Divorce and child custody cases are very common in the United States. While the frequently cited statistic that “half of all marriages end in divorce” is probably wrong, this does not change the fact that there are over a million divorces filed each year. With this sort of prevalence, it is no surprise that almost everyone knows someone who has been involved in the divorce process. When going through a divorce or custody case, it is only natural that parties will seek out friends and family who are experienced in the process for guidance to see what to expect. However, no two cases are ever the same, and your case will have a different ending than anyone else’s.
Your finances are different than anyone else’s. Although you may talk about your case with your coworker who makes about the same as you do, that coworker’s spouse may have a completely different career and income level than your spouse. As a result, any spousal support award or child support award in your case will be very different than support awarded in your coworker’s case. Moreover, child support would be impacted by other factors that may very well differ between your case and anyone else’s, such as daycare costs, medical expenses, and even your own mortgage interest payment. Similarly, spousal support is based on a variety of factors[CH1] , including whether a spouse has supported the other in pursuit of a degree or traditionally been a stay-at-home spouse. These facts will greatly impact the ultimate decision of whether to award spousal support, and in what amount.
Your property and debts are different than anyone else’s. California is a community property state, meaning that each spouse will be awarded half the property and half the debt acquired during marriage, with a few exceptions. When comparing your property division to your friend’s, remember that some of those exceptions may very well have applied in his or her case, but not to yours.
Your children are different than anyone else’s. California courts will make child custody and visitation determinations based on what is in the child’s best interest. You know that your child is unique, and although he or she may go to the same school or attend some of the same extra-curricular activities as your friend’s child, that does not mean that what is best for one child is automatically best for the other. Your work schedules are different, as well as the child’s personality, medical condition, needs, and ability to adapt to change.
In short, every case is different and will end differently because every family is different. We have experience helping individualize strategies for each client and their family’s needs. Call us today at (619) 800-0384 for a consultation.
[CH1]Link to the detailed blog we did on all the spousal support factors.