Tracey Hejailan-Amon’s husband Maurice Amon filed for divorce in Monaco in October of 2015. Tracey then filed for divorce in New York. About a year and a half later, the parties are still arguing over which court has jurisdiction over their divorce. Why? Because Monaco’s divorce law allows spouses to take back gifts that were given while married. It appears that New York law, on the other hand, provides that gifts stay with the receiving spouse even after divorce. And the Amon’s divorce is not your typical one. The “gifts” that the parties are fighting over amount to about $70 million dollars!! 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
Family Code section 3580 et seq. provides that spouses may enter into agreements regarding support upon separation. In Pendleton and Fireman, our Supreme Court held that parties could agree to limit or waive spousal support in premarital agreements. What about the time in between? Can married spouses who have not yet separated enter into enforceable agreements to limit or waive spousal support?
Although the answer to this question has not been definitively settled by our appellate courts, there is a strong argument to be made that married couples who have not yet separated cannot agree to limit or waive spousal support. Continue reading
Termination of spousal support jurisdiction is always a highly contested issue. The party paying support wants spousal support terminated as soon as possible, and the party receiving support would prefer support be paid forever. Which party will get what they want will depend on the facts of the case.
At the outset I want to explain what we mean by “terminating spousal support jurisdiction” What we are actually saying is the point at which the Court decides no spousal support will ever be due from one party to the other. It is the final decision that spousal support is no longer necessary.
There are different reasons why a Court might terminate spousal support, but for the purpose of this blog we are looking at the Court’s authority to terminate spousal support jurisdiction pursuant to Family Code §4322. Continue reading
It wouldn’t be a surprise if you had never heard of a “trust account” prior to partaking in a divorce. While there are many different types of trust accounts, in this context we will discuss accounts that attorneys, specifically family law attorneys, maintain on behalf of their clients.
To begin, a trust account is a separate account that a lawyer or law firm may open to hold money that a client or third party has an interest in. Attorneys are not allowed to comingle (mix) any of their own personal funds with funds held in a client’s trust account (with some limited exceptions). There are two types of attorney-client trust accounts. The first is an “IOLTA” account, which holds small amounts of money for short amounts of time, typically retainers, and the interest accrued goes to the state bar. The second type is a Segregated Interest-Bearing Attorney Client Trust Account (“segregated trust account”), which holds larger amounts of money for longer periods of time, and the interest accrued goes to the client. The second type, segregated trust accounts, will be discussed here. Continue reading
San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel. San Diego’s seven military bases serve the approximately 100,000 active duty service men and woman and their families (the total rises to 175,000 when dependents are taken into account.) In addition, San Diego is home to 60% of the ships in the fleet of the U.S. Navy, and 1/3 of the active duty force of the U.S. Marine Corps. In fact, the military and its spending in the region accounted for 26% of the jobs in San Diego in 2011. None of this accounts for the more than 250,000 veterans who call San Diego home. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that San Diego family law attorneys handle many military dissolution actions.
For the most part, military divorce is very much like any other divorce. The issues, such as child custody, child and spousal support, property division are the same as any other family law case. However there are aspects of military divorce that are unique to service men and women. In this blog, I will discuss some issues military members confront concerning child and spousal support. Continue reading
It is generally understood, among family law attorneys, that Family Code section 2640 is one of the most cited statutes in California Family Law. Family Code section 2640 deals with separate property contributions to the acquisition of community property. However, Family Code section 2641 can be just as important if the community made substantial contributions to the education of one spouse.
Many states handle marital contributions to the education of a spouse in different ways. In some states, a spouse can actually be said to acquire an interest in the other’s spouse’s education and profession. California takes a decidedly different approach. Under California law, the extent to which a spouse can seek reimbursement for contributions made to other spouse’s education are explicitly limited by statute to Family Code section 2641.
Having said this, let’s take a look at the statute. Continue reading
It’s no secret that many divorces can be difficult and contentious (although they certainly don’t have to be). Between the raw feelings from splitting up, disagreements regarding how to deal with the children, and the inability to reach agreements regarding spousal support and property, things can be difficult. One case in particular, Sagonowsky v. Kekoa, illustrates what happens when a contentious case totally goes off the rails.
The appeals court, in somewhat of an understatement, called the underlying proceedings a “lengthy and acrimonious battle.” Here are just some of the ways this case was acrimonious: Continue reading
Personal health is a very important aspect of our lives, but for some reason we do not seem to give it as much thought as we should until that health is compromised. It is cold and flu season right now and many of you reading this have either had a cold this year, or are going to catch one in the near future. To those readers who will avoid getting sick this year, please tell us your secrets because we want to know.
Getting the cold or the flu is not the “health” I am referring to in this blog. When I discuss health, I am referring to long-term or chronic health issues such as Lyme’s disease. This also includes mental health issues such as clinical depression, as well as physical disabilities like carpel tunnel syndrome or paraplegia. These chronic health issues are all very different, but they do have one thing in common; they often impact a person’s ability to work. 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