|Katherine:||Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on This Needs To Be Said. Our friend Gina Famularo is joining us again to talk about family law matters, which is the name of their practice, Family Law Matters, so it keeps it easy for me.|
We’re going to go over frequently asked questions in a California divorce, so take your pen and paper out because while we are podcasting on the internet, we can be heard anywhere, and you know someone this information could benefit.
Hello Gina. How are you?
|Gina Famularo:||I am good. How are you doing, Katherine?|
|Katherine:||I am doing wonderful. How long does it take in California to get a divorce?|
|Gina Famularo:||That is an excellent question, and frankly it depends. It takes about as long as it takes to resolve the issues in the case. There is a waiting period which is six months, and that is how long it takes to remarry, but as far as the actual terms of the divorce, it could be one day, or it could be five years. It just depends on how much contention there is.|
|Katherine:||Now, I think you talked about a program that you all have, and I’m curious, if you have both parties saying, “We want to separate,” do they have to go to court and would that be one of those times your program would apply? That was my curious question there.|
|Gina Famularo:||Absolutely not. They do not need to go to court, and absolutely, our program, Divorce in a Day, would apply. In other words, if the parties can agree on all the aspects of a divorce, which would be custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, division of property and division of debt, they never need to step foot in a courtroom, and the entire process can be handled start to finish outside of court.|
|Katherine:||I always thought you did have to go to court to get a divorce.|
Another question that I always hear, and because different states do different things you don’t know, does cheating or infidelity in the relationship matter at all?
|Gina Famularo:||You would think it would, wouldn’t you? If one person cheats on another and runs off with another person, you’d think that that poor person left behind in the home with the kids wouldn’t have to pay the cheating spouse any kind of support, but-|
|Katherine:||Of course not. I don’t think that. Wow.|
|Gina Famularo:||Unfortunately, in California that’s not the law. In California, we’re what’s called a no fault state, and so what that means is that the results are the same, regardless of the bad behavior of one spouse or the other. One person can be Mother Theresa, the other one can be Adolf Hitler, and you’re still going to have the same result legally.|
|Katherine:||Wow. Now would it matter who filed first?|
|Gina Famularo:||Sometimes. It depends on what the situation is, especially if we’re talking about custody and one spouse is maybe going to run off with the kids, or we’re talking about a division of property and somebody’s going to clean out the bank accounts, absolutely, it could matter. That’s a question that is a case by case, and really needs the help of an attorney to decide.|
|Katherine:||Oh, wow. In the example with the spouse cheating, if I’m being cheated on and I file first, do I become responsible because I wanted the divorce?|
|Gina Famularo:||No. In that instance, in and of itself, it probably wouldn’t matter. Really when it matters is if something bad is going to happen if you don’t file first. Like I said, maybe somebody’s planning on moving out of state with the kids.|
|Katherine:||How do you decide custody? Because you mentioned earlier that’s one of the things to be determined in a divorce.|
|Gina Famularo:||Custody is another thing that’s case by case. It depends on the best interest of the children. The state of California-|
|Schedule a FREE Consultation Now!|
|Katherine:||Not automatically going to the woman?|
|Gina Famularo:||No, not anymore. Not in California, and certainly not in Riverside County. In the old days, yeah, if you were a mom, you got custody. These days, the public policy is that it’s in the best interest of the children to have as much time with both parents if it’s possible.|
|Katherine:||Wow. Because I’ve always assumed that the mother’s going to be okay because she’s going to get the kids. So that’s not automatic.|
|Gina Famularo:||Not anymore. These days it depends on things like the children’s schedule, how far apart the parents live, is there any domestic violence, is there any mental health issues, drug issues? The court takes all these facts, throws them in a hat, and then determines what’s best for the children.|
|Katherine:||What about having a job, is that important?|
|Gina Famularo:||No. It could impact custody in that if one parent works a lot, works on the weekends, they’re probably not going to get time with the children on the weekends if the other parent’s available. But as far as money goes, it’s not going to matter. A real common question would be, “I’m not working. My husband says he’s going to take the kids from me. Is he going to get them because I don’t have a job?” Absolutely not. Courts don’t look at money when they talk about raising children. In fact that’s what the child support is for.|
|Katherine:||Except for child support, right?|
|Gina Famularo:||That is exactly right. You hit the nail on the head.|
|Katherine:||Because that’s my next question for you. How do they determine that? Because we laypeople make up in our mind what should happen. The mother should get the kids, and guys are going to have to pay all of their money to child support. All of the myths that you dispel when you come on the show to share with us. I want to know how child support is determined, because my thought in my head is whoever makes the most money is going to have to be the one paying a child support.|
|Gina Famularo:||Another myth is if we both have 50/50, I don’t have to pay child support. Really, the way it’s calculated is with the use of a computer program. A computer program figures such things as time each parent has with the children, each parent’s number of dependents, who’s claiming the children on taxes, how much money each parent’s making, is there health insurance costs that are to be included, is there daycare? Then it calculates the support in such a way to equalize the households based upon the amount of time the children spend in each home.|
|Katherine:||So there’s not a simple formula?|
|Gina Famularo:||No, not at all. Then they add a bunch of stuff in beyond that. They add on daycare. They add on insurance.|
|Katherine:||Now, another question I wonder… Once a person sets child support in place, once you do that with the court, and the person paying child support gets a pay increase, is that grounds to go and get a pay increase in child support, or how does that… Is it even affected?|
|Gina Famularo:||Absolutely, it is. The money is for the child, and the more money the parents make, the more money the child has a right to. That child has a right to be supported in the lifestyle of each parent.|
|Katherine:||Wow. Now, you said earlier California is a no fault state, and this person can cheat, and I can’t get anything because they cheated on me. But how do you determine who gets spousal support, especially in that situation?|
|Gina Famularo:||Spousal support is based upon need and ability to pay. The common scenario would be wife stays home, especially out here in the Corona area. Wife stays home, takes care of the children, husband goes out and works. That wife, when husband leaves, is going to have no job, so she’s going to have a need for money. Husband has a job, he’s going to have the ability to pay. And so he’s going to have to send over some money to wife. How much? That’s determined by the judge, and there is a very, very complicated formula for that. It’s based upon the link to the marriage, how many children they have, how long wife stayed home, do they have separate property, is there domestic violence? There’s a whole list of factors that we go through to determine how much spousal support should be.|
But I think the takeaway should be if you don’t work, you’re likely going to receive some support. If you do work and the other spouse doesn’t, you’re likely going to have to pay some.
|Katherine:||I was just thinking while you were talking, what if he cheated on me and I’m the one making more money? I would have to pay him spousal support?|
|Gina Famularo:||Yes. Isn’t that awful? Yes, that is.|
|Katherine:||That is awful. Good grief. Wow. This is a serious topic, but my mind just like went away. I was like, “Oh, he cheated and I’ve got to pay spousal support? Oh, wow.”|
|Gina Famularo:||That is what you call salt in the wound.|
|Katherine:||We’ve talked about divorce before with attorney Gina, and it doesn’t have to be ugly, it doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be any of what I’m imagining today on this show. I am just curious, because I don’t hope to ever have to find out through experience, and since you know, Gina, I’m asking you. It’s just different when you’re talking with someone who doesn’t know, as someone who has the information.|
Now you were talking about the divorce could take a short time or a long while, depending on what needs to be divided up. In the scenario where the husband goes to work and the wife stays home with the children, what happens with debt and health and retirement? Like all of the things that were shared or at least they both had access to because of the marriage. What happens in that scenario?
|Gina Famularo:||Well, this is why even though I’m a divorce attorney, I’m not a big proponent of divorce. There’s a reason why they call these broken homes and broken marriages. When you have a house and you’ve worked all your life for it and you’ve got retirement and all these assets, savings, what happens in a divorce is it’s all divided, it’s all split. Many times the house is going to need to be sold. Sometimes one party can afford to buy the other one out.|
But what happens, if you want to know specifically with regard to debts and assets, is we add them, all the debts, all the assets, and at the end there’s going to be either a positive or a negative number, and we just split it down the middle 50/50.
|Katherine:||Wow. The thought of divorce is hard, because I think that… In my mind, I imagine it like a funeral, and no one actually died. This part of your life is walking around and… I would dread it. I would dread a divorce. Like, “Can we figure this out? Can we work it out? What’s really the issue?” Just what you were saying. Things you’ve worked for, worked together. A house isn’t a small thing. Saving up for retirement, especially those that are good at saving, that’s not a small thing, especially if you have a spouse that’s not good at saving. Got to split it.|
This today, guys, I have to say was definitely heavy. You can tell in my voice and in my thoughts today. This is one of the parts of divorce that aren’t as light as what we’ve made it in other conversations, but you have someone like attorney Gina and the other attorneys at Family Law Matters that will help you go through tough situations like this with a better understanding, and not feeling attacked. And of course not getting information from your friends at the water fountain.
Attorney Gina, I want to say thank you. This was a tough topic today, I have to admit, but thank you for bringing this and sharing the information with us, because while some of us rush through life and we make decisions to start or to stop something, you’ve given a lot to think about on today, so thank you.
|Gina Famularo:||Katherine, can I just give everyone my phone number just one time in case they want to call?|
|Katherine:||Absolutely. Give them the information completely to contact you, website and all.|
|Gina Famularo:||My website is mycustodydivorce.com. My phone number is 951-395-8634. That’s 951-395-8634. We serve Corona, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and northern San Diego.|
|Katherine:||Gina, until next time, thank you so much for stopping by. This needs to be said. Have a wonderful day.|
|Gina Famularo:||You too. God bless.|
|Schedule a FREE Consultation Now!|
Mention Our Site and Our Consultation Fees Will be Waived
Fill out this simple form and we'll be in touch with you right away