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What divorcing parents should know about child support

Child support is designed to help parents share the responsibility of financially supporting their children, allowing the kids to maintain a lifestyle to which they are accustomed. California parents who are going through a divorce may be interested in knowing some of the facts about child support.

In most cases, the laws that relate to child support are quite fluid. The courts have guidelines that they follow, but they can often deviate from these depending on the circumstances of both parents. In some cases, a court may decide that parents can agree upon child support arrangements. Some of the things the courts will consider when determining who will make child support payments and how much those payments will be include who spends the most time with the children; who is responsible for things like child care, school supplies, and health insurance; as well as the income of both parents.

Tasks to complete after a divorce

Despite being exhausted after going through a divorce, many new ex-spouses in California feel ready to make a fresh start. Part of starting anew involves making certain changes in a timely fashion. Just because the paperwork is signed and a person has the divorce decree in their hands, this does not mean that assets are divided and everything is over.

There are quite a few tasks that recently divorced individuals need to tackle in the time following the divorce to be sure that everything is separated properly. For example, an individual who had taken their partner's name will want to address the change. The ex will have to request a certified copy of the divorce judgment right away. They will need to change their name on their Social Security card, driver's license and any other place where their name is listed.

Joint custody after divorce

When parents in California divorce, child custody is often a significant issue. Both parents may be concerned about the well-being of their children, and fathers in particular may be worried about maintaining a meaningful relationship with their offspring. In some cases, a joint custody arrangement may be possible.

Throughout much of history, and into the beginning of the 20th century, fathers in the United States generally had a right to custody of their minor children. However, a shift in the early 1900s led to a trend of awarding custody to the mother unless she could be proven unfit in the courts.

Mortgages and divorce

When deciding what should happen to the family home, many divorcing couples in California will opt for the property to remain with one of the spouses. After this decision is made, there are other factors that both parties will still have to address regarding the home and the mortgage.

There are certain ways the mortgage can be handled when one spouse is to retain control of the home. The original joint mortgage can remain in place, with both parties being responsible for payments and at risk for credit damage if there are payment defaults. Another option to consider may be to refinance the joint mortgage in the name of the spouse who will assume ownership of the home. There is also the option to execute a loan assumption if it's something that's allowed by the existing mortgage.

Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy

People in California who are struggling to pay their bills might wonder if they should file for bankruptcy. First, they should make sure that their debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. While many types of debts are dischargeable, exceptions include child support debt, most student loans and income tax debt.

Another consideration is whether it is even possible for creditors to seize income or property. Some people are what is called "judgment proof." This usually means they do not have enough for creditors to seize. In some cases, judgment proof people may still want to file for bankruptcy so that these debts are no longer hanging over their heads. Other people could have their wages garnished for unsecured debt, such as credit card debt and medical debt. In those situations, bankruptcy may be the right choice.

Divorcing individuals hiding income in cryptocurrencies

For many married couples in California, finances are discussed frequently and openly. Both parties likely know where the family's money is invested, how much money the family has and what debts they have. When a couple in this situation divorces, it is easy to lay everything out on the table. However, family law attorneys are increasingly facing a unique challenge in that one or both of the divorcing parties might have secret investments in cryptocurrencies. Tracing these investments, determining their value and dividing them based on current law is a time-consuming, expensive and challenging process.

A lot of this stems back to what made cryptocurrencies so popular when they came on the scene in 2009. Cryptocurrencies attract people because they can be anonymous. When carried out the right way, a person can invest a relatively small amount of money in cryptocurrencies and watch that small investment grow into a large amount of wealth, and no one else needs to know about it. This is why a lot of people refer to cryptocurrencies as the new offshore account.

Divorce, taxes and dependents

In cases in which divorced or separated parents in California both claim their children as dependents on their federal income tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service will have to determine whose claim will be allowed. If there is no separation, custody or divorce agreement in place that specifies who can claim the children, the IRS will use a series of rules to make a decision.

The relationship between the taxpayer and the dependents is the first factor that is taken into account if there are competing claims. The claims of parents will typically be prioritized over the claims of non-parents.

How social media can connect divorced parents and children

Divorced parents in California might be concerned that if there is a great deal of conflict in their relationship, they might jeopardize their child's adjustment and well-being after the divorce. However, a study that appeared in "Journal of Family Issues" found that a better predictor of a child's well-being was his or her relationship with each parent, and that relationship was bolstered by frequent communication.

Parents who cannot see their children as often as they would like may find their communication hampered if they are hesitant to call them when it means having to speak to their exes first. Researchers say that children value online communication methods, such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, even if parents may not necessarily think of these as high-quality interactions. These are often the preferred way for children to communicate, and it increases their sense of closeness to their parents.

Financial statements can reveal hidden assets

A partner hiding assets in a marriage is something that has occurred as long as there have been marriages. Concealing assets is a sign of betrayal. In some cases, it can be a sign of marital infidelity. Tax returns can provide the key to determine if a spouse in California has not been honest.

Many people trust their spouses or accountants with preparing their tax returns and only give the return a cursory review. However, if someone suspects that his or her spouse is concealing assets, all schedules and supporting documents should be scrutinized. A 1040 is reported not only to the taxpayer but to the IRS. This form details all sorts of income and expenses, including deferred income. Schedule B reports interest income and dividends received. A person should review these documents to detect unknown bank or investment accounts.

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