One of the firsringing moneyt issues a new client will ask us about is support.  Whether it is child support, spousal support, or both, support is one of the most important issues in your family law case.  It’s easy to understand why.  During your marriage income and expenses are shared and over time you find a happy medium between the amount of money you have coming in and the amount of money you have going out to pay expenses.  After you separate, the income doesn’t change, but the expenses will often double.  That means two rent payments, two food bills, two utility payments…the list goes on.  If you and your spouse were just making ends meet before the separation, odds are it will be twice as difficult now that expenses have increased. Continue reading

Elvis

On June 13 Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood. While Lisa Marie isn’t the only star we’ve written about to go through multiple divorces, her specific case highlights a common and sometimes very complicated issue in divorce which occurs when one spouse has taken control of the finances and the other has little to no involvement in financial matters (the so-called “out spouse” is the one who stayed out of financial matters during the marriage).   Continue reading

Money

The Court of Appeals just issued what could be a very important opinion on the issue of commingling separate and community funds in certain accounts. The name of the case is Marriage of Cooper and it is a stark reminder of the perils that may result from mixing separate and community funds in the same account. This case stands for the proposition that once separate property funds are deposited into an investment account held in both parties’ names, those funds lose their separate property character and become community property. However, the spouse who contributes his or her separate property to the jointly titled account has a right of reimbursement under Family Code section 2640. So what does this mean in plain English and how will it affect future cases?  Continue reading

divorce-separation-marriage-breakup-split-39483

As a cast member of the Real Housewives of New York, Jules Wainstein is no stranger to drama. Surprisingly though, Jules’ impending divorce from husband Michael Wainstein filed in June has already been deemed the most dramatic divorce in Housewives history. And while it may be the most dramatic divorce the show and its cast have ever seen, Jules’ situation is actually not all that uncommon out here in the REAL, real world.

According to all of the press that the couple has received as of late, it would seem that Jules caught Michael cheating on her with one of her close friends. At that point Michael was prompted to file a petition for divorce after their eight year marriage. Since then, numerous accusations of domestic violence have surfaced, along with recent pictures of police outside the couples’ apartment. Continue reading

Don_McLean_in_2012After a 30-year marriage, Don McLean and wife Patrisha have finalized their divorce. The “American Pie” singer’s divorce followed his January 2016 arrest on domestic violence assault charges, for which he plead not guilty. The divorce paperwork filed by Patrisha after this incident cited “adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences.” Continue reading

Sperm-donor-dad

He is a movie star who shot to fame on a motorcycle in “The Lost Boys.” She is a California massage therapist from a prominent East Coast family. With his sperm, her eggs and the wonder of in vitro fertilization, they produced a child, Gus.

From there, the tale gets very, very messy; a story that serves as a cautionary tale for any man considering donating sperm to a friend and any woman considering accepting it.

In February 2013, the actor lost a court battle to gain visitation rights with Gus under a California law that grants the mother full custody in the absence of a written agreement establishing parental rights before conception. But the fight for custody did not end there. Continue reading

depp-heard-divorce

The latest Hollywood divorce drama comes as Amber Heard files for divorce after a 15-month union with Johnny Depp. Heard alleged an incident of domestic violence just days before she filed for divorce, and pictures later surfaced of her with a black eye. The media is abuzz with discussions of whether the abuse actually happened, or whether it was just a ploy on Heard’s part to gain sympathy and secure more money from the divorce.

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paternity-set-aside

Can a judgment establishing paternity be set aside?

Under California Family Code Section 7646, if there has already been a judgment establishing paternity and the parents later find out dad is not really the biological father, the judgment can be set aside. Continue reading

grandparents-rights

What happens if you are a grandparent and you would like court ordered visitation rights with your grandchildren in California? In California, under Family Code section 3100, the family court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparent of a minor child.

California can be fairly permissive when it comes to granting orders of visitation between  grandchildren and grandparents. In deciding whether to grant visitation rights to anyone, a court will always place the interests of the child first. For a court to order visitation, a California court will balance the interests of the child against the traditional right of the parents to decide who their children associate with. Continue reading

divorce-pets

Divorce can become even more stressful when pets are involved and both parties are attached. While many people feel as though their pets are part of the family, the law doesn’t see it that way.

In a divorce, a dispute over a pet is not treated like a child custody matter, where the court must look at what is in the best interest of the child and works towards a goal of frequent and continuing contact with each parent. Rather, a pet is treated as a piece of property, just as a car or any other inanimate object would be. Continue reading