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Articles Posted in Divorce and Remarriage

Although a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as six months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer!  The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed.  AdobeStock_90193560-300x200

This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change.  Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners.  Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later.  This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family.

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In many ways, a divorce can seem, and typically is, final.  It requires the filing of a judgment, a judge’s signature, and a marriage that is no longer the same.  But what happens when a party files for divorce and then changes his or her mind?  Or, what happens when a couple finalizes their divorce and then reconciles?  This blog will explore the consequences of these non-traditional relationships.Cartoon red heart with patch on the crack. Cute and friendly character with eyes and smile

First, let’s consider what happens when a party files for divorce but then changes his or her mind and wishes to withdraw the petition for dissolution.  In California, there is a 6-month statutory waiting period before any divorce can be finalized- and this scenario is exactly why.  Sometimes a couple is going through a rough patch and a spouse will file for divorce prematurely.  After discussing and working on their relationship the couple no longer wants to go through with their divorce.  So, what happens? Continue reading


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For most people, the decision to get divorced is not reached on a whim.  More often than not, “Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine.  You can’t do it in one push.  You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.” (-Jerry Seinfeld)

It is not uncommon for those going through the divorce process to at some point become frustrated by the amount it is taking to, what in itself sounds simple, end their marriage! While sometimes bittersweet, many people returning to checking the “single” box, provides, a sense of progress, relief, satisfaction, accomplishment, or even freedom. This is especially true for those who have been enmeshed in lengthy highly contentious and stressful litigation. Continue reading

Almost every divorce case that comes through our office will have spousal support (also called alimony) as a major issue.  Whether we represent the party who will pay spousal support or we represent the party who will receive spousal support, one of the first topics we discuss is how the IRS will treat spousal support payments.

The IRS will treat spousal support as “income” to the recipient and a “deduction” for the payor so long as all of the requirements of IRC §71 are met.  These requirements are often referred as the “Seven D’s.” Continue reading

Under California law, once a party is served with the summons and petition for dissolution, they have 30 days to file a formal response with the Court. After this 30 days is expired, the petitioner has the option of filing for a default judgment granting them everything they asked for in their petition, including the dissolution of the marriage once the six month statutory cooling off period is completed. However, the respondent can come back within six months, under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, and get the default judgment set aside as if it never existed. Would such a default judgment also set aside the actual dissolution of the marriage, or do parties always remain divorced once they are divorced by the family court? Continue reading

Change is a big part of any divorce. When you have children, dealing with change can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce.  No matter how many times people tell you that “kids are resilient and everything will be okay” it doesn’t make it any easier.  The truth is, most kids handle divorce well especially when their parents are able to successfully co-parent.  Nonetheless, there is one change that no amount of co-parenting can make easier.  That is changing schools.  Most families only have one residence which means that at least one parent will need to find a new home.   If that new home happens to be in the same neighborhood as the former family residence, then changing schools should not be an issue.  More often than not however, one parent moves to a residence that is zoned for a different school than the children currently attend.

So what do you do? Continue reading

It was recently reported that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odem finally submitted their divorce judgment for processing with the Court.  I say finally because the case was first filed in December 2013.  It was stagnate for nearly two years while Lamar allegedly battled substance abuse issues.  When Lamar nearly died in October 2015, Khloe dismissed the divorce, only to re-file in May 2016.   The years long saga is now over, but that does not mean the parties’ divorce case is over.  The Court still needs to process the Judgment, and there is no way to know how long that will take.

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Child support in California can be very complicated and the changed circumstances rule is one of the reasons why. The changed circumstances rule requires a court to deny a request to modify child support if the court determines that there was no material change in circumstances since the time the last child support order was made.

First, let’s go over some basics. California, like every other state, is required to have a Guideline formula to determine what the proper amount of support should be. The Court is required to follow the Guideline, absent a few very narrowly construed exceptions (See Family Code section 4059). If a child support order is determined to be “above Guideline,” i.e. more than what the formula would provide, that child support order cannot be subsequently changed unless there has been a material change of circumstances. However, if a child support order is determined to be “below guideline,” no change of circumstances is required to increase that order to a Guideline order. Continue reading

Divorce is never ideal. Even in the most amicable of divorces, it is never the outcome that any couple dreams of on the day that they fall in love and decide to get married. However, as difficult as divorce might be, financially, emotionally, and otherwise, imagine the alternative. Imagine that you are stuck married to a spouse with whom you are miserable, just because the laws of your county make it that way.

This is exactly the case in the Philippines, the only country in the world (outside of the Vatican), where divorce is still illegal. There, couples may file for a legal separation, which would allow them to lead separate lives and split their property, but they remain legally married. If parties do become legally separated, they are not able to remarry later, and even worse, if they become engaged in a new relationship even after legal separation has been granted, they risk being criminally charged for committing adultery. Continue reading

Much to our dismay, the couple once lovingly known by the public as “Bennifer,” a.k.a. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, announced back in June of 2015 that they were going to get a divorce. This was just before the couple’s 10-year anniversary. They reportedly consulted with legal counsel, mediators, and business managers, and agreed that they wouldn’t file the actual divorce papers until after they mediated and resolved all of the issues surrounding custody and property division.

Now over a year since the divorce news broke, neither Jen nor Ben has actually taken the plunge and filed a divorce petition. While Ben has been fairly open about the fact that he never wanted to split from Jen, it finally sounds like the divorce is officially off the table. In their case, the couple is pretty lucky that they didn’t yet file their divorce paperwork. Although it is not difficult to have a divorce petition dismissed, they did not have to bother with the extra steps necessary in actually filing for divorce and then filing a request for a dismissal.

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