California is a no-fault state, which means that issues of abandonment are not relevant to denying her property, custody, or spousal support
1) Marital property
: California is a community property
state. All property that is acquired during the marriage whether in the name of one spouse or both spouses is considered martial property and subject to an automatic 50/50 split. This would not apply to inheritance or gifts acquired during the marriage as these are treated as your separate property.
2) Child custody
: The goal in California is to award joint custody
if that will benefit the child's best interests. One parent can be awarded sole custody
if the other parent is unfit to take on the responsibilities of the child or would be uncooperative in following the court orders. However, since the child has been left in your primary care, you could claim primary custody which would result in her being the non-custodial parent
and she would pay child support
3) Child support:
Is calculated on the combined income of the parents. Her disability payments and pension would be factored in as income to determine a child support amount.
4) Retirement fund
: You are entitled to 50% of her retirement limited to the period of time the retirment was held during the marriage.
5) Spousal support
: Generally support is awarded if the spouse is unable to sustain a living on their own. This would be determined on a case by case basis. For a marriage of 16 years and if she is permanently disabled, she can be entitled to permanent support. How much? That would depend on what she needs to sustain a reasonable standard of living and will take the following factors into consideration:
(1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
(2) The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties. (b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party. (c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living. (d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage. (e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party. (f) The duration of the marriage. (g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party. (h) The age and health of the parties. (i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence
, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party. (j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party. (k) The balance of the hardships to each party. (l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time.
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