Are Mothers Favored in the Child Custody Process?

For divorcing spouses with children, child custody is almost always the most hotly contentious issue in California, even more than child support, spousal support, and property division. No parent relishes the idea of an impartial judge deciding how much time than can spend with their own children. But for fathers, common misconceptions and outdated ideas may intensify this fear. For decades, courts commonly presumed that children were best served by…

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Can the IRS Take My Tax Refund for Child Support?

California family courts take non-payment of child support very seriously. The state’s child support agencies follow the federal guidelines for enforcement including the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). This program offsets the tax returns of American taxpayers who owe debts to government agencies, including child support. In 2022, TOP recovered over $5.2 billion in unpaid debt, including child support. If you are under a court order to pay child support, it’s…

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How to Get a Child Support Order Modified Because of a Disability

California courts expect both parents to share in the expenses associated with raising their children, despite their marital status. All decisions made by the family court put the well-being of children at the top of the priority list. Child support orders require the higher-paying parent or the non-custodial parent to pay a specific support amount to the lower-paying parent or the parent with primary custody. Failure to stay up to…

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Will Unpaid Child Support Appear on My Credit Report?

After a divorce or in cases of unmarried parents, the California Family Court expects both parents to contribute to the expenses involved in raising children, including housing, food, and medical care. When the California court issues an order for child support to the higher-earning or non-custodial parent, it continues to monitor the support account through the California Department of Child Support Services. All child support orders are also automatically reported…

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Property Liens for Unpaid Child Support

California family court makes the well-being of children a top priority in all of its decisions, including child support orders for non-custodial parents. Both parents must provide for their children and a divorce doesn’t change that. The non-custodial parent must contribute toward the costs of housing, food, clothing, medical care, and other expenses involved in raising children. When the paying parent falls into arrears on their child support payments, the…

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How Do I Remove a Power of Attorney?

Choosing a power of attorney is an important decision. Essentially, by making this choice you are naming the person who will make critical decisions about your physical and financial welfare should you be unable to make those decisions on your own due to accident, injury, or impairment. Depending on the terms specified in the POA agreement, the designated person—your agent—may have limited or broad authority over many aspects of your…

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What Is a Minute Order?

Things move quickly in courtrooms, often demanding later scrutiny by the subjects and lawyers involved in the case. In most courtrooms today, a stenographer and/or a court reporter or clerk records all verbal exchanges. As in less formal meetings, a court reporter’s notes of what takes place in a courtroom are often referred to as “minutes,” taken from the Latin term “minuta scriptura,” or small notes. If you’ve been in…

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Jail Time for Unpaid Child Support

Like most states, California family courts prioritize the best interests of children when spouses seek a divorce. This includes child support orders, typically paid by the higher-earning parent to the lower-earner with the intention of providing for the children in the manner they’re accustomed to with the least amount of disruption to their lives. The amount of child support may be negotiated and agreed to by both parents before the…

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