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Santa Rosa Legal Blog

Final ruling issued by trial judge in high-profile divorce case

California is host to some of the highest profile divorce cases in the country. Such cases occur also in other states. The divorce matter of Richard and Alicia Stephenson has been inching through the family law courts of another state for many years, but a decision by the trial court may signal a final determination. Richard is the multimillionaire founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Although Alicia did help out in the business for some years, the court recognized that she spent many years raising their daughter and was essentially kept from developing her own profession. On the other hand, the court noted that Alicia had done nothing since the separation to advance her education and become self-sustaining. After eight acrimonious years in divorce court, the final equities were laid on the line.

Rules regarding tax issues must be covered in family law pact

California and federal law make it important for divorcing couples to make sure that their tax issues are settled prior to agreeing to a divorce settlement. An experienced family law attorney will be well versed in the tax issues that come up during the divorce negotiation process. In discussions with one's attorney, the options and preferences will be learned and decisions made accordingly.

One basic principle of federal tax law regarding separation and divorce issues is that child support is not income that is taxable to the recipient and it is not a deduction for the parent who pays it. On the other hand, alimony and some other types of payments are classified as taxable income to the recipient and qualify as a deduction to the paying former spouse. That fact makes it more desirable for the paying spouse to qualify as much of the payments as alimony and as little as possible toward child support.

Calculating spousal support in California

Amid all the other changes it brings, divorce also means alterations of financial situations. If you are going through a California divorce or legal separation, you or your spouse may have to pay the other party spousal support, also referred to as alimony.

Spousal support is frequently one of the most hotly contested matters during divorce proceedings. There are numerous factors involved in determining which party in the marriage must pay the other, and how much.

Prenups may prevent property division contention in California

Many people understandably become attached to their possessions. This attachment may form due to sentimental value or due to the symbol of success that the assets represent to a person. No matter what the reason, California residents will likely want to protect those assets, especially in the event of divorce and property division proceedings.

Luckily, individuals can take steps to protect their assets before they get married. Prenuptial agreements can offer a variety of benefits, and individuals in the millennial generation have apparently been taking advantage of this option. Because millennials tend to get married at an older age than those in generations before them, they often accumulate more assets and have greater career and business success before tying the knot that they would like to protect.

Can violent or substance-abusing parents get visitation?

As a California parent, you probably make many of your life decisions after considering what is best for your child. When it comes to child custody and visitation, however, the decisions are not always yours. This can prove troubling if you know the other parent is violent, or if you suspect abuse of drugs or alcohol.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you may feel fearful that the parent you believe to be dangerous might receive visitation rights, potentially endangering your child. Your fears may be warranted, too, as decisions on such matters typically are on a case-by-case basis.

Child custody issues may stress California parents and kids

Providing children with the most love possible is often a goal of many California parents. Of course, during times of considerable stress and change, parents may have a difficult time remembering to ensure that their children are handling the situation as best as possible. When it comes to divorce and child custody issues, dealing with the coming changes could take a toll on kids.

One way to help children get through their parents' divorce successfully is to allow them to feel secure in knowing that both parents love them. Because divorce can cause a considerable amount of tension between parents, children may feel caught in the middle. They may feel as if they have to choose sides or that one parent may not love them as much if they enjoy spending time with the other parent.

Infidelity, contempt may be leading causes of California divorce

Numerous factors can play into whether a marital relationship could come to an end. Even though many California residents may begin their marriages thinking that the relationships will stand the test of time, many issues may seemingly come out of nowhere. Studies show that there are many common aspects that could result in married individuals turning toward divorce.

When it comes to the most common reasons for parties ending their relationships, infidelity, abuse and drug use come in at the highest rankings. This information may come as a surprise to few as these issues can cause considerable and often insurmountable difficulties in a marriage. Additionally, facing too much conflict in the relationship can also act as a leading cause for marriages coming to an end.

California family law advice from friends may not prove reliable

The majority of California residents know someone who has gone through divorce. As a result, when individuals decide to end their own marriages, it is not uncommon for already divorced parties to attempt to offer advice. However, people may wish to remember that not all information they gain about family law issues is correct, and some common myths are often believed.

For instance, many individuals may believe that a drawn-out court battle is inevitable. This is not necessarily the case. The time it takes to complete proceedings depends heavily on the specific circumstances involved. If couples are able to work amicably together, they may find mediation or collaborative law methods to be viable options and skip courtroom litigation altogether.

High-asset divorce can take time to sort through in California

Many people enter into marriage dissolution proceedings with ideas of what they hope to achieve. When parties are dealing with considerable amounts of wealth as part of their divorce process, the situation may turn contentious and take a great deal of time to sort out. California residents may find such a situation currently underway in another state interesting.

Reports stated that many millions of dollars are playing a role in the divorce proceedings for the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and his ex-wife. Apparently, the case has been ongoing for almost a decade, and the woman is reportedly hoping to gain a hefty outcome of $400,000 in monthly alimony. However, legal representation for her ex states that she left him in order to live a simpler life and that her request does not suit that desire.

What if my ex claims too many expenses to pay child support?

During and after a separation, many parents step up to the plate when it comes to supporting their children emotionally and/or financially. Some, however, do not, and the “reasons” can be creative.

For example, one common justification goes something like, “I don’t have any money left over after my bills and expenses are paid.” Here is a look at why attorneys can, and do, go back to court to break down this argument and to enforce child support.

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