Estate & Trust Litigation
Family Law
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Located in Riverside, we
serve Southern California
from Riverside County
to San Bernardino County;
Orange County to Los Angeles
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Law Office of Richard Kennedy

Richard A. Kennedy, attorney at law

Since 1991 serving Rialto to San Bernardino, Highland to Redlands, Corona to Chino and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions of a Divorce Lawyer
Frequently Asked Questions - Estate/Probate Matters

What is guideline child support?
A set of factors determines the amount of child support that the payor parent will be required to pay. The most significant are the amount of money each parent earns, and the amount of time each parent has the children in their custody. Further, day care costs are equally split (and added to child support) to allow the parent or parents to work. Thus, when the financial information and other relevant data are determined they are entered into a software program which determines guideline child support.

How long do I get child support?

Child support is typically paid by the payor parent until the children reach age 18 and are out of high school, or up to 19 if the child is still a full time high school student.

How do I get child support or spousal support before my divorce is final?
Court ordered child support and/or spousal support can be set within a month or two of filing your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. A Request For Order regarding child custody and visitation; child support; spousal support and attorney fees must be filed so the court can make orders. Thus, if you file for dissolution of marriage or legal separation and then file a Request For Order you will be able to collect child and/or spousal support. A Request For Order must be filed for the court to make temporary orders.

What is a Request For Order?
A Request For Order is a legal proceeding that requests the court to make specific orders. A Request For Order can be filed during the divorce action and after entry of Judgment. Issues that require orders typically are child custody and visitation, and child and spousal support. Further, there may be other issues that require orders such as property use, attorney fees and restraining orders.

How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?

That depends on many issues. Most people hear it can be over in six months, as that is the minimum statutory time period required before a judgment can be entered restoring you to a single person. However, if there are disputes over child custody, property (houses, cars, pensions) or support issues then the case could take substantially longer to conclude. The average case takes around 12 to 15 months.

What about our children do they have to testify to anything or appear in court?
Generally the children (even teenagers) are not involved in the proceedings as the focus is to keep the children out of the process. However, in some cases they are spoken to in mediation, occasionally minors counsel is appointed and, rarely, the court will interview a child.

How important is Mediation and what is it?
Mediation can be a critical part of the child custody decision making process. It is vital you be on time, dress appropriately and be prepared to discuss parenting your child/ren with the other parent. Except in matters involving domestic violence you and the other parent will meet with a mediator who will listen, ask questions and discuss your options regarding sharing your children. If no agreement is reached regarding custody/visitation the mediator may make a recommendation to the court. Thus, you want to be prepared for mediation to get the best possible result for you and your child/ren.

What is spousal support?
If you earn less than your spouse, then you may be able to collect spousal support. So if you are stayathome mom or dad and your spouse is the primary earner, you will probably receive spousal support. The amount and length of time you receive spousal support depends upon the other parties income, how long you were married and your ability to return to the work force and become selfsupporting among other factors. Temporary spousal support set at the beginning of your case is determined by these factors. Final orders of spousal support is set using the Family Code Section 4320 factors to determine the marital standard of living.
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Frequently Asked Questions ‑ Estate/Probate Matters

What is probate?

Probate is a legal proceeding whereby the court oversees the distribution of the estate assets. Probate can occur when there is a will or even if there was no will. The process includes marshaling/collecting the assets and the debts. The debts are paid and the remaining proceeds are distributed to the beneficiaries.

What is Trust/Will litigation?
Estate litigation consists of many types of legal actions including a will contest, that is where one of the beneficiaries or unnamed beneficiaries contest the will. Estate litigation can also involve a determination of the distributions pursuant to the revocable living trust (which are so popular and prevalent currently). Since many people are using revocable living trusts which are designed to avoid probate, the distributions called for in the trust require that the party assigned to administrate the trust (by the decedent) must be fair and honest in dealing with the other beneficiaries.

Where this does not occur there could be Petitions to Compel An Accounting, remove the Trustee or other action to protect the beneficiaries who have no control over the assets. While a living trust is designed to keep the parties out of court where there is proper handling of the trust assets the court will, under the above procedures, have hearings and make its determinations as to what the appropriate action should be taken if trustee acts wrongly.

What is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal proceeding whereby a party seeks custody of a minor. Typically these are filed by grandparents and other family relatives although that is not always the case. The goal of the guardianship is to ensure that the child is properly cared for when his mother and father for what ever reasons are unable to assume that responsibility. When granted guardianship the guardian is in charge of the child for purposes of schooling, health care and otherwise and if needed for purposes of financial guidance in the event the child has a significant holdings such as real estate, bank accounts or annuities.
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Since 1991 Richard Kennedy has been successfully handling family law and divorce cases from Indio, Pomona, Riverside, Beaumont and Banning to Claremont
and Ontario in Southern California.

PH 951.715.5000
3773 Tibbetts St. Ste D
Riverside, CA 92506-2640
©2016 Richard A. Kennedy

The above information is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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