At the Bledsoe Firm, our legal services revolve around far more than divorce. We are a full-service Lake Forest, CA  family law firm. This means we can help with issues that arise after the final divorce decree is entered. We can also help with family law problems that have nothing at all to do with divorce. Here are a few questions we get from local clients all the time.

How do Lake Forest, CA courts determine child support?

The guiding principle of all California courts when it comes to child support is the same: “children should continue to benefit from the financial support of both parents, just like they would if the parents were still together.” A specific set of mathematical guidelines offers a rough estimate of how support might be calculated in your case.

The judge starts with the “net disposable income” of both parents: all your income minus required deductions like state and federal taxes, excluding income from the CalWORKS program, any general assistance or relief programs you may be involved in, or SSI. The judge will compare the income sources and arrive at a figure.

It can get a little tricky to determine who pays support. It could be required of one or both parents. Equal parenting time could still result in an order to pay support. You could still pay support even if you take care of the children the majority of the time. As your attorneys, we can outline what you can expect in your specific divorce case and can explain why the courts may rule as they do.

A photo of a baby and its father in Lake Forest, CA

How can I protect my rights as a Lake Forest, CA dad?

If you’re the biological father of a child, you have rights, including the right to be involved in your child’s life. Paternity is about far more than who pays the child support, even if you were never married to the mother of your child.

You may have a legal right to pursue custody. You may also have the right to be consulted on major decisions impacting your child, including medical issues, educational issues, and more.

However, these rights will not always be automatically honored, either by the mother of your child or even by the courts. If you are a father who wants to be involved in your child’s life you need help overcoming the discrimination you are likely to face in family court. You’ll be in good hands with us. We’re father’s rights experts. If you’re serious about keeping your child in your life, contact us today.

How do Lake Forest, CA Family Law Courts calculate spousal support?

Spousal support (alimony) is one of the most fraught and emotional issues anyone will ever face in family court, both for the spouse who needs it and for the spouse who is being asked to pay it. Some divorcees absolutely need the support to get back on their feet.

Some spousal support orders are temporary, giving a homemaking spouse time to update his or her education or pursue a new job. Others are permanent.

It can be difficult to determine in advance how much spousal support you may be asked to pay. Many factors come under consideration, not just the income of each spouse. The length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the presence of minor children, current expenses and the monetary history of the marriage are all taken into account.

As you can see, many of these factors are very subjective, and judges have a lot of leeways. Your best bet either as the expected payee or the expected payer is to have a qualified family law attorney on your side.

A photo of a man holding a pen signing some documents in Lake Forest, CA.

What do I do if I need to get a family law modification order in Lake Forest, CA?

Income changes. Circumstances change. A child support or spousal support order that might have been just or workable last year might not be possible this year. Fortunately, you always have the right to modify a support order as long as you can prove a change this drastic has taken place.

You will need specific kinds of evidence to make this case, both evidence of the circumstances you and your spouse were in on the day the orders were set and evidence of the new circumstances.

You’ll also need a passionate advocate who knows your rights and knows how to fight for them. You do not want to attempt representing yourself when a judge who is feeling reluctant to make any changes is sitting up there trying to determine your financial future.

What do I need to do to get a restraining order for an abusive spouse in Lake Forest, CA?

You will have to go and make your case before a judge, showing why you need one. Every order could last for up to 5 years, and then you would have to go back to court to pursue a renewal as necessary.

Restraining orders are an important tool for protecting you and your children from an abusive family member, and they’re not just for abusive spouses. Other family members, including parents, siblings, grandparents and in-laws, can be covered by these orders.

If you’re being abused, your safety is our first priority. We are here to help you get your life back.

A sunsent skyline photo of Orange County.

Got more questions? Contact us!

Give us a call, chat with us, or visit our offices on Lake Center Drive. We’re here to help.