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Discover How Losing Your Job Could Affect Your Alimony and Child Support Requirements

Discover How Losing Your Job Could Affect Your Alimony and Child Support Requirements

When spousal support and child support are assigned or agreed to, it is done so making assumptions that the person paying will continue to have a similar amount of income. What happens when the parent who is paying can no longer afford it? For example, what if they lose their job? Find out what happens in this situation and if you need the advice of a family law attorney, contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908.

Losing Your Job Does Not Automatically Mean You Will Not Have to Pay Child Support or Alimony

It may seem that losing your job should mean you are not responsible for paying alimony or child support but this is not always the case. Depending on the situation, your obligations could be reduced or done away with but you would need to petition the court for a modification. You would then need to provide evidence that you have lost your primary source of income.

In the event that your ex aggress to the modification then it will likely be fairly simple. However, if they do not agree then you may have to file a formal modification that requires a hearing, which allows your ex to say why you should still be expected to pay the full amount.

Factors the Court Will Consider When Determining Modifications

If the case goes in front of a judge, the judge is going to consider a variety of factors including:

  • Whether or not the job loss was voluntary. If you quit just to avoid your spousal or child support obligations, you will likely not get a modification.
  • Whether or not you have another job. If you have another job that that income will be taken into consideration.
  • Whether or not you have another source of income. Even if you do not work, if you have investments, income from rental properties, or other forms of income, the court will take this into consideration.

The answers to the above issues – and the way those answers are presented – can have a big impact on the court’s decision. This is one reason that you need to have a family law attorney on your side. When you work with Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell we will find the best possible way to show the judge that you are not able to meet your obligations due to your job loss. Call us at (909) 920-0908 for your free case evaluation.

Do You Have Questions About California’s Unfair Competition Clause? Get Answers from a Business Attorney

Do You Have Questions About California’s Unfair Competition Clause? Get Answers from a Business Attorney

If you have been accused of unfair competition or you believe that another company is guilty of it and your company has dealt with damages as a result then your next move should be to call an experienced business litigation attorney. You can read on to learn answers to some general questions about the Unfair Competition Clause in California or you can contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 for a free case evaluation.

What is Meant by “Unfair Competition”?

Competition is good in business – to a point. According to the California Business and Professionals Code 17200, unfair competition involves unlawfully, fraudulently, or unfairly practicing or acting in a business matter or falsely, deceptively, or misleadingly advertising. It is considered unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent if either harms consumers or gives one business an unfair advantage over its competitors.

What Are Examples of Unfair Competition?

A few examples of unfair competition include robocalling or spoofing a phone number in a way that violates FCC regulations, lying and say they are affiliated with and/or endorsed by a better-known brand, or getting customers into the store with cheap prices and then changing the prices to much higher options – this is known as the famous “bait and switch.”

Can I Sue for Unfair Competition?

In order to be able to sue for unfair competition in the state of California, you must be able to prove that you have actually lost money or property as a result of the acts of another. If you are a business, this would generally involve proving that the defendant was intending to specifically destroy the competition – except in cases of deceptive or false advertising.

What Are My Options if I’ve Been the Victim of Unfair Competition?

There are a number of them, including recovering your actual economic damages or equitable relief to prohibit the unfair practices. One important thing to note is that in California, punitive damages – which are designed to punish the at-fault party – are not available for this type of case. As a result, the amount of damages can be quite limited.

Work with an Experienced Business Law Attorney Who Knows How to Maximize Your Options

The truth is that these are complicated cases. Whether you’ve been accused of unfair business practices or the victim of this behavior, we can help. We have been on both sides of the aisle and we know how to make your options as positive as possible. Call Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell now at (909) 920-0908 for a free legal consultation.

Parental Alienation Can Destroy a Parent but We May Be Able to Help

Parental Alienation Can Destroy a Parent but We May Be Able to Help

There is general agreement that, when possible, a child attaching to both parents is essential to their healthy mental development. This does begin in infancy but it continues as they age. When a parent takes action to try and prevent their child from attaching to the other parent, there can be lifelong consequences for the child.

In California, who decides physical and legal custody of children will depend on a variety of factors but ultimately a family judge will have to approve any agreement. In some terrible situations, one parent may act illegally to try and prevent their co-parent from seeing their child or destroying the relationship the child has with said parent. This is known as parental alienation.

Disparagement is One form of Parental Alienation

When one parent makes cruel, critical, or otherwise negative comments about the other parent then they have engaged in disparagement. This can include telling a child that their other parent is at fault for the divorce or separation. It could include giving details of the other parent’s personal life and telling the child that their other parent is a bad parent. It could even be that the parent tells the child that their other parent does not love them.

Undermining Authority is a Type of Parental Alienation

Another example is when one parent undermines the authority of another. Ideally, both parents would have a say in decisions about the health, safety, and education of the child but this requires the child to follow the joint decision as well. If one parent decides to allow the child to do something that is not agreed upon by both, then they are undermining the authority of the other parent.

For example, if both parents agreed that their 14-year-old daughter had a ten PM curfew but one parent allows the curfew to be extended to midnight when the daughter is with them, this can be considered undermining authority. While it may seem innocent, the truth is that it can affect how well the child interacts with the rest of the world. Why? Because they are getting mixed messages from their parents.

How to Prove Parental Alienation

As is true of any dispute between parents who are having trouble working things out with each other, if you believe that the other parent is committing parental alienation then you will want to contact a family law attorney to find out what your options are. If it is an isolated event then you will likely not have many options. However, if there is a pattern of this type of behavior then you may have options.

If you are in need of a consultation with an experienced family law attorney we encourage you to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 for a free legal consultation.

What’s the Cost to File for Separation in California?

What’s the Cost to File for Separation in California?

If you are planning to file for legal separation in California, it is more complicated than going down to the courthouse and filling out a few forms. You will be required to pay court fees and there will be legally binding documents to review. This is why we strongly recommend working with a family law attorney who can help. Read on for more facts and then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 for a free legal consultation.

The Cost of Filing for a Legal Separation

Legal separation allows the member of a marriage to live apart while legally being married. During this separation, they have the same responsibilities to one another, legally speaking, as if they were still together. The cost will depend on a few factors but the court cost will be $435 as of October 30, 2019. However, we recommend having an experienced attorney help you with this to ensure your rights are protected.

The Three Ways a Married Couple Can Uncouple in California

There are three ways in which a married couple can uncouple:

  1. Annulment. This is a legal process in which the court dissolves a marriage. There are specific situations in which annulments are valid, such as when one party was forced into the marriage or the marriage was incestuous. An annulment essentially erases the fact that the couple was ever married.
  2. Divorce. This is the most common way in which a marriage is legally ended. It involves dividing property, determining alimony, and, if there are children, determining support and custody for those children.
  3. Legal separation. A legal separation also ends a person’s marriage but is very different because the couple stays married while the others end the marriage. A person who is legally separated cannot marry someone else. They can separate property, have child custody and child support agreements and may be eligible to receive alimony.

The best option is generally divorce but there are specific situations in which this is not true.

Is it Necessary to Hire an Attorney if I Want to File for Legal Separation?

It is wise to have an attorney by your side. It may seem as simple as filling out a form but if you have property together, pets together, live together, have children together, or one of you makes more money than the other, then there are legal ramifications that you may not expect. Dealing with federal income taxes alone can be a pain.

The good news is that you can contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell now by calling us at (909) 920-0908. We will provide a free legal consultation so that you understand what your options are and how you can best move forward.

Can You Stop Your Child from Seeing Their Other Parent? Get Answers to This and Other Questions

Can You Stop Your Child from Seeing Their Other Parent? Get Answers to This and Other Questions

There are many reasons you may want to stop your child from seeing their other parent. Depending on a number of factors, including your reason for wanting to prevent these visits, you may or may not be able to do so. Keep reading to find out more and then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to talk to an attorney.

Can I Stop a Child from Seeing the Other Parent if I Don’t Have a Court Order to Do So?

This is what’s known as gate-keeping and there are two types of it. First is protective gate-keeping in which you have reasonable concerns about your co-parent. Technically you cannot stop your child from seeing their other parent without a court order unless you think the other parent is directly dangerous to your child.

The second is what’s known as a restrictive gate-keeper. This is a parent who has no justification for keeping their child from seeing their co-parent. This is generally a reaction to a breakup in which the parent wants to get revenge. When this happens, it is essential for the court to get involved quickly. Make sure you have a custody agreement on file.

Can My Child Decide to Stop Seeing the Other Parent?

If there is a legitimate reason, such as the child is being abused, then yes, the child may be able to decide not to visit their parent. However, the more common case is a situation in which one parent convinced the child not to visit their other parent. There are only two issues that can stop a parent from acting this one. One, they may simply stop trying to manipulate the child, which is not common.

The second way is for the parent who has become the victim to seek court action to take away custody from the other parent. Note that judges do not like to do this. The ideal situation is one in which both parents have partial custody. However, it is your job as a parent to keep your child safe. If you believe that they are not safe then you should contact the police. You should contact a family law attorney. You should contact all parties involved.

When Should I Ignore a Court Order?

Court orders are just suggestions – the are legal documents that you are required to follow. If you do not, then you could be facing criminal charges. However, there is one situation in which it is okay to ignore a court order – if your child is in danger. This includes their health or their safety. That said, you cannot simply stop taking your child to see their parent. The property authorities must be contacted. The first step is to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to learn more about your specific rights.

Do These 5 Things Before You Ask Your Spouse for a Divorce

Do These 5 Things Before You Ask Your Spouse for a Divorce

If you are considering asking your spouse for a divorce it may seem that just getting it over with is the best way forward. This may be true, but we strongly recommend doing these five things before you ask your spouse for a divorce. If you have questions, contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to set up a confidential appointment.

  1. Make Sure a Divorce is Really What You Want
  2. It sounds simple, but make sure that before you ask for a divorce, you really want a divorce. Every couple fights. Every couple can feel at points that their marriage is no longer working. Some couples can get through that. If you are not sure that it is time to divorce then there are resources that may help you, such as couple’s counseling. If you are positive that you want a divorce, then contact a divorce attorney.

  3. Look at Your Finances
  4. Before you start making decisions based on your feelings, look at your finances. If you have a safety deposit box, go through it and take pictures of everything you have. Take photos valuables, such as jewelry or furniture. You should also note things that have no monetary value but do have sentimental value. It is important to do all of this before asking for a divorce because your spouse may cut you off from this information once you ask for the divorce.

  5. Know What Your Custody Goals Are
  6. If you have children, then you will obviously think long and hard about whether or not a divorce is the right option for you. Make sure that you have thought carefully about child custody goals before you ask for a divorce. Remember that unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, the court is likely going to order shared custody. Can you live with that result?

  7. Know Where You Will Live
  8. You may not have an exact house or apartment picked out, but there should be an idea of where you plan to go after you tell your spouse you want a divorce. However, if you want to keep the marital house, then it is best not to move out of the house until the divorce terms are settled. If the divorce becomes contentious, a judge is more likely to allow the spouse currently in the house to stay in the house.

  9. Make Sure You Are Not About to Make Any Large Purchases
  10. If your divorce case ends up before a judge, it does not look good for you to have recently made large purchases with marital assets, even if they are for both of you. If you are considering asking your spouse for a divorce, hold off on any large purchases until you are sure what you are going to do next.

Get the Facts About the California Business Valuation Process in a Divorce Case

Get the Facts About the California Business Valuation Process in a Divorce Case

If you own a company and are considering divorce then you have a double doozy: Considering your personal finances and the finances of your company. At Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell, you have found a firm that specializes in both business law and family law, making us the perfect choice for these complex divorce issues. Keep reading to learn how the business valuation works in a California divorce, then contact us at (909) 920-0908 for a consultation.

Businesses Can Be Valued in a Number of Ways

Some businesses are easier to value than others, depending on the accounting style and the payment style. However, most business valuations in California will cover one or more of these approaches: Income-based, asset-based, or market-based.

Regardless of the type(s) of valuation used, you can count on each of the approaches to consider how profitable the business is, the goodwill of the business, and both intangible and tangible assets of a company.

There Are Options to Determine Who Values the Business During the Divorce

One of the most concerning questions for many during the divorce process is who is going to conduct the business valuation. The answer can be complicated. In most cases, there will actually be a few options available to them. First, they can attempt to figure it out themselves. This is a bad idea in most cases because one spouse will want to overvalue and the other is likely to want to undervalue.

Second, you can hire a joint forensic accountant who can value the business. This is the most cost-effective option, but some spouses don’t trust that this accountant will be unbiased. In that case, they often choose another forensic accountant to audit the work of the first.

The final option is for both spouses to hire their own forensic accountants. These accountants are not working against each other – they are work separately and coming to their own conclusions. Once these accountants have completed their work, you may need to then negotiate with your spouse to determine how to decide on differences in opinions.

Work with an Attorney Who Has Specialized Experience

It may seem that the business valuation process is complex, and for good reason: It is! This is why you need both a family law attorney and a business attorney. This does not have to mean hiring two attorneys – it can simply mean working with Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell.

We understand the complications of divorces that involve business valuations. We know what your goals are and we share them. if you are ready to get started today, contact us at (909) 920-0908 for a consultation.

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning Custody in California

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning Custody in California

Going through a child custody fight is one of the first experiences a parent can go through. You may feel helpless, angry, and scared. You may not be sure if you are doing the right thing or how to know how hard to fight. The good news is that you do not have to be in this alone. Keep reading for tips on fighting child custody battles and then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to request a consultation with an experienced attorney.

Hire the Right Family Law Attorney

The number one thing you can do to increase your chances of getting the custody agreement you want is to work with the right family law attorney. With the right experience, resources, and knowledge, the right attorney makes all the difference in how your case is likely to turn out.

Consider Your Living Arrangements

If you want to have custody then your living arrangements should reflect that. You cannot expect to get custody while sleeping on a friend’s house, or staying in a friend’s spare bedroom with their entire family. To win custody, you need to show that you are the fittest parent and this requires that you are living somewhere where there is plenty of space for your child.

As you consider where to live, remember that the courts highly value maintaining the status quo. So if your co-parent currently has custody of your child and has them enrolled in a good school, you should move to a home within that school district’s boundaries so that your child would not be required to change schools if you got custody.

Stay Involved in Your Child’s Life

The courts want to know that you are involved in your child’s life. You should know their teachers’ names, what they are involved in at school, and what their schedules are. Know the names of your children’s friends. Know what your kid likes, what they don’t like, and what medications they are on. Know their interests. Know who their doctor is. In short, be able to show the judge that you are involved in and interested in your child’s life.

Cooperative with Your Co-Parent

It may seem that when you are fighting with your co-parent to get custody, the last thing you want to do is cooperate with them. this is false. The truth is that unless you want sole, primary custody with no visitation, you will have an ongoing relationship with your child’s other parent. The judge will not appreciate hearing that you are badmouthing that parent or that you are making it unnecessarily difficult for them to see their child.

Cooperate with the co-parent but do not let them take advantage of you. This can be a fine line to see from within the relationship, which is one of the reasons that it is important to have an attorney. Call Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 and we can help you take steps to increase the likelihood that you will be granted custody.

Be Ready for Back to School: Issues for Divorced Parents to Be Prepared For

Be Ready for Back to School: Issues for Divorced Parents to Be Prepared For

Believe it or not, it is actually time for school to start again. This means different things for different families, but in instances in which there are child custody issues, it can be especially complicated. Read on to learn about some of the issues that divorced parents often an attorney to deal with and then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 if you need help with these or other family law issues.

Common Issues Parent Face During Back-to-School Season

There are many different issues that can come up during this period. For example, we have seen disagreements regarding who should pick up the child each day, who should pay for clothes, who should pay for supplies, and who is going to pay for extracurricular activities. You may not even agree on what school your child should attend. For these and other issues, you may need to consult with a family law attorney.

Create a Parenting Agreement

It is often the case that issues arise because all parties were simply not on the same page. This is why it is important to communicate your needs and expectations and to ensure that your co-parent understands them – and that you understand theirs.

This plan should include information on who the child will stay with on school nights and where they will be on weekends. It should include information on how your child will get to and from school, and who will be responsible for getting them to and from any extracurricular activities they may take part in. That said, it should be as simple as possible. Making it too specific can be a challenge when the schedule changes.

Plan Ahead

It is essential that you have a plan before you need one. The last thing you want is to find that you are overwhelmed with parent-teacher conferences, sports games, play recitals – it can seem to go on and on – and realize you don’t have a plan in place. Look at your child’s school schedule. Consider holidays and school events so you know what you should be planning for. Do not leave these issues for the last minute.

Track All Your Expenses

Even if you think it is clear who is supposed to be paying for what, and what you are supposed to be reimbursed for and what is your responsibility, we recommend tracking your expenses. Keep receipts. Note how much money you are spending for your child. If a situation arises in the future, you will be glad you have easy access to this information.

If you are ready to set up a plan for back-to-school season then we highly recommend you contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908. We are happy to offer a free legal consultation to help you better understand your options.

Get Answers to FAQ from a Family Law Attorney in Ontario CA

Get Answers to FAQ from a Family Law Attorney in Ontario CA

ask quiestion online, FAQ concept, what where when how and why, search information on internet

Do you have questions about the process of working with a family law attorney in Ontario CA? Are you curious about what you should expect, how to find the right attorney, and what they can help you with? At Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell we are here to help you with these and other questions. Contact us at (909) 920-0908 if you have an additional question or you want to request a free case evaluation.

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

That depends on many different factors. If you and your soon-to-be-future spouse agree on every factor of the divorce, from child custody to spousal support, it can go fairly quickly. If you do not, and you must take the case to court, it can take many months. However, no matter how amicable the divorce is, there is a minimum of six months until the divorce can be considered final.

How Long Do Paternity Cases Take?

Paternity involves establishing who the legal parent of a child is. As is true of a divorce case, the amount of time it takes will vary based on how well the parties work with each other. However, these cases do not generally take as long a divorce case. In most instances, the litigants will have a temporary custody and support order in place while the case is finished.

How Can I File for Child Custody?

In most cases, child custody cases are handled by a family law attorney in Ontario CA as part of another family law issue, whether divorce, annulment, domestic violence, or paternity. If you want to change custody then another action will need to be taken. This could be a paternity case if you are not the legal parent of the child. It may be a request for modification of a current custody agreement. Contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 to learn more about custody options.

Can I Get Alimony?

That depends on your income, the income of your spouse, and your earning ability, among other things. If you have been a homemaker for 30 years then you may get permanent alimony in which your spouse is required to provide income to you. If you are planning to return to the workforce and simply need additional school to do so, then your spouse may be required to pay you a one-time alimony payment to cover those costs. Your family law attorney in Ontario CA can help you determine if you are likely to qualify for alimony or not.

How Do I Find a Family Law Attorney in Ontario CA?

If you are in need of legal advice then your best option is to contact a family law attorney in Ontario CA. At Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell we are happy to provide a free legal consultation that will allow you to get answers to your most basic questions. Call us now at (909) 920-0908 to learn more about how we can help.


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My ex-wife hired an attorney which prompted me to do so for our divorce. Torrence Howell was highly recommended from a friend of mine who used Torrence’s services for a divorce just like mine. The results came out much better than he ever thought it would. With all things being equal I felt Torrence would

-Anonymous May 23, 2018

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