10-year-marriage-spousal-supportIf 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)

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same-sex-marriage

On November 3, 2015, CNN published an article titled “Couple seeks right to marry. The hitch? They’re legally father and son.” Yes, you read that correctly. As unbelievable as this headline may sound, there is a very interesting story behind this brief but controversial-sounding title.

The Supreme Court may have declared same-sex marriages legal in all states earlier this year, but getting to this point was a long and daunting road for same-sex couples. Many, including Nino Esposito and his partner Roland “Drew” Bosee (the couple who are the focus of the CNN article); never thought that they would see the day that same-sex marriage was legalized in their state. In their case, that state was Pennsylvania. So, after over 40 years as a couple, they decided to do something drastic.

 

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your choice 3So imagine this scenario. You’ve spent all day in mediation with the other side. You have been going back and forth all day trying to reach an agreement that will resolve all the issues of your case. It is past 5:00pm and the cleaning crew is the newest spectator to this battle. You’re tired and ready to be done. Just as you are about to give up hope, an agreement is reached. After several handshakes, everyone goes home exhausted, but pleased that the case is resolved. So you’re done, right?

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Divorce Word Cloud Concept scribbled in red with great terms such as end, marriage, end, laws, infidelity, split, children, and more.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog (I can’t be the only one who thinks this stuff is cool) then this blog will be more “refresher” course than new material.  However if you are just beginning your divorce or even considering a family law action, then this is the first blog you should read.

A divorce case is complex.  It only takes a couple signatures and an exchange of vows to get married, but it takes a great deal more to get divorced.  Moreover, navigating the legalese is like learning a whole new language, so with this blog I will shed some light on a few of the common family law terms you will encounter in your case.

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2015 was a big year for supporters of gay marriage and gay civil rights. The US Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, held that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Now the law throughout the United States, California has recognized gay marriage since 2008 (though only by those married during the window before Proposition 8 was passed) and then again in 2013 when the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Perry v Hollingsworth overturning the Proposition 8 prohibition.

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child-custody-tug-of-warThere is a fascinating story about twin brothers born in 1940’s Ohio who were separately put up for adoption at birth. Unbeknownst to the other, they lived only 40 miles apart from each other for most of their lives. Even more interesting, they ended up living eerily similar lives, for example: Continue reading

AAML-co-parenting

Part one of this blog introduced the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) and the AAML’s new publication addressing the division of parenting time for families going through divorce or separation, titled Child Centered Residential Guidelines (“AAML Guidelines”). Here we will delve into an examination of the publication and summarize the AAML Guidelines.

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deferred-sale-of-residenceDivorcing parents understandably worry how the end of their marriage will affect their children. The parents will no longer be living together, the children will have to adjust to a new visitation schedule, there is the possibility of changing schools, and all the stress of a world turned asunder. It is no surprise then that sometimes parents will try to maintain as much normalcy as possible to reduce the impact of the divorce on their children, including keeping their family residence. The family home is often one of the most permanent and stable places for a child; it is where there bedroom is, where their friends live and near the school they attend.

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death-and-taxesThere is a saying by Benjamin Franklin that the only two things that are inevitable in this world are “death and taxes.” I don’t know if this saying is clever or morbid, but it is very true. In a family law context death does not come up often, but when it does, it is important to have a qualified family law attorney by your side to help you navigate the murky waters.

The focus of this blog is to address some of the potential consequences of an untimely death in connection with your divorce case. I will address the most common scenarios for the surviving party and how the court deals with them.

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co-parenting familyholdinghands

This past September, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) released a new publication addressing the division of parenting time for families going through divorce or separation. The publication, titled Child Centered Residential Guidelines (“AAML Guidelines”), is the product of an AAML committee formed to look for developmentally and psychologically appropriate parenting plans for parents not living under the same roof.

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