A support order is a judgment and they are installment payment plans. Each installment is subject to a legal interest rate (California is 10%). I have had many clients inquire about how many missed payments are required to commence enforcement. There is no rule that a series of payments are required. As soon as one…

An annulment is very different from divorces. In a divorce, there are no questions about the marriage. You simply want to end it and move forward with your life. In an annulment, the marriage itself is questioned—whether it is valid and enforceable. In California, there are 2 types of annulments: (1) void marriage (not legally…

I have had clients call me in the United States due a child support order established in either a different country of a different states. Just last week, I had an individual residing in Arizona and was frantic about finding an attorney who knew how to “handle” state child support cases. His case in particular…

“Arrears” means past due support.  Arrears are created when a child support order is made and there have periods of time in which payments were paid partially or not at all.  If you owe arrears, you may be able to reduce the arrears (and interests) significantly.   Arrears owed to the local child support agency for…

I am in the middle of a case that will likely be going to trial since one of the contested issues is when will spousal support terminate—opposing party wants it continue “until remarriage, death of either parties, or until further order of the court.” Unlike with child support orders (where the court retains jurisdiction to…

There are several ways a prenuptial agreement can be attacked and found invalid. A premarital agreement is unenforceable if a party against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following: (1) consent was involuntary; (2) the agreement was unconscionable. The court will strongly scrutinize the facts on a case-by-case basis factors that the judge…

When alimony or spousal support is an issue when jurisdiction terminates, if at all should be discussed. In California, a marriage of 10 years is usually defined as a marriage of long duration. As such, it is important to discuss not only how much spousal support should be but for how long. Unlike with child…

Atty. Castaneda won a dismissal for her client on all 10 counts of family law contempt charges on July 9, 2015. On September 22, 2015, the Court of Appeal, (2nd District) affirmed the trial court’s order dismissing all the charges. The appellate court in a 2 line decision stated: “The court has read and considered…

If you think your divorce will be a fight, prepare to take the steps prior to the start of your divorce. Part of the divorce process is figuring out how you will pay for things until your divorce settlement is finalized. Despite significant gains by women, in many marriages it is still the husband who…

Certified Public accountants are used for financial issues, including: determining gross/net income available for support, identifying which assets are community and which are separate property, determining separate property interests in community interest (tracing of Family Code (FC) section 2640 claims), or community interests in separate property. Forensic accountants are also critical in determining reimbursement rights….

Federal agencies involved are the Inspector General’s Office and Office of the Child Support Enforcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, created Project Save our Children (PSOC) to create a comprehensive health and human services and criminal justice response to this issue. Most of the…

Factors Used in Calculating Child Support: (1) Gross Income: includes commissions, overtime, bonuses, rental income, pensions, or benefits: such as unemployment, disability, worker’s compensation, or social security. If your pay varies from month to month, the court will likely average your monthly income. Some become underemployed, and as such, the court will consider a parent’s…

What can a spouse do? California Family Code, Section 271 basically states that if “the other side doesn’t play ball or play nice,” the court can make them pay the other side’s attorney’s fees. It applies even to a pro per spouse. The text of Section 271 (a): Notwithstanding any other provision of this code,…

FC 2030 (a)(1) states that in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, or legal separation of the parties, and in any proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment, the court shall ensure that each party has access to legal representation, including access early in the proceedings, to preserve each party’s rights…

Retirement plans at work. A qualified family attorney should know that these accounts are split up by using a qualified domestic relations order or a QDRO. What is this? It is an order that needs to be -included in your divorce papers. The QDRO establishes your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s legal right to receive a designated percentage of…

If you owe arrears, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to negotiate the arrears (and interest) down significantly. Generally, arrears owed to the local child support agency for public assistance reimbursement (i.e. welfare) may be negotiated downward if certain requirements are met. If you owe money directly to the custodial parent, (i.e. non-welfare…

The law allows for child care costs and reasonable uninsured medical costs that should be documented and requested. For those with a special needs child, a parent should request additional costs related to the education, travel expenses or any other necessary related costs to the child. It is critical to establish an accurate child support…

There are four major types of family law actions: Dissolution (divorce), Legal separation, Nullity (annulment), and Paternity (support for children of unmarried partners). Dissolution of Marriage in the state of California requires that at least one party must have been a resident of the state for 6 months and 3 months of the county in…

Family law rulings regarding divorce and separation settle a number of issues resolve issues such as the division of marital assets, including debt, resources, and property. Alimony or spousal support is another matter that concerns the parties. If a child or children exists, determination of responsibility for the children will be allocated between the parents….

The recent advances and popularity of DNA and genetic testing have allowed conclusive establishment and disestablishment of paternity. However, this has created new issues. For years, any child born to a married couple has been presumed to be a child of the marriage, and the husband the legal father. In California, the marital presumption of…