If you are considering a divorce or are already involved in the divorce process, you have likely done some research and been left scratching your head in bewilderment. Divorce is so common these days that you may assume it’s easy to do. Unfortunately, however, it’s not the most “user friendly” process. This is especially so in California, where the judicial forms, statutes, cases, and court rules that together form our laws are wrought with nuances and deadlines that even the most intelligent person in the world is apt to miss without the proper legal training.
It’s no secret that divorces can get expensive. The divorce between Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt exceeded $20,000,000 in fees! There are three fairly simple steps that every single person can take before and during marriage to make any potential divorce less expensive.
Janus Friis, the co-founder of Skype, gave his Danish pop star girlfriend Aura Dione (real name Maria Louise Joenson) a $471,942 engagement ring when he popped the question in July of 2013. Among the platinum ring’s many diamonds are a 1.76 carat center diamond, two pear-shaped blue diamonds weighing in at .91 carats, and 1.75 more carats of blue and pink diamonds. Once they were engaged, he also gave her an apartment in Copenhagen and cash gifts. Unfortunately, Friis later found out that his pop star love had been sleeping around with other men and called off the engagement.
In my last blog I talked about how a custody evaluation is ordered, what it costs, and how long it takes. If you have not read that blog, it may be helpful to go back and take a look before you continue. If you prefer to get right into the trenches, then continue on.
Read the Blog: What is a Custody Evaluation (Part 1)
The first question everyone asks me when the court orders a custody evaluation is…”What is a custody evaluation?”
Full, honest, and complete disclosure is a critical part of divorce in California. Family Code section 2100 explicitly calls for “full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities” because doing so furthers the sound public policy of “the reduction of the adversarial nature of marital dissolution and the attendant costs…”
Divorcees often ask about the legal consequences of concealing assets in a divorce case. Under California law, doing so is an express breach of fiduciary duty and the penalties can be severe. There is no better example of this than the result in the Marriage of Rossi case, where Wife tried to hide over a million dollars in lottery winnings she received before separation.
In earlier blogs I discussed what a parent can expect during child custody mediation, both private mediation and court connected mediation. Both scenarios, while nuanced, are quite straight forward. What happens if you are involved in a high-conflict child custody case and the court orders a custody evaluation? What does the evaluation cost? And how long do they take? I hope to answer these questions in this blog. In my next blog, I will discuss what to expect from a custody evaluation, how you can prepare and some of the reason a court will order a custody evaluation.
When the marriages of most couples become irretrievably broken, the most common way to end these marriages is to file for divorce. However, certain extenuating circumstances call for annulling the marriage rather than dissolving it.
There are two distinct categories of marriages in the context of nullities. There are marriages that are void and there are marriages that are voidable.
On October 7, 2015 news broke that the richest man in Illinois, hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, came to a settlement in his divorce from Anne Dias Griffin. The two had entered into a prenuptial agreement (also referred to as a “prenup” or “premarital agreement”) prior to their marriage in 2003. They have three young children together.
It is no secret that hiring an attorney can be costly. A spouse may be hesitant to seek legal counsel in their divorce or related family law matter, thinking that they would be unable to afford it. However, it is extremely important to have legal representation in certain matters, and this is especially critical where the other party is represented by an attorney. In such a case, in order to ensure adequate representation, a spouse may be entitled to an attorney’s fees and costs award (hereinafter referred to as simply an “award”); or a court order that the other party is to pay attorney’s fees and costs for BOTH parties.
In an earlier blog I discussed what to expect from court connected child custody mediation (Family Court Services – “FCS”). If you have not read that blog yet, go back and take a look since I give a background on child custody mediation generally. In today’s blog, I am going to focus on private child custody mediation.