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  • talking to your children about divorce

Talking to Your Children About Divorce

Talking to your children about divorce is difficult but not impossible. While there is no easy way to talk about divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make it as stress free as possible for them.

When you sit down to tell your children you have decided to divorce, it’s best to:
• Practice what you are going to say and how you will say it
• Leave anger, guilt, or blame out of the conversation
• Have both parents present for the conversation
• Keep the conversation appropriate for your child’s age, maturity, and temperament

One of the most important things to make sure you communicate to your child, is that it is not their fault. It’s easy for children to feel they are to blame. Even long after the initial conversation, be sure to reassure your children that it is not their fault.

Prepare them for the change

Give your child enough information to prepare them for the change and answer their questions truthfully. Keep in mind that children don’t need to know all the detailed reasons behind a divorce just try to make sure they understand what will change in their daily routine, and what will not.

Remember that as much stress as a divorce can give to you, you can actually transfer that to your children, which is what you want to avoid at all costs. Children tend to carry the experience of their parents separating to their adulthood. Making this conversation civil, light, and easy to comprehend as possible will benefit your kids understanding of the divorce now and in the future.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group in Long Beach and Huntington Beach to help you with your divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and we are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process. Brett Thorsteinson is a divorce lawyer who will advocate for your rights.

  • child custody

Child Custody Modification

Child Custody Modification
Whether the issues of custody and visitation were agreed upon by the parents or determined by a court after a custody hearing, the parents may later agree to modify the court order as to who has legal custody, who has physical custody, who has rights of visitations, and the terms and periods of custody and visitation.

Basis for a Change
As a child grows older and has different needs or the parents form new relationships or get a new job, changes in the activities of all involved sometimes require a modification or change in the terms and conditions of custody and visitation. A parent with shared physical custody may move out of the state, making the terms of the custody order impractical. A parent with visitation may get a new job with work hours that conflict with periods of visitation. A child might have a special talent and may want to attend a school in a different state that will provide an opportunity to foster that talent, but only a grandparent has the ability to pick up and move with the child. A child who lives with a mother may want to spend more time with a father and choose to switch custody. Where there is a change that affects the child, there is a basis for changing the custody arrangement ordered by the court.

Modification
When the issue of child custody modification arises, the parties may discuss whether a change of custody is warranted and what the new terms should be. Any new agreement may be permanent in nature or only temporary. If the parties cannot mutually work out their differences or agree to a new custody arrangement, the parties can seek arbitration or mediation of the dispute. The same avenues of resolving changes of custody are available as to disputes between a parent and a nonparent.

When new terms are agreed upon by the parties, a new written agreement should be drafted clearly stating all of the terms agreed upon by the parties. The agreement should be signed by the parties and presented to the court for approval. It should be noted that where a change in custody requires a change in child support obligations, the new child support terms and the basis for the new terms must be incorporated into the agreement. Only in very rare circumstances will the court refuse to accept the agreement to modify custody. Court approval is required if either parent finds it necessary to seek enforcement of the modification agreement.

Brett Thorsteinson is a divorce and family law attorney with offices in Long Beach and Huntington Beach. Our divorce attorney will fight for your rights and work to resolve your child custody modification. Contact us at (714) 375-6619 or use our form here, to talk to a family law attorney today.

Long Beach Office
3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
Long Beach, Ca. 90806
Phone: (562) 430-7676

Huntington Beach Office
17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647
Phone: (714) 375-6619

  • Divorce and Child Custody

Legal and Physical Custody

There are two types of custody, “legal” and “physical”. Parents typically share both types unless one parent is deemed unfit or the parents cannot make decisions together.

Legal Custody

This is the right to make major decisions about a child’s welfare, such as where a child will go to school or whether a child will engage in religious activities, and whether a child should receive medical care.

Joint legal custody means that both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.

Sole legal custody means that one parent has the right to make all major decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child, and may make decisions without input or approval from another parent.

Physical Custody

Refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. The parent has the right to have the child physically present in the home. If a child lives exclusively or primarily with one parent, that parent is usually referred to as the “custodial” or “residential” parent. The other parent is considered the “non-custodial” or “non-residential” parent and typically has visitation rights.

In a divorce there are two types of physical custody, Joint and Sole. Joint means that both parents have significant periods of physical custody. If a child’s time is divided equally between the parents, or close to equally, the parents are sharing joint physical custody. Sole physical custody means that a child resides with one parent, subject to the court’s authority to order visitation time with the other parent.

Brett Thorsteinson is ready to help you and protect your rights in a divorce or family law matter. Contact Brett and speak directly with a divorce attorney. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to bringing you a lasting resolution.

  • child custody

Legal and Physical Custody

In California, there are two types of custody, “legal” and “physical”. Parents typically share both types unless one parent is deemed unfit or the parents cannot make decisions together.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about a child’s welfare, such as where a child will go to school or whether a child will engage in religious activities, and whether a child should receive medical care.

In California there are two types of legal custody, Joint and Sole. Joint legal custody means that both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.

Sole legal custody means that one parent has the right to make all major decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child, and may make decisions without input or approval from another parent.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where a child will live after a divorce or separation. The parent has the right to have the child physically present in the home. If a child lives exclusively or primarily with one parent, that parent is usually referred to as the “custodial” or “residential” parent. The other parent is considered the “non-custodial” or “non-residential” parent and typically has visitation rights.

In California, there are two types of physical custody, Joint and Sole. Joint physical custody means that both parents have significant periods of physical custody. If a child’s time is divided equally between the parents, or close to equally, the parents are sharing joint physical custody. Sole physical custody means that a child resides with one parent, subject to the court’s authority to order visitation time with the other parent.

Thorsteinson Law Group | Huntington Beach divorce attorney | Long Beach divorce attorney. Contact Thorsteinson Law Group  to help you with your divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to bringing you a lasting resolution.

  • Child Custody

In Child Custody Can A Child Decide Where To Live

In any child custody case, talk to a young child about which parent they would prefer to live with and you might hear something like “I want to live with dad because he lets me eat ice cream” or “I want to live with mom because she buys me cool clothes”. While a cool t-shirt or a bowl of ice cream may not impact the perspective of every child, a child’s current frame of mind and understanding is something that needs to be taken seriously when deciding which parent gains child custody in a divorce.

So the question is, in child custody can a child decide where to live? The most plain and simple answer is no. Currently, in California law, a child’s wishes for custodial parent is up to the judge’s discretion and there is no specific age where the court will consider the wishes of a child in deciding custody.

However, the law does state that a judge must consider a child’s wishes regarding visitation and further states that a child who is at least 14 years old must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation, unless the judge finds that it would not be in child’s best interests.

For more on child custody you can visit Brett Thorsteinson’s child custody pages here. Child custody and visitation are some of the most difficult parts of a divorce. Divorcing spouses must never use children against one another. Under California law, the health, well-being and safety of the children are top priority.

Contact Brett Thorsteinson and speak directly with an experience divorce and family law attorney who will protect your interests. Brett is your trusted divorce lawyer who can help you with child custody and all family law matters. Offices are located in Long Beach and Huntington Beach with free initial consultations.

  • Retroactive child support

Get the retroactive child support owed to you

Retroactive child support are payments that were missed or not paid in the past. This means the child support order isn’t just from a present or future date, going forward but a retroactive one going backward to start at a previous date. If a parent has failed to pay child support for the retroactive time period (before a permanent child support order was issued), the judge may order them to make up for the missed payments.

Retroactive child support starts once the judge determines if the parent and child are eligible for this type of order. The judge looks at the following factors when deciding:
• The non-custodial parent had hidden some of their finances in order to avoid paying support
• The non-custodial parent acted in a way to delay a final hearing on child support
• The court concludes that there is a demonstrated need for retroactive support

If determined that there is a need for the non-custodial parent to pay retroactive child support, the court will determine the retroactive date trough the date the first child supply order was issues. It can also go as far back as the date of the parent’s separation.

The petition is typically what starts a divorce or parenthood action. That means the start date of the first California child support order can go back to the date that was filed even though the Court hearing is after that. For example, a petition for divorce is filed on January 1. It is then served. A request for order for child support is then filed on February 1. The hearing is on March 10. When the court makes its child support order at the hearing, they can make it retroactive to February 1 or March 1.

There are exceptions to this for example, when that initial petition (or other document that started the process) wasn’t served on the other parent within 90 days of its filing, then the retroactive start date is the date it was actually served.

There are other exceptions to the past date retroactive child support is issued. To gain more information on these exceptions and other questions regarding child support and divorce, contact Brett Thorsteinson, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney.

  • alimony

Alimony and Temporary Support Divorce

California alimony laws allow for temporary support to the necessary party before there is final judgment. The court has the power to order temporary alimony based on a spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.

Alimony and Temporary Support

Temporary spousal support generally has nothing to do with the length of the marriage. A party seeking spousal support isn’t deprived on the right to receive support even if they have income. What is reviewed is the comparative income circumstances of the two parties. The greater the difference in income, the higher the support the paying party must give. Temporary orders are traditionally ordered to be paid directly to the deemed party. The duration of the alimony generally lasts until there is a final judgment or any other date set by the court.

Courts normally use one of two computer programs to calculate temporary support: the Dissomaster or Xspouse. These programs are the same systems used to calculate child support in California. Whether the program Dissomaster or X-spouse are used, the same limitations as you would enter for child support, which include income, tax filing status, exemptions, are entered for alimony. The program determines what the net disposable income is and what alimony should be on a temporary basis. The program is not used for long term alimony, that would be forbidden in California.

Calculation

If the spouses have children, this calculation is typically made with the child support calculation. The amount of the alimony is dependent on the amount of child support ordered, which means that if the child support amount is eliminated, the alimony may increase. The final support numbers depend upon how much income the court is attributing to each party. Only certain expenses matter for purposes of temporary support in California. What doesn’t matter much at the temporary phase are most personal expenses like credit card bills, rent and other costs of living. When calculating income to determine temporary support, the court will typically go back approximately 12 months. That time period is typically a fair and representative one of income, especially when income is fluctuating. The court can go longer especially if a spouse is self-employed.

Your Trusted Long Beach Divorce Attorney

For matters on alimony and temporary support, contact an experienced long beach divorce attorney. Thorsteinson Law Group is your trusted divorce and family law attorney. With offices in Long Beach and Huntington Beach, we serve clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

  • Divorce and Debt

Divorce and Debt

In many divorces there is debt that needs to be considered. The type can vary but typically includes mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and vehicles. During divorce proceedings, couples will need to divide assets and debt.

The general rule is that if your debt was incurred at any time during the marriage, it will be divided between both spouses. For example, if you had opened a joint credit card, each of you will be responsible for the balance regardless of who did the spending.

Instead of dividing each debt in half, the court may assign one debt to one spouse and another debt to the other spouse. This means that if you and your spouse had multiple credit cards, you may be asked to pay off one of the cards and your spouse may be asked to pay off other cards, keeping the total debt for each of you equal. Keep in mind that no matter which spouse is responsible for paying the debt, all jointly held account debt will remain on your credit report.

Credit Reports and Divorce

It is important to check credit reports after a divorce to make sure that they do not include any debts that have been paid off or that are attributed to the opposite party. However, if a joint debt was incurred during the marriage both names may still appear on the report.

Be sure to consult your divorce and family law attorney for recommendations on how to handle your divorce and debt. There are strategies that can be put in place before the divorce proceedings that can make debt easier to manage after your divorce is final.

Thorsteinson Law Group is your trusted divorce and family law attorney. With offices in Long Beach and Huntington Beach, we serve clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Contact us today, we are here to help.

Huntington Beach Office

17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647

Phone: (714) 375-6619
Fax: (714) 375-6621

Driving Directions:
Google Map

Long Beach Office

3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
Long Beach, Ca. 90806

Phone: (562) 430-7676
Fax: (714) 375-6621

Driving Directions:
Google Map (By appointment only)

  • five steps after filing for divorce

Five Steps After Filing For Divorce

There are different strategies and ways a divorce can be handled after the initial filing. Your choice in divorce attorney can greatly effect your results. However, generally speaking, the divorce process consists of five steps after the initial filing.

The paperwork to file for divorce is called the summons and petition for dissolution. There may be additional documents needed depending on your circumstances.

After you file the initial paperwork for divorce the following five steps will occur, each with their own nuances and additional processes to help your divorce go as smoothly as possible.

Five steps after filing for divorce

1. Temporary divorce order: You or your spouse may ask for a hearing so a judge can decide any temporary child custody, visitation, and support or restraining order disputes.

2. Discovery process: This is an exchange of information about each party’s assets, income and liabilities. In California, there are mandatory preliminary and final disclosures that must be made by both parties.

3. Agreement: You, your spouse and your lawyers will work on permanently resolving the issues mentioned in the dissolution.

4. Trial: If you are unable to reach an agreement, you and your spouse will go to court and a judge will make the decisions to resolve the conflicts.

5. Judgment: A final judgment ending your marriage can be entered six months after the day your spouse was served with the initial divorce paperwork. The court does not automatically end your marriage when the six months have passed.

Keep in mind that not every divorce will require all these steps, but these are the steps that occur in most divorce cases.

Your trusted divorce attorney

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group , to help you file for divorce and take the steps after filing. We are compassionate and here to help you.

  • Forensic accountant in a divorce

Benefits of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce

Using a forensic accountant can assist the filing spouse in revealing essential information during the preparation stage of the divorce. The accountant can also help provide vital divorce documentation once the divorce process starts. Some forensic accounting services include calculating how much money is available for alimony payments and child support, trace community assets and liabilities, and uncover hidden assets and income streams.

When to use a forensic accountant

Typically forensic accountants are brought on to the divorce team which includes a divorce attorney and depending on the case, a private investigator.

In a collaborative divorce, the accountant acts as a “neutral advisor” who provides the divorcing couple with unbiased financial advice. However, a forensic accountant can benefit the spouses regardless of the type of divorce.

Some benefits include

• Identify and Clarify any inconsistencies between financial information and documentation to determine whether or not the other spouse is hiding assets
• Validate financial information with non-financial information.
• Calculate the cash flow, which may be used in calculating support payments
• Assist your attorney in preparing document requests of the other party, preparation of subpoenas, contacts with computer forensics and other professionals, and deposition or trial questions to be asked of the other party’s forensic accountant.
• Testify and provide input in court or at depositions and during the settlement process.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group , your trusted divorce lawyer to help you with your California divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.