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.

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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.

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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.

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It happens all the time. One spouse buys a home before the date of marriage, but during the marriage, community money is used to pay down the mortgage. How does the Court typically deal with these situations?

This question was largely resolved in the Supreme Court of California case, In re Marriage of Moore, and the appellate case In re Marriage of Marsden, which to an extent clarified Moore.

These cases held that when the community pays down principal, the community is not only entitled to a dollar for dollar reimbursement, but is entitled to a pro tanto share of the appreciation in the property from the date of marriage to the time of trial. This leads us to the infamous Moore/Marsden formula.

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Megan Fox may pay “manimony”…shows us alimony isn’t just for the ladies anymore!

After a 5 year marriage, Megan Fox filed for divorce from Brian Austin Green in August. While there has been much speculation since then as to whether Fox would be on the hook for spousal support, it seems that Green has just confirmed the possibility by his response filed September 29, 2015, on which he reportedly checked that magic little box requesting spousal support be paid to him by Fox.

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Child-custody-mediationThe focus of this blog is parents involved in contested custody cases and required custody mediation. Contested custody cases come in all shapes and sizes. On one end of the spectrum you have the high-conflict custody cases (the knockdown, drag out fights) and on the other end you have the “we agree on most things, but there are some details that we still need to iron out.”

No matter where on the spectrum your case falls, if you and the other parent cannot reach a full agreement on custody issues, you will be required to attend child custody mediation. Under California law [Family Code §3170], any contested issue related to custody and visitation must be set for mediation.

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Earlier this week, we discussed the basics of how the UCCJEA determines which states get to make custody and visitation orders over children. We did not discuss the more appropriate forum exceptions of Family Code sections 3427 and 3428. These are discussed below.

As noted before, there are 4 types of jurisdiction under the UCCJEA: (1) Initial jurisdiction (2) Continuing, Exclusive Jurisdiction (3) Modification Jurisdiction and (4) Emergency Jurisdiction.

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There was a time before 2010 when you could go to Mexico for a few days and all that was required to return was a valid U.S. ID or a birth certificate. That changed in 2010 when the immigration regulations changed and a valid passport was required for all citizens, including children. There are certain exceptions which are not relevant to this blog, but that can be reviewed at U.S. Department of State.

Living in San Diego, travel to Mexico is a regular activity for many families. Whether it is to visit family still living in Mexico, for medical care, or just for pleasure travel, the draw of the beautiful beaches and fresh seafood is very strong.

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At this point almost all of America has seen the video of the adorable 6 year girl talking to her mother about divorce. (If you have not seen it yet, take a few minutes and watch it HERE.) With advice such as “Don’t be a Meanie, be a friend” and lines like, “What if there is just a little bit of persons and we eat them? Then no one will ever be here. Only the monsters in our place. We need everyone to be a person” the viewers can’t help but stop and take notice – plus this wisdom is coming from a little girl so sweet you want to eat her…but in a figurative way of course.

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With school back in full swing for children all around San Diego County, I thought I would focus my blog on a very common occurrence in child custody matter; school enrollment.

When two parents decide to get a divorce, one or both of them will often move out of the family residence. With the cost of living so high in San Diego, that can mean moving out of the neighborhood the parties lived while they were together. If the parents end up living in close proximity, the issue of where their children will be enrolled for school is an easy one. What happens when the parents move to other parts of town or into different school districts? This can create a huge headache for parents and children resulting in hours spent commuting to school and work.

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