Articles Posted in Divorce and Children

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The global spread of COVID-19 (a.k.a Corona Virus) is affecting millions and has been deemed by the United States government a national pandemic.  Both the Federal and California state governments are calling upon citizens to do their part in assisting with slowing the spread of this novel virus, which has given rise to sudden deviations from all of our normal routines.

As experienced Family Law attorneys, we anticipate the current state of affairs may be especially difficult for separated or divorced parents trying to navigate through these peculiar times.  The following are general guidelines, based on our experience, that we believe all co-parents should be cognizant of: Continue reading

Did you know in shutterstock_129857873the state of California, you do not need to be genetically related to a child for a Court to find you to be the child’s parent and issue orders for you to pay financial support of the child?

It’s true! And it can occur under the following circumstances:

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Family law courts across the nation adhere to “guidelines” andshutterstock_755356498 a statutory formula in determining appropriate child support awards.  In actuality, the “guidelines” provide mandatory requirements intended to create uniformity in the calculations of child support that are presumed correct.

The guidelines take into account the general principles that (1) a parent’s first and primary obligation is to support his or her minor child consistent with his or her own circumstances and “station in life” (“station in life” meaning the parents’ social standings, i.e. lifestyle, work status, economic circumstances, etc.); and (2) both parents are by law mutually responsible for the support of their child. Continue reading

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In the headlines the end of 2019, the Miami Dolphins released Running Back Mark Walton hours after he was arrested for charges of aggravated battery against a pregnant woman.  The authorities received a 9-1-1 call in the early hours of November 19, 2019 from Walton’s girlfriend declaring Walton pushed her against a wall and punched her several times in the face and head.  According to her, she endured the beating for 10-15 minutes prior to calling the police.  It is important to note, at this time, Walton has only been charged and has not been convicted for these allegations. Continue reading

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events a person may go through during their  lifetime.  Emotions run high, finances, which may have already been an area filled with worry and stress, may become even more so, mental health suffers, and the process may feel endless.

One of the biggest adjustments after spouses separate is the change in the family’s dynamics.  For many, this means learning how to co-parent.  Courts want parties to co-parent their children and often order parties to participate and complete parenting and/or co-parenting courses. Studies have shown parents who effectively learn to co-parent their children have an increased ability to protect their children from the negative effects of the dissolution process, including any parental discourse. Continue reading

In a previous blog, we talked about different classes of experts (Joint, Hired Gun, Review) employed in family law cases.  In this blog, we will talk about the different “types” of experts we use in family law. 

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accounting is a specialty practice area of accounting that is used in litigation.  Forensic accountants are used in family law to perform tracings for separate and community property, to investigate Family Code Section 2640 reimbursement claims, Moore/Marsden calculations,  to analyze/characterize stock options, and other issues which require an “investigation” of accounting issues.

What separates forensic accountant from regular accountants is specialized training focused on investigation as well as the expectation that the outcome of their investigation will result in the preparation of reports suitable to serve as evidence in a court of law. Continue reading

Lawyers love to make jokes about how bad we are at math.  Often those jokes include statements like, “if I were good at math I would have become an engineer” or if “I was good at math and science I would be a doctor not a lawyer.” Nobody likes lawyer jokes more than lawyers, but these statements are not universally true.  There are many lawyers who are good at math.  In fact at Bickford Blado & Botros, we have the only certified family law specialist in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant with a Master of Business Administration.  Having an attorney with a strong math and accounting background helps to spot and analyzes issues, but it is in no way a substitute for a financial expert.  When it comes to financial matters, there is no substitute for a qualified financial expert.

In family law, there are many reasons you may decide to use an expert.  Similarly, there are just as many different types of experts you can hire.  You might need an expert to value your family home or a business.  You might need an expert to decide a party’s income, or what custody schedule is best for your kids.  Whatever the reason might be, you need to decide first what class of expert you want.  This blog will address the three “classes” of experts we see in family law. Continue reading

Child custody is one of the most difficult and emotional parts of any contested divorce.  It is not uncommon for two parents to agree on all of the financial issues, child and spousal support, and property division, only to find it impossible to come to any agreements about how their children will be raised post-divorce.  It is understandable too; we love our children and we want what is best for them. This point, wanting the best for our children, is the great irony of child custody litigation.  Ask any parent whether they believe dragging their children through months or years of custody litigation is healthy for them.  They answer will be a resounding, “No.”  Yet that is exactly what happens in so many family law cases. Continue reading

“What Is In A Name”…A Lot Come To Think Of It.

If you dig deep enough into your memories from high school English class you will know that quote is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And while Romeo waxes poetically about why Juliet’s name should not matter, the truth (as they both learn), is that a name is very important.

For many married couples, one of the parties changed their legal name as part of the marriage ceremony. It could be a Husband/Wife who took the other party’s name or it could be a situation where both parties moved to a hyphenated surname.   The symbolic act of changing your name at marriage is meant to show the world the joining of two people.  However, what do you do when those same two people decide they want a divorce? Continue reading

There are many different enforcement methods available for child support. Although contempt is always an option, it involves the other parent ending up in jail and can be a costly and expensive process to prosecute. Some of the best incentives for the other parent to pay child support already exist as a matter of law without the supporting parent having to do anything. For instance, child support arrears can never be discharged in bankruptcy, so they stay with the support obligor for life. Further, they accrue rate at the legal rate of 10 percent. What kind of investments today gets you 10 percent? Not many.

There is, however, another incentive that many parties and even many attorneys are not familiar with: Continue reading