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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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How to Craft a Long-Distance Parenting Plan

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Often when a couple divorces, one or both parties may move somewhere else. While this often isn't an issue for childless couples that each want to start over their own lives, when you share a child together, it can create a number of issues. Usually, there may be arguments over the residential parent who wants to move their child to somewhere new, but if the divorced parents can work it out, a long-distance parenting plan can be adopted.

One of the key factors to maintaining a long-distance relationship with a child is to establish frequent communication with them. While many long-distance parents choose to call or use programs like Skype or FaceTime to talk to them, it is important to remember that this does not replace visitation.

Visitation still needs to happen and depending on the child's age, the non-residential parent may need to travel to them or accompany them back. If you live quite a distance away and have a younger child, they will need to have an adult accompany them on airlines or buses, but older children may be able to travel alone. It is also crucial that visitation does not disrupt a child's daily routine.

In many cases, the non-residential parent may need to have visitation in the town where the child lives so that they can regularly attend school and other activities. However, often longer trips can be taken during school breaks where it is arranged that the child can travel to the non-residential parent's home. Some parents may choose to save up their visitation for a summer break, but in order to maintain a good relationship, communication is still key.

If you are in the process of divorce and still trying to hammer out a good visitation and child custody plan with you, contact us today. The Law Office of Elena Mebtahi can help advise you on great compromises as well as help you maintain your rights as a parent.

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Father's Rights: Make An Impact This School Year

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Children and teens are back in school. This means their summer routines are now behind them and they are getting adjusted to being back in school. Unfortunately, many fathers find themselves being shut out of school activities. Fathers can play a critical role in their children's daily lives, especially when it comes to school.

There are various things a father can do to help create incredible memories and stay involved in the lives of their children.

Eating Lunch With Your Children

If parents are allowed to each lunch with their children, you can try to have lunch with your son or daughter a few times this school year. Your child will feel proud and excited that he or she is having an opportunity to eat lunch with their awesome Dad.

Encourage Your Children

Whenever you have the opportunity to send your child a text message or a note, you should send an encouraging message. You may not think your child listens to everything you say, but he or she will be sure to remember the early morning encouraging text messages or letters you have sent.

Find A Support Group

When you find other fathers who are in the same position as you, you will be able to work together, share advice, and help one another become better fathers. You can find ways to encourage each other's children and find ways to make sure each child stays on top of all their educational goals.

Stay Involved

We understand that you have a busy life, but when you have the opportunity to attend a field trip, athletic event, or meeting, you should be there if you can. You will send a positive message when you sign up for anything that involves your child.

Fathers can work together in order to become the fathers their children need. Contact us today for more advice or more information on father's rights.

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Filing for a Divorce While Pregnant: What You Need to Know

Thursday, August 24, 2017

If you and your spouse just can’t stand each other anymore, filing for an immediate divorce may seem like the best thing to do. If, however, you are pregnant, things get a little more complicated. Here are some tips to help you out.

Learn About State Laws

Every state has different laws regarding getting divorced while pregnant. In many states, you won’t be able to finalize the divorce until the baby is born. In other states, you will be able to file but your spouse will be listed as the baby’s father. In yet other states, your ex won’t be listed as the father. Get a lawyer to help you out.

Who Will Pay for Health Care?

If your divorce is finalized before the baby’s birth, who will pay for your health care while you are pregnant? Usually, you ex-spouse does not provide health care for you, but the court may order them to help you out with health care costs if you are pregnant. After the baby is born, your ex may be required to give you monetary support under child support laws.

Child Bonding and Visitation

If you are a father, it’s important that you establish your visitation rights before the birth. The most important time to bond with your child is soon after their birth, but the mother will usually be awarded full custody rights as long as the baby is breastfeeding, so make sure you get some time together to bond. After the baby is weaned, you may be able to get overnight visits.

In any case, it's important that you don't try to file by yourself. Contact us today for legal help!

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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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