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Los Gatos Divorce Mediation LawyerEvery year, thousands of American couples make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce. While some divorces can be hostile and aggravating, others can be navigated with some level of amicability. In these instances, mediation can represent an alternative option to standard divorce proceedings, enabling you and your spouse to have greater control over the decision making process while maintaining a dialogue that can be critical during this difficult time in your life.

The Benefits of Mediation

Divorce mediation is a process in which a divorcing couple works with a trained, neutral mediator to facilitate a dialogue and resolve issues surrounding the divorce. Here are a number of reasons why mediation can be a smoother process than a divorce trial:

  • It Expedites the Divorce Process: In many cases, divorce can be a long and strenuous process. During mediation, spouses will work together with a mediator to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the outstanding issues in their divorce, and the process can often be much quicker than a standard divorce trial. As spouses look to transition to the next phase of their life and begin a fresh start, the ability to reach a faster resolution can be invaluable.

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Los Gatos Unpaid Child Support Lawyer

Many people consider their pets to be like their own children, so what happens to the family pet when couples divorce? In the past, pets would be treated like any other non-living property in a California divorce. Though previously given the same consideration as a piece of furniture or a car, the understanding that people share special relationships with their pets prompted California lawmakers to change how pet custody is treated.

A law passed last year dictates that the well-being of an animal or animals owned by a couple must be considered when parties cannot agree on who will keep the animals following divorce. California was the third state in the U.S. to pass such a law, and it went into effect on January 1 of this year.

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Los Gatos Unpaid Child Support LawyerNearly everyone is familiar with the term “deadbeat dad,” but what exactly are the penalties when a parent (either the father or the mother) fails to provide their child with the financial support that he or she is legally obligated to pay? Child support is generally paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent in order to provide for the child’s daily needs. Many factors go into figuring the amount of support that must be paid, and obligations may change throughout the child’s lifetime. However, unless a judge says otherwise, those ordered to pay support must continue to do so, or that parent is breaking the law.

How Is the Amount of Child Support Determined in California?

There is a formula that is followed to determine the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent must pay in California. Some of the major factors that must be integrated into the formula are as follows:

  • The number of children under 19 and/or in high school, with the exception of disabled children who may need to be supported past age 19

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Los Gatos community property division lawyerIn most states, the rules are not always cut and dry on how property will be divided between divorcing couples. This can result in a lengthy court battle, but for California and a handful of other states, there are community property laws that were implemented with the intent of easing the process. Community property laws require couples to split in half all the assets that were acquired during the marriage, exactly down the middle.

What Is the Basis for Community Property?

The community property law was developed under the premise that marriage is like a community. Both parties were working and contributing to that community throughout the marriage. Therefore, all property belongs to the community and should be split 50/50 when the marriage ends. No consideration is made for who actually earned the money.

The flipside of the community property law is that there are often debts to be considered as well. This means that spouses, or the community, also share the debts, no matter whose name is on any bills or statements. These debts could include a mortgage, car loans, credit cards, student loans, and more.

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Los Gatos, CA divorce mediation attorneyThere are many details to work out during a divorce. Unfortunately, some couples end up in a cycle of litigation in which no one really wins. Arguments about custody, property, child support, alimony, etc. can result in both parties running up major attorney’s fees and court costs. Rather than fighting out every little thing through the legal process, some couples may be able to save a lot of money and stress in the long run by opting for mediation.

Avoid Wasting Time and Money on Litigation

When you and your partner decide to call it quits, dividing marital property and agreeing on what is best for your children can sometimes be complicated. Even if both parties mean well, which is not always the case, the divorce can end up dragging on and on, causing unnecessary stress and huge expenses.

If you and your soon-to-be-ex cannot reach an agreement on some things, it may be time to hire a mediator. A mediator can take on one issue at a time and help the two of you work out decisions that are fair to both of you. This can greatly reduce the time and money needed to complete your divorce, since going through the courts to resolve every little disagreement can take years and cost thousands of dollars.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

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