Monthly Archives: June 2016

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO COLLECT CHILD SUPPORT FROM THE OTHER PARENT WITHOUT A COURT ORDER.

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO COLLECT CHILD SUPPORT FROM THE OTHER PARENT WITHOUT A COURT ORDER.

If you want child support or want to change an existing child support order, You do not have legal rights to collect child support by Law offices of Cathleen E. Norton you must file an Request for Order with the Court. The forms you will need to complete are: Request for Order (FL-300) along with a Declaration, and an Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). You must provide 2 months’ pay stubs with your papers.

**PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF 7/1/12, THE “REQUEST FOR ORDER” FORM HAS REPLACED THE ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FORM**

If you want to know how much child support you are entitled to, call the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton at (310) 300-4021 for an analysis.

The amount of child support you are entitled to is based on many factors, the most important of which is the relative income of the parties and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Child support and child custody are directly related to each other, and you would be well advised to educate yourself on the law. It is always better to have an experienced family law attorney represent you, especially under the following circumstances:

  • When you suspect the other party earns more than reported on the Income and Expense Declaration,
  • has not been truthful about his/her financial information,
  • recently received a job promotion or bonus,
  • purposely depresses his/her income,
  • voluntarily quits his/her job,
  • hides self-employment income,
  • hides assets,
  • received a large inheritance,
  • has rental properties,
  • has a significant amount of separate property stocks, bonds, investments, etc.

After you file your child support papers, a hearing date will be set and you must serve the other parent with the paperwork.

If you receive child support:

If you want to modify your child support order because, for example, you discovered that the other parent earns more money now than before, you should file your child support papers immediately. If you do nothing, you may waive your right to any increased amount of child support prior to the date you filed your Order to Show Cause. You do not have the right to modify your child support retroactively.

If you pay child support:

If you pay child support and have been laid off, for example, you should file your child support papers immediately. If you do not, the prior child support order (at the higher amount) will continue to accrue until the Court modifies the existing child support order. You do not have a right to modify your child support retroactively.

The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton is a top family law firm dedicated to protecting your legal rights. Our goal is to empower you. Our job is to protect you. Cathleen E. Norton, Esq. is an experienced family law attorney who obtained both her B.A. and J.D. credentials from UCLA. You won’t find a better qualified attorney to represent you! We have offices in Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Westlake Village and service family law cases in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Call us today for a free consultation at (310) 300-4021. For more information about the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton, please visit our website at www.nortonfamilylaw.com/.

Child Support:  Reimbursement Procedures For Health Care Costs

What does California law say about child support medical reimbursements?

Law Offices Of Cathleen E. Norton

If you have a child support order that includes a provision for reimbursement of health care costs, California law states that you must first give the other parent a statement itemizing the Child Support:  Reimbursement Procedures For Health Care Costs by Law Offices Of Cathleen E. Norton charges within a reasonable period of time.  How long do you have to do this?  30 days.  If you have already paid for the entire cost, simply provide the other parent with proof of payment and ask for reimbursement.  Medical reimbursements are considered an add-on to your monthly child support amount.  If you have already paid your share of the medical costs, request the other parent to send payment directly to the appropriate health-care provider and give the necessary information needed for direct payment.

How much time do I have to make payment?

If you are the parent who receives a request for reimbursement of medical costs, you must make payment within 30 days, or according to your child support order.  Payment may be later than 30 days if arrangements have been made directly with the child’s health care provider or according to a schedule as agreed upon by both parents.

What are my legal remedies if the other parent doesn’t pay?

If the other parent has failed to pay their share of a child’s uninsured costs after you have asked for reimbursement and provided proof of your share, you can file a Motion in Court with the help of an experienced family law attorney.  If the Court finds in your favor, you may be awarded attorney’s fees and costs from the other parent for having to resolve the dispute in Court.

What if I dispute a charge for my child’s medical procedure?

If you dispute a charge and need Court intervention to collect this additional child support, you may file a Motion only after you have paid your share.

Do I have to use the health care coverage that is currently provided?

If health care insurance is part of your child support order, you must use this insurance at all times to the extent it is available to cover medical costs.  If one parent claims the health insurance is inadequate in meeting medical needs, that parent has the burden of proof in Court.  If one parent chooses to a doctor not covered by insurance, that parent will be responsible for whatever out-of-pocket costs are incurred.

The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton is a top family law firm dedicated to protecting your legal rights.  Our goal is to empower you.  Our job is to protect you.  Cathleen E. Norton, Esq. is an experienced family law attorney who obtained both her B.A. and J.D. credentials from UCLA.  You won’t find a better qualified attorney to represent you!  We have offices in Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Westlake Village and service family law cases in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.  Call us today for a free consultation at (310) 300-4021. For more information about the Firm as well as common questions and answers about family law, please visit our website at http://www.nortonfamilylaw.com.

Getting a Divorce? Child Custody and Visitation Tips From Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer, Cathleen E. Norton, Esq.

GETTING A DIVORCE?  THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT CUSTODY AND VISITATION

Many people believe that once they file for divorce, the Court will set a hearing date to determine custody and visitation of the minor children.  Not true.  In order to get child custody orders, one of the parties needs to file what Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyers Family Law Attorneys by Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton is called an Request for Order asking the Court for child custody and visitation orders.  Without child custody and visitation orders, neither party knows when he or she is supposed to exercise custodial time with the children.  Either parent may pick the children up from school, schedule activities without checking with the other parent, or worse, withhold the children from, say, dad, depriving the children of a relationship with their father.

When one party files an Request for Order for child custody and visitation, that party is requesting that the judge make a determination about what is in the best interests of the children.  If, for example, mom has been the primary caretaker, then she may ask the court for sole legal and physical custody of the children.  What does all this legal jargon mean?

Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare of the children.  Legal custody rights encompass the right to choose the children’s school, make decisions about doctors, etc.  Physical custody, simply put, is where the children will live.  If the children live with mom, for example, then in most cases, dad should be entitled to visitation.  The question for the Court is what child custody and visitation order is in the best interest of the children?

Joint legal custody is the obligation to share information regarding decision-making.  Joint physical custody means that the children live with both parents, on a particular schedule.  For example, mom may have child custody during the school week, and dad may have custody on the weekends because he works and can’t really exercise custody during the week.

A qualified family law attorney can help you define your child custody and visitation goals, determine what is reasonable in light of the facts of your particular case.

The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton is a top family law firm dedicated to protecting your legal rights.  Our goal is to empower you.  Our job is to protect you.  Cathleen E. Norton, Esq. is an experienced family law attorney who obtained both her B.A. and J.D. credentials from UCLA.  You won’t find a better qualified attorney to represent you!  We have offices in Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Westlake Village and service family law cases in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.  Call us today for a free consultation at (310) 300-4021.  For more information about the Firm as well as common questions and answers about family law, please visit our website at www.nortonfamilylaw.com.

How Is Guideline Child Support Calculated? Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer, Cathleen E. Norton, Esq.

Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer, Cathleen E. Norton, Esq.

CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATIONS – HOW MUCH AM I ENTITLED TO?

Child support in California is calculated based on 2 factors, primarily:  Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton  1) the income of both parents and 2) how much time each parent spends with the children.

What is considered “income” for the purposes of calculating child support, you ask?

The court may consider “income” from whatever source derived.  As you can see, California law defines “income” very broadly.  Income includes salary, commissions, royalties, wages, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, social security benefits, and spousal support paid by someone other than the other parent.

If you are self-employed and have a business, then “income” will include gross receipts minus legitimate operating expenses.  If your business pays your cell phone or car payment, for example, then the court has discretion to consider these benefits and add this amount back into your business profit–these employee “benefits” are called perquisites.  If you are self-employed, you would be well advised to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you figure out how much child support you will have to pay.  It is a good idea to have tax returns from the last 2 years during your consultation with a family law attorney.

If you are an employee of a company, guideline child support in California will be based on your gross income, not your take-home pay.  The DissoMaster child support calculator will take into account the taxes you pay.  Make sure you tell your family law attorney how you file your taxes–single, head of household, married file jointly, or married filed separately, as well as how many exemptions you claim on your tax return.

Also, make sure you tell your family law attorney if you have necessary job-related expenses, union dues, health insurance premiums deducted from your pay check, or mandatory retirement contributions.  This can make a difference in how much child support you pay.

If you own a home, make sure you provide a copy of your mortgage statement to your family law attorney.  Since child support takes into consideration the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage, your attorney will need to know this information.  If you have a copy of your property tax bill, provide it to your family law attorney.

If you are wondering if the court takes into consideration what your monthly expenses are, the answer is “no.”  In most cases, the court does not ask whether you can afford to pay guideline child support.  In California, child support is based on a mathematical formula which takes into consideration such things as your tax filing status, mortgage interest deduction, property taxes, etc.  But generally speaking, your child support obligation does not take into consideration how much your car payment is, how much your credit card bills are, etc.  The good news is that an experienced family law attorney will make sure that you get all of the deductions you are legally entitled to.

The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton is a top family law firm dedicated to protecting your legal rights.  Our goal is to empower you.  Our job is to protect you.  Cathleen E. Norton, Esq. is an experienced family law attorney who obtained both her B.A. and J.D. credentials from UCLA.  You won’t find a better qualified attorney to represent you!  We have offices in Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, and Westlake Village and service family law cases in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.  Call us today for a free consultation at (310) 300-4021.  For more information about the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton, please visit our website at www.noronfamilylaw.com