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The 3 main options for child support payments

You cannot pay child support in California just by giving your ex cash and telling him or her that it's for a support payment. The law says that everyone in the state who is paying support actually needs to send it to the State Disbursement Unit first, and then it is sent out to those who are to receive it. This makes payments easier to track and verify.

There are three main options that you can use if you're getting payments, with the first being a bank check that is simply mailed to you. This is easy, it doesn't rely on technology, and it's perhaps the simplest way for many people to get their money. You do have to cash the check before it can be spent, though, and some banks having waiting periods before a check will clear.

Why might lump sum alimony be better than regular payments?

There are advantages to regular alimony payments, such as the fact that they keep you from spending the money too quickly and they provide you with a stable, predictable income for as long as you get them. If you're being paid $3,000 per month, for instance, you can set up your budget to reflect that income level and create a lifestyle that fits your means.

However, there are some big advantages to taking a lump sum payment up front. It's definitely something you at least want to consider when trying to get alimony in California. Instead of getting $3,000 per month for ten years, for example, you may be able to ask for $360,000 up front.

Arrest warrant sought in international child custody case

A child custody case has grown very complicated, and now the Yolo County DA has asked for an arrest warrant. On August 2, a hearing will be held to decide if that warrant will be granted or not.

The basis of the case is this: A woman had full custody of her children. She had split up with their father and alleged that domestic violence had taken place. That father was allowed to visit the kids, but the visits had to be supervised.

Are assumptions about child support fair?

Courts will sometimes make assumptions when it comes to child support payments and the amount that needs to be paid by each parent. While these may be an unavoidable part of the process, it can be argued that assumptions don't always tell the whole story.

For example, imagine that one parent has sole custody of his or her child. The court is then going to ask the other parent to pay child support, which is intended to be roughly half of the money needed to raise the child. The parents are supposed to split this cost, just as they would have done if they'd stayed married.

Change your will after a divorce

You're going to have a lot of paperwork to deal with when getting divorced in California, so it can be easy to overlook little things. One job you want to make sure you get taken care of, though, is changing your will. It may be best to do this during the divorce process, so that it's set in stone, but you at least want to do it by the time the divorce is finalized. There are many reasons why, including the following:

1. You want to take your spouse out. This is the most obvious, but it's worth stating because there have been cases where people got divorced, split up their assets, and then one spouse died without changing his or her will -- giving all of those assets right back.

Important things to do for your children after divorce

Divorce can be tough on kids, even when the split is for the best overall, and so it's important for parents to think of the children during and after the process. Often, you can craft a parenting plan that focuses on them and makes things go smoothly. Here are a few of the best things you can do for them:

1. Practice consistency and reliability. If you're supposed to pick the kids up from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, make sure you're always there and that you're on time.

Tiebreaker rules for child tax claims

So you and your spouse both want to claim your child as a dependent on your taxes, but you know that you're not allowed to claim him or her twice in California, seeing as how you're divorced. Typically, the parent who has custody is able to make the claim, while the other is not, but there are situations in which both parents have custody. The following rules may be used to break the tie.

-- If just one of you is biologically related to the child, then only the biological parent counts.

Divorce can happen in a deceptive marriage

Divorce can happen for many reasons. Some couples just don't get along. Some drift apart over time. Some see a divorce triggered by a key event, like infidelity or the development of an addiction.

What if you were tricked into getting married in the first place? A deceptive marriage could certainly lead to divorce.

What are the upsides to birdnesting?

Are you thinking about birdnesting after your divorce? This is an arrangement that means you and your spouse split up custody by moving in and out of the home, while your children stay there. For example, if custody changes every other week, rather than sending the kids to your spouse for a week and then getting them back, you'd just move into their house for a week, while your spouse lived elsewhere, and then swap with him or her at the end of the week.

This is a fairly new idea, and there are some significant upsides to consider:

It can be hard to get child support from other countries

Technically, a spouse who moves to another country is still supposed to pay child support. Legally, though, it can be very hard to get him or her to pay. The reason is that many countries do not have standing laws and agreements saying they'll help if a spouse flees over the border to avoid payments.

There are officially 195 countries in the world. Just 15 of them have agreements with the United States regarding the enforcement of child support. There countries are Australia, the Czech Republic, Canada, El Salvador, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Portugal, The United Kingdom, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland.

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