Family Law and Divorce Law

Full-service Family Law firm serving Sacramento County, Yolo County, Napa County and other Bay Area Counties

Whether you are anticipating the joys of a new marriage, and want to plan for that Marriage with a Pre-Nuptial Agreement,  experiencing the pain of marital conflict, or trying to enter Family Court Orders entered in the past,  Susan Cohen listens to your needs, understands your concerns and helps you reach solutions to your legal problems.

Susan Cohen has served families in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the North Bay and Sacramento County for over twenty-five years.  She has practiced in San Francisco, Sacramento County, Solano County, Yolo County, Napa County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Contra Costa County.  She provides legal services across a wide spectrum of family law areas, including:

  • Divorce and Legal Separation
  • Unmarried Domestic Partnerships
  • Representation for both conventional families, and  unmarried couples
  • Advice and representation for same sex couples
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Child support modification and enforcement
  • Spousal Support
  • Domestic Violence Cases
  • Collection of Unpaid Support
  • Modification of Court Orders and Judgments
  • Move Away Cases
  • Mediation
  • Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
  • International child custody and visitation Issues, involving the enforcement and modification of child custody and visitation orders in California that were originally entered by courts in other Countries

Spousal Support

Divorce is difficult, but it should not lead to a financial crisis. Susan Cohen can help you establish fair and reasonable spousal support orders while your divorce or separation case is pending. She can also help you with ongoing spousal support issues after your divorce is final. She can draw on her experience working as an attorney for the Office of the District Counsel to the Internal Revenue Service, to help you with the tax issues that arise both regarding Spousal Support, and the relationship of spousal support to property division in divorce.  Because newly enacted Federal Tax Laws make important changes to the tax treatment of spousal support payments, it is important for you to have a lawyer who has the experience and skills to analyze Federal Tax Law issues that may affect your Dissolution of Marriage case.  If Spousal Support and Property Division issues are not carefully thought through, you may find that the Internal Revenue Service will find additional tax liabilities that you and your spouse have not planned for when you worked out a Settlement in your Divorce or Legal Separation case.

Child custody and visitation

For every parent, child custody is the most heart-wrenching aspect of divorce.  Susan Cohen advocates for your parental rights so you can raise your children in a safe home, and have enough income from Child Support, in addition to your other income from Spousal Support and Employment.  You need to have enough income to be able to maintain a safe home for yourself and your children. Susan Cohen can help you obtain appropriate orders for child custody and visitation, and help you enforce your rights to visitation.  In cases where there are Domestic Violence issues, she can help you find safe and appropriate ways to deal with child custody and visitation.  The court can even enter orders protecting Family Pets.  Part of the tragedy of Domestic Violence is that the parent who is accused of domestic violence or abuse may be cut off from contact with his or her children.  Susan Cohen can help you find solutions that protect the children while still enabling both parent parents to maintain relationships with their children.  Recent changes in Federal Tax Law have significantly affected the ability to deduct spousal support payments from the taxable income of the higher earning spouse.  You need to be sure you choose an attorney who has the skills to review how recent changes in Federal Tax Law will impact your Dissolution of Marriage case.  I can help you obtain appropriate orders for child custody and visitation, and help you enforce your rights to visitation.  In cases where there are Domestic Violence Issues, I can help you find an safe and appropriate ways to deal with child custody and visitation.  Part of the tragedy of Domestic Violence is that the parent who is accused of domestic violence or abuse may be cut off from contact with his or her children.  I can help you find solutions that protect the children while still enabling both parents to maintain relationships with the children.

Impact of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Your Divorce:

Recent changes in Federal Tax Law, especially changes affecting the taxation of Spousal Support are going to have significant effects on every aspect of family law cases.  After the end of 2018, Spousal Support payments will not be deductible for federal tax purposes, if the Spousal Support provision is in a new divorce decrees or agreements, or in a Modification made after the end of 2018,  of an earlier Divorce Decree or Agreement.  Susan Cohen, who is admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court, can help you understand how the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will impact you, whether you are just going through a Divorce now, or whether you already have a Divorce Decree that includes a Spousal Support provision.

Child support

Both parents share the responsibility of raising a child.  You need to be aware that the Federal Tax Treatment of Child and Spousal Support are very different. Prior to 2018, Spousal Support could be deducted from the income of the Spouse paying Spousal Support and was included in the Reportable Income, for Federal Tax Purposes, of the spouse receiving Spousal Support. The 2018 Tax Law changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, effective December 31, 2018, have eliminated the deductibility of Spousal Support from the income of the paying spouse.

Child support modification and enforcement

Once the court enters a Child Support Order, the amount of the child support obligations remains the same until the court enters a new order that modifies the previous child support order.  If either parent experiences a significant change in financial circumstances, Susan Cohen can guide you through the proper legal steps and hearings to modify your child support payments to take account of the change in family circumstances.

Divorce

Throughout your divorce, Susan Cohen will stand by you and assist you during all the stages of you case, from filing through hearings for Temporary Orders, Mediation regarding Child Custody and Visitation, and issues relating to division of property, payment of child and spousal support, sale or use of the Family Residence and permanent orders relating to the children, visitation with the children, Child Support, Spousal Support and property division in the Divorce Decree.

 

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements

When you marry someone, you are planning to spend your life with that person.  But  you may not foresee all of the potential problems that can develop in your relationship, and which may eventually lead to divorce or legal separation.  and I can help you with planning for a Pre-Marital Agreement, or a Marital Settlement Agreement during marriage, Susan Cohen can help you with planning for a Pre-Marital Agreement, or a Marital Settlement Agreement during marriage that can  protect your interests and fairly and wisely prepare for the future of your marriage.  Pre-Nuptial Agreements can be especially important for parties who have been married before,  if they have young children from their prior relationships.  A well thought through Marital Settlement Agreement can also provide for the well being of children, and disposition of assets if your marriage should end in the future, whether by separation, divorce or even the death of one or both of the marital partners.  You want to be sure that your children are provided for, and that you have planned for handling property and debts, if your marriage ends, whether by death or divorce.

Contact a Family Law attorney you can trust

Call Susan G. Cohen at 916-882-0242 in Sacramento, or contact the Law Office of Susan G. Cohen online to schedule an initial consultation.  My law office is conveniently located in Sacramento at 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 2350, near the intersection of Howe Avenue and Hurley Way.