Child Support Divorce Family Law

Child Support and Changes Coming in 2019

Couples divorcing in 2019 or after should keep in mind that children and child support won’t be the tax deduction they used to be. Because of that, you’ll want to work with a divorce attorney if you are seeking a divorce in 2019 and you share children with your soon to be ex spouse. Before we talk about taxes and children, we’ll take an overall look at child support.

An Overall Look at Child Support

Children, Sports, and the Increasing Number of Brain Injuries

It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot, especially in divorce cases where children are involved, but it’s not always necessarily defined. Child support is a monthly payment that parents pay to help cover the costs associated with raising a child, such as education, health care, and after-school activity costs. Just as every child is different, the amount that needs to be paid is different and will be based on the child’s needs, in addition to the ability of the parent to pay, in addition to some set legal guidelines.

Typically, the custodial parent – the parent who cares for the child most of the time – receives the child support payments.  And the non-custodial parent – the parent that spends less parenting time – typically makes the payments. It is assumed that because the custodial parent is in legal charge most of the time, that they are already directly spending money on the child. A court is also able to order both parents to pay child support.

Usually, child support is paid until the child turns 18, though there are some exceptions. Exceptions include: the child marries, joins the military, or becomes self-supporting. Other times, the support may continue until the child turns 19 if the child is still in high school and lives with a parent. Support can also be extended past the age of 19 if parents agree, or if the child is unable to become self-supporting due to a disability.

Child Support Guidelines in California

While each case will be considered separately and individually, the payment amount a parent must pay is based on California’s child support guidelines and new laws that are coming into play in 2019.

There are so many additional factors that can weigh into a child support decision. Because of this, it’s advised that you work with a family law attorney that can help you get a fair amount.

In cases with special circumstances, where parents have different time-sharing arrangements than the typical, child support decisions can be difficult to determine. Examples of these special circumstances include: when the parents have equal time-sharing, but one parent has a much lower or higher percentage of income; where the child has special medical needs. In cases like these, a court will need to weigh all these special factors.

Parents are also able to pay more, if it is agreed, and also agree for one spouse to pay less. Regardless of the decision, a court will need to approve the final amount. It’s important to note that a court will always take the child’s best interest into account. This factor will always play into the decision regarding the amount of support payments, so if a couple decides to pay less, then the parents will also need to be able to prove the child’s needs will be met. Paying less support is not an option for parents who have applied for or receive public assistance. Instead, a parent who receives public assistance may agree to support payments that are at or above the amount provided by the guidelines. Additionally,  the local child support services agency must also agree to the lesser amount.

How is Child Support Determined

Child support periodic installments and amounts are determined by trial courts and the amount varies between each case.  Factors that contribute to the determination of child support amount and payment frequency include a child’s age, the specific health needs of a child, specific and often special educational needs and the overall standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the family stayed together. The court will make specific decisions for child support amounts based on both the custodial and non-custodial parent’s net monthly income that they bring in as well as requiring a parent to pay a certain percentage of their annual salary. In some situations, the court may also require that a certain percentage of any annual bonuses received be submitted as child support.

The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act

Without regard to marital misconduct, the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act requires a parent to pay the reasonable amount necessary for a child’s ongoing support. Factors that contribute to this determination are a child’s financial resources that they have at their disposal, a primary caregiver’s available financial resources and the overall standard of living for the child had the marriage continued. The emotional, physical and psychological condition of the child is also carefully considered, as are specific education and/or health needs.

Other Forms of Child Support

Besides basic living expenses required for the ongoing well being of a child, additional payments to cover expenses such as future medical or dental expenses, vacations expenses, camp or extracurricular expenses and private school expenses.

Calculating Child Support Payments


To calculate what a court will want you to pay in child support, you’ll first need both parents’ net disposable income. You can work with a family law attorney to determine what can be deducted.

You’ll also need to know the following information:

  • number of children who need support
  • custody (time-share) arrangement
  • both parents’ tax liabilities
  • whether a parent is already supporting children from another relationship
  • child’s health insurance expenses
  • both parents’ mandatory retirement contributions and other job-related expenses, and
  • all other relevant costs (health care, day care, travel, etc)

Remember that a court will require either one or both parents to contribute to the child’s health care and child care. A court also has the discretion to require additional payment for the child’s education or special needs, as well as for a parent’s travel expenses for visiting the child.

Remember that after you have calculated your child support payment, that this is just an estimate until a court reviews it and approves it. A family law attorney is a great way to ease this process, as it can be overwhelming to calculate.

You Must Pay Child Support

Every parent that is ordered to pay child support, must do so. A parent that avoids paying by refusing to work or working less very rarely gets away with it. A court can “impute” income. This means that the court will look at factors like employment history, education, and training and come up with an amount of income that a parent should be earning.

Modifications to the Amount of Child Support

Even if a child support payment has been agreed to, it can be modified. This is usually only granted if there has been a significant change in financial or time-share circumstances.

Such circumstances include: job loss, increase in income, or a shift in how much parents are spending with the child. Other reasons include: when a parent has another child with a different partner or when a parent has an extended illness or goes to jail.

When a modification request is made, the court will consider both parents’ current financial situations and time-share. Sometimes when parent’s income has decreased, that parent’s child support payment goes up due to the time-share factor. Child support payments tend to increase when a parent’s percentage of time-share decreases. A court will need to recalculate time-share amounts in addition to the changes in income.

A Family Law Attorney

But when it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce and determining child support and payment, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney. There are a number of things that a family law attorney will be able to advise you on, including: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550


Divorce Family Law

Divorce and Social Media

Ten years ago we might not have needed to have this conversation, but with the rise of social media, it’s important to know that there are things that can be held against you in divorce court if you choose to post your divorce on social media outlets.

Divorce and Social Media

While it seems that exes have no problems posting their frustrations with each other online, there are potential consequences for people that want to vent their unhappiness online. Whether updating a Facebook status to call out an ex-wife, or tweeting raves about a judge’s decision, people use social media platforms to tell the world about their lives… and their divorces.

But before you decide to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media, there are some things you need to know – namely how it could potentially affect your divorce and the judge’s decisions.

Social Media as Evidence in Divorce Court

Social media can be a valuable source of evidence in family law cases involving divorce, child custody, and child support and visitation. It’s not uncommon for people to assume that their Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram photos, and other social media activities are more private than they really are. Though people are becoming increasingly more aware of the fact that social media is not as private as they thought, people still continue to post information they otherwise would have never volunteered. This information includes: financial affairs, adultery, improper parenting, and even dangerous or illegal activities such as drug use. It’s all been seen on the internet, and it all still continues to be seen on the internet. 

“Privacy” and Divorce

Many users of social media believe their pages are “private” and thus should not be able to be used in a family law battle. In previous cases, people have claimed that their Facebook profiles should be excluded from judgement or as evidence because they are only shared among a small group of Facebook “friends.” Yet courts continue to reject this argument, determining that there is little to no reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to actions taken on a social media platform. Even creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has stated “privacy is no longer a social norm.”

It’s important to remember that while you can control your privacy settings, the information can still be easily shared. Sometimes parties going through domestic law cases “un-friend” the opposing party. Even then, information can still be shared through mutual friends and family members who are still able to see whatever you post. The information can also still be requested by an attorney. In previous cases such as Offenback v. Bowman, Barnes v. CUS Nashville, LLC, and Largent v. Reed judges have privately reviewed information to determine if information should be disclosed in a case.

Deleting Information

You or your ex-spouse might try to hide evidence by deleting it. But this can be dangerous too. Intentionally deleting information can be legally seen as the destruction of evidence. This can cause even more legal trouble in court. In the case of Lester v. Allied Concrete Co, the court fined both the defendant and his attorney for removing harmful posts and pictures on a Facebook page.

But how did they find out?

In our current social media age, it’s not uncommon for lawyers to take to social media to gather evidence when they are first hired for the case. Often times this means an attorney has social media information long before a person has time to delete or conceal the information. When this evidence “goes missing” and that fact becomes evident in a court of law, the deletion can have larger consequences than the original evidence.

How to Deal with an Ex


If your ex is continually bashing you online, try to focus on other things. Maybe it now the chance to prove you’re the bigger person by ignoring them.

Here’s some advice from those who have been through it before:

“Here’s my advice: Ignore it and consider the source. Giving him any satisfaction that he’s affecting you will only empower and embolden him to continue his childish tirades. Rise above it all, and show your daughter how a real adult behaves.”
– Diane D.
“The best revenge is to live a happy life. Remember when he bashes you, he is suffering. Smile and enjoy your freedom from this unkind man.”
– Maggie Z.
“I unfriended everyone we had in common, not in life, but on Facebook. I also blocked my ex and his now-wife and people that I knew to be an issue. It didn’t work all at once. It was a gradual change as I never responded to anything they said and I never said anything about them, but over time it seemed to work. And I really don’t care now. His reputation was very important to him, so he went to great lengths to make sure everyone that knows him thinks I am horrible. I just avoid those people and focus on my own life.”
– Heather P.
“I copied everything and printed it. I did block him after that. Judge was NOT happy about it. Of course we are civil now and different than we were over two years ago. But it is unacceptable behavior and it just makes him look horrible to the judge and mostly himself. Someone that bashes an ex like that on social media is a terrible friend to have. People start seeing the terrible side of him and his immature ways. Ignore it, copy EVERYTHING, then block him. Worked well for me.”
– Nichole S.

To Remember

It’s important to remember that just like in a criminal investigation, anything that you say can– and likely will – be used against you. This is especially true when a court is deciding how to award custody of children. If your Facebook wall is filled with images of you partying, chances are the court might take this into consideration. The same goes for if you use your Facebook wall as a way to voice concerns and your irritation about your ex-spouse’s short-comings. A court wants to know that you are capable of taking care of your children and being able to raise them in, ideally, a co-parenting situation.

Consulting a Therapist

If you really feel the need to vent your emotions, you might consider working with a therapist. They can help you work through feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, while also providing an un-judging ear. Best of all, everything is guarded under a patient-therapist agreement which means that they cannot share your feelings. This can be a great way to talk through your emotions without involving anyone else, while also receiving the emotional support that you might be searching for when you vent online.

Consult a Lawyer

As with anything regarding your divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… you should consult a family law attorney. A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Child Custody Child Support Child Visitation Collaborative Law Divorce Family Law High Net-Worth Divorce Marital Property Division Mediation Spousal Support

Finding the Silver Lining of Divorce

When we’re little kids we imagine finding our prince or princess and riding off into the sunset that is “happily ever after.” We never think that “happily ever after” will end in divorce. Yet, for a lot of people, that’s exactly where their story ends up.


Finding the Silver Lining of Divorce

It goes without saying that divorce is a difficult process. Whether or not there are kids involved, a number of thing need to be worked out: child custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, marital property division. A family law attorney will be able to help you with these aspects of ending a marriage. But you’ll also need help working through the tougher parts of ending a marriage: emotionally tiring and stressful aspects of ending a mrriage. It not only changes your entire lifestyle, it changes you. If you can step back, you might just realize how it changes you in a good way. Here are some positive aspects of a divorce that you may want to consider. In the end, you might just be grateful for the little things that you learned from going through one of the hardest processes you could go through.

You, After Divorce

Sure, you have to legally be an adult before you can get married, but that doesn’t make you mature. If you had to take a maturity test before tying the knot, chances are marriage wouldn’t even exist. In truth, we often enter marriage still in a childlike state due to the faith we’ve put into the idea of “soul mates” and the fairy-tale romances we’ve been told that end in happily ever after. We might have been blind to the fact that marriage requires a whole ton of effort, and on your part, not the part of a fairy godmother. There’s also a good chance we never set down the wounds of our childhood. Those patterns that we picked up as children (yeah, those ones we never dealt with) all get taken along with us, becoming patterns that impact our marriages and adulthood.

Divorce is like the evil step-queen, yelling in your tear-streamed face. She’s not going to let you go on being the prince or princess that you thought you were. You’re going to have to create some magic of your own, on your own, perhaps for the very first time in your life.

Confidence After Divorce

Divorce can knock your confidence level down to zilch. You’re probably feeling pretty defeated because you weren’t able to hold your marriage together. And if infidelity played a part, then you’re also wondering where you fell short and why your ex-spouse decided to look elsewhere. All that, plus the idea that the whole dating scene has completely changed and now you have to get back out into, can lower your confidence level to below zilch. It’s terrible. But that’s only the first half of the story. Here’s when you re-write the second half.

When you successfully complete something that in your mind you just knew you could not do, you gain confidence. Having to re-frame your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, forces you to find a way to believe in yourself. Facing your fears and surviving gives you strength. And after battling through opposition you can emerge, sure, bruised and battered, but knowing that you didn’t give up.

Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.

Gratitude After Divorce

After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything:  past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later.

When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).

Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.

It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness, or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though, rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.


Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.

Divorce can be a longer process with more setbacks than you had ever imagined before you took that first step. Just when you think that the worst is behind you, BAM! It hits you again. Two steps forward, one step back has never been more true. It takes grit to survive.

Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during divorce because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.

Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.

Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.

Working with Professionals During and After Divorce


There are so many emotional things that you will need to work through when you decide to end your marriage. You might want to consider reaching out to a therapist or life-coach to help you through the emotional aspects. They can coach you on coping techniques and skills that will help you come to terms with your divorce.

A Family Law Attorney

But when it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.


Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Divorce Family Law

Figuring Out Divorce Finances in 2019

It’s a change we’ve been talking about over the past year – the change to tax law that will impact your divorce. We’ll discuss the changes and what you need to have in place to make sure that your financial picture is still sound after your divorce.

Figuring Out Divorce Finances in 2019

Tax law is coming and if you are divorcing in 2019, you’ll want to know what those changes are. Here are the ways tax law is changing:

1. Alimony paid will no longer be tax-deductible and alimony received will no longer be taxable income.

2. Children won’t be the tax deduction they used to be.

3. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements may be affected by the tax changes.

Financial Tips for Your Divorce

Build a Team

“Don’t go it alone,” says Mike Lynch, vice president of strategic markets at Hartford Funds. “Build a team today – a qualified team of legal, tax and investment professionals. Maybe it’s your current investment professional, or you may seek a new one that understands your situation better.”

But not just a team of legal and financial professionals – you’ll also want to build a team of “emotional professionals,” such as friends or a therapist that can help you deal with any emotional pain that you are experiencing.


There are some additional things you can do to help your emotional well-being, including:

  • Waking up and getting out of bed each morning
  • Get yourself in the “moving forward” zone
  • Eat well
  • Get inspired
  • Get perspective
  • Do something that will propel you forward instead of just dwelling

These can feel very hard to do following divorce, but if you can place one foot in front of the other, and just try to keep moving forward, it can help a great deal in not feeling overwhelmed by the experience.

Be Civil When Dealing with Your Ex

When it comes to working out aspects of a divorce, including marital property division, alimony, and child custody and visitation, you’re going to want to at least try to be civil with your ex. This might mean working with a relationship therapist that will advise the both of you on how to find common ground. At the very least, you need to find a way to communicate with each other without having it end in a shouting match. Sometimes email is the best – where people can state the facts. Texts can also work. If you feel comfortable talking with your ex, just remember to record your interactions and what was discussed. Senior vice president of David A. Noyes & Co., Linda M. Conti knows divorce first-hand.  “My parents went through a bitter divorce,” she says. “They separated when I was 3 and the divorce was final when I was 6. I grew up living through ‘what not to do to your kids during a divorce.’ I wish someone could have counseled my parents better through all aspects of the divorce.” You have to remember that staying calm is the best way to resolve the financial aspects of a divorce.

Property Division

Marital property division can be one of the most contentious aspects to be decided during a divorce. State laws govern how the marital property will be divided. You will need to check with an attorney to see if you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state.

There are four other steps that need to be considered when diving marital property:

  1. Identify the assets owned by you and your spouse
  2. Categorize all assets as marital or non-marital property
  3. A value will need to be assigned to the assets
  4. Devise a plan for the division of assets that is in accordance with state laws

Consider Selling Shared Property

It’s always advised that you sell the primary home instead of having one spouse keep it. Retaining ownership of a home – or the question of who will retain ownership – can often lead to issues. Questions such as: who will take care of maintenance and who will take the utility bills need to be answered. It’s often advised that a couple sells their home and split the proceed of the sale. That way, both sides receive an equal amount.

Work with a Divorce Financial Analyst

You might consider working with a divorce financial analyst that can help with your settlement by:

  • Locating assets. This also includes hidden assets.
  • Ensuring information about family finances is accurate and complete.
  • Developing a long-term forecast of how your divorce will affect your finances when it comes to retirement needs, tax liabilities, and benefits.
  • Developing a realistic household budget so that you know where you stand in terms of life insurance, health insurance, and cost-of-living increases.
  • Appraising and/or valuing assets.
  • Preparing financial affidavits that describe your financial and tax implications when it comes to various divorce settlement options.
  • Mediating a financial agreement between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Update Your Beneficiaries and Your Will
Emily McBurney, attorney and qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) expert, advises you update your beneficiary that is listed on your life insurance and retirement accounts. It might not make sense now if your primary beneficiary is your ex-spouse.

When You Might Consider a Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims

“Review all of your accounts and insurance policies and change the beneficiaries. A divorce does not automatically terminate your former spouse’s rights to be the beneficiary on your retirement plans, bank accounts, and life insurance policies –- even though your divorce decree might say that your former spouse has waived all rights to the benefits,” says McBurney. “You will need to formally submit a change of beneficiary form to each financial institution. Otherwise, the benefit will be paid to whoever is listed on their forms at the time of your death — regardless of your divorce.”

You’ll also want to do this for your will.

According to certified divorce financial analyst Donna Cheswick, “Meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss your state’s laws regarding possible updates to your will, power of attorney and advanced directives. You want to be sure that your former spouse is no longer entitled to any distribution in the event of your death. And if your settlement agreement requires one party to maintain life insurance on the other, then there needs to be a method in place to be sure this is actually occurring. Just because the former spouse says they will do something, doesn’t mean that they are following through.”

Have a “Single” Financial Plan

When you were married, chances are you had a second income coming in to help with things like child care, the mortgage, and other utilities. You might now be receiving or paying spousal support or child support. You also may not be receiving any kind of support. Whatever your new financial picture is, you’ll need to know how to budget according to your new income amount. Putting this together before entering the divorce process will help you understand your needs following the divorce so you can come to a settlement that works.

Make sure you plan for college tuition, child care, children’s lessons, sports and activities, and your own retirement, taxes, transportation and housing. It’s hard to plan for the unknown future, but try to get an idea of what your 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year financial needs will be.

Financial Future

Considering your financial situation after your divorce can feel daunting and overwhelming, but if you take the right steps, you can be sure to set yourself up for financial freedom. It might take some tweaks, but consider the fact that you are now completely in charge and able to make your own decisions regarding how your money will be spent. Embrace it, and embrace the freedom you now have.

A Family Law Attorney

When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550