Can a Special Master help in my child custody matter?

WHAT IS A SPECIAL MASTER? Special masters are often used in divorce and paternity actions when parents are having serious child custody issues related to custodial exchange disputes, visitation schedule changes, transportation disputes, religious training, difficulty determining schools, handling behavior problems, choosing extra curricular activities, holiday and vacation scheduling, behavior or boundary issues with one or both parents, other co-parenting issues and health care concerns. Special masters can also make recommendations in connection with parties’ income and assets for purposes of calculating child and spousal support, determining arrearages/over payments and disposition of com

What’s the Difference between “Legal” and “Physical” Custody?

Legal custody is the right to make the major decisions concerning a child’s health, welfare and education, like where a child goes to school, and whether a child should receive medical care (or even who the doctor should be). Angelina petitioned for joint legal custody, meaning that she wants both parents to share in these rights. This does not necessarily mean that the parents have to agree – the parents have the independent rights to make decisions for the children. However, to avoid further litigation, it is best for parents to communicate and work towards decisions together, especially on things like where the child will go to school. Joint legal custody is common in California. In fact,

Understanding Spousal Support- The New Tax Bill Changes how Alimony is Taxed

The sweeping tax bill signed by President Trump in December 2017 includes major changes that are sure to affect every American when Tax Day arrives. For those considering a divorce, one provision in particular could mean thousands of dollars saved or lost each year. The Alimony Reversal According to the Census Bureau, roughly 243,000 people received alimony in 2016. Ninety-eight percent of those recipients were women. Before the tax bill became law, those who received alimony (also called spousal support) were required to report those payments as income and pay taxes on them. The spouse paying the alimony was able to deduct those payments. The big change in the tax bill is that now the spous

The Twelve Financial Pitfalls of Divorce

An excerpt from the seminar “Second Saturday: What Women Need to Know About Divorce“ Each year, nearly 2.8 million men and women go through the emotional and financial trauma of divorce. During divorce, many women are concerned about financial survival—and with good reason. Studies show that in the first year after divorce, the wife’s standard of living may drop almost 27 percent while the husband’s may increase by as much as 10 percent. Many factors combine to lower women’s standard of living after divorce. Child support may not be adequate to cover the true costs of child rearing, and she might have lost many important years of career growth, making it difficult for her to get back on her

Where to Search for Hidden Assets During Divorce

Question: My husband just told me he wants a divorce, and he says he’s been thinking about it for quite a while. I’m afraid that he’s taken steps to hide money so that I won’t receive a fair share of our property. Where can I look to try to find any hidden money? Answer: It’s smart of you to be suspicious. Although by and large people are pretty honest while going through divorce, too many women trust their husbands when they shouldn’t. As a forensic accountant, I’ve seen a lot of cases where a husband tries to hide assets so he can keep more of a couple’s martial estate. Fortunately, many men try to hide cash in predictable places. Finding hidden assets is one of my specialties, and here ar

Why You Should Definitely Never Try to Hide Assets During a Divorce

Understand the Penalty for Hiding Assets During a Divorce You feel angry. Betrayed. Frustrated and furious. Divorce rarely brings out the best in us and oftentimes reveals our inner monsters. This is especially true if abuse and/or infidelity are part of the equation. Nonetheless, you may be obligated to hand over a significant amount of your assets to your spouse as part of your divorce settlement, especially if you earned more than him or put more into a retirement plan and savings while he was spending. If you happen to live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and possibly Alaska), you will actually have t

What to Do If You Find Out that Your Husband Hid Money From You During Your Divorce

Many divorces are downright nasty, especially if a lot of money is on the line. A high-earning spouse isn’t exactly happy to hand over his assets to his soon-to-be ex, especially if they live in a Community Property State that requires couples to equally split their marital estate. Hiding assets during a divorce is more common than you might think, and here is another resource on where to look for hidden assets during divorce. What happens if you discover that your ex hid assets after your divorce is complete? Can you still make your ex pay up? Try to Find Hidden Assets During the Divorce Process It will be much easier to search for hidden assets during the divorce process itself rather than

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