Orange County Family Law Blog | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Is your ex not making court-ordered child support payments?

When you decided your custody and child support matters during your divorce, you believed that your former spouse would honor those agreements. After all, you honor your part of the bargain on a daily basis as you continue to raise the children you had together.

The court awarded you primary custody, and in exchange, your ex agreed to continue to support your children in many ways, including financially by paying child support. For some reason, that financial support may not be coming anymore, and now you need to know how you can get those payments restarted.

Divorce terms have to be tailored to the case's circumstances

The terms of a divorce are handled on a case-by-case basis. You can't base what you want off of what someone else got. If you are heading toward divorce or are in the process of getting a divorce, you need to ensure that you are taking steps to protect yourself and your interests. We are here to help you determine what options you have and how they will impact your future.

We recently discussed spousal support and what it can be used for. This is one area that shows the differences in divorces because not all cases include alimony. On top of spousal support, you might have to think about child support, child custody and property division. We understand that this is a lot to handle during such a major life upheaval.

What can I use spousal support for in California?

Spousal support is an important part of a divorce agreement. You won't always get what you want when asking for this type of support but it never hurts to ask in the first place. These payments can be used for a myriad things in life, which is why you should know ahead of time what they are. So, what exactly can you use the spousal support payments you receive from your ex in California?

You should treat the payments as income. They shouldn't be viewed as free money because they will eventually stop. That's why you should include this money in any monthly budget you create. The first thing you should use these payments for is the monthly rent or mortgage, if you have one.

Co-parenting should be a positive experience

Co-parenting is a rewarding method for child custody because your child has the stability between both homes that gives them what they need to thrive. This doesn't mean that it is always going to be easy for the children. Instead, you and your ex will likely have to work hard to make the situation the best it can be.

As you are going through different situations that come with this parenting style, there might be times when you start to get discouraged. Getting that turned around and getting back to a positive attitude is imperative because everything is likely going to seem worse than it is when you are discouraged.

Bill to help collect unpaid child support passes first hurdle

A brand new bill that would help the collection of unpaid child support in the state of California has passed its first hurdle. The bill was sponsored by the state's insurance commissioner and has since passed the Assembly Floor with a bipartisan vote. If the bill becomes law, it would create an insurance intercept program that would provide mandatory insurance payments.

The bill, 2802, was created by an assemblywoman from Glendale. It will create the Insurance Payment Intercept Program (IPIP). If all goes according to the bill, the program would intercept those who are behind on child support payments. Instead of those people receiving insurance payments for their claims, those payments would be redirected and used to pay the person's child support. Some lawmakers believe this could help recover tens of millions of dollars in back child support.

Use a prenuptial agreement as a tool to strengthen your marriage

The prenuptial agreement is something that is often misunderstood. Some people think of it as something that you only ask for if you think the marriage is doomed. The truth is that a prenup is a valuable tool that can set the stage for your financial future as a married couple.

These agreements come with clear terms about the status of assets. This means that both parties know what will happen if there is a split. There aren't any questions about the items in the agreement. For some people, such as those who are getting a family inheritance, the prenup's terms can take the stress out of worrying that they will lose heirlooms.

Deciding if you need a prenuptial agreement in California

Figuring out if you need a prenuptial agreement is never easy. You've likely heard horror stories from some family members and friends who have gone through a divorce without one. These stories could scare you into getting a prenup without considering whether or not you really need one. Let's look at some factors that can help you decide if you need this legal document for your marriage in California.

If you are entering this marriage with children from a previous relationship, or your future spouse is, it might be a good idea to get a prenup. It can outline how custody will be handled should you die prior to the children becoming adults. It can also help detail how you want your property to be divided among your children from a previous relationship should you get divorced.

Does your client want a second chance to go before the court?

Without a doubt, family law matters can quickly become messy, especially when one party claims that he or she didn't have the chance to respond in court. There may come a time when you have a client against whom the court handed down an order, but he or she believes that the situation warrants a second chance to go before the court.

Whether it was a custody order, a child support order or a final decree in a divorce, the order can only be set aside if a valid legal reason exists to do so. Determining whether such a reason exists is the first step in the process. If a valid, legal reason does not exist to even request that an order be vacated, your client could end up footing the bill for the other party's legal fees and costs.

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.