Most frequently asked questions and answers

You definitely have legal rights and they should be protected. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may even have the right to the home. It is crucial that if this is your situation, you contact a local family law attorney. I am Christina Ferrante, Attorney at Law and I am experienced and dedicated to helping people sort out these troublesome legal situations. I will protect your legal rights.

Legally, spousal support is initially determined by a certain formula. Other factors affect permanent support including length of time of the marriage, income of the parties concerned and the like. If any of these factors change over time, the amount being paid can be changed. If you feel that there is a need for this change, you should call my office and I can give you a free 30 minute consultation about what you can do in your case.

California is what is called a “community property state”. What that means to you is that the assets (and liabilities) that were acquired during the term of your marriage belong to both parties in a divorce. These assets and liabilities are going to be divided between the two parties. There are many ways the property may be divided, but essentially the formula will measure the net dollar value of the estate and divide it. It may be that one party will “cash out” or other options for equalization. Call my office and I will discuss your particular situation with you and give you my advice on your case.

This is a serious situation that could use the help of a family law attorney. When it comes to children, the law is always on the side of the best interests of the child or children involved. Personal issues between parents are not going to be allowed as a barrier to spending time with your children in family court in California. If you have this situation, contact my office so I can discuss it with you. I will give you a free 30 minute phone or in-office consultation to help you decide what to do.

Generally, the assets that are considered “community property” are those assets (and liabilities) that were acquired after your marriage. Certain portions or types of assets may become considered to be community property that solely belonged to you before your marriage. It is important to find out what you are facing in a divorce regarding property division. Call the law offices of Christina Ferrante, Attorney at Law, and I will personally discuss your case with you and advise you of your legal rights in California.

1.) Secure proof of the other spouse’s income prior to separation (paystubs, tax returns, etc).
2.) If you desire primary physical custody of the children, do not move without taking them with you.
3.) Secure details of title and description prior to separation (copies of Deeds, bank statements, car license numbers, etc).
4.) If you are to be the “visiting” parent, maximize your time with the child(ren); this will benefit your relationship as well as your wallet since support is tied to “time share”.
5.) If you are the “support paying” spouse (child or spousal), arrange to have your bank keep record of fronts and backs of cancelled checks…it may cost a bit more now but will prove invaluable later to show no arrearage.
6.) If you desire a substantial time share with your child(ren), make sure you have a work schedule that allows you “time off” when the child(ren) are not in school (i.e. after school, weekends, holidays, etc) to the extent possible.
7.) If you will likely be the “support paying” spouse(child or spousal) work only as required(i.e. 40 hours per week) and avoid overtime or 2 nd job prior to separation or court date,; “year-to-date” income is used to calculate support and additional income will be “averaged in”.
8.) If you are going to be or are receiving spousal support, make the most of the time you receive it…go to school, get additional training or a better job so you put yourself in the best financial position possible when support runs out…it will not be “lifetime” as some suppose.
9.) Don’t “burn your bridges” with your “soon-to-be-ex”; divorce settlement and/or future parenting still requires communication and a modicum of good will.
10.) When establishing your new residence and have young/school-age children, remember that moving a long distance from the other parent limits ease of visitation exchange both as to time availability and drive time burden.