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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer grounds for dissolution of marriageChoosing to end your marriage is never an emotionally easy process. Unfortunately, if you are unaware of the divorce laws in your state, the logistical process of dissolving your marriage can be difficult as well. Here in the state of California, you will want to understand the requirements that must be met and the process you will need to follow. If you are considering filing for divorce, you will want to seek out the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. 

Filing For Divorce 

In order to file for divorce in California, you must first make sure that you are eligible to do so. One of the simplest issues that can arise in California divorces is the requirement that one of the parties must be a California resident for a minimum of six months, and one party must have lived in the county where the divorce will be filed for at least three months. Once those residency requirements have been met, either spouse can file a petition for divorce at their local court. 

In many states, a person who files for divorce must cite certain “grounds,” or reasons that they wish to dissolve their marriage. Depending on state laws, these may include infidelity, drug or alcohol abuse, a felony conviction, or one spouse infecting the other with a sexually transmitted disease. The state of California, however, recognizes what is called “no fault” divorce. This means that spouses may file for divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” and they simply need to state that these differences have caused an irremediable breakdown of the marriage. The only other grounds for divorce recognized in California are a permanent legal incapacity by one spouse to make decisions. In these cases, a spouse must provide proof of permanent physical or mental impairment or disability, including testimony from a medical or psychiatric professional.

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Los Gatos divorce attorney financial issuesThousands of people get divorced each year, and couples choose to split for a wide variety of reasons. However, financial issues are one common cause of divorce. In some cases, a couple may disagree about how expenses will be shared, what sorts of purchases are appropriate, or what should be done about debt. If they cannot come to terms on these issues, ending the marriage is often the best choice. Unfortunately, even after divorce, financial issues related to the marriage can continue to have an effect. To ensure that you will be able to begin your new life on secure financial footing, you should take a few steps to protect yourself financially.

What You Can Do 

The choices made during the divorce process can have a major impact on your life going forward. Here are a few steps to take and missteps you should avoid in order to maintain financial security:

  • Understand the Tax Implications: Your divorce will change your financial situation in a number of ways, and one of the most notable alterations is how you are taxed. If you are ordered to pay spousal support or child support, you will not be able to deduct these payments from your taxable income. If you receive these types of payments, you will not be required to pay income taxes on them. You should also be sure your divorce decree specifies whether you or your ex-spouse will be able to claim tax deductions or credits for any children you share, who will be responsible for paying property tax on your marital home, and whether you will need to address any outstanding tax payments that are due.

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Los Gatos, CA child support lawyerEnding your marriage is no easy task. The divorce process can be emotionally draining and grueling, and a wide variety of legal issues will need to be addressed. When children are involved, a divorce can come with even more significant ramifications. While child custody and visitation may be your number one concern during your divorce, once the process is complete, your focus may change to ensuring that you receive the court-ordered child support payments that will allow you to meet your children’s needs. 

What if My Former Spouse Is Not Making Payments? 

If your child’s other parent fails to make their court-ordered child support payments, you will want to take steps to enforce these obligations. Due to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, a district attorney has the power to assist you in collecting the court-ordered child support payments you are owed. The district attorney may contact the non-paying parent, inform them of the consequences of non-payment, and make arrangements for paying the amount due. If the parent refuses to make payments, they may face criminal punishment. Because the non-paying parent will be unable to earn an income in prison, jail time is not the most common consequence in these cases. However, the district attorney may pursue other potential options such as garnishing wages, seizing property, or driver’s license revocation. 

If there are multiple payments that your former partner failed to make, you can rest assured that they are required by law to make all court-ordered payments that are due, along with interest on the amount that is owed. If the other parent’s circumstances have changed, and the loss of a job or reduction in income makes it impossible to continue making payments, they can request a modification of the child support order. However, any reduction will only apply to future payments, and back child support will continue to be owed until it is fully paid off.

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos divorce mediation lawyerWhen you choose to get a divorce, that decision can result in a variety of challenges for the whole family. Not only will you have to grapple with the legal and practical issues involved in ending your marriage, but your children have to accept that you and your ex-spouse will no longer be living together or married to each other. The divorce process can be incredibly stressful for children. Litigating a divorce in the courtroom can not only increase the level of conflict between spouses, but it may also lead to potentially frightening court appearances for children. Fortunately, divorce mediation is an alternative method of resolving divorce issues, and it can benefit the entire family. 

Mediation and Children 

During the mediation process, you and your ex-spouse will work with a third-party mediator to talk through the issues surrounding your divorce and reach a settlement that you can both be satisfied with. This process can be incredibly beneficial in resolving matters related to child custody. These benefits include: 

  • The Child’s Voice Matters: Mediation will give you and your spouse complete control over the final decisions made throughout the divorce process. In cases involving child custody, this means that your child’s wishes can be communicated easily and can be taken into consideration. You want what is best for your children, and mediation provides you with a greater opportunity to address their wishes and ensure that the two of you will be able to meet their needs. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce and child custody attorneyAs you prepare for your divorce, there is likely much on your mind. You may be plagued by questions like “How secure is my financial health?” and “Where am I going to live?” However, if you have children, your largest concerns are probably going to revolve around the issue of child custody. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help you achieve an outcome that will allow you to meet your children’s needs and be the parent they deserve.

1. Be Willing to Compromise

Divorce is often thought of as a hostile battle between two former spouses who can no longer stand to be around each other. However, this does not need to be the case, and if you share children with your former spouse, you will want to establish a relationship in which you can continue to work together as co-parents. During your divorce, you can help achieve a positive outcome by being willing to reach agreements on child custody matters with your ex-spouse. Divorce mediation is a great way to address these issues, and by working with a trained divorce mediator, you can reach compromises that you can both be satisfied with. Mediation often allows you to have greater control of the outcome of your case than you would by settling the issues through litigation in court.

2. Be Engaged as a Parent

Your divorce is likely to take up a great deal of your time and attention, but you will want to make sure you continue to be the parent your children need during this difficult time. By staying closely involved in their lives, listening to their concerns, and offering comfort and support, you can be a source of love and stability for them. Keeping up with your child’s academic standing, extracurricular interests, and friend groups can ensure that you know what is going on in their life and how you can meet their needs. If child custody issues do need to be addressed in court, you will be able to show that you are a parent who is focused on putting your children’s best interests first. 

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

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

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