Kaley Cuoco became the second-highest paid TV actress (2nd to Sofia Vergara), after signing a $72 million dollar 3-year contract for her role in CBS’s hit show The Big Bang Theory. Yes, that’s $1 million dollars per episode for 72 episodes….and yes, now I’m reconsidering my chosen career path. Ahem, sorry, I guess that’s beside the point.

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Texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.  Not impressed…Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day, making it the most common cell phone activity for more than 80% of adults.

Everyone sends text messages.  They are quick, fast, and effective, especially when a full phone call is not necessary. For all of the benefits of texting, there are serious downsides.  Texting is more impersonal than a real phone call.  It is much easier to deliver bad news or to say something in anger via a text than it is in person or on the phone.  Also, you tend to respond quickly and without thinking.  This can have serious consequences.  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.)

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Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s divorce was recently finalized after a 13-year marriage. They had 3 children together. Gavin subjected Gwen to the stereotypical man cheats on woman with the nanny scenario. And allegedly in this case, man cheated on woman with nanny for 3 years before woman found out and filed for divorce. Even so, each party reportedly walked away from the divorce getting what they wanted.

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The competency of a party can have profound effects in family law in California. We will explore that a little in this post.

First of all, whether or not a party is competent can be relevant as to the validity of the marriage contract itself. Pursuant to Family Code section 2210(c), a marriage is voidable if either party to the contract is of unsound mind. In other words, if they are not competent to enter the marital contract, the marriage can later be annulled. Continue reading


Taxes are already complicated enough. Unfortunately, divorce makes it more complicated. Here are three rules of thumb every divorcee should try to remember:

1. Claim community income before the date of separation: In California, all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property, including any property acquired derived from labor. This presumption ends at the date of separation. Any property acquired after the date of separation is presumed to be the separate property of the acquiring spouse.

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In the first week of April, news broke that Drew Barrymore will be seeking a divorce from her third husband, Will Kopelman, after a marriage lasting just under four years. The couple has two children together, 3-year-old Olive and almost 2-year-old Frankie.

In light of the statistics, this news doesn’t seem too shocking. Surely we are all pretty familiar with the statistic that about 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. It is a bit less widely recognized that for each time a person gets remarried, the higher their chances of divorcing become. Past statistics from the US Census bureau have showed that 60 percent of second marriages end and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.

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An interesting decision out of an Australian Federal Circuit Court this month caught our eye when a judge ruled that a man was entitled to only 1/3 of the marital estate because he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was estimated to live for only one more year. In this case, after a 30-year marriage, the parties had accumulated approximately $1.5 million in assets that had to be divided in their divorce.

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In two previous posts, we discussed the very important Moore/Marsden formula, which is the formula that determines the community interest in real property when the community pays down mortgage principal on the separate property of another spouse. In the first post, we discussed the basic formula, while noting that in the age of the low interest rate, the basic formula is almost never used due to frequent refinancing. In the second post, we discussed how the formula applies to improvements. In this post, we will address one of the most common adjustments that need to be made to the formula (that usually occurs after a refinance): How do you calculate the community interest in one spouse’s separate property after the other spouse is added on title?

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With summer right around the corner questions about summer vacations should begin coming soon.  Inevitably one of the questions will be about the children traveling abroad.  Whether you are the parent who wants to take the children abroad or you are a parent concerned about the children traveling abroad, this blog should help to explain what issues you will face, what concerns are valid and how to go about getting an order allowing or preventing travel abroad with the children.

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