judge's order that he pay a substantial amount of past due child support.

The judge has told the man that he has 10 days to pay up or go to jail. The amount in question is $170,000. The average California resident might consider that a lot of money.

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