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Child custody in California: Important issues to consider

Being a parent can be rewarding but also extremely challenging, perhaps even more so if you're going through a divorce. The good news is that divorce doesn't necessarily have to undermine your parenting style or harm your relationship with your children.

Ending a marriage and starting over isn't a simple process, but it doesn't have to be disastrous either. As long as your children know they can come to you when they struggle, and as long as you know where to seek legal guidance and support, you can be hopeful about successfully adapting to the new custody arrangement and parenting plan.

How do I receive child support payments in California?

When a child support agreement is finalized by the courts in California, it becomes effective either that day or a date in which the court deems appropriate. Once you know what money is coming to you, it's likely that you will start to wonder how the payment will be sent to you. So, how do you receive child support payments in California?

In California, all child support payments are sent to an agency known as the State Disbursement Unit. This agency then distributes the payments to the proper recipients when they are due. The agency sends the payments to recipients in one of three ways:

  • Physical check mailed to your current residence
  • Loaded onto an electronic payment card, which is comparable to an ATM or Debit card
  • Direct deposit into a savings or checking account of your choosing

Contentious child custody cases might need the court's help

Throughout your child's life at home, decisions will have to be made for everything from where the child will go to school to what type of schedule they need. All of these are usually made by the parents, but this might not be easy to determine if you and your child's other parent aren't together any longer. This is when a solid parenting plan might be helpful.

We know that you just want what's best for your children. When you know what that is, and your ex doesn't agree, you might be in for a rough time. Both parents will have to work together for the child's sake in these cases.

How do we make shared custody successful?

Shared custody is an arrangement that many parents are able to make work. It might take time to get into a rhythm that is best for all involved, but it's important to put as much effort and energy into this arrangement as possible. When you are fighting for custody with the other parent, try to suggest shared custody. So, how can you make shared custody successful?

You must make the custody arrangement all about your children. It is no longer about you. That was the divorce. Focus on the children and how to make things comfortable for them as they adjust to shared custody and living in two different homes with you and the other parent.

Co-parenting can be complicated with a special needs child

Child custody situations can be difficult even in the best of situations. When the parents have a special needs child, they have some special considerations that might make it even more complicated.

For many children with special needs, having a consistent schedule is imperative. Not only do they need this for mental purposes, they also need it to ensure that they receive medications and treatments on time. This can make the parenting plan hard to determine.

Avoid an unfair divorce with regard to hidden assets

What were the main priorities on your mind when you made your decision to divorce? Perhaps you were concerned about protecting your home in conjunction with not wanting to have to uproot your kids and move to a new area. Your children, of course, are always one of your highest priorities, so their best interests are undoubtedly the main concern of yours regarding divorce proceedings. What about property division? Are you worried about your spouse trying to hide assets?

If so, you're definitely not alone. Even though this type of behavior is unquestionably unethical and is also illegal, many spouses try to stash cash or otherwise gain the upper-hand in property distribution proceedings by trying to keep certain assets from becoming subject to division. If you think this is happening in your situation, it's important to know how to spot hidden assets and where to seek support to bring the issue to the court's attention.

Joint credit cards for married couples are a smart move

Joint credit cards are a smart move for married couples for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that things will be pretty cut and dry if the marriage ends in divorce. Dividing the debt will be as easy as looking at the latest statement for each credit card. But, what if one of the parties has a secret credit card? Let's explore this in today's post.

Should your marriage be headed for divorce, you will want to deal with as few surprises as possible. No one wants to be hit over the head with even more debt than they already know about, especially when it has been hidden all these years. A spouse with an individual credit card is a dangerous thing.

Plan the terms of the prenuptial agreement carefully

When a couple gets engaged, they often have long conversations about what life will be like when they get married. One thing that they might not discuss much, if at all, is what might happen if they get divorced. This difficult topic is one that should be approached with care so that you can come up with a plan.

As you discuss the future, you might decide that there needs to be a premarital agreement. These help you to set the terms of a divorce before you are even married. Oftentimes, this can add stability to the marriage.

What is taken into consideration when determining child support?

The issue of child support is always a difficult one when parents split up, whether they were married or not. If you are going through a child support battle with your co-parent, you are likely wondering how the amount is determined. What is taken into consideration when a court determines child support in California?

The obligations for child support depend on who has custody of the child. If one parent has custody, the other will likely have to make child support payments. If both parents share custody, the determination will be based on what each parent makes and who has the child more of the time.

Open communication key to family success after divorce

If you took note of your children's reactions when they learned of your impending divorce, you may have noticed that each child handled it a bit differently from the other. Perhaps you have a child who tends to become more introverted when he or she feels sad or disappointed. Another child might be the exact opposite, perhaps even becoming belligerent at times or rebellious.

Every family is unique, and the way you and your kids adapt to a new lifestyle after divorce may be similar to some other California families but quite different from others. Remember that there isn't one set way to do things in such circumstances. In fact, you may choose a particular course of action and then later determine it's not working well. In that case, you have the freedom and ability to come up with a plan B.