Child & Spousal Support
Over 35 years of experience in Los Angeles and Ventura County Family Law.
Los Angeles and Ventura County Child & Spousal Support Attorney
Our services in both Child Support and Spousal Support focus on the best interests of the child and spouse to assure the parties are financially protected to support both a child’s and spouse’s needs, but to also assure their lifestyle can be maintained in a suitable manner.
Defining Child Support
Both parents have a duty to support their children until each child turns 18 years of age, which may be extended due to extenuating circumstances such as a disability.
To determine the most accurate Child Support figures, the courts are required to utilize the state’s mandatory Child Support Guidelines, which take into account several factors, including:
- Each parent’s income
- The time each parents spends with each child
- Other discretionary factors our law office will explain in detail
Our child support attorneys may conduct thorough discovery of each parent’s financial situation to determine an accurate and fair assessment of income and assets of each party. We will also walk you through the California Child Support Guidelines to give you a fair estimate of what a court will see and what the outcome might be. Our goal is to gain a fair result in all child support proceedings to assure each child enjoys security with an appropriate standard of living during their formative years.
Firm founder Leon F. Bennett has represented children in family law matters as a court-appointed minor’s counsel, which has given him special insight into the needs of children in legal matters. We recognize that children rarely benefit from a protracted legal battle, and we are determined to reach a positive result as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Defining Spousal Support
Spousal Support (formerly known as “alimony”) can be awarded in most cases due to the discrepancy in earnings of the parties and the ability to support oneself after the relationship/marriage breaks apart. The amount and duration of support payments is generally awarded based on many factors such as the standard of living of the parties during the marriage and the ability of each party to pay for their own needs. Because there is such a broad discretion in awarding spousal support, it is important to have an experienced attorney aggressively arguing your case for the results you deserve.
Factors that help determine a Spousal Support Order:
- The ability of each to earn enough to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- The skills and work experience of the supported spouse, and the demand in the workplace for those skills
- The duration of the marriage
- The amount of time and the cost of education or job training required to develop marketable employment skills
- What the supported spouse sacrificed in earning capacity by quitting work to stay home to raise children, create a pleasant home environment for the family, and perform other domestic, social and community functions
- Whether the supported spouse with custody of the children can work outside the home without a negative effect on the children
- The financial capability of the supporting party to pay spousal support
- The, age, health and specific needs of each party
- The total assets and obligations of each party
- Any history of documented domestic violence
- Tax considerations for each party
Spousal support is not meant to unjustly enrich one party or penalize the other. The idea is to strike a balance and allow you and your ex to live somewhat equally for a period of time just as you did during your marriage. In California, the amount of Spousal Support you pay or receive and for exactly how long is wide open for negotiation. Navigating the negotiations can be tricky without the advice of a Family Law firm to help ensure you don’t settle or be bullied into an unfair result.
With over 35 years of experience in the practice of Family Law in Southern California, Leon F. Bennett and his seasoned legal team have helped families reach mutually agreeable decisions regarding matters of divorce, custody, support and the many rights and agreements associated with family law services. Call us to arrange a free consultation on any aspect of your situation. We’re here to help and find a suitable solution with compassion and closure.