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Important considerations of child support in California

There are many issues that need to be discussed during the divorce process. One of the most important discussions divorcing parents in California can have is about their children and things that will affect their lives, such as child support. Parents have to share in the responsibility of raising their children and that includes financially and every state has its own rules regarding how child support is to be calculated, but parents can come up with their own plan if the court agrees.

Each family is different, so there is no one way of doing things during and after a divorce. But one thing is always clear -- decisions have to be made with the best interests of the children at heart. First, it is important to know that a child support agreement can always be modified depending on the circumstances of the payor and the payee. Second, former spouses need to understand that child support always trumps spousal support, and third, child support has neutral tax consequences.

Are child support issues causing your headache?

When a California married couple decides to file for divorce, they have a number of decisions to make. Those who parents must negotiate terms child custody, parenting time and child support. Such issues can be complex and stressful to resolve, especially if the parents in question disagree on what is best for their kids.

In this state and many others, there are uniform guidelines that govern child support proceedings. Each state has its own set of guidelines that a judge overseeing a particular case will refer to when making a decision regarding whether a parent will be ordered to pay child support. Such decisions also address the amount of the payments, as well as how and when they must be made.

Divorce mediation: Get your list ready

Being prepared for situations that could be challenging is a tactic that may make the going less stressful. When a California couple decides to divorce, they may choose the route of divorce mediation to settle their issues, rather than having to face litigation. Making a list of things that need to be discussed can be helpful in creating successful mediation sessions.

In creating a list, important issues should be listed in order of priority -- the ones that are most concerning are at the top and they could include issues that concern children like holidays, school, etc. The list could also include things that have been uncomfortable to talk about one-on-one with a soon-to-be former spouse. If each individual knows what is going to be discussed at mediation sessions, then one list should do, but if not, two lists could be brought to the session -- one which is more generalized and one which is detailed. 

Divorce mediation: There are no guarantees that it will work

When a California spouse and parent decides to divorce rather than remain in unhappy relationship, the decision may activate a series of life-changing events. With the well-being of the children a top priority, a concerned parent might want to try divorce mediation as a means of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is often a great option because it enables couples to finalize a divorce without going to court, which is typically a lot less stressful than litigation.

Litigating a divorce can be expensive and time-consuming. This is one of many reasons many spouses choose mediation instead. It costs less and takes less time than hashing everything out in court.

Collaborative law: For those who wish to avoid confrontation

When you decide to file for divorce in a California court, you're activating a decision-making process. If you're a parent, many of the decisions you make will pertain to your children. To achieve a fair settlement, you and your spouse will need to agree on issues concerning property division and child custody. You may also need to resolve issues regarding tax problems, child support or alimony, and collaborative law enables you to accomplish your goals in a non-confrontational manner.

Multiple people may be part of your strong support network to help facilitate collaborative sessions. This network might include financial advisers, mental health professionals and an attorney experienced in this form of alternative dispute resolution. Collaboration is typically less expensive than litigation and is also less adversarial.

Divorce mediation: Avoid these negotiation pitfalls

Your marriage might have included a lot of arguing through the years. Maybe you started out like many other California couples in thinking that opposites attract, but you later determined that the attraction wore off and you and your spouse were drifting farther and farther apart. Then again, perhaps, you never really had a lot of confrontation with your spouse during your marriage, but the two of you met each other with the silent treatment every time a problem arose.

Neither of these dispute resolution styles are conducive to peaceful negotiation. However, if you and your spouse have decided to divorce but don't want to get entangled in litigation, you might be able to use mediation to resolve your differences. The process should work as long as you are both willing to discuss important issues to achieve a settlement agreement.

Divorce mediation: Key points for parents to keep in mind

Not every California couple who decides to go their separate ways gets locked into a long, drawn-out court battle. In fact, many spouses use divorce mediation to negotiate child custody agreements, property division and more. There are a few things for parents to keep in mind to help avoid confrontation and successfully mediate their divorce.

A main goal of mediation is to reach a fair and comprehensive agreement. When the foundation of a custody plan is mutual respect between parents, it is easier to resolve differences to create an amicable agreement. One of the ways parents can work together is by agreeing to avoid making negative comments about each other in front of their children.

Divorce mediation: Settle without going to court

Why get locked in a long, drawn-out court battle in a California courtroom if there is an alternative way to settle a divorce? Divorce mediation is a viable option for many spouses. It is definitely not for everyone, however, which is why it pays to learn as much as possible about how it works before determining if it is a good fit in a specific set of circumstances.

Mediation takes place in an informal, private setting and involves peaceful negotiations between spouses. Most divorce-related issues can be brought to the table, such as child custody and property division, as well as child support. In any event, once the parties come to an agreement, they can submit it in writing to the court for approval.

Avengers star Jeremy Renner disputing child support

When California parents file for divorce, they must resolve various child-related issues in order to achieve a settlement. If parents disagree about child support, custody or visitation, they may need to litigate the issues in order to find a solution. Avengers star Jeremy Renner is currently entangled in a court battle with his ex, Sonni Pacheco, who claims he has failed to financially provide for their 7-year-old daughter as ordered by the court.

Pacheco alleges that Renner has failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support that was due by April 1, 2020. She further claims that she has nearly exhausted her own financial resources due to having to provide for her daughter's financial needs in absence of the monies Renner supposedly owes. Pacheco has also requested that the court order Renner to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees on her behalf.

Child support: What to do and not do to prepare for a hearing

All California parents are obligated to financially provide for their children. When a married couple files for divorce or an unmarried couple decides to part ways, it often leads to child support litigation. When a case is litigated, it means the judge overseeing the case is going to be making all the decisions.

A parent knows what is best for his or her children. Problems can arise, however, if two parents disagree. This is why many child-related issues wind up being left to a judge to decide when parents cannot achieve an agreement on their own. When preparing for a child support hearing, there are several things to keep in mind.

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Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff
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Westlake Village, CA 91362

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