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Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Common Misconceptions in Family Law

Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Common Misconceptions in Family Law

True or False:

Husbands can’t get alimony
False. California law provides for spousal support, as it is known, in any dissolution, regardless of the gender of the party seeking support. Women are frequently the recipients of spousal support because their husbands were the primary breadwinner in the family, but if the roles are reversed, men can collect support as well.
Spousal support comes in two forms, temporary and permanent. Temporary spousal support may be ordered in any dissolution, based on the needs and ability to pay of the parties. Temporary spousal support is usually calculated using a computer program, such as Dissomaster or XSpouse.
Permanent spousal support requires consideration of eleven distinct factors, including the age of the parties, health issues, the duration of marriage, the marital standard of living, the earning capacity of the parties, and many others. Permanent support is usually for half the length of the marriage, although in long term marriages, a termination date is not typical or appropriate.

Mothers are always preferred in child custody disputes.
False. California law actually forbids preferring a parent because of that parent’s gender.
California family law requires the court to consider the best interests of the child in making a determination about how to award custody and visitation rights. The court must consider the health, safety and welfare of the child, and, whenever it does not conflict with the health and safety considerations, frequent and continuing contact with both parents. California has no preference for joint or sole custody, where custody is contested. However, where the parents have agreed to joint custody, there is a presumption that joint custody is in the child’s best interests.

All property is divided equally (50/50) in a divorce.
Mostly false. All community property is to be divided equally. However, that can mean dividing assets down the middle, an equalization payment if one party keeps a significant asset, or offsetting various assets and debts until an equal division is achieved.
Separate property, such as property acquired before marriage, or gifted to one party during marriage, or property inherited during marriage, is not divided between the parties.

Child support and child visitation go hand in hand.
True and false. The amount of visitation affects the support calculation. However, non-payment of child support does not mean the supporting parent forfeits visitation rights. It also should not come into consideration by a court when reviewing visitation.

Do you have questions about the information listed here or elsewhere on this blog? Are you considering filing for divorce, or perhaps you have a child support matter pending in court? The attorneys here at Sagaria Law handle all types of family law cases. We offer a free consultation, either via phone, or in person at one of our six Northern California locations: Redwood City, San Jose, Monterey, Salinas, Fremont and Sacramento. Call today 1-800-941-6730 or visit us online at to schedule your free consultation.