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Parents Cannot Withhold Visitation Due to Nonpayment of Child Support

I often get calls from clients asking if they can keep their child from seeing the other parent since he or she refuses to pay child support.  In short, the answer is no.  California courts view child support and child custody as two entirely separate issues.  Since they have no relationship to each other, a judge would not be happy to hear that a parent withheld a child from the other parent to force him or her to pay money.  Generally, the courts frown upon self-help techniques such as this.

Instead, it is best to seek court intervention.  If there is no court order for child support, the custodial parent should file a motion to obtain one.  Then, if the other parent is employed, he or she can ask that the other parent's wages be garnished so that support is paid directly by the parent's employer.  If there is already a...

Determining Child and Spousal Support in California

Arguably, one of the scariest parts of going through a divorce is trying to determine whether you will be able to make ends meet throughout the process and after the divorce is finalized.  With so many transitions taking place in a person’s life, it becomes important to form a budget.  But before a party is able to do that, he or she will need to determine what support should be expected.

As such, one of the first questions I hear from my new clients is, “How much child support will I have to pay?”  “How much spousal support will I have to pay?”  Or, “How much child and spousal support will I receive?”  This is determined by numerous family law statutes.

Child Support in California is determined by a guideline formula, and except in unusual cases, is not left to the discretion of the court. This formula is a complicated algorithm, but...

Items to Consider Before Moving Out

Clients often contact me after they have moved out of the home, and after they have therefore made mistakes that will make the divorce process a more difficult one.  Oftentimes, I wish my clients would have called prior to their move so I could have given a few tips to make the transition easier on the family.

As such, here is a list of items a person should consider before moving out of the home or filing for divorce:

  1. Take along copies of important financial documents. During your divorce, you will need to provide documents showing what assets or debts you brought into the marriage, any accounting of how those assets were used to purchase other items during the marriage, statements reflecting the balances of your accounts at the time of separation, your tax returns, etc. Requiring your spouse to provide those documents with formal requests is time-consuming and expensive.  As such,...

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