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Los Gatos spousal support and alimony attorneyAlimony, spousal support, partner support…whatever you call it, it can be a complicated process to determine whether you or your ex-spouse qualify to receive financial support during your divorce case. It is important to discuss your options with an attorney to determine eligibility for alimony, the amount of payments, and the length of time that the support will continue. Whether you are the payor or the payee, you will want to make sure that you are the decisions made will meet your needs and protect your financial security. 

How Is Spousal Support Determined?

Eligibility for spousal support, or partner support in the case of domestic partnership, must be determined in court. A support order can be established through a divorce, legal separation, or annulment, or as part of a domestic violence restraining order. Temporary support may also be granted by a court during litigation, with the final decisions regarding support being finalized in the divorce or legal separation agreement. 

The actual amount of the support payments will vary depending on many factors, such as how long the couple was married or in a domestic partnership, the standard of living, both parties’ incomes and potential incomes based on their education and experience, the children involved and care needed for them, debts, property, and much more. The presence of domestic violence may also be a determining factor. 

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Los Gatos, CA paternity dispute lawyerAlthough the paternity of a child is sometimes pretty cut and dry, there are some circumstances in which one parent or the other wishes to dispute parentage. The process is easier to start if parentage has not yet been legally established. However, if parentage has already been determined by a court order, you may not be able to fight it. In these cases, it is crucial to work with a skilled family law attorney who can protect the rights of all parties involved.

If Parentage Has Not Been Legally Determined

If a child is born to married parents or adopted by a married couple, the parentage is legally presumed. This also extends to couples who are domestic partners. In biological paternity cases, either party may request a DNA test, which will prove whether a man is the child’s biological father. To do so, you will have to fill out the proper forms for the court. An experienced family law attorney can help walk you through the process. If a paternity test shows that the child in question is yours, you may then pursue a custody agreement, or you may be required to pay child support.

In same-sex and/or adoptive cases, a paternity test may not solve the issue of parentage. A parent may be able to demonstrate that they are the child’s biological parent, but if the other party wants to prove legal parentage, or if the couple adopted the child, then these are situations in which both parents may need to sign a voluntary Declaration of Paternity. If all are in agreement on the declaration, then the custody agreement can be worked out after that.

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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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Los Gatos child support enforcement attorneyEveryone has heard about deadbeat parents who do not pay child support. This can cause a great deal of stress and a significant financial burden for the custodial parent, who is forced to make ends meet on their own. In most cases, child support payments are taken directly from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, but in some cases, there may be a different payment method, or the parent may move on to a different job without divulging that information to the state.

Where Do I Turn When My Ex Is Not Paying Support?

If the parent ordered to pay support is not holding up their end of the agreement, the first step may be to contact the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA), but it could also be in your best interests to contact an experienced child support lawyer to help you determine your options for getting the money that is owed to you.

What Repercussions Will a Non-Paying Parent Face?

Although failing to pay support can result in being held in contempt of court, charging the responsible party with this offense may not be a great help in recovering unpaid child support. The parent in contempt may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. The problem with this is that if the parent goes to jail, you will likely still not be receiving child support at all. 

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