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Conner, Lawrence, Rodney, Olhiser & Barrett, LLP
Conner, Lawrence, Rodney, Olhiser & Barrett, LLP's posts

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We often talk about custody as a single concept, but did you know there are different types? Each type addresses a different aspect of parenting, as you can read on our blog below.

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What if your spouse has been contributing to a retirement plan while you were married? Would that be community property, and if so: do you deserve a share?

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Who pays for what finances after separation or deciding to get divorced? How is it fair? What are the rules? Am I going to get credit if I'm paying the mortgage but he's the one living there? Check this out:

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Is a court appearance necessary? Will I have to go to court if I want a divorce? How can I avoid a court divorce? Attorney Kara Olhiser explains your options:

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How long will a divorce take? Depends on the law... and on you! Want to learn more? Click below!

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Two of our attorneys just won accolades for family law. Also, we added a bit of advice if you're wondering how to pick an awesome attorney. Read about it here:

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This news from CBS2 in Los Angeles has us "quaking" in our boots!

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Lovely suggestions, especially for parents, on how to navigate difficult topics with clarity. From acclaimed communications expert Sharon Strand Ellison and and her daughter, Ami Atkinson Combs. #communicationskills   #askquestions

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How is spousal support calculated? by Amy Rodney, Sonoma County Family Law Attorney and Mediator

Divorcing spouses may agree on how much support will be paid, the length of time it will be paid, and other aspects of spousal support, sometimes called alimony.  In the absence of an agreement, there are two different methods a judge will use to determine spousal support.

At the beginning of a case, when the parties are separated, but property has not been divided, temporary spousal support may be ordered.   Temporary spousal support is determined by a formula.   In Sonoma County the formula is roughly 40 percent of the payor’s net income after any child support is deducted, minus 50 percent of the recipient’s net income.   

After property is divided, spousal support  is referred to in several ways including,  “permanent support” or “long term support” or “post-judgment support.”  All of these terms mean roughly the same thing.  

To calculate long term support, the court is not allowed to use the formula that is uses to determine temporary support.  Instead,  the court must consider a number of factors that are listed in Family Code Section 4320. (You can read the Family Code in the attached link, if you want to.) These factors are: 

a.  The standard of living enjoyed by the parties during their marriage;
b.  The income or earning capacity of each party;
c.  The marketable skills, job training or education needed for the supported spouse;
d.  The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity was impaired due to periods of unemployment during the marriage;
e.  The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of education, training, or career of the paying party;
f.  The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage;
g.  The assets and obligations of each party;
h.  The duration of the marriage;
i.  The ability of the supported spouse to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of dependent children in that spouse's custody;
j.  The age and health of the parties;
k. Any documented history of domestic violence;
l.  The immediate tax consequences to each party;
m. The balance of the hardships to each party;
n.  Any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse;
o.  Any other facts the court determines are just and reasonable.  

Because these factors are words and not a formula, there is a wide range of  possible support which could be ordered, because the judge who makes the decision has lots of discretion.

Remember, the information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice on your matter.  The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (this blog generally reflects California law).  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any be implied.  Nothing in this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney.  If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  You can contact us at 707-523-0480.
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