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How Much Support Can I Get?

Part Two of the discussion launched in last month’s newsletter addresses spousal support (formerly known as alimony). Unlike child support which has no tax consequence, spousal support is deductible for the payor and taxable as income to the payee.

Contrary to child support which involves a cut-and-dried calculation, the calculation of spousal support is more complex and is addressed in California’s Family Code section 4320.

The first consideration is the parties’ marital standard of living; where they shopped, ate out, vacationed, et cetera. Couples with a modest marital standard of living can expect modest support orders. The opposite might be true for couples who lived beyond their means.

Using the marital standard of living as a starting point, some of the other factors that must be considered include the age of the parties, time out of the workforce, job skills, the job market for those skills, the cost of retraining to obtain more marketable skills, and the length of the marriage.

Generally the courts expect an individual receiving support to become self-supporting within a period equal to half the length of the marriage. If a party fails to become self-supporting, the court can take that into consideration and modify support. The misunderstood significance of a marriage over 10 years, or a “marriage of long duration,” is not permanent support, but the court’s ongoing and permanent authority to revisit support issues.

A young, capable individual who was married 12 years will likely be required to become self-supporting within six years and a failure to do so could jeopardize their receipt of support. On the other hand, an individual after retirement age who was married 8 years might receive support for the rest of their life if a court finds that is what’s fair.

Couples going through divorce who utilize the Collaborative Law Process or Mediation can avoid the gamble and expense of paying for trial on the issues of support and can reach agreements far more flexible and creative than any court. And they can agree to terminate the court’s authority to make changes if they believe that would make for a better deal.

At The Law Collaborative we have over fifty years of combined experience handling complex support issues. We design unique legal strategies based on the individual factors of your case. When necessary, we consult forensic financial experts to ensure the best outcome. We are committed to making sure your needs are met.

Our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop will take place on September 9 at our Woodland Hills Office. This workshop is beneficial to anyone contemplating divorce or curious about their options. The workshop is free, but a reservation is required. Please call our office at (818) 348-6700 to RSVP or visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/secondsaturday.htm for more information.

Best wishes,
Ty Supancic, Esq.
The Law Collaborative, APC
www.thelawcollaborative.com
T: (818) 348-6700
F: (818) 348-0961
info@thelawcollaborative.com
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Breakfast with Robert & Wine Tasting with Irene

BREAKFAST WITH ROBERT:

Don’t miss our Second Saturday Divorce Workshop this Saturday, August 13th, featuring Attorney Robert Borsky, James E. Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP. We will be discussing child custody, how to help your kids get through the divorce, how to protect yourself in court, child and spousal support guidelines, the complicated financial issues that arise during divorce, and the divorce process and fees. Register by calling us toll-free at (888) 852-9961, or save 50% off the registration fee by clicking here.

WINE TASTING WITH IRENE:

photo by Erik Anestad via PhotoRee


Wine Tasting and Real Estate is less than a week away! Be sure to be there on August 16th at 6:30 p.m., at our Woodland Hills office. Irene Smith, CDFA, will be hosting A Tale of Two Markets, accompanied by Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds, with a wine tasting immediately following. This seminar is free, but space is limited. Today is the last day to RSVP. Save your spot on the guest list now by calling (818)884-4888 toll-free, or click here to RSVP online.

Second Saturday = Self-Empowerment

Just a quick reminder that our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop is this Saturday, May 14 at our new office in Woodland Hills.  Register before 4 p.m. Friday, May 13 and save 50% on the registration fee. Register today by calling (888) 852-9961 or register online at TheLawCollaborative.com.

Time to Tattle on Crooked Spouses

Hi everybody,

It’s tax time for us accountants, but that is not what this post is about – well, not exactly.  Actually, it’s to tattle on the law abiding (and crooked) spouses and apprise family law professionals of three income tax changes coming in 2011 that can affect spousal support and estate planning (aka dying expectations).

1.     Depreciation Expense – It’s possible for businesses to buy and deduct up to $125,000 of the cost of business property (furniture, fixtures and equipment).  Yes, there are some phaseout limitations, but it’s worth knowing about this IRS rule.  Why?  Haven’t you ever questioned the cause for that dip in earnings for that business owner spouse?  Most of us look at the obvious answer– unrecorded cash.  But maybe you should look below the top line and peek at the purchase depreciation expense.  Some of it might be added back and included in cash flow, which in turn will increase income available for support to that giving spouse.

2.     Social Security Withholding – Speaking of support, for 2011 only, the legislation reduced the rate for the Social Security portion of payroll taxes to 10.4% by reducing the employee rate from 6.2% to 4.2% (the employer’s portion remains at 6.2%).  This translates to hundreds of dollars for each of your clients to use and spend on their support payments.

3.     Estate Taxes – The government reinstated the estate tax, with an estate tax rate of 35% for estates over $5 million (adjusted for inflation after 2011).  Your estate is not tax free to entitled children or heirs as it was in 2010, but it’s still cheaper to die now than it was only a few years ago.

With all this good tax news, I hope you all make lots of money and I wish you all Happy Holidays and a kind and healthy New Year.

Steven B. Garelick, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, CFS
MEDIATOR, COLLABORATIVE
email: SBGarelickCPA@gmail.com
tel (818) 601-4707 <<>> (626) 441-1040
fax (818) 884-2641 <<>> (626) 441-1090*

*Post updated to reflect Mr. Garelick’s new contact information.

How much does a divorce cost?

Very often the first question a divorce lawyer hears is, “How much is this going to cost?” It’s an important question, and Certified Family Law Specialist Ron Supancic answers it in this short informative video.

We’ll see you on Saturday!

We really enjoy our monthly Second Saturday Workshops. The speakers are fantastic, the attendees are wonderful, and breakfast is delicious! Email Info@TheLawCollaborative.com or call (888) 852-9961 to register in advance.

One week from this Saturday!

All divorces have three divorces: The Legal Divorce, The Financial Divorce and The Emotional Divorce. Come learn how to handle all three at The Law Collaborative’s Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, Saturday, August 14, 2010.

Save the Date…

The Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women is an excellent way for women who are contemplating divorce or who are in the process of divorce to take control of their lives, learn about their rights, and protect themselves in court.  Speaking at the event will be attorney Robert Borsky, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Irene Smith and licensed marriage and family therapist Rosalinda O’Neill.

About Robert Borsky
Robert Borsky has been practicing law since 1981. He limited his practice to Family Law from 1984 through 2001, taking occasional special cases referred by Judges. During this time, he spent four years on the exclusive Gang Intervention Task Force, representing juveniles. From 2001 to 2006, Robert also practiced insurance defense and Workers’ Compensation Law while maintaining his family law practice. Robert Borsky has served as a mediator, arbitrator and Judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court since 1986. He is a member of the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and San Fernando Valley Bar Associations. Robert served as President of the Long Beach Bar Association, Family Law Section, 1994-1995 session, and is a past Co-Chair of the California State Child Custody Committee. As an advisor to the Superior Court, he received the first ‘Judge William McFadden Award,’ for his contribution in assembling the first Master List of qualified Child Custody Evaluators, Protocols and Evaluator Retainers. Robert taught college level courses at USC Law School from 1990 to 1998, and has been a guest speaker at State Bar functions, and local County and City functions. Robert has spoken frequently on local radio stations, and has written numerous articles for the bench and bar. Click here to read more about Robert Borsky.

About Irene Smith
Irene Smith holds the designations of Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant. Irene obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University, Northridge and her MBA degree in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting her financial planning practice in 2001, Irene had an extensive corporate career and developed expertise in the fields of taxation, finance and real estate. After experiencing the impact divorces had on the lives of her family and friends, she decided to obtain additional training as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) to help divorcing individuals make better informed financial decisions. As a CDFA, Irene analyzes the financial issues of a divorce and informs clients about the long-term effect of financial decisions made today. She can help clients avoid the common pitfalls of divorce by evaluating the tax implications of dividing property and the financial impact of various settlement options.  Click here to read more about Irene Smith.

About Rosalinda O’Neill
Rosalinda O”Neill holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Miami and a master’s in counseling psychology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is a California Licensed Marriage Family Therapist with expertise in addiction, conflict resolution, partner dynamics, relationship, trauma and achieving success. Rosalinda has over 30 years of high level corporate experience. Rosalinda is President and founder of CEO LifeMentor®, Inc since 1984. She is a member of the Physicians’ Diversion Evaluation Committee of the Medical Board of California. Her non-profit leadership involvement includes Rotary International and Rotary Club of Beverly Hills, City of Hope Board of Governors and the American Heart Association, Ventura Division.  Click here to read more about Rosalinda O’Neill.

How much support am I entitled to?


Welcome to our June Newsletter!  This month we will begin the first of a two part discussion about the California Child Support Custody Time (Percentage) Calculation Method, which is found in Family Code Section 4055.

As a first step, you must determine the amount of time you spend in charge of your child per week. The calculation is complex, and failure to accurately estimate that time could significantly impact the amount paid or received for Child Support. In order to save legal fees and costs, The Law Collaborative wants to share a tool that will assist with the precise calculation of your percentage of time.  Click here to use the California Child Support Calculator.

The Court is interested in hours spent, not days. In other words, which parent will be called to assist with the child in the event of illness or distress at school? On a normal day, it is the parent scheduled to receive the child after school. If you are not the scheduled parent, then the time belongs to the other parent. The calculation commences at pick-up, and ends at drop-off, either at school or to the other parent.

This month we are excited to host our second Second Saturday Divorce Workshop on Saturday, June 12th at our Woodland Hills Office. Robert Borsky, attorney and partner at The Law Collaborative will be addressing the legal issues in divorce while Irene Smith will be discussing the financial issues associated with divorce.  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosalinda O’Neill will speak about the emotional issues that come up in divorce situations. This workshop will be beneficial to anyone contemplating divorce or in the middle of a divorce. The workshop is $45 if you pre-register and $50 at the door. Please call our office at (888)852-9961 for more information.  We are here to serve you.

Best,

Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky

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What women need to know about divorce

The Second Saturday workshop was developed by WIFE, the Women’s Institute for Financial Education, founded in 1988. It is their mission is to empower women to succeed and prosper.  WIFE is dedicated to providing women with information and education during life transitions and their quest for financial independence.

The Second Saturday Workshop is held the second Saturday of each month, and is designed to help divorced and divorcing women take the next step in their life, no matter where they are in the process of untying the knot.  The workshop deals with the legal, financial, family and personal issues of divorce in a logical, yet compassionate way.  With the guidance of trained professionals, workshop participants gain greater understanding of the confusing divorce process.

Second Saturday is a great opportunity for women anywhere in the divorce process. The next Second Saturday workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Speakers will include attorney Robert Borsky, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Irene Smith and marriage and family therapist Rosalinda O’Neill.  To register for the event, or if you’d like more information, email Info@TheLawCollaborative.com.