There can be all kinds of reasons why families don’t stay together, and sometimes they never get together in the first place. Whatever the situation you have found yourself in, if you have children they will need support. That can come in many different forms, but the most important is material support, in other words, money.

Every child is entitled to this support and there are no exceptions. When families stay together as a unit, the support issue is already settled, as the costs involved with raising and caring for a child are simply part of the regular household expenses. But when one or both parents is living but out of the picture, it creates an imbalance which needs to be rectified.

It may be the case that the parent with custody has the means to support the child alone, but this isn’t always the most fair scenario, and the law tends to take the view that parents have equal responsibility for the costs of supporting the child. There can even be scenarios where both parents have to pay child support to a third party, but those are more exceptional situations.

As a parent with the responsibility of caring for a child on your own, you may have concerns about ensuring that the non-custodial parent will pay their fair share of child support costs. As a non-custodial parent, you could worry that the amount of child support you’re paying is not the correct amount for your circumstances. What can you do in situations like this?

According to Carlsbad child support attorney Fischer & Van Thiel, it’s very important to seek appropriate legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Any kind of delay can be harmful to your chances of getting the best outcome. You have certain rights and obligations as a parent, and understanding these is vital.

  • Except in situations where a child may be placed at risk of harm, or where the parents live very far apart, each parent generally has the same rights of access to the child.
  • Except in situations where a child may be placed at risk of harm, or where the parents live very far apart, each parent generally has the same rights of access to the child.
  • Each parent starts with an equal obligation to contribute to the financial support of the child. Courts may adjust the amount of child support required to be paid by each parent, taking individual circumstances into account. Unless you successfully apply for a revision of the amount you are ordered to pay, you must pay it, and it must be paid regularly.
  • A 2003 study by the Urban Research Institute for the California Department of Child Support Services found that nearly 80% of Californian parents who did not pay the correct amount of child support were failing to do so because they were unable. This is indicative of the possibility that the amount set for them to pay was too high to begin with (or in other situations, their circumstances may have substantially changed since the child support order was made). It is possible to have these circumstances examined, but again it is crucial to do this as soon as possible. Waiting could severely harm your chances of getting a favorable assessment.

With California’s child support laws being among the strictest and most complex in the United States, there are many potential problems that can arise for parents as a result.

For example, in certain situations it is possible for the non-biological parent of a child to be assessed as having a greater responsibility to the child than the actual biological parent. You may be able to prove non-paternity, but it won’t necessarily diminish the obligation to pay child support if certain criteria are met. However if the situation you are in involved some kind of deliberate fraud by the biological parents of the child and you are misled into incorrectly declaring paternity for the child, you may have other legal actions you can take.

California is not unique in having laws like this. One of the possibilities is that somebody can be an “assumed” father, whether a true biological parent or not. This has happened in Kansas and it’s even a major point of contention in Japan. Most people feel that the idea that somebody can be assumed to be the father of a child, even when it can be scientifically proved that they are not, is ridiculously unfair. But how people feel about the law doesn’t change anything unless there is political motivation and action to change the law.

This can also affect families in other ways too. For example, biological fathers may be denied paternal rights because they are legally assumed not to be the father, even if they can prove that they are, as happened in Michigan in 2012, according to a news report from ClickOnDetroit.

For most parents the primary concerns they will have are either that they’re not receiving sufficient child support payments from the non-custodial parent, or as the non-custodial parent they may feel they are paying too much or that they shouldn’t even be paying at all. According to Carlsbad child support lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel, these kinds of situations may be open to challenge. You could be able to do something about it if you act quickly enough.

The essential thing to do, if you feel that something concerning your child support payments or other related issues is in any way unfair, is to seek legal advice promptly. If you delay getting help, you may inadvertently harm your chances of a successful outcome.

But even if there has been some delay, it may not be too late. One very important Californian judgment, County of Los Angeles v Navarro, reversed an earlier default ruling ordering a non-biological father to pay child support for children that were not his.

Famously the LA County Child Support Services Department tried to have the ruling depublished because they worried others might use it to secure their own rights. Having a lawyer on your side can sometimes shine a beacon of hope on a situation that seems impossible.

For Manuel Navarro, placing faith in his attorney paid off, because even though the written letter of the law was against him, and even though he had already unsuccessfully appealed the ruling one time, the judges in the case looked beyond that to the bigger picture. In their ruling, they rebuked the County for attempting to exploit the written laws in order to hide their own mistake instead of correcting it, and denied the depublication request.

A military family divorce brings up several unique issues. Understanding the complex issues behind a military divorce will help you make better decisions for fairer outcomes. Here are some of the most common issues. Remember, a military divorce is not like other divorces; it involves additional legal issues that can only be handled by a San Diego Military Family Law Attorney.

Jurisdictional Issues

The first issue with a military divorce is one concerning jurisdiction. Where will the divorce petition be filed? A military divorce offers you three options:

  • Filing in service member’s residence state: The state of legal residency or domicile of the military member is where he or she intends to return upon discharge from service or upon retirement if member has a military career.
  • Non-military Spouse’s state of residence: A major complication with military families is that they are separated by substantial distances for long periods of time. While a non-military husband may be employed and residing in Carlsbad, his military wife may be stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Ohio is her legal residency state.
  • Filing divorce in the state where service member is stationed: To file a petition for dissolution of marriage in California with the county superior court, one of the spouses must have been a resident in California for six months and county resident for three. The non-filing spouse has to be notified of the proceeding regardless of where he or she is stationed.

Serving Active Duty Members

When a service member is on active duty, he or she may invoke legal protection from lawsuits under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The role of the SCRA is to protect active duty military members who are served with bankruptcy, divorce action or other civil lawsuits. This allows them to focus on their military roles knowing that they will have the opportunity to advocate, appear and defend themselves in a court of law later. The act allows service members to request the suspension of divorce proceeding for up to 90 days after he or she has left active service. Depending on the engagement of the service member, the SCRA provisions can delay lawsuits by even over a year.

Property Division in California

Apart from the normal California property division laws, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), which governs the calculation of military retirement benefits calculation and division on divorce.

When getting a divorce, service members and their spouses should familiarize themselves with the legal issues around military divorces. For assistance, Fischer & Van Thiel, L.L.P., Carlsbad family lawyers, would like to discuss your case with you! Our entire legal team combines over 50 years of experience to ensure that your side is heard.

It is the legal obligation of parents to support their children. This rings true for parents whether they are married or divorced. In most cases, when parents split up, one parent has to pay child support to the other. As a man in a child custody case, whether you are expecting to pay or receive child support, you definitely need the help of a Carlsbad child support lawyer to look out for your child’s best interests as well as yours.
What are Child Support Considerations?
Conservatively, men pay child support to the mother. This is still a common situation, but the courts today recognize that giving mothers child custody is not always position in terms of the child’s best interest. Additionally, most women are in the workforce and it is now more common for them to pay child support to men.
No matter your situation, it is critical that you understand how the courts will determine child support. Each state has its own guidelines, but here are the most common considerations:

  • Income of the parents
  • The individual needs of the child
  • Cost of child care
  • Custody arrangements

Some courts calculate child support payments as the percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The percentage figures are likely to change according to the number of kids and amount of time every parent actually has with the kid.
Child Support Lawyers Helping Men
If you want to ensure that you are treated fairly in child support issues, which are not cut and dry cases, then you need to work with a lawyer who has handled Carlsbad child support lawyer in defense of their fathers.
For example, in joint custody situations, no parent is required to pay child support. However, if one parent’s income is lower than the other, the said parent is eligible to receive child support to ensure that the child’s or children’s expenses are covered. Your child support lawyer can help you navigate these types of situations and ensure that all aspects of your case are properly handled. Your lawyer can:

  • Ensure any income is accounted for
  • Ensure that all the required deductions are made from your income or that the mother does not claim deductions she is not entitled to
  • Help you enforce the child support order by negotiating with the child’s mother or going to court

Child support is a tricky area. When you are looking to provide to the best interest of your child without feeling like you are being taken advantage of, you need to have an experienced lawyer on your side of the corner from Fischer & Van Thiel, L.L.P., wealth of experience handling a wide variety of divorce- and family-law cases!

Regardless of whose decision it was, getting a divorce is never easy. It can take its toll on a person in many ways; financially, mentally, and emotionally. Even in cases where it is the best decision possible, divorce is an incredibly stressful time. Being prepared for the emotional, financial and mental turmoil to come can help make the process a bit easier for all parties involved. Here are five ways to prepare for the divorce process:

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

Dividing a house, bank accounts, and detangling your lives from one another is a very complicated process. The best place to start is to get educated on your state’s laws and regulations regarding family or matrimonial law. Each party should be sure to hire a specialized attorney who will look out for that party’s interests. Having a bit of knowledge about the process ahead of time can help make you feel more comfortable with the process, can save on legal fees, and will help you to be certain that your attorney is indeed working for you.

Consider Your Finances

Even though divorce laws vary from state to state, your lawyer will need to know about your financial situation. Get copies of all important financial documents, including bank statements, retirement accounts, and information on any debts acquired over the course of the marriage. This includes both personal and joint accounts.

Don’t Get Petty

Keep in mind that the end of the marriage is the best for all parties involved, and don’t resort to petty tactics. Keep your social media posts free of drama, and focus on moving past the negative relationship and onto something more positive. This is especially important if there are children involved – always behave in a way that can serve as an example to them.

Practice Self-Care

Even in cases where it was your decision to leave the marriage, it can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Take the time to ensure that you’re looking out for yourself. Consider hiring a therapist to speak with about the divorce, in order to prevent the build up of negative and unhealthy emotions.

Communicate With Your Children

It’s important to speak with your children about the divorce, but to ensure that they always know it’s never their fault. Children often feel responsible or unloved when couples divorce, and dispelling those beliefs is crucial. Never speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children, but let them know, in an age appropriate way, that their parents will no longer be together. Remind them that no matter what happens, they will always be loved.

Take a look at this handy Divorce Preparation infographic to help you navigate your way through this emotionally trying experience.

In the 2013 film Philomena, Dame Judy Dench plays Philomena Lee, a woman who gave birth to a son in an Irish convent for unwed mothers in 1952. Without Philomena’s knowledge or consent, the child, Anthony, was sent to the United States to be adopted in 1955. The film portrays Philomena’s efforts to find Anthony, and highlights the challenges of both birth parents and adopted children finding each other.

 

Philomena’s Search

 

Well into the early 2000s, the nuns at Ireland’s Sacred Heart Adoption Agency refused to give Philomena any information about her son, other than that he “was no longer alive.” Philomena discovers that beginning in 1977, Anthony (whom his adoptive parents had renamed “Michael”) had made several visits to Ireland to look for her. Michael was told that his mother had abandoned him at birth, when in fact she had nursed him for two months and had daily contact with him until his adoption at age three-and-a-half. The nuns withheld the fact that Michael’s birth mother was looking for him, and did not inform Philomena of Michael’s inquiries.

 

The story, and subsequent book and film, took a dramatic turn which highlighted the decades of anguish experienced by both Philomena and Michael.

 

Is Open Adoption the Answer?

 

Recent trends in “open” adoption and in making original birth records available to adopted adults aim to eliminate the heartache suffered by Philomena and Michael. Birth parents now play a more active role in selecting adoptive parents, and it is increasingly common for adoptive and birth parents to enter into a formal post-adoption contract that provides for some form of contact and information-sharing. The psychosocial benefits of open adoption are emphatically supported by extensive research and longitudinal studies, including the large-scale California Long-Range Adoption Study.

 

While many countries – and some U.S. states – allow adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth records, in California, these records are sealed upon adoption, and made available to adoptees through a court order, issued only upon “good cause”, which courts have held must be something more that “mere curiosity”. According to California legislators and courts, the benefits of obtaining adoption information must be balanced against the right to privacy granted under the state’s constitution.

 

As more adoptions occur in California each year than in any other U.S. state, the number of Californians affected by adoption is in the millions, with at least three million adopted adults whose birth records are sealed.

 

The Carlsbad adoption attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have experience handling a wide variety of adoption cases, and can assist in structuring open adoptions and obtaining release of birth records. To discuss your circumstances with us, please schedule a free consultation by calling (760) 722-7669.