Articles Posted in Judgment

 

More often than not, one oshutterstock_548814919-300x200f the first questions our office receives when someone is inquiring about a divorce is “how long will my divorce take?”  This question, like so many other legal questions, often depends on the circumstances of the case.  While it is our hope to get you through this process as swiftly as possible, there are certain obstacles that must be passed before your judgment is entered and your divorce is finalized. Continue reading

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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

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In this era it is hard to meet any young adult who does not have some amount of debt, with the most common form being student loans.  These loans can be hefty, as college, graduate school, and living expenses are incurred.  But what happens when you marry, and then separate from someone who has student loans?  Is the community entitled to any reimbursement for helping pay those loans down during the course of the marriage?  Does it matter if the loans were incurred during marriage or before marriage?  The answer is, it depends. Continue reading

Ex-Union-Tribune owner Douglas Manchester has divorced from his second wife, Russian immigrant Geniya Derzhavina.  Douglas, a wealthy real estate developer, filed for dissolution of marriage in October 2019 and the parties settled their divorce just two months later.shutterstock_448851367

Douglas married his first wife, Betsy, in January 1965.  They divorced in 2013 after 48 years of marriage.   Douglas and Betsy’s divorce lasted four years and Betsy highlighted the couple’s lavish standard of living throughout the proceeding.  Betsy claimed, amongst other things, that in 2007 the parties threw a birthday party for Douglas that cost over $200,000.  The parties then flew on a private jet to Costa Rica where they spent a week on a private chartered yacht.  Betsy claims the Costa Rica trip cost more than $350,000. Continue reading

puzzle-3223941_1280-300x182Whether you are getting ready to file for divorce, or already have, you probably have seen or heard the words “community property” and “separate property” many times.  These are common family law terms that parties will need to understand throughout their proceeding for dissolution.  Pursuant to Family Code section 760, “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.”  This statute is followed by Family Code section 770, which states, “Separate property of a married person includes all of the following: (1) all property owned by the person before marriage, (2) all property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and (3) the rents, issues, and profits of the property described in this section.” Continue reading

What does the “date of separation” mean and why is it so important?separation-date-300x202

When a spouse files for divorce the first issue to tackle is often the parties’ date of separation.  One might think that the date of separation is when the petition was filed in the divorce, or when one spouse moved out.  However, the date of separation is often fact driven and can be a complicated issue to resolve.

Pursuant to Family Code section 70 the “date of separation” means that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, such that (1) the spouse has expressed to the other spouse his or her intent to end the marriage, and (2) the conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage.  The court has stated that there must be problems “so impaired” in the marriage that there is no reasonable possibility of “eliminating, correcting, or resolving these problems.”  (In re Marriage of Hardin (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 448.)  Ultimately, the court will look towards the parties’ subjective intent to end the marriage, and the parties’ outward persona should not be considered. 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

Yes, even Spice Girls get divorced just like any one of us. In March 2017, former Spice Girl Mel B, perhaps better known as “Scary Spice” or as a current judge on America’s Got Talent, filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years, Stephen Belafonte.

Mel B, worth a reported $60 million, filed for divorce in a Los Angeles Superior Court after she and Belafonte separated in December 2016. While Mel B’s nickname might have been “Scary,” it seems as though her marriage to Belafonte was in fact scary, as she filed for a restraining order against him shortly after filing for divorce. It appears that she had been covering up injuries from abuse from Belafonte for years. And, while Mel B’s petition reportedly requests joint custody of the couple’s daughter, it also requests that the Court to deny spousal support to Belafonte. Continue reading

We’ve written blogs in the past about the time it takes to get a divorce in California and the infamous six-month statutory minimum waiting period. Even so, we are constantly faced with clients who come in with the misconception that their divorce will be completely over in 6 months. While that may be the case, experience tells us that a six month divorce is pretty rare.

First, let me repeat: six months is the MINIMUM length of time your divorce can take to be finalized in the state of California. This statutory waiting period is without exception. Whether you are self-represented or you retain an attorney in your divorce case, you cannot legally be “single” until six months has passed from the day you (or your spouse) filed the petition for divorce. Continue reading

If you have been through or are going through a divorce, you likely learned the hard way that a divorce is a longer and more complicated process than you previously expected. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could finalize your divorce in one weekend? Well, a Dutch company called DivorceHotel International has recognized this desire in divorcing couples and come up with a solution: a weekend divorce getaway, where divorcing couples stay at a hotel and in one friendly weekend sort out all of the details of their divorce. Continue reading