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Man ordered to pay child support for child that is not his

California parents concerned about paternity testing will want to review a case as it unfolds in another state. The issue is child support and the court recently handed down a ruling that caught many people by surprise. It all began when a man filed a petition for visitation to see the child he thought was his.

As is common in such cases, the judge overseeing the case ordered the man to take a paternity test. Before this time, the man had been paying more than $80 per month in child support. He says he did not mind doing so because he believed it was his obligation to financially provide for his child. Problems arose, however, when the paternity test showed the man in question was, in fact, not the biological father of the child after all.

A few good reasons for California spouses to avoid litigation

Your decision to file for divorce in a California court might have been a long time in the making or prompted by a rather sudden change of events. Either way, once you decided to sever your marital ties, you knew there would be numerous issues to resolve before you could move on in life. If you're one of many parents who are navigating divorce, challenges may arise regarding custody, visitation or support.

Getting divorced doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to enter litigation. In fact, many spouses are able to finalize their settlements without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom. There are several reasons why such options might be desirable. Exploring your options and knowing where to seek support are keys to accomplishing your immediate and long-term goals.

Divorce mediation: What is it and why choose it?

There will no doubt be California married couples among others throughout the country who decide to sever their marital ties before 2019 ends. Many spouses, especially those who are parents, may want to resolve necessary issues as swiftly and painlessly as possible so they can leave the past behind and move on in life. In certain situations, divorce mediation may be a viable option.

The previous statement mentioned "certain situations" because mediation is definitely not the best choice for every couple. Those who have trouble peacefully discussing important divorce-related issues may be better off using litigation to settle their disputes and finalize a divorce. The entire mediation process centers on an agreement to avoid confrontation and to work toward a fair and agreeable settlement in an amicable fashion.

Avoid stress regarding child support as a California parent

Deciding to file for divorce is stressful enough without additional issues intensifying the turmoil. Especially if children are involved, it takes patience, effort and knowledge to develop a plan that protects your parental rights and financial interests. Whether you're the parent who will be paying child support or receiving payments that your co-parent has been ordered to pay, it is critical that you understand California laws and regulations ahead of time to help avoid problems down the line.

The judge overseeing your case will take numerous factors into consideration before ruling on financial matters. The court needs to know all relevant information regarding yours and your ex's incomes. You'll also want to make tax information and other financial issues, such as expenses related to child care or health care, available to the court.

TV show host upgrades car collection during child support case

When people post personal photos or comments on social media, it can lead to problems in their private lives. For instance, many California readers are familiar with "Good Morning America" show host Michael Strahan. His recent Instagram post has apparently gotten his ex a bit riled up about child support.

Strahan used to play defensive end for the New York Giants. He and his former wife have twin daughters. The pair divorced in 2006 and are currently engaged in a child support dispute. Strahan's fans were blowing up his Instagram page with favorable comments about a recent photo he shared of a new Porsche he added to his car collection. His ex, on the other hand, is concerned about other issues.

Child support one of several issues in this contentious divorce

The son of a coal baron, who is well known in California and internationally and reportedly has ties with the POTUS, is currently entangled in a bitter court battle regarding divorce-related issues and other matters. The man's ex has accused him of serious crimes against their adopted pre-teen daughter. A U.S. district court judge recently dismissed a claim the man in question filed against his former wife. He has also stated that his ex has failed to pay child support.

The man says he believes the claims filed against him should be adjudicated in the state in which he currently lives. However, a judge has stated that the case will remain in the state where the man's ex initially filed a petition and that he has shown no proof that he is a resident of the state in which he claims to live. In fact, the judge said, evidence shows he owns property in the state where the petition was filed. 

Divorce mediation is different from arbitration

There is more than one way to get divorced in California. There are numerous options and several of them do not even involve going to court. Divorce mediation and arbitration are two such options, though they are not for everyone.

The first logical step to take in determining if one of these options is viable is to learn about each process and how they differ from one another. In both cases, mediation and arbitration are designed as alternatives to formal litigation in family court. They work best for those who are able to amicably resolve their differences.

Your spouse's debt may be part of community property in divorce

Do you and your spouse often fight about money? Perhaps, you're one of many couples in California who have gone from merely arguing over finances to determining that you'd rather go your separate ways than stay in an unhappy relationship. Hundreds, if not thousands, of spouses file for divorce because of financial disagreements that they are unable to resolve.

As a resident of California, your divorce is subject to community property laws. Did you and your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement? If not, did you at least discuss what you both could expect to happen financially in case of divorce? If you know other people who have already finalized divorces in this state, you may be able to rely on them as part of your support network.

Skills that can help California spouses with divorce mediation

Not every California divorce is finalized through litigation. In fact, many spouses desire nothing more than to settle their differences in a calm, peaceful manner. Divorce mediation is often a prime option for couples who are willing to cooperate and avoid confrontation. This is often a less expensive way to settle a divorce, but if it doesn't work out, a case can be converted to litigation as needed.

Preparation is an essential component of divorce mediation. There are certain topics spouses must agree to avoid, such as personal marital issues that were key factors toward the decision to divorce. Mediation is not a time to rehash old marital problems but to look toward the future and resolve issues such as child custody, visitation, property division and alimony without having to go to court.

Man in another state arrested for not paying child support

California courts do not look favorably upon those who shirk their parental duties. It is especially so if the parent in question is ordered to pay child support and willfully fails to comply with the court order. In fact, such situations often lead to arrests when a judge overseeing a specific case issues an arrest warrant to take a parent into custody on grounds for contempt of court.

A sheriff's department in another state recently conducted what officials there referred to as a "round-up" to go after parents who owe child support. A 55-year-old man was taken into custody at approximately 6:30 p.m. on a recent Sunday. The man apparently owes close to $150,000 worth of support payments. However, his initial arrest had nothing to do with that particular issue.


Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff
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