The Problem with Child Custody in California

When separating or divorcing, think long and hard about the child custody & visitation arrangement.  In most cases, temporary orders for custody become permanent at the trial phase.  Once a custody order is finalized, it is very difficult to change unless there are circumstances that prove that the order is no longer in the best interest of the child.

Of course, it is always better if both parents can agree on the custody arrangement.  This is the best alternative for the following reasons:

  1. it is less costly as there is usually no need for a trial
  2. when parents are cooperative, they are usually thinking about what is in the best interest of the child and not their own self-interest
  3. children are happier & feel more secure when the parents are cooperative

Unfortunately, many parents are unable to cooperate. Custody battles can be very costly, stressful and time-consuming.  The judge may order a psychological evaluation of children as well as an attorney for the children.  These costs are born by one or both parents.

For more information about Child Custody and our Flat Fee legal services, speak with one of our experienced Family Law Lawyers so that you understand your legal rights and what is reasonable in your situation.

L.A.W. (Legal Action Workshop) can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) for answers to your Family Law questions or you may visit our website for more information @ .

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How to get Child Support Right Away

In California, many people file for Child Support with the Child Support Services office. This is a free service.  However, due to the large number of people requesting Child Support–it often takes much longer to get the support.  It could take over a year!

It is much faster to request Child Support in the Family Court. If you are filing for Divorce, you can request temporary Child Support by filing a Request for Order.  The advantage of requesting temporary orders is that Child Support will be retroactive to the date of filing the request!  If temporary orders are not filed, you will not receive any child support until the date of the order in the Divorce trial which could take a significant amount of time.

If you are not married and want Child Support, it’s best to file a ‘paternity action‘ which will address custody, visitation and support for the child.  The request that is to be filed is called a ‘Petition to Establish Parental Relationship‘.  Once this is filed, a Request for Order can also be filed to get temporary Child Support, Custody & Visitation until the trial phase is completed.  As stated above, the temporary order for Child Support is retroactive to the date of filing the request.  In this way, Child Support can be received much quicker.

If you have questions about your options with regard to Child Support, give us a call.  Our experienced Divorce & Family Law Lawyers can analyze your case, run the Dissomaster software (which will determine the amount of child support that may be paid) and explain your best options.

L.A.W. can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 or (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website for more information @ .

Posted in Child Custody & Visitation, Child Support Arrears, Child Support in California, Divorce, Divorce and Family Law, How to Get Child Support, Order to Show Cause, Paternity Action | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Correct Service for a CA Divorce

The service of a California Divorce must be performed correctly or the other party could claim ‘improper service’ and the party would have to be served all over again.  Here are the different ways that service can be made:

  1. Service by Mail:  if the other party is cooperative service can be made by regular mail in any state in the USA; if the other party is not cooperative and lives in another state service can be made by certified mail and the respondent must sign their name exactly as it appears in the documents
  2. Personal Service: Service can be made by another Adult (not a child of the marriage), or by a sheriff or process server if the parties are not cooperative; the adult that hands the service docs to the respondent will sign & date that service has been made
  3. Sub-service: This can be made if the respondent cannot be personally served after 3 attempts (certain conditions apply)

Service is mandatory.  The proof of service must be filed with the court. The date of the service is the start of your Divorce.

Service is very important and must be done correctly.  If you have a Divorce or Family Law matter, call L.A.W. to get the legal advice and oversight that will assure that your matter will progress through the courts correctly.

Legal Action Workshop can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website @

Posted in California Divorce, Divorce, Divorce and Family Law, Divorce Attorney, Divorce Lawyer, Divorce Process, Family Law, Family Law Attorney, Flat Fee Divorce, How to Divorce, Legal Advice, Legal Oversight in a California Divorce, Service of a Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Problems with a Default Divorce

A default Divorce occurs when the respondent is served and does not respond.  Once the 30 day wait period has passed, the petitioner can enter a default and complete the Divorce either by filing the remaining documents or by appearing at a default hearing.  A default hearing is usually needed when there are issues that need to be addressed (such as child custody & support, spousal support or division of property etc.).

Problems can occur with a default Divorce.  If the petitioner entered a proof of service which was improperly served then a motion to quash can be filed and the default could be set aside.  If approved by the court, the respondent can now respond and move the case forward. A motion to quash may be filed at any time if service is improper.

If, however, the respondent was served but he/she failed to respond for reasons such as illness, or when the parties were still negotiating a settlement etc. then a motion to set aside can be filed if no more than 6 months has passed.  Usually a default is entered with a judgment, but not always. Again, a motion to set aside the default  can also be filed within 6 months of the date of the entry of judgment.

A default Divorce can be complex.  The petitioner needs legal advice and oversight to assure that the default is entered correctly.  From the respondent’s point of view, the failure to respond in a timely manner may mean a loss of legal rights.

It is always a good idea to consult with one of our experienced Divorce Attorneys if you wish to file for Divorce, enter a default or if you have been served with Divorce papers. In addition, if you find that a default has been entered, contact us immediately so that we can determine your best option.  We offer affordable low flat fees.

Our Divorce Lawyers can be reached at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or by visiting our website @ .

Posted in California Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support Arrears, Default Divorce, Divorce, Flat Fee Divorce, Flat Fee Los Angeles Divorce Attorneys, The Importance of Legal Oversight in Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Truth about Spousal Support

Spousal support works both ways i.e. either spouse can be awarded spousal support.  The award is either temporary and/or permanent.

When the parties are in agreement, one of our Family Law Lawyers will prepare an agreement that states the amount of spousal support that will be paid each month and for how long.

However, if the parties are not in agreement, the court will decide based on a number of factors.  If one spouse files a Request for Order for temporary spousal support–the court will generally look at 2 factors:

  1. Need
  2. Differential in income

If it is determined that temporary spousal support is warranted, then the court will award it.  This temporary order can be changed by modification or at the Divorce trial when permanent spousal support will be addressed.

Factors that determine permanent spousal support are much more stringent.  These include need & differential in income as well as length of marriage, education, health, standard of living and other factors.  The judge will make a decision as to the amount of permanent spousal support as well as the time period.

If you have questions regarding getting, paying or changing spousal support, our experienced Divorce Attorneys can help for low flat fees. Give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website @ .

Posted in California Divorce, Divorce, Divorce Attorney, How to Get Spousal Support, Spousal Support | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment