There is a saying I use when talking to clients about difficult issues in Family Law Case; “The word ‘fair” only appears in the Family Code in a discussion about attorney fees.” The stark reality is this…Family Law is not fair. It can be equitable and it can be reasonable, but fair it is not. Case in point:

Imagine for a minute that you work for the federal government. This was your first and only job, and your first day was on the exact day you were married (You are a very dedicated employee.) You also separated from your spouse on the exact day you retired 30 years later. Continue reading


Currently American investors are seeing significant losses in the market. For most Americans the effects are being felt in their 401(k) accounts or mutual funds. (Hence the 401(k) to a 201(k) joke…I know it’s not very funny). In the long term, this downturn is just part of the market cycle, but if you are nearing retirement this can be very concerning.

In a divorce, other than homes, retirement accounts are often the biggest asset to divide. Continue reading


Under federal law, every single state is required to have a formula that determines the correct amount of child support that should be awarded. California is no exception. The California Guideline Child Support Calculator is based on California Child Support Guidelines and can be used to estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered in your case. It is important to remember the Court Commissioner or Family Law Judge has the final authority to determine the amount of a child support order. This calculator provides only an estimate and is not a guarantee of the amount of child support that will be ordered. Other factors may affect the amount of child support awarded.

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I have blogged in the past about tips for co-parenting, how to talk with your attorney, and any number of other ways to address child custody issues in the Family Court system. With the presidential primaries heading towards the Iowa caucuses, I thought I would do a blog called “Going Negative.” In campaigning, going negative, known more colloquially as “mudslinging”, is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent rather than emphasizing one’s own positive attributes or preferred policies.

In really “going negative” means the same thing in family law, except instead of candidates its parents, and instead of policies its parenting. However, the effect it has is no different. Continue reading


The definition of domestic violence is best summed up by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (“NCADV”). According to NCADV, Domestic Violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”

As if divorce was not difficult enough, many family law litigants find themselves having to deal with domestic violence issues. When most people think of domestic violence, they tend to think of physical violence, but in California the definition is much broader. Continue reading


I handle a lot of child custody cases.  That is not surprising since I am a Family Law Attorney, but I have many colleagues that simply do not handle custody cases at all.  They will either bring in co-counsel to handle the case or not accept the case entirely.  Handling child custody cases can be difficult, and I cannot count the amount of clients who have cried in my office.  The truth is child custody is a very emotional issue at the best of times.  At the worst of times…well it can sometimes be soul crushing work.  Having said that, I love handling custody and working with parents to find positive resolutions to very emotional issues.

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Kelly Rutherford’s heart wrenching custody battle over her two children, aged 6 and 9 years old, made headlines again last month as a Judge in Monaco ruled that the children were to stay there with their father and that Rutherford was no longer allowed to bring them to the United States. In case you are not familiar with the 6-year-long custody battle that has ensued, here is a brief overview of the key events leading up to this decision:

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Looking to get married but need extra cash to fund the wedding? Try submitting an application to Swanluv, a new startup company launching in February 2016 that is offering up to $10,000 to help couples fund their dream weddings. The catch? If you end up getting divorced, the money must be repaid…in addition to the interest accrued to-date. However, if you never divorce, you never have to pay them a dime.

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Just last month, on December 4, 2015, the final judgment of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith’s divorce was filed. While we are always interested in the latest celebrity divorce news, this one caught our attention because of the substantial amount of money that Antonio will be paying Melanie in spousal support; $65,000 per month! And the real kicker is that after an almost-20-year marriage, and even though Antonio will be paying what us mere mortals would consider an exorbitant amount in support, their divorce seems to have been completely civil. Also interesting is that the couple executed a post-nuptial agreement in 2004, which delegated how the income from their individual entertainment projects for the next 10 years would be divided.

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