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CA family lawyerParents are required to provide financial support for their children, whether they are married, unmarried, separated, or divorced. When parents do not live together, one parent will typically be required to pay child support to the other parent to ensure that children’s needs are met. The amount of child support is determined following the guidelines defined in California law, and it is based on the amount of income earned by both parents, as well as the amount of time children spend with each parent.

California’s Child Support Formula

Prior to calculating child support, each parent’s disposable monthly income should first be determined. Disposable income is calculated by taking a parent’s gross income and subtracting allowable deductions, which include state and federal income tax, mandatory union dues and retirement benefits, health insurance premiums, previously-ordered child support payments, and hardship deductions, if applicable.


CA divorce lawyerIf you are in the midst of a divorce, you are likely to be experiencing a great deal of chaos as you adjust to your newly-single life, and you may be struggling to make ends meet. Along with the legal costs involved in divorce, you may need to address issues such as finding new living arrangements, paying moving costs, and adjusting to living on a single income. However, with proper planning, you can begin your life after your divorce on the right foot. During divorce, you should be sure to address the following financial issues:

  • Check your credit report - If possible, you should pay off any joint credit cards and close the accounts, or make sure that if credit cards remain in one spouse’s name, the other spouse is removed from the account. Close any joint bank accounts, and check to make sure any issues with creditors have been resolved. If necessary, obtain credit cards in your name to begin establishing your own credit history.
  • Complete the division of property - Finish dividing your community property, following the decisions made in your divorce settlement. Be sure to update or refinance loans or home mortgages appropriately. Pay close attention to the division of retirement accounts or pensions, making sure to follow the proper procedures to distribute these finds without being subject to taxes or penalties.
  • Update insurance plans - You may need to remove your ex-spouse from your health insurance coverage or obtain your own coverage under a new plan. If necessary, you may be able to receive temporary COBRA coverage. You should also make sure to remove your ex as a beneficiary of life insurance or retirement plans.
  • Understand your taxes - When filing your tax return for the previous year, you will need to determine whether you should file jointly with your ex-spouse or separately. You should also update your income tax withholding to reflect your new marital status and claim the appropriate exemptions, ensuring that you do not owe taxes when filing next year’s tax return.
  • Create a budget - To ensure that you will be able to maintain financial stability following divorce, take complete stock of your income and expenses and create a workable plan going forward. Make sure to account for child support or spousal support which you will pay or receive, mortgage or rent payments, household expenses (including food, gas, and utilities), and anything else that affects your day-to-day financial situation.

Contact a Los Gatos Divorce Lawyer

By taking steps to fully understand your financial situation during your divorce, you can plan for success in the next stage of your life. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we can advocate for your interests during divorce and help you complete the process efficiently and effectively. Contact our Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney at 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation.



CA family lawyerWhen parents choose to end their marriage and get divorced, they and their family members must restructure their lives. There is often an adjustment period as children become accustomed to living in two separate homes, but ideally, parents can help them overcome their difficulties by working together to provide for children’s best interests. However, after families have settled into their new living arrangements, parents’ circumstances may change. If a parent decides to move to a new home, they should be sure to understand how this will affect their child custody agreement.

Relocating with a Child

When a parent who has primary physical custody of a child or shares physical custody with the child’s other parent wishes to move to a new home, they must provide notice to the other parent, and they must file a motion in court seeking to have their child custody order modified. If the other parent objects to the move, an evidentiary hearing will be held to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.


b2ap3_thumbnail_alimony_20180615-235242_1.jpgWhen a married couple decides to get a divorce, one spouse may be eligible to receive spousal support (also known as alimony) from their former partner. These payments allow a spouse who earns less to support themselves as they transition from married life to single life. Divorcing spouses should be sure to understand how California law applies to their situation as they determine their eligibility for spousal support.

Temporary vs. Permanent Spousal Support

After spouses have separated and begun the divorce process, the lower-earning spouse may file a motion asking for temporary spousal support to be paid while the divorce is pending. Each county uses its own methods for calculating this temporary support. In Santa Clara County, temporary support is determined by taking 40% of the paying spouse’s net income and subtracting 50% of the receiving spouse’s net income.


CA family lawyerThe end of a marriage can be an emotionally difficult time for everyone involved, but teens often struggle to adjust to their parents’ divorce. Teenage children of divorcing parents may experience issues such as depression, academic difficulties, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and involvement in sexual activity.

As a parent, you want what is best for your children, and you can help teenagers cope with the changes in their lives in the following ways:

  • Listen to their concerns - Teenagers are likely to worry about the future, so you should encourage them to talk to you about their feelings. Offer them love and support, letting them know that it is okay to feel sadness, anger, or grief, and helping them express these feelings in a healthy manner.
  • Maintain a consistent routine - A sense of consistency is beneficial for children, so sticking to regular schedules for activities can help them maintain a sense of normalcy as they are going through changes to their lives. Try to make sure that both parents continue to participate in activities with them as you did prior to your break-up.
  • Encourage a relationship with the other parent - It is important for children to maintain a good relationship with both parents, so you should encourage them to communicate and maintain a close bond with the other parent and avoid criticizing or undermining your ex in front of them.
  • Keep children away from conflict - Parents should do everything they can to keep children from being involved in any arguments or disputes during or after divorce. Never try to make your children choose between you and your ex or ask them to spy on the other parent.
  • Avoid oversharing - When discussing your divorce with your children, be honest, but talk to them in an age-appropriate manner. Avoid laying blame for the divorce or providing too much detail. While it may be tempting to confide in them about your own emotional issues or your dating life after your divorce, do not rely on them for emotional support.
  • Seek professional help - If children experience negative effects at school or at home as they adjust to their new reality, it can be beneficial for them to work with a therapist or counselor who can help them understand how to deal with the emotional issues they are experiencing.

Contact a Los Gatos Family Law Attorney

During and after your divorce, you will want to be sure to protect your children’s best interests and help them come to terms with the changes they are experiencing in their lives. If you need help addressing the legal issues that must be resolved as you work to finalize your divorce, the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca can answer your questions and help you reach a favorable outcome. Contact a Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer at 408-395-8822 to set up a free consultation.

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

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