Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Remember to protect kids' college funds in a divorce

Many parents don't focus too much on their kids' college tuition until the time to pay it draws near. If you are going through a divorce, your child's college financing might be the last thing on your mind. However, this is a time to try to protect your child's ability to count on you and your ex to help out with some of the expenses.

There are a few things to think about when you are in this position. One of these is that your helping your children doesn't have to be dependent upon your ex. Instead, you can start a 529 plan account that enables you to earmark money for higher learning. This is a tax-free option since your children won't have to pay taxes to take the money out if it is being used for education.

What items can be purchased using child support money?

If you have divorced your spouse, or have separated from him or her, there might be a child support order issued. If you have taken the other parent of your children to court for support, an order will be issued.

Whatever your situation, child support payments can be used to purchase or pay for quite a few things. We will discuss those items in this post so you what it is you can and cannot use these payments for.

California is the center of an international child support battle

The 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance went into full effect in the United States on Jan. 1, 2017. Now, California is at the heart of one of the first cases to try to help a woman get financial support from the biological father of her child.

This isn't a new issue for people who have an ex overseas, but there is now some form of recourse that they can take in an effort to get the other parent to take responsibility for the child. The barriers that are placed due to international jurisdiction are difficult to overcome, but the Hague Convention reciprocal relationships should make these easier to overcome.

Seeking protections through temporary orders before your divorce

The decision to divorce is unique for every family. Some couples come to a slow and mutual agreement, and others reach a volatile climax. You and your spouse may be among those in California who cannot wait for the divorce decree before obtaining important court rulings.

Knowing that it may be months before you settle things with your future ex, you may wonder how you will come to agreements about some critical issues in the meantime. If you feel that it will be too difficult to make fair decisions prior to your divorce hearings or negotiations, you may request temporary orders from family court. 

Michigan dad enters guilty plea for massive child support bill

A dad from Michigan has pleaded guilty to a massive child support bill that has accrued over the past couple of decades. The man, known as the "Most Wanted Deadbeat," issued his guilty plea to a $559,000 bill for child support earlier this month after being captured in Canada. The plea was entered in United States District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When he is sentenced, the father is facing no more than two years in prison and the payment of restitution. He failed to pay the child support for some 20 years to his former wife in Michigan. The original child support order was issued in his divorce proceedings back in 1989. While on the run, he sold an internet business for roughly $2 million.

Teamwork can create a valuable prenuptial agreement

As an adult, you have a duty to protect your interests. It is all too easy to think that your upcoming nuptials don't require any protection; however, having a prenuptial agreement in place is a responsible decision that you and your betrothed can make together. This doesn't mean that you expect the marriage to fail. Instead, it is a good opportunity to make sure that you and your future spouse are on the same page about finances.

Prenups were sometimes thought to be just for the wealthy. This isn't at all the case. Even individuals who aren't coming into a marriage with a lot of assets can benefit from these agreements. They can cover things like future inheritances. We know that this can be a difficult topic to address with your partner, but it can be very rewarding.

Wealthy children who marry and prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are important documents that protect both parties in a marriage should it end in divorce. These documents are especially important when one person entering the marriage does so with significantly more property than the other person. The same can be said for wealthy children who are marrying. Many won't think twice about a prenuptial agreement in California but their families will want to protect the wealth.

In a lot of cases, wealthy children who are getting married will decline the opportunity to sign a prenuptial agreement because they don't think it is necessary. But, their parents likely think differently. They will want to protect the family wealth as much as possible and that would be encouraging their adult children to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Does your client want to file a post-divorce appeal?

At some point in the divorce trial, you may have sensed things were not going well. Perhaps the judge took an immediate disliking to your client or overruled critical objections. As the case progresses, you may have concerns about the client's right to appeal a decision. In fact, if your client has already expressed the desire to file an appeal, you may be directing your energy into handling the rest of the trial with an appeal in mind, including making appropriate objections as the case proceeds.

As you know, there is a limited amount of time to file an appeal in family court. In California, you have 60 days from the time the court serves your client with notice that the judgement has been filed in his or her case. If you are uncertain or lack experience in the appellate process, you may want to seek guidance from a law firm that has significant experience in this area of law.

Does your child custody agreement need to be changed?

When you and your ex either negotiated or litigated your current child custody agreement, you did so with the information you had at the time. Even though you tried to predict the future and include provisions that would cover eventualities, it can be nearly impossible to cover all the bases.

Now you may find yourself in a position where all or part of your custody agreement no longer works well for your family. It may be possible to modify your current arrangements, but you must go back to court to do so, in part because any informal arrangements would not be enforceable if something were to go wrong. Also, not following a custody order -- moving away with the child without court approval, for example -- could put you in serious legal trouble.

Your divorce plan must be comprehensive

A divorce is a huge life change that you have address head on. You can't ignore it and hope it will go away. The process that you will go through isn't a quick one. There is the legal aspect of things, which is hard enough on its own. On top of that, there is also the logistical facet of the case and there is an emotional process that you will go through.

We understand that there are a lot of things that you might not fully understand during a divorce. When the process starts, your focus needs to be preparing for what is to come. This includes making decisions about who is going to stay in the marital home for now and who will move out. You also have to think about how you are going to pay bills on your single income.