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Curtis Dean Colaw
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Curtis Colaw’s Answers

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  • I just got divorce and already have a judgement. My ex husband owes me money and supposed to pay monthly.

    I just got divorce and already have a judgement. My ex husband owes me money and supposed to pay monthly but stopped making payment and owes me money for months now. The money he owes me will take him years to pay. He now lives out of state and cu...

    Curtis’s Answer

    To enforce a California judgment, there are various levy methods including obtain a writ of execution. If the money owed is for child or spousal support, there are additional remedies as well including contempt of court. If your ex-husband resides out of California and his assets and/or employer are now in that state, you will need to obtain a Sister State Judgment in that state to enforce the California judgment. This is a complex area and you really need to find a qualified attorney to help you collect the money owed.
    I have attached a link which generally describes the enforcement of judgments in California. http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/collect.shtml Good luck!

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  • Are child support payments ever forgiven?

    My children are now grown and are 36 and 41 years of age. Their father never paid one penny child support and he owes me $60,000 of court ordered payments.. I am in desperate need of money at the moment. Is this money every collectable or do I ...

    Curtis’s Answer

    In California there is no statute of limitations, or time limit, on collecting overdue child support ("arrears"). In addition, child support arrears carry legal interest thereon which in most cases is ten percent (10%) and the amounts now due may be substantial. Contrary to an earlier statement, if the child support was payable to you and not assigned to the County or State of California, there is no estoppel or laches for the failure for you to collect support which would prevent you from going forward. I agree with previous posts that you should seek a family law attorney, presumably with some collection background, to help with the matter. Good luck.

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  • 1- what will be his child support payment according to the court formula? see below for 2 other questions and more info

    If my 2014 income was $9,226 I have my girls 87% of the time my ex 2014 income $25,000 he has them only 13% 1- what will be his child support payment according to the court formula? My oldest daughter is turning 18 on May ...

    Curtis’s Answer

    There is not enough information provided to properly calculate guideline child support. You will need to put in deductions for medical expenses, mandatory retirement, hardships for additional/new children, plus other issues. You also have to provide marital status, and other information. The following link provides a free online guideline calculator provided by the State: www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/calculatechildsupport.aspx. You should seek proper legal counsel or at least a paralegal if you want better information related thereto.

    Once a child turns 18 and is no longer a full-time high school student then child support for that child ends pursuant to California law (absent agreement of the parties). The guideline formula should provide findings and a breakdown of the proper support for each child. Good luck.

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  • Not working do to an injury,but i have sole custody of both children, do i get tax return from ex if he claims them

    Court granted me full custody of the kids,but my ex is going to claim them on the tax return,do i get money from that or does he keeps it, since he is claiming them

    Curtis’s Answer

    As the previous attorneys indicate, absent a written release to the IRS if you have the children more than 1/2 the time for the tax year you normally have the tax exemptions for the tax year. You should review this with your financial/tax person. That said, many times there is a Court order releasing the exemption to the non-custodial parent which generally increases the paying party's child support obligation but saves money for tax purposes and increases support to the party who has little or no income. You should review your previous orders for any such provisions and consider the release of exemptions if you wish to modify the current order if such a provision is not in place. Good luck.

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  • Divorce 401K question

    I’m going through divorce in CA. My question is that when we divide our assets, do we put 401K amount at the time of separation OR 401K amount that is in the account now. His 401k was $20K when we separated but now that we are about to finalize ...

    Curtis’s Answer

    It depends. 401(k) contributions made after the date of separation or before the date of the marriage are the separate property of the party who contributed the same into the plan. The community property interest amount is measured by the amount contributed during the marriage. If the $20K you talk about was contributed during the marriage by your husband, that 20K amount is used plus any normal increases or fluctuations need to be added/subtracted to determine the community share. If he put in more after separation, that portion is usually his. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court in most of these cases with detailed instructions on how the amount is calculated. If you need to find a specific amount, then you need a qualified financial person to determine the same. Obviously, if it is community property your share is 1/2 of the amount contributed during the marriage. Go see a qualified attorney about this issue.

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  • Does my ex get child support while she lives in another county and not custody the children?

    Early in the divorce case, we got 50/50 times share and I pay my ex CS. Now she moves to another county and has not custody the children. Does she still qualify for getting the CS?

    Curtis’s Answer

    With limited exceptions, a child support order continues until modified by the Court. That said, immediately file a Request for Order to modify child support if you have now "full custody". It is a simple process and you would be well served to find an attorney or at least a paralegal to help you prepare the pleadings.

    There is California case law which holds that you have equitably paid child support if you have full custody, but that leaves it up to a judge to decide and you must make an application to such equitable relief. The better approach is to go to Court ASAP to modify the child support order.

    Good luck.

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  • Do I need a lawyer to go with me for a support modification hearing? I had to request a continuance due to unfair treatment.

    My ex is claiming I have 2 jobs, not true. The problem, I showed my paystub to court representative who seems to believe my ex. She had no paystubs. The reps looked on computer to EDD site and went off income from old job (my income was higher th...

    Curtis’s Answer

    As evidenced by your question, you probably need both legal advice and to have the attorney present at the hearing. You should obtain legal counsel if you don't fully understand the court pleadings, the process and/or procedures in court. An experienced family law attorney will know what you need to bring to court, how to approach the representative, and how to bring the matter before the Judge or Family Law Commissioner if there is a problem. He/She will also be able to obtain financial information from your "ex" or at least enough information to explain the situation to you and the Court. Please consider that even if the attorney costs you a certain amount, that amount most likely will be offset by the reduced amount of support to be paid in the future. Good luck.

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  • What are the legal ramifacations to the parents of a 15 year kid that may be smoking pot in the house?? Thanks

    What are the legal ramifacations to the parents of a 15 year kid that may be smoking pot in the house?? Thanks

    Curtis’s Answer

    Smoking pot in California, absent a prescription, is unlawful. However, the use of marijuana is normally just an infraction for criminal purposes. If a custody dispute arises, then the issue becomes relevant to a determination if a parent should have custody and/or visitations. In my county (Stanislaus) the use of an illegal drug leads to little or no visitations and/or supervised visitations. If the parent(s) have a medical prescription care, the issue becomes how does it effect the ability of that parent to properly take care of the child. If both parents are together, then it many times is an issue for CPS or other authorities if the child is endangered. The possibility also arises of someone trying to become a guardian of the child if the parents are deemed unfit. With the above-in-mind, an experienced family law attorney should be contacted to discuss the details of your issues. Good luck.

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  • My divorce was final on March 17, 2014. My ex cashed in his 401K. Can I get half of that money?

    He told me in January that we had cashed it out prior to 2007. I told him that I did not remember that and asked if it was claimed on our taxes. He did not respond.

    Curtis’s Answer

    To the extent that the 401(k) plan was not divided, and was not taken care of in any marital settlement agreement or other court order related to that asset, California Family Code section 2556 provides that in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage the court has continuing jurisdiction to award community assets to the parties that have not been previously adjudicated by a judgment in the proceeding. A party may file a post-judgment Request for Order to obtain adjudication of any community estate asset such as the undivided 401(k) funds. Generally, the court equally divides the omitted community asset. However, as previous attorney has indicated, there are circumstances where a spouse may be awarded the entire asset the other spouse hid it or otherwise breached the marital fiduciary duties. Considering that the 401(k) has just been cashed out, you should try to act immediately to tie up the funds. You really need to have a qualified attorney to review this issue with you and act quickly on your behalf. If you had a previous attorney in your case, contact that attorney forthwith. Good luck.

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  • What is the statute of limitation on billing for my services? How long does the client have to pay me?

    I am an owner operator for our family trucking company. I have a client that I often work for hauling from Bakersfield CA to Long beach CA. Once my service is complete, its my responsibility to provide paperwork and bill the client per load. I fai...

    Curtis’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Contrary to the opinions set forth above, the statute of limitations can be as long as four (4) years from the time the service was rendered or the last payment is made. If you kept an open book account or account in writing for the customer, the limitation period is four (4) years as per California Code of Civil Procedure section 337. That said, since your services were billed within the last year, there is no apparent statute of limitation issue. There are other "delayed payment" legal defenses, but those don't appear to apply in the information provided by you. If payment is not made on or before the due date (usually 30 days after billing), then legal interest of 10% per annum may also be due and you will have a right to bring litigation to collect. Good luck.

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