Certified Family Law Specialist, Aggressive in Court
Offering Experience and Insight to Clients Throughout Ventura County
Divorce cases and other family law matters require a careful, diligent approach backed by knowledge and experience. At the Law Offices of Susan H. Witting, we offer each of our clients the representation they need to pursue positive resolutions to difficult family law issues.
Attorney Susan H. Witting, a certified family law specialist, has been practicing law in California since 1983. She takes personal responsibility for every case we accept.
Law Office of Susan H. Witting
509 Marin Street
Thousand Oaks CA 91360
Consultations are charged at hourly rate of $360, with half hour minimum charge of $180
Mon - Fri from 9:00 to 5:00
Law Offices of Susan H. Witting
Child custody and visitation: Determining what to do with the children can be the most difficult part of a divorce. We will work to protect your and your children's interests.
Understanding California Child Custody and Visitation Law
Many people have misconceptions about child custody and visitation, often based on things they have heard from friends and family members. The fact is that every child custody case is unique and, under California law, must be resolved based on the best interests of the children.
In most cases, the best interests of the children are achieved through the negotiation of a child custody agreement giving both parents a substantial role in their upbringing.
California does not follow the traditional arrangement where the mother has primary custody and the father has visitation every other weekend. While this may still be appropriate in some cases, gender is not a deciding factor, and more equally shared parenting is generally preferred.
Divorce: If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers, we can help you pursue a positive outcome through negotiations, mediation and/or litigation.
Keeping Your Options Open for Resolving Difficult Issues
Before you can get divorced in California, the community property of the marriage must be divided. If you have children, child custody and child support will need to be addressed. Spousal support may also be appropriate. These important issues can be resolved in several ways:
Negotiation: If you and your spouse do not see eye to eye on every issue, you may still be able to reach a resolution through negotiations. Ms. Witting can help you negotiate your divorce by explaining your options and identifying opportunities for agreement.
Mediation: In divorce mediation, a neutral mediator helps the parties who may or may not be represented by their own attorneys resolve the issues in dispute. Ms. Witting can serve as a mediator or advise you as you go through divorce mediation.
Litigation: If the issues cannot be resolved any other way, a divorce case will go before a judge for his or her decision. In litigation, it is very important to be represented by a lawyer who will present evidence on your behalf and argue for your desired outcome.
Child support: Whether you are going through a divorce or interested in modifying an existing child support order, we will ensure that your rights are protected.
Pursuing Fair and Appropriate Support Obligations
We have a proven track record assisting clients with matters such as:
Determination: Under California law, most child support determinations are made on the basis of a formula that takes into account both parents' incomes and shares of custody time, as well as other factors. We are experienced at carefully investigating and evaluating these factors in order to pursue appropriate child support determinations.
Modification: If your income has decreased, your spouse's income has increased, or you are caring for the children more often than your child custody plan provided, you may want to consider a child support modification. It is very important to get child support formally modified through a court order rather than relying on a personal agreement.
Enforcement: There are several options available for child support enforcement under both California law and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. We are experienced at assisting clients with in-state and out-of-state enforcement of child support decrees.
How Much Child Support Will Be Awarded in My Case?
Determining how much child support will be awarded for each case is determined by a variety of factors, including:
The income of both parents
The amount of visitation with the child
Current and future medical expenses of the child
Extraordinary expenses of the child
Current and future child care costs
Military divorce: Ms. Witting is experienced at helping military service members and their spouses address the range of unique issues affecting military divorce cases.
Our firm frequently represents servicemembers stationed at Naval Base Ventura County, located at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme, and their spouses. Moreover, we have provided support and expertise to both clients and attorneys located worldwide to assist them with military family law questions involving California. We help them understand and resolve complex military divorce issues such as the following:
Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA): Under this federal law, some former military spouses are entitled to health benefits, base privileges, survivor benefits and other benefits after divorce. We are familiar with this federal law and criteria for benefits to former spouses, including the "20/20/20" rules and the procedures for obtaining benefits under the USFSPA. Spouses not falling under the "20/20/20" rule also qualify for modified benefits under this law. We have extensive experience helping clients determine how these benefits should be divided in divorce.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): This statute both protects the servicemember from being subject to court action without his or her knowledge and, as a consequence, affects a spouse's ability to bring a divorce action against a servicemember during or after deployment. We are experienced at helping military members and their spouses understand their options under the SCRA and achieve their goals, even during these times.
Division of military pay for support purposes: In addition to their base pay, servicemembers may also receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and a variety of other entitlements which need to be considered in the calculation of child and/or spousal support. The taxability of these payments influence the amount of support paid and received, and we can assist in determining the proper allocation of income. We are also familiar with the processing of support orders through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) for payment directly to the payee.
Jurisdictional issues: The California courts may not always be the appropriate or preferable place to bring an action involving servicemembers. Those stationed in California or those stationed elsewhere whose spouses live in California may have a choice of where to bring a case, or may be restricted from filing in California. We will discuss all your options with you and help you understand where is the most efficient and economical place to file your case.
Custody Issues: Servicemembers and their families who are facing deployment often have special issues of concern when it comes to child custody and visitation. We can help address these issues.
The Law Offices of Susan H. Witting has concentrated on helping clients resolve their family law matters. Traditionally, that meant litigating the dispute in Court, which we are still fully prepared to do if the case require. However, over the years more and more clients have expressed an interest in staying out of court and trying to resolve their divorce or dispute through mediation or negotiations. Accordingly, we seek the best most efficient method to resolve your family law dispute to attempt results in a cost effective and less stressful manner.
Certified Legal Specialist in Family Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, since 2001
Selected for inclusion the Southern California Super Lawyers and also Top Women Attorneys in Southern California since 2012 to present.
Member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
AVVO rating 10
Instructor, Law, lifetime Credential California Community College, since 1985
Bar Number: 111027
University of Colorado, Boulder
Bachelor of Arts, 1980
Pepperdine School of Law, Malibu
Juris Doctor, 1983
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