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Westlake Village California Family Law Blog

Chilling journal entry told of death threats re child support

Many California parents find themselves entangled in contentious disputes following divorce or in child custody situations regarding co-parents to whom they were never married. Such situations often include bitter disagreements over child support. A parent concerned about another parent's behavior can take immediate steps to seek support by bringing the matter to the attention of the court or local authorities, as needed.

Sadly, a child support dispute in another state recently ended in tragedy. Investigations remain ongoing in the aftermath of two gunshot deaths, believed to have been caused by a disgruntled parent who was angry about certain court proceedings. The man in question is the father of two children, both of whom (along with another child) thankfully survived the incident that unfolded in their home. Preliminary reports suggest the man stormed into the house, armed with a gun, killing his ex-wife and mother of the children, as well as her current spouse.

How do you envision post-divorce co-parenting?

When you and your spouse got married, you thought that it would last forever. Now, the two of you decide that you cannot remain in a marital relationship. Although, you do realize that you must remain in your parental relationship.

To that end, you probably have your own vision of what a co-parenting relationship looks like. The good news is that you and the other parent can give that vision a chance of becoming reality. By examining what makes a successful co-parenting relationship, California parents can design a parenting agreement accordingly.

California judges consider these factors re child support

Like all good parents in California, you love your children and want what is best for them. You also knew when you filed for divorce that you'd have to negotiate a co-parenting plan as you and your spouse prepare to go your separate ways. You may have become a bit anxious when you realized that the two of you disagree about child support.

The judge overseeing your case has the final say on all child-related issues in your divorce. If you're unable to achieve an amicable agreement, you can seek the court's intervention and the judge will make the decision for you. In terms of financial care, the court typically takes certain factors under consideration before handing down a ruling.

Judge gives man 1 more chance to pay child support

When California spouses divorce, the court often makes decisions regarding any children who may be involved. When parents disagree about what is best for their kids, judges step in to decide any unresolved issues. Certain issues, such as child support, often create contention, especially if one parent the other of failing to make payments on time.

This appears to be a problem in another state where a man who was ordered to pay child support until 2026 has reportedly not been fulfilling his obligation. The order was issued in 2011, stating that monthly payments of $215 were to be made for the next 15 years. In 2017, the man was told to appear in court because records showed he owed more than $18,000 as per the terms of the existing court order. 

Collaborative law: Many California spouses save money this way

Most married couples worry about finances at times. When divorce occurs, it can be especially challenging to try to achieve a settlement without breaking the bank. Many people say they chose collaborative law divorces because it helped them obtain their goals in an economically feasible fashion.

In California and other states, the collaborative process is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It works best for couples in noncontentious situations. Both spouses must agree to cooperate and compromise as needed in order to achieve an amicable settlement. In short, a collaborative law setting is no place for hashing out differences in long, drawn-out battles; rather, it is based on peaceful discussion and willingness to avoid confrontation.

Former Bravo star resolves child support and other divorce issues

Many California residents are currently facing disagreements regarding parenting, money, property or other issues in divorce. Child support and custody-related matters are often the most contentious, especially if one parent refuses to cooperate or adhere to the terms of an existing court order. With appropriate support, many parents are able to resolve their differences through mediation or litigation, when necessary. Former reality TV star Lizzie Rovsek recently finalized a co-parenting plan that includes several specific instructions regarding her children's futures.

Rovsek is reportedly satisfied with the court's ruling that her ex will pay $4,001 per month in child support. Rovsek herself will also be receiving spousal support of more than $6,000 per month. In addition to these financial matters, the former spouses have set terms regarding faith, health and other personal issues for their children.

Could mediation be helpful in dividing retirement accounts?

Like many other California residents, as you aged, your priorities changed. For instance, years ago, your primary focus was your children. Now that they are adults with their own lives, your priority probably shifted to retirement.

During your marriage, the two of you focused on building your retirement accounts in order to fulfill your vision of what the future would look like. Unfortunately, that future no longer includes remaining married, and now you face dividing those retirement funds. Now, the goal is to retain as good a position for retirement as possible because you know you probably won't be able to keep it all.

Child support is a top priority for many California parents

It is one thing to determine that a marriage is no longer sustainable, but quite another to discern whether or not your finances are in good enough shape to move on in life as a single parent. Most California parents can relate to children's needs -- whether physical, emotional or financial -- being a top priority in their lives. When divorce is imminent, issues such as custody or child support often become central focus points of court proceedings.

Although it is you, the adult, who submits a petition in court to request child support, the money is not for you, even though you will be the one to receive payments. It is simply a financial provision being provided to help meet children's needs by the parent who no longer lives with them. Such provisions can help provide funds beyond those needed for basic food, shelter and clothing.

California child support: An obligation the law takes seriously

When California parents decide to divorce, the relationship between the two spouses is sometimes quite strained. This can lead to contention, especially if the parents in question are having trouble devising a fair and agreeable co-parenting plan. When the court orders child support, it is up to both parents to adhere to the terms of the order.

Even though a payment is being sent to a former spouse, it is important to remember that the money is to provide for the needs of the children. Such monies often help pay for things beyond basic elements of food, shelter and clothing. For instance, child support can also help cover medical expenses, educational costs or even extra curricular activities.

Options for California parents facing child support problems

When a California court orders a parent to make regular payments to provide for his or her children, he or she is legally obligated to adhere to the exact terms of the order unless and until the judge overseeing the case grants a modification. There are many parents in this state and others feeling frustrated and angry that co-parents have failed to obey child support orders. In some cases, the paying parents live in the same towns as the custodial parents; in other situations, custodial parents have no clue as to the whereabouts of their co-parents.

Every state has means of enforcement and, in some situations, warrants for arrest are issued to bring those in contempt of court to justice. When a parent is delinquent in paying child support, he or she is said to be in arrears. California parents listed as such may wind up having their photographs, names and other personal identification information posted online. That's because this state is one of several where such venues are used to publicly shame those who have failed to fulfill their duties.


Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff
3625 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard
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Westlake Village, CA 91362

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