Division of Property
California is a mandatory 50/50 division of community property state. Sounds simple but there are three fundamental issue of great importance.
Identification of Property:
Often there is a hidden property or property unknown to the spouse.
Valuation of Property:
Proper valuation of property can make a huge difference to the outcome.
Characterization of Property:
Specific characterizations include determination of whether property is:
- Community property
- Separate property
- Quasi-community property
- Jointly owned property but containing an element of separate property
The past decade has been witness to several changes in how child custody cases are decided. We are in an era when both mothers and fathers can get substantial custody rights.
Custody is awarded according to the best interest of the child.
Once again, it sounds simple but the way the case is prepared and presented makes a difference on how the court perceives who is the more nurturing parent. Timing is also critical.
In California, child support is based on an algebraic formula. That formula considers the earnings of parents and custody time-share.
Again, sounds simple but consider the following examples of everyday situations that greatly raise or lower the Support guideline result:
The true-earnings of a self-employed person.
The earning ability of an unemployed person or underemployed person.
How to properly calculate who has “custody” while children go to day care, school, sleep?
Unlike child support, spousal support is not regulated by any formula. Therefore, amount and duration of support is almost entirely left up to the discretion of a judge. Once again, knowledge, experience, preparation and presentation can greatly affect the outcome of the case.
For a more in-depth look at issues involving child support, see resources.