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Oakland CA Divorce Law Blog

The role of child support in a changing social climate

In 1975, Section IV-D of the Social Security Act was established, which oversaw the collection of child support. Its goal was to help parents in California and elsewhere protect their children. It was designed to keep the family as whole as possible after a divorce where the children's father would support the children through child support payments.

In that time, it was common for fathers to go to work while mothers stayed home with the children. However, that is not necessarily the case anymore. More women have entered the workforce and have become financial providers as well, and in some cases, the father may never have contributed financially to the household. Furthermore, a child's mother and father may never have been married, with as many as 42 percent of births occurring out of wedlock.

California divorces and retirement accounts

One asset that many California couples must divide if they are divorcing is a retirement account. The estranged spouses should make certain that they complete the correct paperwork so that they do not incur tax liabilities and penalties. Employer plans and 401(k)s require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order while individual retirement accounts need a transfer incident.

People also can decide how they would like to receive their distribution. One option is to roll the money into an existing requirement account. An individual can also opt to wait until the spouse retires to begin taking distributions. A third option is cashing out the account. People should also be sure to remove their spouse as a beneficiary on the account unless otherwise required as part of the divorce decree.

Temporary financial arrangements in Master P divorce

California fans of rapper Master P may be following his divorce from his wife, Sonya Miller. The divorce has been contentious. Miller has claimed that she had to go on government assistance and that her son has assisted Master P in concealing assets. The two married in 1989 and have nine children.

A judge has now told Master P that he must pay Miller $16,574 in spousal support and $10,473 in child support each month. He also has to pay $200,000 toward Miller's attorney's fees. The financial arrangement is temporary until the entire financial picture is assessed, and support will be adjusted at that time.

Three Things You Need To Ask Your Divorce Attorney

When considering ending your marriage, you may have several questions about the things that you will need to do to ensure that you are ready to transition into your new life. Asking friends and relatives who have been through a divorce these questions may give you some idea of what to expect, but your divorce will be different. If the answers you receive do not reflect the reality of your situation, you could be placing yourself in an extremely difficult position.

Working together with an experienced divorce attorney is one way to remain in control over your divorce. But, you may never have needed to find a lawyer before, and you may be unsure about how to find the right attorney for you. This posting discusses some of the most important things that you should ask your lawyer before deciding whether or not to work together. 

Rapper DMX accused of failing to pay child support

California music fans may have heard that rapper DMX was taken into custody by the authorities on Oct. 27 after he was accused of failing to pay child support that was owed to his ex-wife. The report stated that the rapper was ordered to pay $10,000 per month for his four children in 2014.

The matter was heard in a Westchester County court the same afternoon. The 44-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Earl Simmons, stated that he was taking steps to try and settle his legal trouble. He argued that, because he was playing headlining shows, he could not hide from the court. He reportedly had a new management team that was working to set up events that could lead to more work, which would ultimately allow him to pay off his debts, including the back child support that he owed.

Divorce for business owners

When couples in California divorce, one of the primary goals of the dissolution process is asset division. This process can become more difficult when one or both spouses is a business owner.

Businesses are considered assets in a divorce. Just as it becomes necessary to decide on a division of retirement plans and real estate, a couple will have to determine what happens to a business in a divorce. Entrepreneurs may have to document their business's financial status so that the lawyers can negotiate a settlement. If it becomes impossible to work out a settlement, a judge will have to make a determination.

Grandmother hides children on reservation in custody battle

A complicated case involving jurisdictional issues between tribal and state courts may interest people in California. In the case, a woman has taken her two grandsons to live on a North Cheyenne reservation in Montana following a state court's order that the children be sent to live with their father in Minnesota.

According to reports, the children and the children's mother are tribal members, but their grandmother is not. The grandmother adopted the children's mother, and the mother had her children taken away due to allegations of substance abuse. The father obtained an order in the state court that the children be placed under his custody. The grandmother argued the placement was inappropriate due to his alleged history of physical abuse. When the court ordered her to send them to live in Minnesota, she instead fled to the reservation, which is not subject to Montana's state laws.

Drug testing false positives and custody issues

Most California parents whose marriages have come to an end genuinely want what is best for their young children. Unfortunately, during custody disputes, accusations of drug use can become an issue. In response to such accusations, or knowledge that a parent has had issues with drugs in the past, the courts may order drug testing.

While requiring parents to undergo drug testing to determine whether they should continue to have custody of or unsupervised visitation with their children, there are drawbacks. Unfortunately, some drug tests can register false positives. This means that the test indicates that the parent has been using drugs even though the parent has actually remained drug-free.

Committing fraud when divorcing

When a California couple decides to end their marriage, both parties typically want to feel financially secure and that they are getting a settlement they deserve. While wanting one's fair share of joint assets is understandable, one partner sometimes tries to manipulate shared finances so that he or she can receive a disproportionate amount of assets. Concealing things from one spouse during a divorce is dangerous as it may constitute fraud.

If one divorcing spouse intentionally wastes joint property or money without the permission or knowledge of the other spouse, then a type of fraud called dissipation takes place. One partner might get rid of assets by transferring them to others, ruining personal items, spending excessively or selling assets for significantly less than their actual value. To uncover marital fraud, an accountant determines a couple's real income and traces funds through accounts by following a paper trail.

High-stakes divorces and forensic accounting

Wealthy California couples who are going through a divorce often rely heavily on the services provided by forensic accountants. Typically, these financial specialists are brought into the picture to manage commercial interests. When the actions or motives of business partners are unclear, forensic accountants may be of use. However, there are reasons why they are becoming increasingly used when marriages are coming to an end.

The more complex a couple's financial picture is, the more difficult it might be to divide the marital assets appropriately. High-net worth marriages typically involve a number of assets that may include businesses, partnerships, collectibles and investment portfolios. When the valuation of these assets extends beyond the scope of a divorce lawyer, a forensic accountant may be able to help. Evaluating marital assets becomes more difficult when one or both spouses have deferred compensation arrangements, life insurance policies or retirement plans.