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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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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 divorce and QDRO lawyerDuring a California divorce, all community property must be divided between spouses. Unfortunately, a retirement account you have been sinking money into for years will not necessarily be all yours when you get a divorce. Even if an account is solely in your name, and you were the one earning the income, money saved during your marriage is typically considered community property. On top of giving up part of your 401(k) or pension, you may have to face penalties if you do not follow the proper procedures when splitting up the funds.

Avoiding Penalties When Dividing Retirement Funds

Even in the best divorce scenarios, both parties are likely to face some financial loss. Property has to be divided, and you will be walking away from one household to new bills in two different homes. Taking the proper steps when dividing retirement funds will ensure that you do not face additional financial penalties.

If you are the one who has to share your retirement savings, your attorney can walk you through the proper process to make sure that you do not lose more money than you have to because of penalties and early withdrawal fees. If you are receiving funds from your partner’s 401(k), you will get to keep more if you have the funds rolled over to your own retirement account than if you take the cash outright. In most cases, the best option is to use a QDRO to implement the transfer of funds.

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer health insurance COBRAMany people take advantage of lower rates or better coverage by receiving health insurance through a plan provided by their spouse’s employer. But what happens when your policy is through your spouse, and you are planning to get a divorce? Your best choices for ensuring that you will have insurance coverage will depend on your situation. Rather than rush out and try to find a new health insurance plan immediately, you can ask your attorney to help you navigate the sometimes-confusing laws and regulations of health insurance coverage during divorce.

Can I Stay Covered?

Often, you will be able to stay on your spouse’s insurance, at least for the duration of the divorce. During a legal separation, on the other hand, you may or may not remain covered. That will depend on the insurance company. Also, if you decide to proceed with a divorce, your coverage will definitely end when the divorce is final, since laws prohibit people from staying on an ex-spouse’s insurance policy after divorce.

Your children, depending on their ages, should be able to stay covered under the ex-spouse’s plan, but an agreement will have to be reached on that. If your children are between the ages of 18 and 26, however, you will not be able to force your ex-spouse to keep them covered. Even though it is legal to provide coverage for adult children, parents are only required to keep their children insured until age 18.

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Posted on in Divorce

San Jose, CA divorce lawyer

When a couple is involved in the divorce process, one of the most important issues they have to face is the division of marital property. When emotions are running high, it can be difficult to remember all of the assets that need to be accounted for and addressed, especially for couples with a complicated assortment of financial investments and debts.

Tangible Assets

This can include many items, but among the largest are a couple’s home and automobiles. Often it makes sense that one party will stay in the family residence, and in that case, the other party will generally be due compensation to make up for whatever value and/or equity that may have accrued. If both spouses want the house, that will have to be determined through mediation or a decision by the court if no agreement can be made. Another option is for the house to be sold and the profits split evenly or equitably between the divorcing spouses. As for cars, both parties will likely keep their own vehicles, if they each have one. 

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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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