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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for spousal supportFollowing divorce, one spouse may be entitled to receive financial support from their former partner that will help them maintain their standard of living. When a spousal support agreement is established either during mediation or a court hearing, the spouse receiving payments should be able to rest assured that they will receive this court-ordered support. Spousal support payments can be critically important in ensuring that a person is able to live a financially healthy and independent life following divorce. However, there are some cases in which a paying spouse does not meet their obligations to make these payments on time or in full. It is paramount that you speak with a qualified family law attorney if you are not receiving the agreed-upon payments from your former spouse. 

Securing Your Spousal Support Payments 

Under California law, an automatic wage assignment is created when a spousal support order is established. This will ensure that the amount of support is deducted from the paying spouse’s income (known as wage garnishment). However, divorcing spouses may choose to have the automatic wage assignment stayed, and they may make other arrangements for paying spousal support. 

If a wage assignment has been stayed in your case, there are a number of reasons why your former spouse may fail to make spousal support payments. However, even if he or she has experienced financial difficulties due to loss of employment or a medical condition that has affected his or her ability to work, you still have the right to look into options for enforcing the payment of support. Typically, the first step you and your attorney should take is identifying why the payments are not being made. If your ex-spouse is in fact unable to work, you may be able to work together with him or her to reach an agreement that temporarily lowers the amount of payments or suspends the support for a certain period of time. In these cases, you should be sure that your ex-spouse is aware of your willingness to take the matter to court if the full amount of support payments is not resumed at the conclusion of the suspension. 

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Los Gatos divorce attorney for spousal support and alimonyWhen a couple makes the decision to pursue a divorce, both parties will face drastic changes in their life. For many people, the end of their marriage may threaten their financial security. If one spouse has conventionally brought in more income than the other, the other spouse may have difficulty maintaining their accustomed standard of living following the separation. Because of this, many divorcing spouses who earn less than their former partner will elect to pursue some level of spousal support. In cases involving spousal support, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you make sure you will be able to live a financially sustainable and healthy lifestyle. 

How Is Permanent Spousal Support Established? 

Commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support is is paid by one former spouse to the other. It is intended to ensure that both spouses will be able to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed while married, and it can also help the lower-earning spouse meet their needs while they work to become financially independent. In the state of California, spousal support is established through in-depth consideration of a number of factors, including the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the supported party’s ability to secure employment. Spouses may be able to agree on an amount of alimony that will be paid, or a judge may order a certain amount of spousal support to be paid for a specific period of time.

How a Lawyer Can Assist With Spousal Support

During the divorce process, an attorney may help address spousal support in the following ways:

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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer for hidden assets or income

Coming to the conclusion that your marriage has broken down beyond repair can be a difficult truth to address. However, once you have decided that ending your marriage is the best decision for you and your family, it is time to begin preparing for the divorce process. Planning for your post-divorce life is especially important, since it will help you ensure that you can have a healthy financial future. However, in some cases, when a person knows or suspects that divorce is imminent, they may begin to hide assets from their spouse. This may be done as a way to avoid dividing property during the divorce or out of a desire to hurt one’s former partner. Whatever the reason, it is not only unfair to the other spouse, but it is illegal. If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets or income, you should speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney as soon as possible. 

How Assets are Hidden

There are a number of ways a person may attempt to conceal marital assets from their spouse. One of the most common methods of doing so is by opening a secret bank account and withdrawing money from marital accounts. A person may also transfer money to another party to hold on to until the divorce is finalized, and they may claim that these transfers are being made to pay a person back for debts that never actually existed. A spouse may also secretly purchase assets such as valuables, collectibles, or real estate, or they may lie about the income they earn in hopes of reducing any child support or spousal support they would be required to pay following divorce. 

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Los Gatos divorce mediation attorney for financial issuesWhen a couple makes the difficult decision to pursue a divorce, unpacking the various complications and issues that must be addressed in order to dissolve the marriage can be incredibly challenging. From child custody to the division of marital assets, it should come as no surprise that many divorces result in heated disputes. However, it is possible to avoid lengthy and costly legal battles by using divorce mediation. Couples who choose this option are often able to reach a divorce settlement that meets their needs while avoiding the financial costs of litigation.

How Mediation Can Help You 

Pursuing mediation as a means of reaching a divorce settlement represents the most collaborative option possible. You and your former spouse will be able to work together to resolve the various issues surrounding the dissolution of your marriage. When it comes to finances, there are a number of reasons why mediation can be the best choice, primarily because mediation can expedite the divorce process, saving you a great deal of time and money. 

Mediation can also enable you and your ex-spouse to work together to address the financial aspects of your divorce. This process will allow you to maintain a greater level of organization, including determining a workable budget for your ongoing income and expenses and addressing the tax issues related to issues such as asset division and child custody. If necessary, the two of you can work with a tax accountant to determine the strategies that will minimize the total amount of taxes that you will each pay after the divorce is finalized. 

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for establishing paternityAccording to California law, paternity can be established through one of two legal avenues. In many cases, the parent will elect to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. In other cases, a paternity test may be ordered by the court to determine the identity of a child’s biological father. Unfortunately, establishing paternity can be much more complicated than most would like to assume. In short, paternity means establishing that a person is the legal father of a child. 

In the state of California, paternity must be established through a legal process, and this must be completed before the courts can decide on issues such as child custody and child support. When addressing issues related to establishing paternity, it is important to hire a skilled attorney to assist you throughout the legal process. 

Complications in Paternity Cases 

While many people believe that establishing paternity is fairly straightforward, they are not entirely correct. Paternity cases can be incredibly complicated and difficult to resolve, depending on the circumstances of the birth and the relationship status of the parents. According to California state law, when a married couple (or a couple who have registered as domestic partners) has a baby, they are assumed to be the child’s parents, and they are automatically established as the legal parents at the time of the birth. However, if a couple is unmarried, the father has two options: to voluntarily sign a declaration of paternity or to request a paternity test. Generally speaking, it can be wise for an unwed father to request a DNA test, since signing a declaration of paternity has long-term implications regarding the responsibility to raise the child. 

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