Most co-parenting plans revolve around the idea that both parents can spend time in their children's lives. Usually, co-parents live relatively close to one another and are able to exchange children fairly easily. However, oftentimes, one parent moves away, whether it be for a job, a school, or for family reasons. In these situations, it can be tough to determine a child custody plan, as both parents are far away from each other.
In California, the non-custodial parent has the burden of proving that the move will be harmful to the child. If the move is determined harmful, then the non-custodial parent could be awarded custody. However, in cases where the parents have joint custody, the court must determine what is in the best interests of the child to come up with a new custody arrangement. Since the parents are so far away, frequent exchanges are not likely to be in the best interest of the child, so one parent is likely to have the majority of parenting time.
The court will likely look to many factors to determine what is in the child's best interest. The first factor the court will consider is which outcome provides the most stability and continuity for the child. If the child has spent the majority of their time with the moving parent since birth and is most comfortable with the moving parent, that could be a factor in favor of the moving parent. Conversely, if the child has laid many roots in the current area, has friends and family locally, and would benefit from staying in that environment, that could be a factor in favor of the non-moving party. The court could also examine the child's relationships with both parents, the parents' ability to co-parent, the age of the child, the distance of the move, the reasons for the move, and where the child wants to live.
Ultimately, a move-away case is a very complicated case, as both parents could be great parents and could be amazing at co-parenting, but frequent exchanges just simply wouldn't be possible. Unlike typical custody cases, the court cannot create an equal timeshare, as such frequent exchanges at a long distance would not likely be in the child's best interest.
David Hasselhoff claims Pamela Bach has ability to work and that he should not have to pay spousal support.
In California, spousal support can be ordered based on the extent to which the earning capacity of each spouse is sufficient to maintain the standard of living during marriage. One of the factors in determining this is each spouse's earning capacity. Essentially, if you are able to work and earn enough to support yourself but choose not to and just receive support, that isn't good enough. You have to show that you are unable to earn enough to maintain the standard of living during the marriage.
In the case of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach, Bach claims that she is unable to find work due to a 2003 motorcycle accident. But after seeing recent videos online that show Bach playing basketball and being very physically active, Hasselhoff is claiming that Bach's claims are bogus, and that she should no longer be receiving spousal support. If Hasselhoff's claims that Bach is able to work are true, his spousal support payments could be lowered or even terminated. This serves an important reminder that court orders in family law can often be modified, so while you might think something is over, it can always come back around.
There are likely more details than have been made public about Bach's ability to work, but nevertheless, this goes to show the grand effects that social media can have on our divorce disputes (see our blog from October about social media: http://www.eastbaydivorceattorneys.com/blog/divorce-and-social-media-be-careful-what-you-post ).
Taxes are pervasive in every field of law and family law is no exception. Tax laws play key roles in shaping how family law attorneys tackle property division, child support, spousal support, retirement plans, and other issues. Recently, Congress proposed a new tax plan that will change the way many families calculate their taxes. In particular, one proposal will have a large impact on how divorced couples will be taxed on spousal support payments.
Under our current tax laws, spousal support is deductible for the paying spouse, and taxable income of the receiving spouse. The proposed plan would flip this, causing the paying spouse to pay spousal support in their after-tax income and allowing the receiving spouse to earn spousal support tax-free. Essentially, this change would further increase the burden on the paying spouse and alleviate the tax bill for the receiving spouse.
However, it's not quite that simple to say that paying spouses will suffer the most under this new tax law. It is possible that courts would order lower spousal support payments, knowing the changed tax consequences. Nonetheless, the new proposed tax plan will have an effect on divorcing couples. We will just have to wait and see what those effects will be.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS