Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

family law Archives

Marriage may also be a good business decision

Marriage has always been considered a sacred bond in society, predating many nations and even some core tenets of the law. Some believe that marriage has spiritual value, while others say it is an evolutionary response to creating a unit for raising children. One way or the other, marriage is more than that in modern times.


Like many divorced parents, you and your ex-spouse may have difficulty getting along. Things may be tense when you speak with each other or meet to exchange the children. However, if your ex is doing things that seem to be affecting your relationship with your children, he or she may be attempting to alienate them from you. You and other California parents should understand the circumstances surrounding parental alienation syndrome.


It can be difficult to recognize when you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse in California. One of the reasons for this is that the treatment you receive can alter your perceptions, but another reason is that abuse does not always take a recognizable form, such as physical violence.

What factors are considered when setting child support?

Whether you are currently going through the divorce process, or you are simply considering filing for divorce, there are a myriad of issues to tackle. Child support is one of the issues that must be looked at when terminating a marriage. It is important that children have ample financial and emotional support from both parents, even after the marriage has ended. California follows an income shares model of child support, which believes that children should receive the same amount of financial support that they would have been entitled to if their parents had stayed together. In the model, the income of both parents is determined and the child support amount due is based on the results of the table.

What is financial abuse?

Like other forms of relationship abuse in California, financial abuse can and does occur across all racial and ethnic groups, at all educational and socioeconomic levels and can victimize either women or men. However, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, it is a less commonly understood form of abuse despite being among the most prominent forms, occurring in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. 

Travel, taxes and back child support consequences

Falling behind on child support can result in many different challenges, from anxiety to the threat of being taken into custody. However, there are other ways in which becoming delinquent on child support payments can disrupt a parent's life. For example, a non-custodial parent who cannot pay their child support for one reason or another may be unable to move forward with an overseas trip that they have been planning. Or, they may suffer tax consequences, such as having a portion of their tax refund garnished or their entire refund taken away.

Reasons to consider joint custody

Californian parents have big questions to ask about future child-rearing plans through the divorce process. How will they handle parenting moving forward? Will one parent have primary custody while the other sticks to a visitation schedule? More and more often, parents are instead choosing joint custody, especially due to its benefits.

Making a holiday happy when your kids are with the other parent

At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates, we understand that the holidays can be a lonely time of year for many Californians, especially when they are divorced. When your children spend Christmas with your ex, the sting of being alone can be particularly painful.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012