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Family law

CHILD SUPPORT

In legal separation and dissolution proceedings, as well as in post-judgment matters, disputes often arise over the amount of child support payable by one parent to the other. In California, both parents have equal responsibility for the support of their minor child “in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances.” California has adopted statutory guidelines for determining child support. These guidelines require consideration of factors including the incomes of both parents, the number of children for which support is required, the cost of health insurance paid by the parents, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent. In California, registered domestic partners have the same responsibilities towards their children as a married couple does.

A comprehensive understanding of these factors is necessary to ensure that the amount of child support proscribed by the guidelines accurately reflects the true income and expenses of the parents.

At The Sperling Legal Group, we diligently work on behalf of our clients obtain accurate information to substantiate income and expenses, including discovery of hidden or non-traditional sources of income, to ensure that the amount of child support is an accurate reflection of the incomes of the parties in an effort to protect the best interests of the children for whom the support is ordered.

We will counsel you as to the factors that affect the amount of child support payable, and gather all the financial information necessary to ensure that a child support order is entered which properly applies the child support guidelines within the particular circumstances of your case. Our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers can help you obtain the maximum support or defend you against having to pay an unfair amount.

CHILDREN COME FIRST

When children are involved, you want to attempt to not only obtain the most favorable custody and visitation, but recognize that while your spouse will no longer be your spouse, they will always be the children’s parent. Only in rare circumstances will you be left as the sole parent legally, and part of crafting your future involves the attempt to develop a relationship that allows both parents to work together amicably at least on the surface. You will miss too much of your children’s futures if parents cannot work together, attend events together, and co-parent in a way that minimizes friction and promotes cooperation. That may seem impossible at the beginning of a divorce when passions are at their highest, but the experienced attorneys at The Sperling Legal Group can help work out a parenting plan that may allow you to not miss important times in your children’s lives because of unresolved animosity between the parents that poisons their relationship with the kids.

The Sperling Legal Group was founded on a commitment to uphold the best interests of those we serve. We are prepared to handle every detail of your case so you can focus your attention where it is most needed. We’re ready to fight for the future you and your child deserve.

THE BASICS OF PHYSICAL & LEGAL CHILD CUSTODY

Child custody is separated into two major categories in California: physical and legal. Physical refers to the actual care and supervision of a child; namely, where and who the child will live with each day. Legal, however, signifies the decisions made on behalf of the child, including education, healthcare, and religion.

With that in mind, both categories can be broken down into either joint custody or sole custody. The court makes their decision for this aspect based on the best interests of the child, among a number of other factors. The basics of joint custody and sole custody include:

Legal Custody

The day to day decisions of the children’s education, health and general well-being.

JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY:

This gives both parents the right to make decisions for their child. Decisions must be mutual and in the best interests of the child.

SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY:

This means that just one parent has the right to make major decisions for the child, regardless of the other parent’s desires.

Physical Custody:

Which parent the children live with.

JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY:

The child alternates time spent with both parents. This gives parents more than just visitation privileges and usually involves a parenting schedule.

SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY:

Occurs when the child lives with just one parent, while the non-custodial parent is given visitation rights.The helpful and experienced attorneys at The Sperling Legal Group will sit down with you and help you determine these very important matters. We always make a concerted effort to avoid litigation.

FATHER’S RIGHTS

It’s no secret that fathers have historically been handed the shorter straw in issues related to child custody, child support and visitation. Due to social expectations and biases, fathers’ rights are often violated in a divorce. California State and federal laws dictate, however, that both parents have equal rights over the children until a court-appointed judge declares otherwise.

Our experienced family law attorneys can help protect your legal rights as a dad and ensure you are treated justly in court when dealing with parenting issues that affect your children.

Just as the mother has the right to be involved with her children’s lives, so does the father. Our attorneys understand that the equal opportunities given to the father cannot be denied, and must be defended. If your rights as a father have been violated, you may be denied any say in important decisions involving your child, including:

No matter the other details of your divorce, you need to do all you can to ensure you play an active role in the lives of the children you adore. With our help, we can challenge the claims of your divorcing spouse and establish your rights as a father.

CONSIDERING MOVING AWAY WITH YOUR CHILD?

There are many reasons a parent may need or desire to move away or relocate to another part of the state, out of state, or even out of the country. The parent may have a job offer in another state or for economic reasons a move away may be the only option. However, there are times that a parent may want to move away with a child to frustrate visitations with the other parent. A relocation can affect child custody and visitation schedules and therefore is usually strongly contested.

Given the complexities of child custody move away cases, among the most hotly contested issues encountered in child custody and family law, it is important that you retain a family law attorney that is knowledgeable in the specific areas of family law surrounding parental move-aways.

Under California law, a custodial parent has the presumptive right to change the children’s residence subject to the court’s power to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the children. The non-custodial parent has the right to challenge the relocation and move to modify the court’s custody order based on changed circumstances. Whether you are seeking or challenging a proposed relocation, it is important to find a divorce attorney to represent you who is familiar with the issues and procedures surrounding move away cases.

The experience family law attorneys at The Sperling Legal Group understand the law surrounding child custody move-away cases and have prevailed on this issue. If you are dealing with interstate child custody issues, please contact The Sperling Legal Group.

LGBT FAMILY LAW

The Sperling Legal Group serves the LGBT community in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. The experienced attorneys are especially attuned to the unique needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and inter-gender communities. The legal professionals at The Sperling Legal Group are highly skilled gay-friendly attorneys. As supporters of the LGBT community, they understand the unique difficulties that you face and they are committed to help you through your legal matter.

No matter which family law issue you are trying to address, the LGBT family law attorneys at The Sperling Legal Group will provide the necessary sensitivity and compassion to all of your family concerns. Call The Sperling Legal Group for a complimentary consultation at (818) 205-9090.