California Spousal Support Basics

If you’ve just started researching California spousal support basics (or, if you need a refresher), this article will get you started in the right direction. However, if you need specific advice about your individual situation, it’s likely in your best interests to consult with a qualified family law attorney. In the meantime, it will help you to know…

Spousal Support is NOT Automatic

In California, spousal support is not automatic. If you need it, you must ask for it.

After you file your petition for dissolution (initial divorce papers), file your request for temporary spousal support immediately. If you don’t, you may miss out on several months of payments.

In addition, when you consult with your family law attorney, be sure to let him or her know if you want to explore permanent spousal support.

Written by Robert S. Kamin. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Child support payments could go up significantly

Some child support payments in Maryland could soon go up – a change that state Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald called “long overdue.”

For the first time in two decades, lawmakers are poised to revise the guidelines that courts use to set child support when divorcing or unmarried parents cannot agree on an amount. Those guidelines are based on household expense data from the 1970s, and although they accommodate rising incomes, advocates say they don’t account for the escalating costs of raising a child.

Human Resources officials estimate there are about 500,000 child support orders in Maryland – a mix of private agreements and court cases.

Written by Julie Bykowicz. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Changes in Spousal Support: When and How it’s Done

OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA – Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. Being forced to pay alimony to your former spouse can be an unpleasant monthly reminder of the chapter you’ve fought to close. But continuing to pay alimony to a former spouse who’s moved on and is being supported by someone else? That is like rubbing salt in a wound for some.
Recently we’ve had a couple of clients who found themselves in this situation and we’re happy to report that the outcome for our clients was favorable. We successfully reduced the amount of spousal support they were required to pay. But these scenarios raise some common questions, which we’re addressing in this article.

Written by John Griffith. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

The Effect of Family Violence on Spousal Support in Texas

The Texas Family Code states that a person is entitled to receive spousal maintenance if the person can prove that the other spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that constitutes family violence. The act of family violence has to have been committed against the other spouse or a child of the other spouse and the act of family violence has to have been committed during the marriage within than two years before filing for divorce or while the divorce action was pending.
An interesting question was posed regarding this provision of the statute; “Does the act of family violence have to have occurred during the two years preceding the divorce or does the spouse have to have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years prior to filing for divorce?”

Written by Katie Lewis. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Release of dependency exemption trumps child support

In two recent cases, the Tax Court ruled on the validity of a dependency exemption release to a noncustodial parent. Taken together, the cases illustrate how a properly executed and filed Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, is the key to releasing a claim of exemption and outweighs state court orders.

In Armstrong, the court denied the deduction and child tax credit to a noncustodial father who did not attach Form 8332 to his 2007 tax return. The taxpayer, Billy Armstrong, did attach a copy of an “arbitration award” indicating he would be entitled to the dependency exemption for one of his and his ex-wife’s two children if he stayed current with child support. Upon audit, he also provided a 2003 state court order that incorporated the arbitration award and a 2007 state court order signed by the ex-wife that explicitly required the ex-wife to provide him with an executed Form 8332 or its equivalent if his support payments were current, which they were. The IRS rejected his claim because the award and orders were conditioned upon current payment of child support. The majority opinion of the Tax Court agreed that the state court orders did not unconditionally declare that Armstrong’s ex-wife would not claim the exemption and therefore could not substitute for Form 8332.

Written by Karyn Bybee Friske and Darlene Pulliam. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

New child support guidelines

There are several changes from the current guidelines to note, including:

The 2013 guidelines calculate each parent’s percentage of total available income up to $250,000 per year and a “combined support amount.” This is a different method of looking at support as a total obligation of both parents.
The 2013 guidelines now clarify what is to occur when the combined income of the parties’ exceeds $250,000 per year. The guidelines are applied on the first $250,000 in the same proportion as the Recipient’s and Payor’s actual income compare to the total combined income. There is now a space on the form to list how much income remains available to either parent above the $250,000 combined total.

Written by Robin Lynch Nardone. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

State Rep. Ford declares gay marriage support

It didn’t come quickly, the decision to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, but on Memorial Day when State Rep. LaShawn Ford said he would vote this week in favor of gay marriage in Illinois, the choice seemed clear to him.

“This is a well-thought-out decision,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Journal.

Ford, a one-time seminarian, said he had prayed over it. He said he has been swamped with strong opinions from constituents on both sides of the controversy. He acknowledged he has felt heavy lobbying from a politically active segment of the black clergy.

In the end, though, he said “it is like the time has come” for gay marriage to be legal.

“When you think about the moral issue, this is about advancing opportunity,” he said, “the opportunity for all people to pursue life, liberty and happiness. As Democrats we are about opportunity, about including people, not excluding.”

Written by Dan Haley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com