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How Cohabitation Effects Child Support

Friday, November 24, 2017

While it is often shown that many divorced couples live apart after divorce this is not always the case. In some recently severed marriage, neither party has the means to support themselves on their own. As such, they end up living their new life with their ex-spouse and children still in the home together so they have a stable environment. While this affects a lot of social aspects in the home, how does it affect child support payments?

In many cases, cohabitation does not have much of an effect on child support. However, it can make day-to-day financial aspects a little fuzzy for some couples. It could be argued that since you bought breakfast, then that is for the care of the child and should be deducted from what you owe, but typically courts will shoot this down. You will likely still be on the hook for the financial amounts.

There are some cases in which one parent experiences "substantial change" to their financial means that can cause child support to be modified, but often this is due to loss of employment or injury rather than cohabitation.

In other cases, one parent may waive child support from the other parent in an effort to combine income and care for the child in their best interest. This can be a mistake if it isn't clear or legally stated that payment needs to be restarted once the ex-spouse moves out.

Overall, cohabitation between divorced parents can be a tricky business because it can throw a wrench in so many divisions that happen during a divorce. If you are cohabitating and want to lay down the ground rules, contact us today.

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Child Support and Fathers' Rights

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Learning of the stiff penalties associated with child support arrears, such as the suspension of a business or driver's license, can be tough. You might think that penalties have piled up through no fault of your own. You might even be unaware of the consequences of unpaid child support until you apply for a credit card or when you receive a notification that your bank account has been frozen. 

What Penalties can I Expect for Child Support Arrears?

You can expect to endure several different penalties for unpaid child support.

  • It's possible for your wages to be garnished
  • Lowered credit score because you've been reported to credit bureaus 
  • Liens could be placed on real estate
  • Driver's license or business license suspension
  • Frozen bank accounts 
  • You might even serve time in jail

What Happens if I can't Pay? 

Unfortunately, child supports payments are among the few types of debts that can't be eliminated during the bankruptcy process. If a non-custodial parent can't afford to pay off the debt, a modification request should be filed so that the courts are aware of a change in financial status. Keep in mind that if a motion isn't filed, a default judgment could be rendered against you. 

How is Repayment Enforced? 

Child support is enforced by the state, however, procedures for enforcement usually don't vary widely across states. The non-custodial parent will receive a notice concerning the process of how to adhere to payment time frames and other necessary instructions. If a significant amount of payment is owed, or if an unacceptable amount of time has passed, the consequences include jail time or probation.  

If an attorney in Los Angeles is what you need, please contact us immediately.  

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When is the Best Time to Get Divorced With Kids?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

For some couples, there will come a time where they cannot stand the very sight of their partner and have to get a divorce. For other couples, they don’t really desire to be married, but stay together for various reasons. One of the main reasons that people who aren't in love might wait to get a divorce is because of their children. Maybe they want to wait until they are a little older and will understand, but when exactly is that age?

The truth is that kids process a divorce in very different ways depending on their age. A child at the age of five will see a divorce differently from a child at the age of 15. No matter what age, your child might feel like it is their fault, but the older they are, the more likely they are to comprehend your reasoning when explained to them. Furthermore, older children will be more self-sufficient which can take the stress off of you when getting a stressful divorce.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect age for your children for you to get a divorce. Many wait until all their children have gone off to college to separate, but this stress can affect the already stressful transition they are having to live away from home for the first time. The closest age to perfect would likely be when they are in their mid-twenties or around 16 or 17 if you can’t wait that long. Both of those times will have stresses for your children but less so than other ages while still having the faculties to understand the reason for a divorce.

If you are looking to start the divorce process and need help telling your children and making sure you get what is fair, contact us today.

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Father's Rights: Preparing for Your Divorce

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Divorce is scary for anyone. But when you're a father and it seems like the deck is already stacked against you, it can be outright terrifying. Thankfully, father's rights have come a long way. Father's are regularly being awarded custody or substantial parenting time. Understanding the laws and being prepared can greatly increase the chances that you will get the outcome that you want. Here are a few things you should know BEFORE you file for divorce:

1. The court cannot award custody to the mother simply because she is the mother.

That being said, the court does give a very strong preference to the person they view to be the primary caregiver. The court will evaluate the emotional ties that the child has with each parent. They will also look at who takes care of the child's day-to-day needs such as bathing, meals, and education. If you are seeking custody of your child, it is important that you can show that you are actively involved in your child's life. Go to the parent conferences and doctor appointments. Coach the baseball team. Know your children's friends. If you weren't doing these things before, do them now.

2. The court will look at the ability of each parent to support the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Do not, under any circumstances, use your child as a way to punish the other parent. Threatening to withhold parenting time or worse yet, actually doing it is highly frowned upon by the courts. The same goes for talking bad about the other parent to your child. Not only will you hurt your child, but you will also greatly affect your chances of being awarded custody.

3. Stability is very important.

The court seeks to provide as much stability to the child as possible. This is why they give preference to the primary caregiver. But it goes beyond that. The goal is for the child to maintain as much continuity with their previous life as possible. This can mean staying in the same house and keeping the same schedule. If possible, it is important that you do not move out of the family house and do not make any drastic changes to your schedule. Delay any job changes or moves until after the divorce is finalized.

Divorce can be scary. We can help. Contact us today.

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Can a Parent Have Joint Custody and Still Need to Pay Child Support?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Many times parents will seek joint custody of a child not just because they want to spend time with them, but because they think that it means they won't need to pay child support. However, the unfortunate truth, if you are trying to avoid child support, is that the courts treat child support and custody as two different considerations, as they should since they are two very different concerns.

The truth is that you can have joint custody, but you can also end up paying child support as well. The amount of child support you pay is determined using the income shares models. This model takes the income of both parents then uses it to determine support obligation. The benefit to child support, if you have joint custody, is that you may end up paying less. Since the parents share custody, the amount of child support is often lower due to both parents sharing the burden of providing food, shelter, utilities, clothing, and other needs while living at both parent's houses for the determined amount of time.

However, child support is typically paid by the non-custody holding parent, so in joint custody who pays? Typically, if you have joint custody, the parent who has less custody will pay child support to the primary care taker. However, if one parent makes drastically more than the other, they also may end up paying some child support as well.

If you are getting a divorce and trying to get joint custody or determining child support, contact us today. The Law Offices of Elena Mebtahi are dedicated to getting you the best possible outcomes in all Family Law cases.

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Child Support & Child Support Arrearages: Have Your Circumstances Changed?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The child support system was created to give children the financial assistance and support they need in order to survive. However, many people find several flaws in the system. It seems that many parents are handed out an excessive amount of penalties that they cannot afford to pay. If you are the person that says you cannot afford the child support payments that you have been ordered to make, there are some things you can do. Read More


Paying Support for Child Who is Not Yours Biologically

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Many men pay support for children who are not theirs biologically and you might be one of them. You could have the court order overturned if a DNA test confirms you are not the father of a child you currently support, but getting the judge to make that decision is often difficult and not a sure thing. Learn how courts typically view child support and what you can do to strengthen your case before you petition to end payments. Read More


Waivers for Child Support Arrearages

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Child support is generally made by non-custodial parents to custodial parents for maintenance of minor children. Due to a variety of reasons, including lack of stable employment, a man or woman might fail to pay all or some of the support. The amount of money owed for back child support is called arrears. In most cases, it is extremely difficult to gain a waiver for all or part of child support arrears but it does sometimes occur. Read More


What Consequences Can You Face If You Do Not Make Child Support Payments?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

When families go through the divorce process, the non-custodial parent will be the one obligated to make financial payments that is known as child support. If you have been ordered to provide child support for one or multiple children, you may have questions about what type of penalties you may face if you do not make payments or if you fall behind on your payments. There are some serious penalties for those who do not make payments, including jail time and paying fines. Read More


Father's Rights for Unmarried Couples

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Father’s rights and child custody laws can be overwhelmingly complex, especially if you’re an unmarried couple. Unmarried fathers face additional legal challenges in establishing their paternity and gaining their rights. Read More



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