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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Mediation and Litigation

Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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Posted on in Mediation

California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyWhen a marriage comes to an end, there are a wide variety of emotions experienced. Grief, anger, and anxiety of the unknown are just a few commonly expressed. While the two separating spouses are deciding how to arrange parenting time with the children and how to divide the assets, there may be another stress over the loss of control of the situation. When emotions run high, the “fight or flight” mode initiates and many people choose to run and let a judge do the dirty work. However, mediation is advisable for those seeking control over their situation.

Losing Control

Once you get in front of a judge, consideration is not typically given to the items you want and the arrangements you request. California is a no-fault state and no matter what happened during the marriage, these events will not be considered. The property splits into community property and separate property. The community property is then divided into two halves, regardless of feelings and how you came into possession of the articles. Judges are meant to be impartial and fair.

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California divorce attorney, California divorce lawsYour life is on the verge of significant change. You and the person who you have spent the last chapter of your life with are going your separate ways, bringing on a multitude of emotions. Excitement, anger, grief and happiness are all expected throughout the divorce process. Anxiety from the unknown will also keep many people up at night, especially leading up to the mandatory settlement conference.

What Is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a judge-ordered meeting to try to reach an agreement between two opposing sides. It is not required of every divorce, as default cases and those that can come to an agreement will not find any use in an MSC. This session is for divorcing couples who are unable to agree on divorce terms and have not found full relief in alternative methods, such as mediation. Along with their attorneys, both parties will meet in one session, or multiple sessions, if needed, to reach an agreement on complex matters. A “pro tem” or temporary judge will oversee the discussion and will attempt to help the couple reach a final agreement. If MSC does not resolve the controversy, then a trial will commence the following week, and the judge will decide the terms of everything left undecided.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce laws, California divorce attorneyAfter years of working and saving for a future for yourself and your family, you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. During the divorce process, most clients immediately understand that the assets need to be divided. Assets include everything from debts to the money in the bank account, to the house and the items in the junk drawer (provided that it is not trash hiding in that collect all drawer). Assets also include that retirement plan on which you have been diligently working.

Who Gets the Retirement?

You earned the retirement, so naturally, you are hoping that you are the one who gets to keep the retirement plan. The reality is, retirement is an employment benefit, just like any income earned. Additionally, any profits obtained during the duration of the marriage up until the date of separation are a part of the community property. As you may know, California is a community property state, meaning that everything valued to be community property is divided equally between the two parties at the time of the dissolution of marriage.

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Posted on in Divorce

California divorce judge, California divorce attorneyIf you choose to proceed with court litigation in your divorce matter, the judge assigned to your case will make the decisions pertaining to your divorce matter. While it is true that judges do not have the sentimental connection to the items in question, there is still a responsibility to make the wisest decision possible given the information at hand. Let us discuss what some of the elements are that are used in a divorce decision-making process.

Child Custody and Visitation

First and foremost, a judge will determine what is in the best interest of the child. The default solution for “best interest” is often joint legal custody, meaning that both parents must still make the legal decisions together. It is most commonly in the best interest to have involvement from both parents, so they will also generally lean towards joint physical custody. Some of the reasons that a judge may choose to do sole custody are:

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California child support laws, California child support attorneyChild support payments are court ordered, and failure to do so is illegal. Many circumstances prevent someone from making the proper payments. Payment failures due to inability after the loss of a job or other special events is different than choosing to withhold payment on one’s accord. Not providing the necessary child support for your offspring can earn hefty penalties.

Contempt of Court

Child support payments require receipt within 30 days after the given order. If a noncustodial parent is no longer able to make the payment, avenues exist to alleviate the financial burden. If the court is unaware of an economic status change and no receipt of payment, the payor is guilty of criminal or civil contempt of court. Willfully disobeying judge orders is a strict violation of the law.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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408-395-8822
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