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Westlake Village California Family Law Blog

Singer R. Kelly says he can't afford his current child support

If a California parent is unable to meet his or her obligations to financially provide for his or her children as ordered by a family law court, there are legal steps that can be taken to request a lower payment amount. What a parent may not do is stop making child support payments without the court's permission. Not only can this lead to legal problems, it can also wind up costing even more money, as made evident by a case in another state involving R&B star R. Kelly.

Kelly has publicly stated that he doesn't have enough money in the bank to make monthly child support payments of $21,000. The singer was sent to jail for being delinquent on his account. However, he was released after three days when someone provided $100,000 on his behalf.

The term 'amicable divorce' doesn't have to be an oxymoron

When you and your spouse decided to divorce, there was no doubt several issues regarding your marital relationship that you agreed were un-resolvable. Perhaps there is even a bit of bad blood between you, either because of a particular incident that occurred or resentment or anger that built up over time. In either case, getting divorced doesn't necessarily mean you have to let such issues draw you into a contentious court battle.

There are ways to avoid confrontation. Divorce isn't easy, and you and your spouse may harbor hurt feelings; however, if you keep certain helpful tips in mind, you may be able to achieve a settlement without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom. It takes work and it requires cooperation between you and your spouse. If you both really want to leave the past behind and move on with your lives, it is definitely possible.

How are divorce mediation and collaborative law different?

Most California readers have a basic understanding of litigation, at least insofar as what the term itself means and the fact that it refers to a court process. With regard to divorce mediation and collaborative law, however, confusion often sets in because, although both are processes for settling divorce out of court, they are also different from each other in several ways. To determine a best course of action in a particular set of circumstances, a concerned spouse will want to learn as much as possible about each option in order to make a well-informed decision.

When spouses choose to mediate a divorce, it is usually because they wish to avoid confrontation and want to settle their differences in as economically feasible a fashion as possible. Each spouse hires an attorney to help protect his or her interests during mediated sessions. In a collaborative process, an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators oversees the sessions, acting in place of a judge, with discretion to make decisions after evidence and testimonies are presented.

Collaborative law facilitates non-confrontational divorce

Not every California couple who files for divorce expects a rancorous, lengthy and stressful proceeding. Many spouses are on good terms when they part, especially those who have children and agree that keeping their kid's best interests in mind is more important than arguing over who gets to spend holidays with them. Collaborative law enables people who wish to finalize a divorce on amicable terms to do so without going to court.

Those unfamiliar with the process may wonder how everything gets settled if no one goes to court. For instance, who decides who gets the house, the vehicles, the vacation property, etc., and what the terms of the custody and support agreement will be? The answer is that spouses themselves are able to negotiate such issues then submit their plan to the court for approval once they have agreed on the terms of their plan.

Judge suspends 5-year prison sentence in child support case

When a California court makes decisions that pertain to child care or financial provisions after divorce, both parents must adhere to the terms. While there are sometimes legitimate reasons for requesting modification of a court order, a parent cannot simply take matters into his or her own hands. The court must grant the request and issue a new ruling before custody or child support arrangements are changed.

The father of a child in another state wound up in serious legal trouble when he stopped paying child support. In fact, he reportedly failed to send payments for seven consecutive years. The man was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant and pleaded guilty to the charges against him. This led to a judge ordering him to pay restitution of nearly $13,000.

Divorce mediation: Is it worth a try?

One of the most serious decisions a person can make in life is to get divorced. Many California residents will make such decisions before 2019 ends. Those who wish to avoid confrontation, and who really would just like to resolve pertinent issues and then sign an agreement and move on in life, may want to try divorce mediation as an alternate dispute resolution tool, rather than entering litigation.

Mediation is definitely not a good fit for everyone, however. Therefore, it might help to consider its pros and cons before determining a best course of action. Then again, it is possible to give it a try and convert to litigation if the process does not work out as hoped. A primary key to a successfully mediated divorce is willingness to cooperate and negotiate.

Divorce doesn't have to leave you in a bad place

People made fun of Gwyneth Paltrow for using the term "conscious uncoupling" to describe her divorce. In fact, she even derided the term herself later on, but that shouldn't diminish the thoughts and theory behind it. This divorce approach works especially well in helping the children through this challenging time full of changes over which they otherwise have little to no control.

Couples here in California and elsewhere in the country don't have to rely on the traditional and adversarial courtroom divorce any longer. If you fear that you will come out of your divorce in a bad place, you should know it doesn't have to be that way.

California parents must adhere to court's child suport rulings

Co-parenting is definitely not always easy, especially if parents disagree about important issues. Regarding child support, which is often a topic of contention, it is always best to get the terms of an agreement in writing and to seek the court's approval. Once a California judge has issued a court order, both parents are legally obligated to adhere to the terms. In many situations, if a parent believes a ruling was handed down in error or believes that a judge's decision was unfair, an appeal may be filed in the appropriate court.

It is highly inadvisable, however, to take matters into one's own hands. The NFL Steelers' wide receiver, Antonio Brown has been going through a situation that serves as an example of how things can get out of hand when one parent or the other refuses to obey the court. In Brown's case, the mother of his daughter has repeatedly requested more child support.

Child support issues can be stressful for California parents

A decision to file for divorce is definitely not something to be taken lightly, especially if children are involved. California parents often worry that if they end a marriage, they will struggle to provide for the ongoing needs of their children. This is particularly true in cases where a parent has sacrificed a career during marriage to stay home full-time and raise a family. Learning as much as possible about state child support laws ahead of time may help alleviate stress during court proceedings.

A judge overseeing a divorce case involving custody, visitation and support will rule based upon the specific evidence presented in court. The state, however, provides uniform guidelines regarding child support issues. A judge may take many factors into consideration to determine whether a parent should pay child support, as well as how much the payments should be, how often they are made and through what means. One of the first issues most often considered is the income of both parents.

Judge rules on Miguel Cabrera child support case

Major league baseball fans in California and beyond may be following a family law case involving first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera's complex personal problems have been making headlines for some time now. The judge overseeing his case recently handed down a ruling regarding child support and other financial issues.

Cabrera is married, although his wife filed for divorce after learning of an extramarital affair he had with a woman who became mother to two of his children. His wife ultimately changed her mind and decided to keep their marriage intact. In the meantime, his ex-mistress filed a paternity lawsuit, requesting $100,000 in monthly child support payments, stating that her children have every right to live a similar lifestyle to that which Cabrera provides for his children that live with him.


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