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Los Gatos divorce attorney for child abuse and restraining ordersThere are a wide variety of reasons why couples choose to obtain a  divorce. In some cases, divorce is the result of the breakdown of a marriage, which allows spouses to end a relationship that is no longer working. However, there are also situations in which a person pursues divorce to protect the safety of family members. In cases involving child abuse, separating from your spouse and ending your marriage may be necessary to protect your child from further abuse. If you believe that your spouse has committed abuse against your child, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine your legal options. Some steps you can take to protect your family’s safety include:

Get a Restraining Order 

If you are afraid for the safety and well-being of your child, you can receive a protective order prohibiting your spouse from committing any further acts of abuse. Under California law, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order may place a number of requirements on your spouse, including ordering that they cannot contact you or your children and that they must stay away from your home, your workplace, and your children’s schools. 

If you do not feel safe in your home, you may want to remove yourself from the situation, and this may mean staying temporarily with a friend or family member or in a domestic violence shelter. Whether you will be staying in your home or moving to a new location, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order can help provide for your needs by requiring your spouse to pay child support and/or spousal support, pay for certain expenses, or turn over certain property to you. If you need to obtain a restraining order, a family law attorney can help you understand your rights and complete the necessary steps.

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Los Gatos child support lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful for parents. Even after your divorce is finalized, you may have questions about your ability to provide for your children, and ongoing financial concerns can cause a great deal of anxiety. If you are named as the custodial parent in your divorce case, you will want to plan for how you will be able to provide for your children’s needs. Fortunately, with the help of a knowledgeable family law professional, you can ensure that you will receive child support payments from your former spouse. 

How Is Child Support Established in California? 

In the state of California, child support agreements can be established through mediation or a court order. Child support payments are meant to cover various living expenses that the custodial parent will provide for their child. These expenses may include the costs of food, living arrangements, and clothing, and a non-custodial parent may also be required to provide additional child support to address expenses such as child care, health care, or other special needs for children. If you are the custodial parent, you will typically receive payments from the non-custodial parent, and the amount of these payments is calculated using a formula defined in California law. This formula will take into account each parent’s disposable income, the percentage of time the children spend with the non-custodial parent, and the number of children.

Why You Should Work With a Child Support Lawyer

To ensure that child support payments are calculated correctly, it is important to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney. If you are looking to establish an agreement through mediation, your attorney can assist you in preparing for the mediation process and educate you on your rights as a custodial parent. If your case needs to be resolved in court, your attorney can provide you with representation and ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account when establishing child support payments.

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Los Gatos child custody attorney for divorced fathersChoosing to end a marriage or long-term relationship is never easy, and the divorce process can become much more complicated when parents need to determine how to handle custody of their children. Throughout the United States, there is a widely held misconception that single fathers are at a disadvantage in these cases and that they will only be able to secure custody rights if there is egregious behavior from the mother of the child. However, this is simply not true, especially here in the state of California. The state’s laws have recognized that fathers play an important role in children’s lives, and fathers and mothers should be treated equally in child custody cases. If you are a father who needs to address custody issues, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests. 

Child Custody Laws in California

In the state of California, a father has the same rights as a mother when it comes to custody of children following a divorce or separation. In fact, a provision added in section 3020 of the California Family Code explicitly states that a parent’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation should not be considered when determining how to reach a decision about child custody that will meet children’s needs. 

Under California law, child custody comes in two forms: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody will determine where the child will primarily reside, whereas legal custody will define parents’ rights to make significant decisions for the child involving topics ranging from academics to religious beliefs. According to section 3080 of the California Family Code, it is presumed that it is in children’s best interests for parents to have joint custody. In some cases, legal custody may be shared equally, while one parent may have primary physical custody, and in other cases, children may spend equal or near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

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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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