For years, Christina Estrada’s life read like a fairytale; former international supermodel fell in love with a billionaire Saudi Arabian sheikh, raising a daughter and sharing a mansion in the British countryside with an unlimited monthly budget to spend on whatever their hearts desired. She is quoted describing her married life as “magical.” Unfortunately, just as with most fairytales, the magic came to an end and reality set in when the sheikh obtained a divorce in 2014 in Saudi Arabia, under Islamic law, without Christina’s knowledge. And that was AFTER he had already married a 25-year-old Lebanese model, without Christina’s knowledge…and obviously while he was still married to her.
One of the first 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
“Race to the courthouse” is an informal name used to describe the rule in some jurisdictions that the first conveyance instrument, mortgage, lien or judgment to be filed with the appropriate recorder’s office, will have priority and prevail over documents filed subsequently, irrespective of the date of execution of the documents at issue. In popular culture, being the party to file a lawsuit first is always portrayed as preferable. But like most things on TV, they just don’t hold up in real life; except maybe in Hollywood. (Hollywood is hard to call “real life” in any case.)
We are divorce attorneys, not tax experts, but marriage and finances are so intertwined that inevitably divorce and taxes do intersect. Each year as the IRS tax return filing deadline approaches, we are increasingly confronted by our clients with tax preparation questions. For specific tax inquiries, we advise that you consult a tax professional. However, we felt it may be useful to share a brief (non-exhaustive) list of some common points Continue reading
According to section 215 of the Internal Revenue Code, spousal support (otherwise known as alimony) is generally taxable income to the payee and tax deductible to the payor. However, if payors aren’t careful, they may inadvertently agree to support arrangements that are not deductible.
In California, the Court has discretion, and often exercises this discretion, to award spousal support retroactively to the date of filing. For instance, if a spouse files a spousal support motion on January 1, 2016, but it is not heard until March 1, 2016, the Court can still order the payor to pay for the months of January and February even though the hearing wasn’t until March.
This past holiday season I noticed a lot of commercials pandering to the coffee aficionado in all of us. Everything from the new Keurig to the admittedly hilarious George Clooney and Danny Devito commercials for Nescafé. Personally I love coffee; all kinds of coffee. So the idea of creating new caffeinated concoctions in my kitchen is very appealing. But that is where the interest stops. I have no desire to schlep lattes for a living no matter how much free coffee they offer. Having said that, I am fairly confident I am qualified for the job of barista, and I am pretty confident everyone reading this is as well. It really cannot be that hard, save for spelling the names of course.
One of the first questions I am asked about child or spousal support it, “How will I be paid my support?” My answer is always the same “depends.” In fact, “It depends” is my answer to most legal questions. In the case of support payments, it really depends on what you and the other party want to do. You can either choose direct payment or a wage assignment.
Direct payment is just as the name implies. The support payor pays the support payee directly. Continue reading
California judges can make so many different types of spousal support orders, it can make a lawyers’ head spin, let alone the actual parties to a divorce. For instance, many people need help understanding the difference between a $0 spousal support order and an order where the Court terminates jurisdiction to award support (it turns out, there can be a huge difference). Let’s go over each type of spousal support order a Court can make.
As divorce attorneys, it is often useful to recall the reasons that people get married in the first place. We may try not to be cynical of the union of marriage, but it is easier said than done when every day is spent helping people navigate through their divorces. And, especially in light of the monumental victories that have recently come for same sex couples and the right to marry, it may be a better time than ever to take a step back and examine some of the reasons why people may decide to get married, or why people ever fought for the right to marry.
If you are going through or have gone through a divorce in California you’ve probably figured out that the length of marriage becomes very important and can become a hotly contested issue at divorce time. While the length of marriage is relevant for a number of issues in divorce litigation, there is special and controversial significance in relation to spousal support. This is because, under the family code, the future of spousal support may follow a very different course once a marriage hits the 10-year mark, as opposed to a marriage that lasted less than 10 years. This particular magic number comes into play because under the family code, a marriage of 10 years or more is presumed to be a marriage of “long duration” (more commonly referred to as a long-term marriage). (FC 4336)