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Los Gatos divorce modification attorney for child supportWhen parents get divorced, they and their children can sometimes struggle to adjust to the changes they experience in their lives. Financial matters are some of the most common concerns that divorced parents face, and they will want to be sure they can provide for themselves while also addressing their children’s needs. During the divorce process, parents’ child support obligations are determined based on the income earned by both parties and the decisions made about child custody and visitation. While a child support agreement is put in place based on parents’ and children’s needs at the time of divorce, these needs may change in the months and years to come. If parents’ or children’s circumstances change significantly, a post-judgment modification may be necessary.

When Can Child Support Be Modified? 

In most cases, post-judgment modifications can only be made if a parent or child has experienced a significant change in circumstances. In some cases, parents may seek an adjustment to how they share custody of children and the amount of time children spend with each parent, including in situations where a parent plans to move to a new home. Changes to child custody and visitation will often require a recalculation of parents’ child support obligations to address these new circumstances. 

In other cases, a parent may ask for a child support modification because they or their children have experienced changes in their financial situation. For example, a parent who receives child support may request a modification due to a change in the paying parent’s income (such as increased pay following a promotion), changes in the child’s healthcare needs, or increases in living expenses. A parent who pays child support may pursue a modification due to significant changes in income, such as a disability or the loss of a job. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for disclosure of assets and liabilitiesThe divorce process can be complicated, especially as it pertains to the division of marital property. In a California divorce, couples are required to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. The state’s policies are based on preventing community property from dissipation prior to the divorce and ensuring that the shared estate is equitably divided between the two parties. Unfortunately, a spouse may look to hide or devalue assets during a divorce. If you are pursuing a divorce, you should speak to a qualified attorney regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities.

Chapter 9 of the California Family Code defines the disclosure of assets and liabilities. 

Examining Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities 

In the state of California, community property is defined as assets or income earned or purchased during a marriage while the spouses are living together. It is important to note that anything acquired prior to the marriage, after the couple has separated, or given to one spouse specifically as a gift, is known as separate property. California state law only requires that community property be divided during divorce. 

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Los Gatos divorce lawyer for high conflict casesIf you have decided to end your marriage and pursue a divorce, you may experience a great deal of turbulence in your life as you determine how to separate from your spouse and begin living as a single person. In some cases, couples may separate amicably and work together to resolve divorce-related issues using methods such as mediation. However, there are also cases in which a divorce can become hostile and highly contested. If you are experiencing high levels of conflict when separating from your spouse, you will want to understand the best ways to respond and protect your rights during the divorce process. 

What You Can Do During a Hostile Divorce 

When a divorce becomes contentious, it is important to remain calm, avoid conflict whenever possible, and focus on the things that matter. Some steps you can take in these cases include:

  • Focus on Your Safety: If your spouse has committed abuse against you or your children, or if they have acted in a way that has caused you to fear for your family’s safety, you will want to take steps to protect yourself and your children from harm. You may need to obtain an order of protection that will prohibit any further acts of abuse or violence, prevent your spouse from contacting you or entering your residence, and put arrangements in place to ensure that you will be able to meet your family’s needs as you proceed with the divorce process.

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Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for hidden assetsGetting a divorce can be a challenging time in your life. The process of permanently separating from your spouse is difficult enough, but addressing complex matters related to marital assets and child custody can make things even more grueling. While many divorces can be resolved amicably (including through divorce mediation), some spouses will look to do anything and everything they can to spite their former partner during divorce proceedings. One of the most common forms of foul play that can occur during divorce is hiding assets. If you believe that your spouse is attempting to conceal marital property, you will want to work with a family law attorney to determine your options. 

What Are Hidden Assets? 

In the state of California, all assets owned by a married couple are considered community property. In other words, any property accumulated during a marriage belongs to both spouses, barring a prenuptial agreement that states otherwise. If a spouse attempts to devalue an asset or conceal property from their spouse and the court, this is known as hiding assets. 

Hidden assets can come in various forms, but they are rarely as simple as concealing a physical item in a place where the other spouse cannot find it. Some of the most common forms of hidden assets include intentionally avoiding reporting income through tax returns or financial statements, setting up a secret bank account (which may be done through the use of a child’s social security number), or requesting that an employer delay paying wages and bonuses until after the divorce process is finalized. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos child custody modification lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and it will require you to make a number of changes to your life. As you transition from married life to being single, both you and your ex-spouse may be looking for a new living situation, seeking new employment, and determining how you can provide for your children. While the decisions made during your divorce are meant to provide a permanent solution, either party’s situation may change drastically in the years after the divorce. In cases where a person’s circumstances have changed, certain parts of a divorce decree can be modified. These post-divorce modifications may address changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, and when pursuing a modification, you will want to work with a knowledgeable attorney. 

Modifying Your Child Custody Order 

In order to seek a modification to child custody, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that a change in circumstances has occurred. During divorce, the decisions made about legal and physical custody may take parents’ work schedules and housing situations into account. If a parent experiences changes in these areas, either party may petition the court for a modification. For example, if a change in your work schedule would allow you to spend more time with your child, you may ask that your visitation schedule be modified accordingly.

Modifications can also be requested if either parent has failed to provide the care their child needs. If the other parent is struggling to get your child to school on time, not spending adequate time with the child, or failing to provide proper food or clothing, you may ask that the child spend more time with you so you can ensure that their needs will be met. If your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, and this puts your child at risk, you can request that restrictions be placed on their parenting time, such as requiring supervision to be present when your child is with them.

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