How to Calculate Child Support in a California Divorce

One of the most important questions parents face when considering separation or divorce is how to calculate child support in a California divorce.  The information provided by the California Courts and summarized in this article is a good place to start in informing yourself on the process.  Go to https://www.familieschange.ca.gov/en/parents/how-do-we-calculate-amount-child-support

 

  • California Child Support Calculator

 

California law requires courts to adhere to statewide uniform guidelines in setting child support orders. The Payment Estimator applies the statewide uniform guideline calculation to the information that you enter into the blank fields. 

https://childsupport.ca.gov/guideline-calculator/

 

 

  • Calculate Annual Income.  

 

The court bases child support on a parent’s “net disposable income.” This means the parent’s income after state and federal taxes and other required deductions. The court may order support based in part on bonuses, commissions, overtime, and other supplemental or non-wage income if the court determines that this income occurs regularly.  Certain income is NOT counted when determining a child support obligation, for example SSI (Supplemental Security Income).  

 

 

  •  The Amount of Time.

 

There is a wide variety of time share arrangements which have consequences for how child support is calculated.  If the children live with one parent most of the time, then the parent who has the children predominantly will typically receive child support.  However, that isn’t always the case  There are situations where the parent who has the children most of the time will still have to pay the other parent support.  An example of this is where one parent has a much larger income than the other parent.

 

 

  •  Health Insurance

 

 

Medical support is related to child support because Federal and California State Law requires that every child support order include an order for medical support, meaning that the court will order either or both parents to provide health insurance for the child as long as it is available for reasonable cost.  If you do not think you can afford the medical support order, you can file a request to ask the court to modify or terminate the order. 

 

Consult with the Law Office of David Knecht

For a consult with a knowledgeable and professional attorney about your questions relating to child support or any other family law issue, the attorneys at the Law Office of David Knecht, have extensive experience in family law.  Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.  

 

The Importance of Up-To-Date Estate Planning During a Pandemic

 

Let’s be honest. 2020 has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly made 2020 a nightmare for people across the globe. 

At times like this, thoughts of sitting down and taking care of your estate planning are probably not at the forefront of your mind. However, if you fall ill, the last thing you want to be dealing with is attorneys gathering around your hospital bed trying to finalize your estate plan. In times like these, it’s best to prepare for the worst and contact your attorney to update your estate planning documents and arrangements.

Read on to see why having a will and estate plan is more important than ever during these unprecedented times.

Have you been procrastinating?  

Procrastination is normal. No one wants to think about dying or becoming incapacitated, and it’s easy to push your end-of-life planning aside.

However, these days, many of us have more time and flexibility in our schedules than usual. And with a deadly virus spreading through California and the world, you don’t want to risk something happening to you without having a proper plan in place. So now is the time to stop procrastinating and instead prioritize creating or updating your trust or will. This is especially true for high-risk groups such as medical professionals, first responders, and the elderly or other compromised individuals.

Are your loved ones, assets, and personal desires protected? 

Many people only think of estate planning in the context of the wealthy or elderly. However, anyone over the age of 18 should start thinking about their estate plan. This is true regardless of your income level, marital status, or number of children. No matter your situation, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your loved ones, your property, and your personal wishes in your will or trust.

Here are some key areas to consider covering in your estate planning documents:

  • Clarifying the distribution of your assets
  • Naming guardians for minors and dependents
  • Laying out a long-term health care plan
  • Arranging for important family keepsakes and personal items
  • Communicating final wishes, funeral arrangements, and burial requests

Do you need peace of mind? 

During times like these, many people’s emotional and mental health suffers. People are worried about their health and safety, their job security, their financial situation, and their ability to engage in social activities in the future.

Because of this, the last thing that anyone needs is for a lack of personal estate planning to add to their anxiety and stress. Meeting with an attorney and making sure that your loved ones and property are taken care of can bring you that extra peace of mind you may be needing.

Contact Us:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to actively spread through California, stay on top of things and make sure your estate plan is up-to-date. Contact David Knecht Law today to schedule an estate planning consultation.

 

Divorce and Custody in the Times of Covid-19

The novel coronavirus has put a strain on families from emotional to financially, but no place has the impact been felt more powerfully than in homes and families across the nation.  If too much time together is making you feel like it’s time to end your marriage, you are not alone.  If you have already split up, then Covid may be putting pressure on how you interact with your ex and manage sharing children in the new normal.  This article will discuss some of the trends that may be impacting how you feel and talk about coping strategies for thriving emotionally during this time. 

 

  • Divorce Rates May Spike in the Wake of Covid

 

Divorce rates are likely to spike in the wake of Covid.  An article on Bloomberg.com reported that cities in China reported record highs in divorce filings in March when China started to open up.  See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-31/divorces-spike-in-china-after-coronavirus-quarantines   A study in Washington demonstrated that couples often divorce when they are together for a long period of time. See https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-new-resilience/201609/back-vacation-and-now-more-likely-divorce.  Relationship experts and attorneys have speculated that divorce rates will in the aftermath of couples being forced to interact with each other and engage in different ways. 

How to cope:  If you are considering divorce, one powerful coping mechanism is to get more information.  Talk to a divorce attorney and find out what the financial and familial ramifications would be.  Knowledge is power and will help you handle the Covid stresses on marriage, whether you ultimately decide to stay together or to separate. 

 

 

  • Birthrates are Down 

 

You’d think that with a lot of time at home and not much to do that babies would be the business of the day, but not so, according to a recent article on Bloomberg.com.    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-29/coronavirus-pandemic-americans-aren-t-making-babies-in-crisis  Apparently, the financial stresses with Covid unemployment and economic strains and concerns about the future are forcing many couples to put family plans on hold.  For couples who need help conceiving, many fertility clinics were closed for several months during Covid lockdowns, which created a delay in treatments for infertile couples, and the economic impact may prevent some infertile couples from being able to afford treatments soon.

How to cope:  If Covid is impacting your family planning, you may want to confide in a friend or therapist.  For some, just voicing concerns about what is often a private matter between couples, can help alleviate some of the stress. 

 

  •  Covid May Impact Custody Arrangements 

 

Since Covid resulted in changes in work schedules and school schedules, you may be finding yourself at odds with your ex-spouse as these changes disrupt your custody patterns.  

How to cope:  The first step is to evaluate what the current situation is and how it can be better objectively.  Try to look at the situation as if you were a judge evaluating a request from one of the parties to modify the order relating to custody.  For some, you may be able to find a compromise position that will work in the new normal.  For others, the way to cope may be to seek legal counsel to advocate for you to change what was set in place before the world was disrupted.   

 

Conclusion:  If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone

If you are feeling anxiety or stress from the Covid world, you are not alone.  A study of people in Hong Kong in the wake of the 2002-03 SARS epidemic found that a year after the outbreak, SARS survivors still had elevated stress levels and worrying levels of psychological distress including depression and anxiety.  See https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200601-how-is-covid-19-is-affecting-relationships.  There are a myriad of mechanisms for finding peace in these difficult times:  reach out to a friend, get more connected with nature, find an outlet that you enjoy that can be done while distancing such as journaling, painting, cooking, etc.  If you feel like you need legal advice on divorce or custodial challenges, don’t hesitate to contact David Knecht, an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on your options and help you take action if that is the course that is right for you. 

 

California Courts and Covid

In March 2020, the Governor issued an executive order giving authority to adopt emergency rules of court.  See https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200601-how-is-covid-19-is-affecting-relationships.  This article will discuss some of the changes that were adopted to allow California courts to respond to the Covid pandemic and provide information on the current :

 

  • In March 2020, time periods on hearings and trials were extended. 

 

The Judicial Council took action to extend the time periods on hearings and trials and to encourage the use of technology in the court. 

 

  • In April 2020, Temporary Emergency rules were adopted,

On April 6, 2020, the council voted remotely to approve 11 temporary emergency rules, including adoption of a COVID-bail schedule, staying eviction and foreclosure proceedings, extending statutes of limitations in civil actions, and extending timeframes for restraining orders. Two additional rules were added relating to electronic service and requests to modify child, spousal, partner, or family support. 

 

  •  In June 2020, Authority for bail schedules returned to local trial courts. 

On June 10, 2020, the council voted remotely to repeal emergency rule 4 relating to the COVID-bail schedule, returning the authority to set county bail schedules to local trial courts.

 

  • What were the limitations on evictions and foreclosures from the April 2020 Emergency Rule making.

Emergency rule 1 deals with unlawful detainer actions or “eviction actions,” and does not allow issuance of summons or entering of defaults in such actions unless the case involves public health and safety issues.  The trials have to be set 60 days after a request for trial. 

The second rule addresses judicial foreclosure actions, staying all pending actions other than those involving issues of public health and safety, tolling the statute of limitations on filing such actions, and extending the deadlines for election or exercise of rights relating to such actions.

 

  •  How have the April 2020 rules changed and where are we now?  

As of August 13, 2020 the Judicial Council repealed emergency orders suspending foreclosure and unlawful detainer actions in California’s courts, effective September 1, 2020.  See  https://www.courthousenews.com/california-court-administrator-repeals-emergency-bans-on-foreclosures-and-evictions/.  According to David Chiu, this is good news as it gives enough time for lawmakers to pass  a bill that provides protection from eviction.  Two bills are currently being debated in the Assembly and Senate.  One, Assembly Bill 1436, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1436, would give tenants a period of time to earn money and pay it back, but would remove eviction as a remedy, but that measure is receiving some opposition from landlords who doesn’t feel that it gives them enough tools to avoid foreclosure since landlords would not be able to evict non-paying tenants until 2020.  Another bill, http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB1410, provides landlords will sellable tax credits to cover rent losses, but small landlords wouldn’t be unable to redeem the credits until 2024, which may mean too much stress on small landlords.  

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, the law is evolving, so seek legal advice.

With so much evolution in the law regarding landlords and tenants, many landlords or tenants facing eviction may need competent advice on what their rights are during the pandemic.  Contact an attorney for guidance on how to best proceed in the ever evolving landlord-tenant legal structure. 

 

How Hiring an Attorney Enhances The Success of Your Social Security Disability Appeal

When you have a social security disability hearing, it is not necessary that you hire an attorney. Nevertheless, attorneys have successfully assisted claimants win their cases before. Experience has shown that applicants who hire legal representation have a double chance of approval than those who are not represented. Normally, when your claim is rejected, as it happens in majority of cases, you have a right to appeal. The appeal goes before a judge who reviews your medical evidence, your own testimony as well as that given by others. This evidence should attest that you are a disabled person as defined by law. 

Obtaining and Assessing Medical Records

Judges reject claims on grounds that a claimant has presented incomplete records; the treatment history is inconsistent or has some gaps in between. Nonetheless, an attorney will help you in gathering concrete records for presentation to the court. You are supposed to request for these records, but attorneys know how to get them faster. The attorney is also aware of sections that need to be updated. Once he gets the records, he will review them carefully and decide whether they are sufficient for submission. This results in watertight evidence.

Opinions from Doctors

A disability attorney contacts the doctors or physicians who treated you and requests them to furnish him with their opinions in writing. This should touch on the subject of whether you are able to continue working or not. Based on the respect professionals accord each other, doctors will most likely respond to attorneys than they would to individuals. On the other hand, if your attorney deems your medical report to be insufficient, he can compel the Social Security Administration to arrange for a physical or psychological exam.

Getting You Ready for Questioning

All witnesses get nervous when put to the witness stand. The same can happen to you. Nervousness makes you confused. It is very easy to give contradictory remarks when you are in this state. Social security attorneys are familiar with the way hearings are conducted. Your own will prepare you to answer questions a judge is likely to ask. He will practice the questions and give you tips on how to give the required answers.  This boosts your confidence and reduces the likelihood of giving answers that could jeopardize your case.

Putting the Vocational Expert to Task

This is an expert hired to give evidence on whether you are impaired and cannot be able to work. If he confirms that you are capable of working, the judge will reject your claim. However, soon as the judge has completed his questioning, your attorney takes over. He asks questions that poke holes in the vocational expert’s testimony. 

 

Why an Accident Attorney is Your Best Bet When Tackling Personal Injury Suits

Being involved in an auto accident is a harrowing experience. It leaves you with not only physical injuries but with mental trauma as well. Besides, there are hospital bills to pay which eats into your finances. If the injuries are serious, you could be out of work for weeks or even months. Some people may be quick to give you all manner of advice. There are those who will tell you to take whatever compensation the insurance company will offer. The best advice you should listen to is that from someone telling you to consult an accident attorney. Here’s why:

The Severity of The Accident

If the accident is a minor one, going to an attorney might not be necessary. You can negotiate between yourselves and agree. Such agreements can help resolve matters and end it there. However, where the accident is severe and you have had to be taken to hospital, you cannot just settle for any amount. You need the intervention of a legal expert.

Benefits Factor

A car accident attorney understands the legal aspects of personal injuries resulting from auto accidents. He can wriggle through the bottlenecks associated with insurers. You must always bear in mind the fact that insurance companies are out to make a profit. Much as they would be willing to compensate you, the amount may not be in proportion to the injuries sustained. With assistance from an attorney, you can get a fair amount. He will fight tooth and nail to see to it that you are adequately compensated.

The Contingency Element

Law firms normally charge their fees on a contingent basis. The attorneys who specialize in this area do not charge their clients any fees while the cases are in progress. However, they will wait until the aggressor or a court awards you compensation. Once the money is released, they take out a certain percentage to cover their legal and processing fees. This puts you at an advantage because the attorney will have a direct interest in your case.

Where You Are Accused of Responsibility

This can be very tricky for you. It is also ironic in the sense that you are the injured person yet the other party accuses you of being responsible. Before an insurance claim is paid, the company must first ascertain who was responsible. The severity of the accident does not matter. Without a lawyer to speak for you, chances of being compensated are almost nil.  That is why you need to speak to an attorney immediately after you have been involved in an accident.

 

 

7 Reasons Why You Need a Vacaville Estate Attorney

Are you considering preparing a legal will soon? As many new people are entering the
workforce, middle-age workers are finding it is time to consider their future. Planning a will is
one of the most important things you can do as you take a proactive approach to future
planning. A good will and estate attorney will have the experience needed to help you draft and
prepare a legal will that gives you and your loved one’s peace of mind for any situation. Here
are 7 reasons why you need a Vacaville estate attorney:

1. Build a technical and specific will
2. Low cost to draft a legal will
3. Legal updates to the will as needed
4. Experienced attorney handling the drafting of the will
5. Prevention of mistakes that could cause problems in the future
6. Ensure assets are protected in distribution
7. Your wishes will be honored

Building a technical and specific will

When it comes to hiring someone to help with your will and estate plan, you need to find
someone with experience. A good attorney will help to draft a plan that you are comfortable
with as it meets your existing lifestyle needs and possible future updates.

Low cost to draft a legal will

Some people will try and say a legal will is expensive, when in fact, it is not. It is wise to work
with an attorney to ensure your legal will is well-documented and accurate. Unlike what you
may have heard, it is not as expensive as most people claim when you hire an attorney for a
legal will. Attorney fees vary, so it is wise to have everything together prior to calling some
Vacaville attorneys.

Legal updates to the will

Throughout your life you will have different changes and updates. It is important to have an
attorney on your side to provide assistance when you have legal updates that need to be done.
Circumstances change, so hire someone who will help!

Experienced attorney

As the law is always changing, it is important to know that you need someone who understands
these changes! An experienced attorney is the best way to ensure your will is accurate and will
be honored per your wishes after your death.

Prevention of mistakes

An attorney will review the will to ensure it is going to hold up and it is accurate. A will can be
written quickly, and people that do them online often make several mistakes and forget things
to do. Everyone has different circumstances and changes, so it pays to make sure you have an
attorney to double check the will and ensure those mistakes do not happen!

Assets are protected in distribution

Another vital reason to hire an attorney is to ensure your assets are protected. We all have the
need to ensure our legal rights are protected and everything is distributed as you planned, not
as the courts tear apart.

Wishes will be honored

When you are planning your will and estate, you deserve to have peace of mind that your legal
rights are protected. A solid living will ensure this will happen if it is drafted in the appropriate manner. Call David Knecht Law Firm in Vacaville to ensure your wishes will be honored!

The Importance of Probate Attorneys and Real Estate

The probate process is time-confusing, stressful, and often overwhelming for many people.
Working with the right probate attorneys can make a world of difference pertaining to your
case. If real estate is involved, it helps to have access to a real estate agent with experience in
estate property listings. The agent will work closely with the attorney to ensure the listing is in
order and the paperwork is accurate and correct. What most people do not realize is how things
are filed when a loved one dies. Who files the death certificate? Does anyone check on liens on
the property? All of these things are normally discussed and reviewed with a good attorney
prior to moving forward with the sale of property. Here are some things to know when you
want to sell property as part of the estate.

All the heirs need to agree

One of the biggest frustrations we run into is families that do not get along and disagree about
the sale of the property. A good attorney will see the situation for what it is and will make sure
all the siblings are informed and on the same page. It is imperative that everyone has their legal
rights protected, even when dealing with delicate situations.

Getting started

If you are all in agreeance of the property being sold, we recommend you start by having a
professional company come out and properly clean the home prior to it being listed. A lot of
families want to sell the homes as-is so they don’t have to deal with the pain of sifting through
the assets and memories left behind in the home. Contact your attorney and ask for help! Our
job is to help make this process easier and we do have connections and people we can
recommend in these times.

Probate attorneys are here to help

Probate can last several years; it depends on the value of the estate and some additional
factors. It is important to have an attorney working with you who understands the importance
of honoring everyone’s wishes as much as possible. A probate attorney has a special role as
they work with the executor of an estate to make sure everything goes off properly. Are the
taxes paid? Are there outstanding debts? Are there concerns with distribution of assets?
David Knecht Law has been proudly serving Vacaville and surrounding communities. Our goal
has always been to help serve the people. We focus on making sure your wills and estate plans
are laid out according to your wishes. Our experts work hard to make sure family members are
able to come to mutual agreements when there is a tense situation about probate. We are here
to help! Contact our office today to discuss your probate needs, 707.451.4502!

What to Look for in Your Fairfield DUI Attorney

A DUI case is complex and quite challenging. It is important to have a good DUI attorney managing your case to help you properly navigate this. Here are some tips to help you find the right Fairfield DUI attorney:

Experience 

No matter what time of case you are dealing with, you need to find someone with experience. Look for an attorney with a good reputation, and one who has dealt with cases similar to yours in the past. Online reviews are helpful, but it is also beneficial to talk to an attorney about their previous cases.

Empathy and Understanding

A good Fairfield DUI attorney will be understanding about your case and this situation. The attorney will look for options to help you through this case, and even options for where you can go from here. 

Honesty 

A DUI case can come with a number of unexpected twists and turns in the case. A good attorney will be honest with you about the outcomes you are facing. The DUI attorney will have experience in other cases like yours, and they will be able to let you know honestly what to expect. 

Communication

A good attorney will know how to communicate effectively with their clients. The attorney will promptly return the phone calls, emails, and text messages. Having an attorney that is honest and will openly communicate with their clients shows they truly have their clients best interest in mind. 

Chemistry 

When you meet with the attorney, gauge how well they treat you. If you do not feel that you can trust this person and do not have good chemistry with them, it is a good idea to talk to another attorney. You need to find someone you are comfortable being with, and knowing will protect you and your rights. 

Reasonable Fees

The attorney should be up front with you about the fees you will experience related to your case. A DUI is expensive, and you need to be prepared for the costs that you will need to pay. However, there are certain attorneys out there that do try to charge more than their fair share for the case. It is important to look for an attorney that you know will be reasonable and you can trust. 

Contact our team at David Knecht Law to discuss your DUI case and determine what is the best option to take for your case.

3 Things to Look for in a Fairfield Attorney 

 

Finding a good attorney can be challenging for many people. While there was a time when attorneys were not as prevalent, there has been a significant rise in the number of practicing attorneys in the United States. In fact, the attorney population has increased 15% in the past decade! A good attorney is someone who will fight on your behalf. Their goal is to focus on using ethical, cost-effective, and reasonable methods to help their clients receive the best outcome possible. Here are 3 things to look for in a Fairfield attorney. 

Comfort and Personality

A good attorney will make you feel comfortable when you are working with them. While you want someone who is going to be good in the courtroom, you want someone who will valve your time in their offices. Do you feel like you can be honest and open when speaking with an attorney? An attorney cannot help you if they are not willing to pay attention to you. Reading some online reviews from past clients can help you find out if you are working with someone who does value their clients. 

Attorneys who value their clients will spend time with them no matter how large or small their case is. You want to find an attorney who does answer phone calls, emails, and text messages. Even for a routine case, a good attorney understands how stressful the entire process can be for their clients, and they are here to help you through it.  

Fee Structure and Record

The fee structure  is something the attorney will be up-front with you right away. A good attorney will lay out how their fees work, and if there is a possibility if you do have additional charges possibly coming your way. If you have a small case, some attorney’s will do a flat rate fee while others may bill by the hour. Do some research before you start meeting with attorneys so you do have an idea of how much this case will cost you.

Before you meet with the attorney, you need to check on their record. What type of cases do they specialize in, and how successful are they in their industry? Look at the online reviews to find out what people are saying about the attorney, and make sure you know everything you can find out before meeting with them so you can bring up some issues. One bad online review doesn’t mean you have an attorney who won’t value you and your time. Check with the state bar association to read up on any complaints against the attorney. 

Experience

Going along with the track record of the attorney, you want to find out what their experience is. What areas of law are the focus of their practice? What is their win-loss record in the industry? Based on what your case involves, you need to find the attorney with the experience that will win your case. 

When it comes to finding a great attorney, you need to spend time researching. Do not just call the first number you see in the search engines. Spend time meeting multiple attorneys, feeling out how their personality works with yours, how successful they are, and if you feel they will be a good fit for you. We hope these tips will help you find the right Fairfield attorney to represent you in the court of law!